Giants’ 7th round safety lands roster spot amid competition

New York Giants safety Gervarrius Owens (31) somehow got a mouth guard stuck into one of the ventilation holes in his helmet during their game against the Detroit Lions in the second quarter at Ford Field
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The clock is ticking for the New York Giants as they gear up to finalize their 53-man roster by 4 PM on Tuesday. The final preseason game against the New York Jets saw some late-stage position battles, especially in the safety department.

Rookie Gervarrius Owens Secures a Spot

In a competition brimming with potential, seventh-round rookie Gervarrius Owens has seemingly earned himself a coveted roster spot, edging out UDFA Alex Cook.

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A Closer Look at Owens’ Credentials

Standing at an imposing 6’5″ and weighing 195 pounds, Owens scored the fifth-highest athleticism rating at this year’s NFL Combine. He’s a former standout from Houston, where he not only served as a team captain but also gained four years of experience as a starting free safety. He has also flexed his versatility by playing as a big nickel cornerback.

Versatility That the Giants Are Betting On

Owens brings a range of skills to the table, able to step into the slot and act as a hard-hitting defender when needed. His versatile skill set is something the Giants are keenly interested in, as it adds a dynamic layer to their defensive strategy.

Preseason Performance Despite Injury

Though Owens suffered an injury in the final preseason game, he is expected to be game-ready in the coming weeks. During the preseason, he clocked 126 snaps—48 in run defense, 15 as a rusher, and 63 in coverage. His stats included three pressures, nine tackles, and five stops while allowing just 8 yards in coverage over four targets. He also achieved two pass break-ups and maintained a 25% reception rate.

Owens’ Future Impact and Giants’ Defensive Strategy

As a rookie, Owens will likely make his initial impact on special teams. However, he’s a promising developmental asset who could eventually secure a starting role. Currently, the Giants are planning to feature Jason Pinnock at strong safety and Xavier McKinney at free safety. McKinney, however, is in a contract year. Should the Giants opt to move on, Owens could potentially step in as a cost-effective alternative — of course, the talent difference is substantial.