Giants Mailbag: How will the defense progress in 2020, will Saquon Barkley hold out, more!

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Julian Love, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love
June 5, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants rookie cornerbacks DeAndre Baker (27) and Julian Love (37) participate in drills during minicamp. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/ via USA TODAY NETWORK

New York Giants mailbag questions to pass the time on a rainy Monday afternoon.

You ask, we answer. Empire Sports Media is answering questions from dedicated fans regarding the New York Giants! Today’s installment includes a variety of quality questions. 

The difference between this year’s D. Compared to last year’s. What’s the biggest change we can expect? – Revanant
The most significant difference between last year’s defense and this year’s is maturity. General manager Dave Gettleman signed James Bradberry, Blake Martinez, and Kyler Fackrell to act as starters. While these players don’t seem to be the best of the lot, they will undoubtedly help piece together a young defensive unit.
With players like DeAndre Baker, Corey Ballentine, Oshane Ximines, and Julian Love going into year two, they should see a significant increase in production and playing time. Individually, Baker, Ximines, and Love could all earn starting reps, and the experience they gained in 2019 should help them in their development. It’s also important to mention their new defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, who uses various schemes and blitzes frequently from the linebacker and safety positions. I believe the secondary will be far improved moving forward.
Alex, how about the expectation of Deandre Baker now that he is the #2 corner? After his strong finish, I expect him to have a very good season – Bobby
Baker struggled immensely in 2019, but it was primarily due to the difference in coverage he was exposed to. While playing for Georgia, he was a press/man-cover corner, rarely playing in off-ball coverage where James Bettcher threw him into the fire last season. His struggles were mainly adaptational to a different style of coverage, but it was vital for him to learn as the Giants attempt to mold him into a top-tier cornerback.
If Baker can take a step forward in 2020, the Giants could have a very nice duo with Bradberry’s installation as well.
What position that we’re not discussing could the Giants target in the draft?? – All Things Giants
This is an interesting question, and if I were to pick one position we aren’t looking at, it would be tight end. The Giants currently have Evan Engram, Kaden Smith, and Levine Toilolo on the roster — otherwise known as a band of misfit toys. Engram’s inability to stay healthy is already problematic, Smith is unproven but showed promise in 2019 and Toilolo is a backup who can take up space in the running game.
I would love it if the Giants had one tight end who can do it all, which is where I think they could go in the third round with a player like LSU’s Thaddeus Moss. As a projected 3-4th round pick, the Giants could land him at 99th overall, and he would bring strength in the run game but also plenty of value in the intermediate passing game as a big target for Daniel Jones. I expect OC Jason Garrett to use a ton of 12-personnel sets, and Moss is a high-ceiling player who logged 570-yards and four touchdowns. Saquon Barkley would love running behind a tight end like Moss — he also has the genetics!
Will Love play safety or nickel? – Kevin McManus 
We recently interviewed with Julian Love (find it here!), and he told us he’s more than comfortable playing safety. While he spent time in the strong safety and slot corner role, he has fluid hips and can move well in the defensive backfield. With the Giants in need of a true starter there with ball-hawk abilities, I believe they will allocate their second-round pick toward a position like center instead of free safety, where they have a young bull with plenty of potential in Love.
W/ the way the RB market is playing out these days, what’s more likely? He returns to form this season & Saquon pulls a Zeke & holds out next yr or the unthinkable, the NYG trade him (rumors that panthers might do it w/ CmC overpaying him) – Jonathan Green 
The Giants love Saquon Barkley and everything he brings to the team, from the locker room to on the field. He’s a first-class player, and they will treat him like one. Gettleman will make sure Barkley is well taken care of instead of letting him hit the market. If they don’t get an extension done after his fourth year, they will get it done after the season is complete. This is also very dependent on what happens in 2020. If he posts incredible numbers and contributes significantly on offense, he will become indispensable. Given the Giants upgrade their offensive line, we should expect Barkley to have a tremendous season this year.