The New York Giants lost one of their cornerbacks on Wednesday, as third-year player Sam Beal opted out of the 2020 season. While we don’t know what personal issues might have been the cause, Beal will lose out on a fantastic opportunity to gain some lost ground after spending the last two seasons predominantly injured.
Of course, we wish him well and hope his family isn’t affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, his departure opens the door for multiple players to lock down the CB2 spot.
Let’s take a look at three players on the roster the New York Giants could elevate:
1.) Darnay Holmes
When entering the NFL, most penciled Darnay Holmes in as the Giants’ starting nickel corner. Interestingly, Holmes never played slot corner in college, he only earned a few reps during the Senior Bowl. After being coined the best nickel corner in the draft by analysts, without ever seeing live reps there, the Giants shouldn’t feel the need to stick him at the position immediately. With Beal and DeAndre Baker likely missing the 2020 campaign, Holmes should be given the opportunity to compete at CB2.
Holmes has a similar frame to former Giant Janoris Jenkins (5-foot-10, 195-pounds), so the idea that he is too small is completely untrue. Holmes is a competitive athlete who has a great character. His leadership mentality and great tangible traits make him a primed player to take a stab at the void position. However, I believe he should compete in the slot as well.
In 2019, he played on a high ankle sprain with UCLA. His toughness and grit are at the forefront of his positive qualities, and I believe he has the drive to earn an opportunity at CB2 and at nickle.
With that being said, he is still somewhat of a raw prospect that needs some refinement. Adapting to NFL size and speed is not an easy task, as Sterling Shepard showed him a few weeks ago during a training session. Shepard’s quick-twitch abilities were too much for Holmes, who was left tracking Shepard a few steps behind. Camp should give him ample experience and reps against NFL talent, which will prove to be essential in his progress toward becoming a starter.