The New York Giants have seen their 2020 rookie class impress through the first nine weeks of the season. First-round pick Andrew Thomas struggled early one but has improved his play week-by-week. Third-round offensive tackle Matt Peart has played limited snaps but impressed with each performance. And fourth-round defensive back Darnay Holmes has not had his name called much by commentators but, quietly, has had an impressive rookie season.
Darnay Holmes is a rookie cornerback out of UCLA that the Giants have been starting in the slot this season. Slot cornerback was a major area of weakness for the Giants in 2019, but it has not been the defense’s kryptonite this season. This is in large part due to Darnay Holmes playing at a high level as a rookie.
Darnay Holmes Stats and Highlights
According to Pro Football Focus, Darnay Holmes is the only rookie cornerback in the NFL with 15+ targets to not allow a touchdown this season. Darnay has been targeted in coverage 39 times and has held his matchups scoreless. Some of his toughest matchups include CeeDee Lamb and JuJu Smith-Schuster. This is especially impressive when considering that Darnay Holmes has never played slot cornerback before this season. At UCLA, Holmes was an outside cornerback. He has made the transition inside for the first time this season.
Darnay Holmes has 2 pass deflections on the season so far. He has also totaled 21 combined tackles and even gotten busy as a pass-rusher with 0.5 sack, 2 pressures, and 1 quarterback hit on 14 blitz attempts.
One area where Darnay can improve, however, is his tackling consistency. Holmes has missed 5 tackles on the season for a 19.2% missed tackle percentage, a percentage that is a bit too high. Overall, it has been an impressive rookie season for Darnay Holmes as he starts his first career games at the slot cornerback position. Holmes is a young and talented player with room to grow and he could grow into a large role on the Giants’ defense long-term.