After letting the offense dominate last week, the New York Giants‘ defense has strung together two strong practices in a row at OTAs No. 7 and No. 8.
At OTA No. 8 on Tuesday, the defense forced a few turnovers and broke up a bunch of passes, getting their hands on the football frequently.
Noteworthy performers from the New York Giants’ Day 8 of OTAs include:
1. S Xavier McKinney
Xavier McKinney, the captain of the Giants’ defense, hauled in an interception on the sideline at Tuesday’s practice. He also knocked a pass down later in practice, according to the practice report on Giants.com.
McKinney, entering his fourth career season, is looking to bounce back after an injury-riddled 2022 season. The ballhawk defensive back suffered a hand injury during the team’s bye week that kept him sidelined for eight weeks. McKinney, having led New York’s defense with five interceptions in 2021, is a valuable member of the roster and will look to earn himself a contract extension in 2023.
2. CB Amani Oruwariye
Newly-signed CB Amani Oruwariye “made the play of the day” at Tuesday’s practice, per Matt Citak of Giants.com. Oruwariye picked off a pass over the middle of the field and returned it for a would-be-touchdown.
Oruwariye is entering the fifth season after spending the first four years of his career with the Detroit Lions. Despite having a down year in 2022, New York can still have confidence in Oruwariye to bounce back in 2023 as the 27-year-old recorded six interceptions and 11 pass breakups in 2021.
3. WR Jalin Hyatt
The Giants’ third-round rookie Jalin Hyatt once again strung together some nice plays at Tuesday’s practice. Hyatt made a “nice top-tapping catch in the back of the end zone” for a touchdown during team drills.
Despite being torn apart by an anonymous NFL executive this week, excitement and confidence continue to build around Hyatt. The Tennessee product has been putting his 4.3 speed on full display and hauling in touchdown grabs throughout OTAs.
Other standout players from OTA No. 8
In John Schmeelk’s practice report, he pointed out that the offense has been working heavily on RPOs, read options, and play-action play designs. The coaches have been pairing the quarterbacks with the running backs to perfect their play-fakes. This could be a big component of Big Blue’s offensive game plan this season.
Rookie safety Gervarrius Owens got his hands on the football again during Tuesday’s practice. The seventh-round draft pick has been making plays and finding himself around the football frequently throughout OTAs.
Cornerbacks Cor’Dale Flott, Tre Hawkins III, and Deonte Banks also broke up passes during team drills.
The Giants have two practices left in OTAs before kicking off mandatory minicamp next week. After letting the offense get off to a hot start, the defense has evened the playing field, forcing a slew of turnovers across the last three practices. They will be back at it, looking to nab a few more interceptions as New York takes the practice field again on Thursday and Friday (June 8-9).