Giants could add Senior Bowl standout cornerback in middle rounds of the draft

National defensive back Chau Smith-Wade of Washington State (6) (New York Giants)
Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants still need to add more talent to their secondary after losing Xavier McKinney this offseason and having still not signed a second starting cornerback to play opposite Deonte Banks. At this rate, the Giants will likely need to turn toward the NFL Draft to add talent at cornerback.

The Giants had a top-30 visit with an intriguing middle-round cornerback prospect

According to The Draft Network’s Justin Melo, the Giants had a top-30 visit with Washington State cornerback Chau Smith-Wade. The Senior Bowl standout performer could be an intriguing target for the G-Men in the middle rounds of this year’s draft.

Chau Smith-Wade was a standout performer at the Senior Bowl

Smith-Wade is a projected fourth-round draft pick who could be a potential fit for the New York Giants. The 5-foot-10, 184-pound cornerback boosted his draft stock in February down in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl. During the scouting event’s big game, Smith-Wade made an incredible interception that nearly turned into six points:

“In a game dominated by the defenses, Smith-Wade sprawled out to pick off a deep ball from Tennessee’s Joe Milton III,” the play was described by the Associated Press. “He hesitated momentarily before realizing he wasn’t officially down under NFL rules. Then he shook off one tackle attempt on the right sideline and cut back across the field before TCU running back Emani Bailey stopped him at the 1 with 1:38 left.”

He then snagged his second interception of the game on a Hail Mary pass into the end zone by Tulane’s Michael Pratt. This performance followed a week of solid practices in which Smith-Wade appeared to be among the best defensive backs in attendance at the Senior Bowl.

What could Washington State CB Chau Smith-Wade bring to the Giants?

In 2023, Smith-Wade earned Pac-12’s third-best defensive grade among all cornerbacks according to Pro Football Focus. He recorded 35 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and six pass defenses as a senior last season. The season prior, he totaled eight pass defenses and snagged two interceptions.

READ MORE: NFL insider has Giants trading up to 3rd overall in pursuit of quarterback’s Lance Zierlein compared Smith-Wade to Los Angeles Chargers CB Asante Samuel Jr. in his scouting report. He described Smith-Wade as “a capable defender in zone or man coverages,” and said that he “could end up outplaying his draft slot due to his ball skills, competitiveness and athletic traits.”

The Giants could use some added depth in their secondary and Smith-Wade would fit the bill as a scheme-versatile cornerback with experience starting on the outside and the physicality to potentially play in the nickel. If they wait until day three to address their need at cornerback, Smith-Wade could be a target entering the fourth round.

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