Giants’ seventh-round rookie could sneak his way into the starting lineup

Gervarrius Owens, giants

The New York Giants selected Houston safety Gervarrius Owens with their final pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Owens, a four-year starter at Houston, had a fourth-round draft projection before New York selected him in round seven. He may be viewed as a developmental prospect, but Owens has the talent to sneak his way into the starting lineup sooner than anticipated.

Could Gervarrius Owens start for the Giants?

Owens has been a standout at OTAs, getting his hands on a few footballs during team drills at practice. During his collegiate career, Owens totaled four interceptions and 15 passes defended. After appearing in Houston’s defensive lineup for the past four seasons, Owens is preparing to earn his way back into a starting lineup in the NFL.

According to Matt Lombardo of Heavy Sports, one anonymous AFC executive believes that Owens will see plenty of playing time during his rookie season and eventually crack the starting lineup.

“He has starter ability, will get on the field immediately on 3rd down and Special Teams.”

An AFC Executive on Giants safety Gervarrius Owens, per Matt Lombardo

In his pre-draft profile of Owens,’s Lance Zierlein described the Giants’ new safety as “a willing and physical hitter” who “has the physical ingredients to play safety.”

Owens is an elite athlete, posting a 9.21 relative athletic score (RAS) after running a 6.75s 3-cone at the Combine. His athleticism will help Owens see the field as a rookie on special teams, potentially filling in as a gunner.

While he may be an elite athlete, Owens has some flaws in his game that need to be ironed out before he’s ready to appear regularly in an NFL lineup. As Zierlein describes, Owens “takes suspect angles to the football and has too many missed tackles after the catch and in run support.”

He has solid coverage skills and a high football IQ, but some refinement is needed for Owens to develop into a starter. However, the Giants have a need in their defensive backfield following the departure of veteran safety Julian Love in free agency this offseason. Owens could fill that hole and earn some playing time on the back-end of Big Blue’s defense if he continues to standout at practices this summer.

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