The New York Giants made a significant effort to bolster their secondary this past offseason, drafting DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, and Corey Ballentine. The trio will influence the defense in some way, or at the very least leave their mark on the special teams unit, which is where I imagine Ballentine featuring.
However, Baker and Love have a good shot at not only earning playing time with the defense but starting in their first professional seasons. Baker is the expected No. 2 corner opposite Janoris Jenkins but will have to fend off the tenacious Sam Beal for the starting job.
Love will compete with Grant Haley for the slot-corner spot, and while the rookie is at a disadvantage due to the latter’s experience, he has a fair opportunity to steal playing time.
So far, Love has learned plenty from his fellow defenders, but it’s the pass catchers that have really opened his eyes to the talent he will be facing. Playing against Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate, two of the game’s best slot receivers will certainly help the rookie develop his game.
â€œIâ€™ve learned that theyâ€™re the real deal,â€Â Love told Giants.com. â€œA lot of pride for Golden Tate, a fellow Notre Dame guy. Both of them, it can be a slant and theyâ€™ll run it 20 different ways, the same route. Theyâ€™re students of the game still and smart, so being able to predict an play the situation has been helpful at times and theyâ€™re just two of the best and Iâ€™m happy to be practicing with them.â€