The New York Giants drafted numerous players that will compete for starting roles in 2019, most of which will be from the first three rounds of the draft. However, there are some underrated prospects that could give current starters a run for their money.
New York Giants: Top 3 position battles of 2019
1.) Julian Love vs Grant Haley
In the fourth round of the draft, the Giants selected cornerback Julian Love out of Notre Dame. The talented cover-corner will likely be utilized in nickel packages in DC James Bettcher’s scheme. He’s a bit undersized but is skilled in pass defense and has the quickness to match up in the slot.
He will have plenty of time to develop this offseason practicing against WR Sterling Shepard/Golden Tate and learning from veteran Janoris Jenkins. A majority of the cornerback unit is new, but that won’t stop the Giants from throwing them into the mix.
Love will compete with second-year player, Grant Haley. The formerly undrafted athlete had a solid 2018 season, ranking as the #46 corner in the NFL, according to PFF. He earned 33 total tackles and 2 total passes defended in his rookie season. I anticipate this being an exciting position battle, potentially one of the best.
2.) Chad Wheeler vs Anybody
While the Giants haven’t added much competition at the right tackle spot, I assume they will make the appropriate adjustments to create a position battle. They drafted George Asafo-Adjei in the seventh round this past draft, but he’s still raw and will need time to develop.
However, Wheeler isn’t the best right tackle in the league, in fact, he ranked as one of the worst starters at the position in 2018. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if “Big George” stole the position right out from under him. At 6-foot-5, 315-pounds, the Kentucky product certainly has the ideal size.
This will be one position to keep an eye on, as the Giants could go ahead and sign a veteran like Mike Remmers to add additional quality to the contest.
3.) Lorenzo Carter vs Oshane Ximines vs Markus Golden
The Giants signed outside linebacker/defense end Markus Golden this offseason to help in the pass-rush department. In 2016, he racked up an impressive 12.5 sacks – since then he’s managed a hearty 2.5. There’s a ton of value to gain from Golden but the fact of the matter is — the Giants cannot depend on him to be their saving grace.
This is why I expect the pass-rushing position battle to be a good one. Drafting Ximines in the third-round offers solid youth value to the line, but the lack of experience against premium talent doesn’t usually translate in the NFL right away. He will need time to develop.
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On the flip side, Carter is going into his second year and will be looking to leave his mark.
Earning 4 sacks and 43 combined tackles last season, Lorenzo is primed for a breakout campaign. He has the speed and length to wreak havoc in the backfield. The Giants need him to pan out in 2019, as they don’t have much talent around him to support if he doesn’t live up to expectations.
I wouldn’t rule out Ximines becoming an impact player, though, despite his lack of size. The Old Dominion product has developed moves and can counter-punch effectively. Don’t sleep on him as a potential starter after gaining some necessary experience.