The Giants have an exciting competition brewing at slot cornerback

giants, nyg, new york giants, darnay holmes
Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants have a position battle brewing on defense ahead of training camp. An exciting competition will take place for New York’s slot cornerback job with three intriguing contenders gunning for the position. Darnay Holmes, Cor’Dale Flott, and Aaron Robinson will battle it out this summer for the right to serve as Big Blue’s primary nickel corner.

Darnay Holmes leads the race for the Giants’ nickel corner job

Upon initial inspection, Holmes would appear as the frontrunner to win the job. He has been with New York since 2020, playing in 38 games and making 11 starts since then. Holmes has been the primary nickel corner for a good portion of his time with Big Blue. As the veteran amongst these contenders, Holmes’ experience gives him an edge.

But Holmes has struggled to maintain a high level of play throughout his career. Despite setting new career highs in passes defended (eight) and combined tackles (38), he also surrendered a career-high 435 yards in coverage this season. Holmes has been a solid run-defending corner throughout his career, but his inconsistencies in coverage have held him back.

Additionally, the Giants could save $2.74 million in salary cap space by releasing Holmes. This might factor into the front office’s decision-making and prompt them to go with a cheaper, younger option.

A big sophomore year in store for Cor’dale Flott?

Flott stands out as one of those younger options that could be ready to take the reigns. He was drafted with big expectations in the third round of last year’s draft. Flott started six games as a rookie, despite battling through injuries for much of the season.

When the Giants needed Flott to step up the most, he came up big in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Flott’s third-down pass breakup against the Vikings on the final drive of the game was one of the most crucial plays of the season and was the play that proved to the coaching staff that he deserves a larger role.

Entering 2023, Flott has a chance to win the nickel corner job, but he will need to add some physicality to his game ahead of the regular season. At 6-foot-1, 165 pounds, Flott is a wiry cornerback that is susceptible to physical opponents. He will need to add strength to fare well as a sophomore.

Will Aaron Robinson bounce back in 2023?

Robinson seems like the forgotten man in the Giants’ secondary. After being drafted 71st overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Robinson has struggled to see any playing time in the NFL. Robinson has played in only 11 games through two years, missing 23 games with injuries in his first two seasons.

In 2023, it will be a prove-it year for Robinson. He needs to prove he can stay healthy and still has the talent that New York saw in him when they drafted him a few years ago. Robinson, 6-foot-1, 193 pounds, is a physical corner that excels as a run defender. His physical presence could make him an impactful slot cornerback.