Here are two New York Giants rookie that could have a significant impact on defense next season:
The Giants’ defense in 2019 ranked 30th in the NFL, as they injected youth from the previous draft class into the unit in hopes of developing a foundation. The secondary was extremely young, consisting of DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Sam Beal, and Corey Ballentine. All of these players received live reps and started a majority of games as a whole.
However, they failed to play at a high-level and ultimately put the Giants in a difficult position. In the most recent draft, they spent two picks on shoring up positions of need. They landed Xavier McKinney, the top-rated safety on the board, and Darnay Holmes, a projected nickel corner in the NFL.
Both players have immense potential, especially McKinney, who is coming out of Alabama, which closely represents an NFL style defense. He is essentially the next best thing after Isaiah Simmons, having totaled 95 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, 3.0 sacks, five passes defended, and seven total turnovers.
While Holmes’ statistics don’t look nearly as impressive as McKinney’s, as he battled a high ankle sprain but returned prematurely against the advice of medical professionals.
Holmes couldn’t bear to sit out his expected last season with UCLA due to injury, and playing on a bad ankle severely limited his efficiency in coverage.
Nonetheless, it attests to his mentality and how committed he was to the team. That is an excellent sign for the Giants in terms of leadership and intangible qualities. He will be a great addition to the locker room and hopefully lock down the slot corner position, a spot that has been problematic for the Giants in recent years.
Overall, these two players have the opportunity to earn significant starting time on defense and could end up being two of the more significant contributors in 2020. McKinney has the diversity and adaptability to move around the defense from a deep look to a strong safety position closer to the line of scrimmage. While Holmes played primarily outside corner in college, he looked fantastic as a nickel corner during the Senio Bowl.
These are two players we should be extremely excited to see moving forward and could revolutionize the defense.