Did the Giants uncover a hidden gem with UDFA safety?

Detroit Lions running back Devine Ozigbo (30) runs against New York Giants linebacker Habakkuk Baldonado (45) and New York Giants safety Alex Cook (23) during the second half of a preseason game at Ford Field in Detroit
Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants may have uncovered a hidden gem with undrafted rookie S Alex Cook. In their first preseason game against the Detroit Lions, Cook saw extensive playing time and appeared to be one of the best players on the field. Entering Week 2 of the preseason, New York will hope to see the rookie safety build on his performance and continue fighting to earn himself a roster spot.

UDFA Alex Cook shines in preseason debut

Cook was on the field for 35 defensive snaps against the Lions, totaling a team-high seven tackles in the contest. According to Pro Football Focus, Cook was one of only eight safeties this past week to record two or more run stops, leading him to pace the position in run-defense grade (83.5).

Is there any room for Alex Cook in the Giants’ secondary?

Cook is emerging in a Giants secondary that is already brimming with talent. Starting FS Xavier McKinney is a budding star that could be receiving a big contract extension at the end of the season. Opposite of him is SS Jason Pinnock, a talented, young defensive back that has already “locked down” the starting job. And then there’s Dane Belton, a versatile defensive back that could fill in at nearly any position.

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The Giants do not have much room left on their roster for Cook. If he wants to earn himself a roster spot within this crowded secondary, Cook will need to outperform the likes of veteran DB Bobby McCain and fellow rookie S Gervarrius Owens consistently throughout the rest of the preseason.

Entering preseason Week 2 on Friday night, Cook will be an under-the-radar player to keep an eye on as Big Blue faces off with the Carolina Panthers. If he can string together a second solid performance in a row, Cook could make a run for a roster spot with the Giants.