Nobody anticipated the New York Giants spending so much of their resources on the secondary this off-season. Ranging from the signing of Adoree Jackson on a three-year, $39 million deal to spending multiple draft picks on corners, they have completely upgraded a unit that performed well in 2020 despite deficiencies.
Having gone through a rotation at CB2, finally landing on Isaac Yiadom, who opposing teams picked on throughout the campaign, they decided they needed a corner who could thrive in press, man coverage. That corner is Jackson, a former Tennessee Titan who represents an aggressive style defender that can match up again speedy and more shifty receivers.
However, the Giants also added a nickel option in UCF stand-out Aaron Robinson. Robinson will compete with second-year player out of UCLA, Darnay Holmes, for the starting slot corner job.
Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report believes Robinson can develop into a solid starter:
With most of the team’s early 2019 and 2020 picks also expected to be big factors as the Giants wrap up a rebuild, that leaves cornerback Aaron Robinson as the one to watch for the future.
The UCF product will likely have to compete with sophomore fourth-round selection Darnay Holmes for a slot role in support of presumed starters James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson, both of whom make big money.
The smooth and physical Robinson has the length and instincts to turn into a strong starter, but rookie corners almost always need time, and he lacks the speed to compensate for the work he’ll have to do early on.
Robinson is another aggressive corner who plays tough man coverage. With Patrick Graham going in a different route compared to his 2020 scheme, we should expect to see more cover-1 and cover-0, relying on heavier blitz packages and more man coverage.
The Giants traded up in the third round to snag Robinson, who the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys eyed. The 5’11”, 186 pound senior had a round-2 projection by NFL.com. They noted his strengths as a combination of size and speed as a nickel. He has an effective punch when given the greenlight to press and adequate foot quickness and agility. His weaknesses remain diagnosing routes and having top-end speed.
Given the role he will play, the Giants might’ve landed themselves a day one impact player in the secondary, and providing competition for Holmes can only bring out the best of both players.
There is a very good chance the Giants have one of the best defenses in football after bolstering the secondary and pass rush this off-season. Hopefully, Robinson will have a successful career with Big Blue, as they look for athletes with tremendous upside that can also make an immediate impact.