New York Giants have a sleeper in the outside cornerback competition

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes
Sep 27, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (14) gains yards after catch as New York Giants cornerback Darnay Holmes (30) tackles during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are being rebuilt after switching regimes this offseason. Out with the old front office and coaching staff, and in with the new. General manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll have spent the offseason retooling the roster and implementing new schemes. They inherited a Giants team that was in bad shape financially and had to cut ties with some key players, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The Giants moved on from starting safeties Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers as well as starting outside cornerback James Bradberry. There will now be a competition to fill Bradberry’s former position and third-year corner Darnay Holmes could be a sleeper in this battle.

Darnay Holmes was drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the last Giants regime. Since entering the league, Holmes has played slot cornerback for the Giants. This was a positional change for Holmes as he spent his collegiate career on the boundary. Darnay had a successful college career playing outside cornerback, but height and weight limitations caused him to move inside with the Giants. Now that there is an opening at boundary cornerback, Darnay Holmes could look to transition back to his original position.

Darnay Holmes could compete at outside cornerback

Some fans and analysts have always believed that Darnay Holmes could be more than just a slot corner. Holmes was cross-trained at both slot and boundary cornerback during his rookie season, but the Giants ultimately decided to play him as a nickel. Darnay has seen the field quite a bit since his rookie season. He played 12 games in 2020, and 11 games in 2021, and has logged 9 starts through his two-year career.

In that time, Darnay Holmes has totaled 2 interceptions, 7 passes defended, and 59 combined tackles. He is physical in the slot and does not shy away from ball carriers. The issue, however, is that Darnay has been dealing with injuries. He wore a red jersey in minicamp nursing a minor foot injury. Holmes is coming off of a 2021 season that ended with an injury.

Darnay Holmes needs to stay healthy in 2022. But if he does, there is a chance he could compete at outside cornerback. Adoree’ Jackson is being elevated to CB1, but there is a competition for CB2 that Holmes could mix his way into. Aaron Robinson, Dane Belton, and Cor’Dale Flott are all young Giants defensive backs that can play slot cornerback. Changing Darnay’s position will not leave the defense short-handed at nickel. Instead, it will give young guys even more opportunities to see the playing field. It has been a couple of years since Darnay lined up on the boundary, but he has proven to be a physical corner with good ball skills during his NFL career. Do not sleep on Darnay Holmes as a potential outside cornerback for the New York Giants in 2022.