Giants could target versatile Michigan defensive back on day two of the NFL Draft

Michigan defensive back Mike Sainristil (New York Giants prospect)
Credit: Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants’ secondary is thin and in need of additional talent entering the 2024 season. They lost star safety Xavier McKinney to free agency this offseason and are unlikely to bring back starting cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. As a result, the Giants could be in the market for a defensive back in the early rounds of the NFL Draft.

Michigan DB Mike Sainristil could be an intriguing prospect for the Giants to target to solve their questions in the secondary. He’s a versatile talent who should be on the board for the Giants on day two of the draft.

Mike Sainristil can fill a need on the Giants’ defense

The Giants’ secondary is lacking depth and clear starters at two major positions. Opposite Deonte Banks, Big Blue’s No. 2 cornerback job is up for grabs. Then on the inside, Cor’Dale Flott is projected to take the starting slot cornerback position, though that isn’t set in stone either.

Sainristil could fill that nickel cornerback role, or at least compete for it with Flott. He has plenty of starting experience at Michigan, having lined up in the slot for 403 snaps in 2023. He tallied 25 starts on defense in his career.

In 2023, Sainristil totaled 44 tackles, four tackles for loss, six pass defenses, and snagged six interceptions (two of which he returned for touchdowns). The Draft Network’s Damian Parson describes Sainristil as “a talented nickel cornerback with a wide receiver background that shows in his ability to make plays on the football.”

Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema writes that Sainristil “brings a great skill set and mentality to be a starting slot cornerback, with safety and special teams versatility to boot.” He’s the No. 7 cornerback on PFF’s board in this class.

Could Sainristil play multiple roles for the Giants?

Not only can Sainristil play slot cornerback, but he also has experience playing safety, outside cornerback, and even wide receiver. He began his career as a wideout for Michigan, hauling in 22 receptions for 312 yards and two touchdowns in 2021 before converting to the defensive side of the ball.

Sainristil took snaps at both defensive back and wide receiver at Michigan’s pro day on Friday:

The Giants value players who can fill in multiple spots and provide value on special teams. Sainristil fits that bill, so he might be a prospect they value highly on the second day of the draft.

Considering he’s only played cornerback for two seasons and was named a First-Team All-American in 2023, Sainristil’s season is high. He has plenty of room for growth, but he also has enough starting experience to make an impact from day one. The Giants should keep a close eye on Sainristil on the second day of the draft.

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