In the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected three defensive backs. The Giants were lucky enough to steal safety Xavier McKinney in the second round, but they then added two cornerbacks later on in the draft. Darnay Holmes was selected in the fourth round and Chris Williamson was selected in the sixth round.
With those second and fourth-round selections, it appears that the Giants found two starting defensive backs in this year’s draft. McKinney was a first-round talent that will be an instant impact player in the Giants’ defense. But the biggest sleeper-selection for the Giants in 2020 was Darnay Holmes out of UCLA.
Why Holmes Should Start Immediately
One of the weakest positions on the Giants’ roster last season was at slot cornerback. Time and time again, Grant Haley, Corey Ballentine, and any other corners who played that nickel position were seen trailing behind wide receivers, giving up big plays in coverage. Granted, Haley was excellent in run defense, however, he was a true liability in pass coverage.
With Darnay Holmes now on the roster, the slot cornerback position should not be a weakness anymore. Despite playing outside cornerback for the entirety of his collegiate career, Holmes projected as a nickel corner, so that is what he played at the 2020 Senior Bowl. Holmes turned heads, constantly making plays and impressing scouts in Mobile.
Holmes was projected to be a nickel cornerback due to his size. Darnay stands in at roughly 5 feet 10 inches and 195 pounds (but it would not be surprising if those numbers are a little high). A highly skilled player already, Darnay Holmes could be a day-one starter at the slot cornerback position. But Giants fans shouldn’t write him off as an outside cornerback just yet.
Darnay Holmes On The Outside
Despite being undersized, there are plenty of people who believe Darnay Holmes could succeed as an outside cornerback. This could be especially helpful with DeAndre Baker’s confusing legal situation that is still ongoing. The Giants might have a hole at their second outside cornerback position and Darnay Holmes could be the young man to fill that hole.
“Darnay Holmes projects best as a boundary corner in off-man coverage. Holmes’ stature is probably best suited for the nickel, but some pedestrian tackling enthusiasm suggests he’d thrive more in a true cover role.” – Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network
Preparing For The Season
Darnay Holmes spoke with Giants.com today, stating that he is “ready to rock” entering his rookie season:
“I’m pretty much sharpening my mind. At the end of the day, everyone is at the same skill set. Everybody is on the same playing field. Now it’s like, ‘How am I going to separate myself?’ I’m constantly placing people in my corner who have been in this realm, constantly educating myself about myself, educating myself about this game. So, once I step foot on that turf or on that grass, I’m ready to rock and I have that unwavering faith and belief in myself.” – Darnay Holmes via Giants.com