The New York Giants have seen plenty of undrafted free agents succeed in the past, the most notable being wide receiver Victor Cruz. It’s always a good idea to bring several in as sometimes talent can be overlooked and the transition to the NFL can’t be anticipated at times.
The Giants signed UDFA Mark McLaurin to a contract in hopes he can emerge as an impact player on the defense. McLaurin is expected to compete at the “money backer” position, coined by defensive coordinator, James Bettcher.
How would the New York Giants utilize Mark McLaurin?
Essentially, this position is meant for an oversized safety that can play in the middle of the field and cover running backs and tight ends out of the backfield. The former Mississippi State safety has already shown promise, interception a Daniel Jones pass during spring OTAs.
The Giants don’t have a true cover linebacker, or “money backer” — the closest being Tae Davis, a solid cover option. However, he’s going into his second season and is a question mark on the defense. Linebacker Alec Ogletree played this role in 2018, interception five passes, despite struggling in coverage at times.
Implementing a true secondary player in the middle of the field will allow Bettcher to bottle up running backs in the flat, a play opposing offenses tend to utilize frequently.
A 4.77 40-yard dash time is what stopped McLaurin from being drafted, but a bit of development and speed training could alleviate any concerns over his ability at the NFL level. He was one of the best safeties in the SEC but was clearly undervalued entering the draft.
Hopefully, he can impress the coaching staff during training camp and justify a roster spot moving forward.