The New York Giants are in a bit of a pickle at the cornerback position. With DeAndre Baker on the commissioner’s exempt list and Sam Beal sitting out for the 2020 campaign, the Giants are doing everything they can to find a starter at CB2.
The primary issue at corner is a severe lack of proven talent. While former Notre Dame corner Julian Love has experience at the position, New York Giants insider Brandon London told Empire Sports Media that he has been playing primarily at free safety.
With Love being tailored to a deep secondary role, the remaining options on the roster are extremely inexperienced. They are banking on players like Corey Ballentine, a former 6th round pick out of Washburn University, undrafted free agent Prince Smith, 7th round pick Chris Williamson, and 4th rounder Darnay Holmes.
With the expectation that Holmes will slide into the slot corner position, it leaves the CB2 spot up in the air. Homes has looked great during training camp, as a notable stand out player. He has been working with Sterling Shepard in the slot to develop quickly to pick up small tendencies that will help him during the regular season. The Giants ultimately need him to become a starter as a rookie, given the lack of depth at the position.
Where does that leave the New York Giants?
That leaves Williamson, Ballantine, and Smith as the primary options going into the 2020 season. However, the Giants did sign former third-round pick Brandon Williams, who last played in 2018. I believe he is a signing to supplement the loss of Cody Core on special teams, rather than compete for the starting corner spot on the team. Williams is still undergoing tests to fully confirm his addition.
Given the lack of a true starter, it leads me to believe that the player who will ultimately land at CB2 for the Giants isn’t currently on the roster. I believe they will wait until teams begin to make their cuts to bring in another veteran. Ultimately, when a player is cut it puts them at a disadvantage salary-wise. This gives the Giants an opportunity to grab a veteran on a cheaper deal who can fill the spot adequately for the time being.
In the scenario that they stick with their own talent, I believe Ballentine will be the first to earn an opportunity. In his rookie season in 2019, Ballantine made 13 appearances and started in two games. He racked up 26 combined tackles, allowing a 64.3% completion rate and four touchdowns. He did show he could be a solid tackler, missing just one tackle on 27 attempts.