The New York Giants spent plenty of capital fixing up the secondary this offseason, bringing Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, and Corey Ballentine.
Considering the unit only consisted of Janoris Jenkins, Grant Haley, and Sam Beal before the 2019 NFL Draft, it’s impressive how far the unit has come in such a short period of time. However, most of the players featured here haven’t played a snap in an NFL game, which is noted.
Aside from that fact, the talent added provides a reason for excitement. Baker is a first-round value pick, Love was a projected second-round talent that fell to the fourth, and Ballentine was projected to go in the fourth and fell to the sixth. Peppers was a former first-round selection that struggled at times with misuse in Cleveland, and Bethea is a seasoned veteran that has plenty of gas left in the tank.
As I said before, plenty of talent and reason for excitement. So far in OTAs, the secondary has completely locked down the offense, forcing Eli Manning to sail throws out of bounds and Daniel Jones to show his rookie jitters.
The Giants are very happy with Baker so far, stating:
“No one seems to get very open on DeAndre Baker,” John Schmeelk of Giants.com wrote. “The young outside cornerbacks are showing promise and ability, and their development will continue in training camp as they figure out how much contact they can get away with beyond five yards.”
Beal as well:
Shurmur stated that the third-round Supplemental Draft pick has looked good and is getting his sea legs under him. Julian Love scooped up a fumble from Elijah Penny on Tuesday and took it to the house for the virtual score.
I’m curious to see some of the position battles that will ensue between the cornerbacks this offseason.
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New York Giants top corner position battles:
There are two specific battles that I’m very excited to watch — DeAndre Baker vs Sam Beal & Julian Love vs Grant Haley.
Some might not think Baker vs Beal is much of a battle, considering where Baker was drafted and the talent he faced at Georgia. However, Beal is feisty and has shown his abilities in a small sample size so far during OTAs. The competitive nature will bring the best out of both, which is exactly what the Giants want to happen.
Between Haley and Love, I believe the former will win the job simply based on experience. Love will be close behind and would be first in line if Haley looks replaceable.