The New York Giants went into the 2020 NFL Draft with quite a few needs and came out with most of them addressed. The real question is – did they get any players who could be starters or key contributors this season?
The answer is likely, yes. Here’s a list of five players that could start to play a significant role in 2020 for Big Blue.
Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle
The Giants’ first round pick was taken fourth overall which means two things. First, he will start early on and, second, he’s going to play left tackle at some point. The Giants may love Nate Solder as a person and a teammate but the writing is on the wall. His days as a left tackle in this league are winding down if they haven’t wound down already. The plan apparently is to get Thomas on the field ASAP and then integrate him into the left tackle role. That could all happen at the same time once the Giants see that he can handle the role.
Xavier McKinney, Safety
The Giants’ second round pick was just too good a value for GM Dave Gettleman to pass on that he walked back a lucrative trade offer to take the Alabama safety. The Giants are in need of a versatile safety that can play the run, cover tight ends and put a top on the defense. In short, McKinney can do it all. With Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love the current starters, McKinney will likely supplant Love and play the stabilizing role to Peppers’ disrupter. The Giants are hoping that the McKinney/Peppers tandem will be a strong one that galvanized the defense from the back end forward.
Darnay Holmes, Defensive Back
Gettleman has been loading up on corners and nickelbacks and was determined to get it right. He just may have done that with Holmes. Currently, the Giants have been using Grant Haley as their primary slot corner and peppering in Sam Beal and Corey Ballentine. Holmes is a cut above those players even though he has limited experience in the slot. With Holmes cemented in the slot and at nickel and free agent James Bradberry at one corner, that means that DeAndre Baker will have to fend off the others to win that second corner spot.
Shane Lemieux, Offensive Line
Lemieux was a player the Giants seem to covet intros draft. His name was not one that was on the tip of many tongues going into the draft. He is a steady interior lineman who has a nasty streak to him. His problem is that the Giants already have players with those traits at their guard spots in Kevin Zeitler and Will Hernandez. The plan is try Lemieux at center, a position he’s never played. Spencer Pulley is the current starter with last year’s starter, Jon Halapio, still rehabbing and unsigned. Nick Gates can play center but that is not his strongest position. If Lemieux can show any kind of talent at center in camp, there’s no doubt the coaches will get him some snaps there this season.
Carter Coughlin, Linebacker
The Giants stole Coughlin in the seventh round. He’s a much better player than most realize. The kid turned down Urban Meyer and Ohio State to play at his hometown school, Minnesota. He is quick (4.57 speed) and has a knack for creating turnovers and making plays behind the line of scrimmage. I can see him making an impact on special teams and possibly on defense as a situational linebacker, package player.