New York Giants Betting on Secondary to Mask Pass Rush Flaws

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins
May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants secondary got off to a blazing start in the first practice of OTAs. Both Eli Manning and Daniel Jones struggled passing in their first practice together. Manning with two interceptions, Jones with one.

The most notable of the three picks occurred when second-year cornerback Sam Beal deflected a Manning pass into the arms of newly acquired Jabrill Peppers. Missing the entire 2018 season due to injury, Beal on the field may be a rookie but mentally is a second-year pro. Beal worked with the first team opposite of Janoris Jenkins with Grant Haley in the slot.

An Influx of Talent for the New York Giants at corner

The Giants selected Beal in the third round of the 2018 Supplemental draft and gained praise in their selection. Draft Scout Matt Miller of Bleacher Report wrote an article last July labeling Sam Beal as the best Supplemental draft prospect since Josh Gordon in 2012.

The Supplemental draft takes place each year after the official NFL draft. In most cases, a player who enters the supplemental draft has been deemed ineligible by the NCAA for the upcoming season. More often than not, a player who has entered in the supplemental draft usually comes with off the field issues. Beal, however, was different. Beal was ruled academically ineligible due to poor performance in the classroom.

In the 2017 season, Beal had 10 pass breakups, 26 tackles, a forced fumble, and two interceptions. Perhaps the biggest interception of his career came against former USC and now Jets Quarterback Sam Darnold. Tallied at 6’1, 185 lbs, and running a 4.40 forty yard dash, it is his length mixed with speed that put him on the NFL radar in the first place.

2019 Draft Products

In addition to Beal, The Giants selected All-Americans Deandre Baker (Rd1) and Julian Love (Rd4) in the 2019 NFL Draft. Love was arguably the biggest steal of the draft. If not for an underwhelming 4.54 40 yard dash, Love would have most likely been selected on Day 2 of the draft. He received a second-round grade from the NFL’s college advisory committee. Deandre Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award which represents the Nations Most Outstanding Defensive Back. Julian Love was a finalist for the same award, who is listed right below Baker in the graphic below. 

By passing on Josh Allen at 6, the Giants have shown that they believe in James Bettcher and his ability to create pressure in other ways aside from the edge. In a prior article, I mentioned that it was clear Bettcher’s scheme had to be altered due to a lack of talent on the back end. With the addition of Baker and Love, the hope is that Bettcher will be able to send extra pressure after the quarterback with confidence the secondary can hold its own in 1v1 matchups.