Before the 2019 NFL Draft the New York Giants‘ secondary looked rather thin – Janoris Jenkins, Sam Beal, and Grant Haley. One veteran and two second-year players, one of which was injured for his entire rookie season with a shoulder ailment.
Haley filled in valiantly in the slot alongside B.W. Webb, but added competition through the draft in Julian Love might put his starting hopes in jeopardy.
Love, a feisty outside corner out of Notre Dame, will compete for the starting slot job. He’s a bit undersized which pushes him to the interior where he will match up with quicker receivers similar to the build of Sterling Shepard. This is one of the position battles that will take place during training camp.
Julian Love is a pass break up king! He was someone who stood out to me in scouting DB’s! I cannot wait to see him on Sunday’s. An absolute playmaker pic.twitter.com/GgI4C2aXEi
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinnerNFL) April 27, 2019
As a fourth-round draft pick, Love can be an instant starter and impact player. This will allow first-round pick Deandre Baker to feature as the team’s No. 2 option. These two corners changed the narrative completely following the draft, as the secondary was extremely thin and nearly void of talent beyond Jenkins.
How has Janoris Jenkins helped the New York Giants draft picks?
Defensive coordinator James Bettcher has been impressed with the leadership role Jenkins has taken on, stating:
“Janoris Jenkins hasn’t been great during this offseason program, he’s been unbelievable as a coach with some of our young corners. I find myself walking over to coach someone up and see Janoris with him and you say ‘okay, Janoris’ got it.”
James Bettcher: Janoris Jenkins hasn’t been great during this offseason program, he’s been unbelievable as a coach with some of our young corners. I find myself walking over to coach someone up and see Janoris with him and you say ‘okay, Janoris’ got it.” #Giants
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) May 8, 2019
The veteran’s advice and mentorship will be extremely beneficial for players like Baker and Love, allowing them to take the next step in the development with ease.
The plan, ideally, is to keep Beal as a reserve option behind the outside corners and let Love and Haley battle it out. The Giants’ 2018 undrafted free agent started in nine games last year, playing in a total of 10. He earned 33 total tackles and 2 passes defended, per Pro Football Reference. According to PFF, Haley was the #46 ranked corner in the NFL last season.
Hopefully, a year of experience under his belt and some added competition will bring out the best in not just him, but Love too.