The New York Giants experienced a lot of overturn in their defensive secondary this offseason. The Giants lost key starters on the back-end in cornerback James Bradberry and safeties Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers. All three of these 2021 starters will be playing for new teams in 2022. Two crucial members of the secondary remain, however: safeties Xavier McKinney and Julian Love.
Xavier McKinney experienced a breakout 2021 sophomore season after assuming a starting position. He totaled 5 interceptions and 93 combined tackles. Julian Love seems to be ready for a similar experience as he is now in line to be a full-time starter on the Giants’ defense for the first time in his career.
Julian Love is ready to start on the Giants’ defense
Since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Julian Love has played a very unique role on the New York Giants’ defense. Julian Love has been utilized in a variety of ways. He has started sixteen games in his three-year career, but not all at the same position. Love has moved all over the Giants’ secondary, starting games at free safety, strong safety, slot cornerback, and outside cornerback. He has lined up in every position in the secondary, demonstrating a top-tier level of versatility.
But now, with a major hole opening up at the safety position, Julian Love is ready to assume a starting role.
“You never know in this league, so I’m trying to keep it where I earn what I get,” Love said. “You’ve seen that nothing was handed to me these past few years. I’m not going to lie and say that it hasn’t been tough, but I pride myself on being resilient, having a good heart and staying positive as much as I can.” – Julian Love on having a shot to start this season via The New York Post
Love certainly has been resilient throughout his career. Despite never being able to call one position home, Love has been able to be an impact-player for the Giants. Across 48 career games, Julian Love has 167 combined tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 13 passes defended, and 3 interceptions.
The upcoming 2022 season will be a big test for Julian Love. He has seen the field a good amount in three years and played an important role on the Giants’ defense. But he has never been a full-time starter or managed the challenges associated with such an important position. Julian Love has the range and ball skills to play as a free safety and the fundamental tackling ability to play as a strong safety. The safety positions are crucial to the success of Wink Martindale’s defensive scheme. Playing in Wink’s defense alongside a top talent like Xavier McKinney could lead to a breakout season for Julian Love.