Going into the 2020 season, one of the most important points for the New York Giants will be improving their play in the secondary.
There were too many times last season when opposing quarterbacks were able to turn bad situations into good ones through picking apart openings in the Giants’ passing defense on second and third downs.
And while play from DeAndre Baker started to improve later in the year, it remains to be seen when Baker will get off the commissioner’s exempt list and return to the team. Even if he does return, it’s debatable if his play will be up to standard.
There’s some decent reasons to not have an optimistic view of the Giants secondary this year. Even if the team did add a big player through the draft in Xavier McKinney.
The Pro Football Focus take on the secondary
Pro Football Focus had their own take on the secondary and in their rankings of each one in the league, the Giants were one of the worst. The team comes in at number 27 on the PFF list. While the list claims James Bradberry will likely see a step up in performance after the move in divisions, it’s not as confident in some of the other players in the secondary.
DeAndre Baker struggled badly as a rookie and was beaten for eight touchdowns in total, though his future is somewhat up in the air, given the reported off-field troubles. Beyond Baker, the Giants would be turning to Sam Beal, who played fewer than 300 snaps last year, or one of either Corey Ballentine, Darnay Holmes, Chris Williamson or Montre Hartage. So, for as much as Baker struggled last year, the prospects of a season without him would not be good.
The article goes on to speak about the team’s lack of depth further by pointing out how Grant Haley, one of the likely contenders for slot corner, didn’t do all that well when targeted last year. Furthermore, Julian Love’s development may end up wasted when Xavier McKinney likely takes over his spot at safety.
Is it really all that bad, though?
Well, a lot of that depends on the unknown. DeAndre Baker wasn’t great last year but the Giants don’t have many other credible options at this point at the number two spot. And we don’t know how Grant Haley will play after getting more experience. Xavier McKinney could make a huge impact as a rookie or could take longer to adjust.
And because of so many unknowns as well as younger players being involved in large roles, it’s hard to say one way or the other if the Giants really are one of the worst secondaries in the NFL.