New York Giants have two capable slot cornerbacks to rely on in 2021

aaron robinson, new york giants

The New York Giants have invested a lot of assets into their secondary over the last few years. They have spent numerous draft picks on guys like Julian Love, Xavier McKinney, Aaron Robinson, Darnay Holmes, and others. They have also made some big signings like James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, and Adoree’ Jackson. One could argue that the Giants have the best trio of starting safeties in the NFL. But they do not just have depth at safety.

The Giants also have solid depth at slot cornerback where two players could be competing for the starting job. Darnay Holmes, entering his second season, is looking to keep his job as the starting slot cornerback. But the Giants also went ahead and drafted Aaron Robinson in the 2021 NFL Draft, another slot cornerback that could get hungry for the starting job.

Darnay Holmes stats and highlights

Darnay Holmes was an impressive rookie slot cornerback who did not allow a touchdown in coverage during the 2020 season. Holmes was targeted in coverage 52 times and let up a fair amount of completions, but none in the end zone. In fact, he had some impressive pass breakups that prevented touchdowns, like the one below:

Darnay Holmes made the switch to slot cornerback in the NFL after playing outside during his collegiate career at UCLA. There were some ups and downs for the rookie, but Holmes flashed enough potential for the Giants to feel confident that they have a starting-level player long-term. Darnay finished the year with 5 passes defended 1 interception, 0.5 sack, and 30 combined tackles.

In 2020, Darnay Holmes fit nicely into Patrick Graham’s zone-coverage defensive scheme. He has good instincts and a quick reaction time. Darnay struggled at times to cover receivers in man coverage across the middle of the field. That is where Aaron Robinson comes in.

Aaron Robinson stats and highlights

Aaron Robinson’s playing style is far different from Darnay Holmes. Darnay fits better in a zone scheme while Aaron fits better in a man-coverage scheme. Patrick Graham has stated in interviews that the Giants are looking to run more press-man in 2021 than they did last season. Aaron Robinson is a physical press-man slot cornerback that will help allow Patrick Graham to make that scheme the focus of his defense.

Robinson’s aggressive playing style also gives him the ability to compete on the outside as well. Arguably ARob’s most impressive trait, though, is his ability to make an impact in run defense. Aaron Robinson posted an 80+ PFF run-defense grade in each of his last two seasons at UCF.

Regardless of who gets the start in the slot, the Giants have a good problem on their hands. They have two talented players that might be deserving of a starting role. That means that they have a lot of talent at the slot cornerback position and, of course, quality depth.

New York Giants: An intriguing competition brewing at slot cornerback

aaron robinson, new york giants

The New York Giants had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2021. They allowed only 22.3 points per game and 237.9 receiving yards per game (ESPN). The Giants had an excellent secondary loaded with young talent, mixed in with some wise and efficient veterans.

One of the most talented youngsters in the Giants’ secondary was rookie slot cornerback Darnay Holmes. Darnay showed plenty of promise in his rookie 2020 campaign, yet the Giants still went into the 2021 NFL Draft and added another potential starter at slot cornerback, Aaron Robinson.

Now the Giants have a problem, but a great problem to have. The Giants’ problem is that they have so many talented defensive backs and not enough starting positions to give out. Aaron Robinson and Darnay Holmes are two highly-talented, young slot cornerbacks, yet there is only one slot cornerback position.

Aaron Robinson vs. Darnay Holmes

Darnay Holmes

The Giants’ 2020 fourth-round pick, Darnay Holmes, was an outside cornerback during his collegiate career at UCLA. But he impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl playing slot cornerback in 2020 and ultimately made the transition to slot cornerback full-time with the Giants. As a fourth-round pick, Holmes exceeded all expectations in his rookie season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Darnay Holmes had the most targets without a touchdown allowed among rookie defensive backs (52). Darnay also added an interception to the stat sheet in his rookie season along with 5 passes defended, 30 combined tackles, 3 pressures, and 0.5 sack. Granted, he was not lock-down in coverage, as quarterbacks did complete 75% of their passes against him in coverage. However, he did manage to keep receivers out of the end zone and had a few breakups in the end zone.

Darnay  Holmes was not perfect in his rookie season, but he did flash great potential. New York felt the impact when Darnay missed time with an injury. He played in only 12 games this season, however, the Giants struggled to cover the slot when Darnay was absent.

Aaron Robinson

The Giants traded up in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft to select UCF cornerback Aaron Robinson. This pick initially surprised Giants fans that expected the team to target an offensive lineman in round three. However, fans quickly changed their tune when they found out what a special player the Giants got in Aaron Robinson.

Aaron Robinson is a great fit for the Giants because he has the versatility and physicality that they prioritize. Robinson was efficient in college playing on the outside and the inside, though he is expected to play in the slot primarily with the Giants. Robinson also posted an 80.0+ run-defense grade in his final two collegiate seasons (PFF).

Robinson’s physicality doesn’t just show up in the run game. ARob also has the ability to play bump-and-run coverage. For an inside cornerback, Robinson is impressive when playing press-man. The Giants have made it a point of emphasis this offseason to find press-man cornerbacks. The Giants are looking to switch their scheme back to a man-heavy defense. Aaron Robinson is a perfect fit for the revised scheme that Patrick Graham is looking to install.

Conclusion

Ultimately, while there is only one starting slot cornerback position to give out, the Giants have two very capable defensive backs that should both see the field a lot in 2021. Darnay Holmes earned playing time with an excellent rookie season. Aaron Robinson has the talent to start as well. Expect to see Patrick Graham get creative while he uses these two cornerbacks in a variety of ways, getting both of them on the field as frequently as possible.

3 New York Giants players primed to make big jumps in 2021

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

The New York Giants’ defense surprised everybody in 2020, ranking ninth in points allowed per game with 22.3. In rushing yards allowed, they were a top 10 unit but struggled in defending the pass until the second half of the year, ending up average, allowing 237.9 yards.

The injection of essential free agents completely overhauled the unit, along with Leonard Williams, who produced 11.5 sacks. Cornerback James Bradberry, formerly of the Carolina Panthers, had his best season to date, allowing 50+ yards just twice over the course of the entire season. He allowed three touchdowns, two of which came in week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

However, it was some of the rookies and youngsters that played a significant part, and some fresh faces are primed to take a significant jump in 2021.

Three New York Giants players primed to take big jumps in 2021:

1.) Dexter Lawrence

Lawrence is going into his third season in the NFL, and he took a big jump last year with the Giants. Alongside Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson, who both had career seasons, Lawrence nearly doubled his sack totals from 2.5 to 4.0. He also totaled 10 QB hits and six tackles for loss. His combined tackles number went up from 38 to 53 over just 60% of defensive snaps, a decrease of 3%.

Lawrence was double-teamed more than either of his counterparts and ranked near the top of the league in the category as well. He recorded 33 stops, 19 hurries, and just two missed tackles all season long.

With his growth, I expect him to take a nice jump in 2021, especially if the Giants retain both of their interior lineman who are hitting free agency. If all goes well, Dexter is in line to become a staple in the trenches.

2.) Xavier McKinney

Xavier McKinney missed a majority of his rookie season with a fractured foot which occurred during training camp. However, he returned in the second half of the year to post some quality numbers to finish the season.

In week 17 against Dallas, he recorded eight combined tackles, one tackle for a loss, one pass defended, and one interception. He was all over the field making plays, at one point bursting through a TE to take down CeeDee Lamb in the backfield. With that impressive performance, the Giants must feel confident he can take a step forward in 2021.

Based on the fact that McKinney came from a pro-style defense with Alabama, his transition to the NFL was never expected to take long. It seemed as if he finally settled down against Dallas to finish the campaign, so I expect that to translate over to next year.

3.) Darnay Holmes

While rookie slot corner Darnay Holmes suffered through m injuries as well, he didn’t allow a touchdown the entire season, the only starting rookie corner to do so.

In addition, he allowed 30 yards or less in six appearances but did have some struggles toward the end of the campaign. A lingering injury hurt his efficiency, posting four penalties in his last four starts. With a superior mentality and NFL genetics, Holmes has the ability to become a stellar corner in the NFL, but he must remain healthy moving forward.

New York Giants stars help inspire first DB Combine prep, but the man behind it all is Brian Walker

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers, Darnay Holmes, DBacks Academy

When the New York Giants began the 2020 season, their defense was supposed to be their weakest link. By season’s end, it was their strongest, thanks to fantastic play across the board and stellar coaching. Strong safety Jabrill Peppers is one player who saw his game take a jump to the next level, having his most productive season yet. He finished with a career-high 57 tackles and eight tackles for a loss. However, the catalyst behind Peppers’ fantastic year is his off-season work-ethic and his time spent with Brian Walker, the founder of DBacks Academy.

Walker also trains 4th round pick from 2020, Darnay Holmes, who saw incredible growth as the season progressed before suffering a knee injury. Earlier on in the season, Holmes faced off against first-round wide receiver Ceedee Lamb, holding him to just 43 yards. The mentality to succeed and work hard during your time off is what lead Holmes, as a fourth-rounder, to succeed. Walker played a key part in preparing the two young defensive backs for the Giants for the 2020 season, and it paid off in dividends.

Brian is leading the charge to a revolutionized way of training DBs and preparing them for the next level. 

“Helping the next generation get to the goal as quickly as possible. Whether it’s safety to linebacker, or safety to linebacker, or hybrid.”

“Every DB is not the same height, every DB is not the same speed. Just like we have SAT tutors, quarterback coaches, this is something for me, during my playing days, I wish there was a coach who could break it down and see the game different. The game is getting faster and faster.”

Brian has trained with players from the East to the West Coast, understanding the different styles and athletic abilities. This has helped form a specific teaching style that adapts to his athletes, no matter the age or background. His experience playing against some notable names has also contributed to his vast knowledge of the game.

“As a DB, one thing about California, everyone is fast, and because I had a wide receiver foundation and I had the Don Brown tree, I ended up leaving JUCO and going to Washington State. I was able to go against Deshaun Jackson and Reggie Bush, and a lot of these guys are staples.”

Q: You have to be anticipating change and keeping up with the times, so how do you foresee things changing for kids looking to prepare for the NFL in 2-3 years?

“I was blessed to play at the higher levels for a few years, but I did play Arena Football, and because it’s so small, it’s so quick. Now that the game of NFL, the guys are bigger, stronger faster, the guys are getting to the QB so much quicker. What I’m telling guys now, is that the game is built like Arena Football. The corners are bigger and the safeties are smaller and can cover. The slots are a lot quicker, the tight ends are more receiver(ish).”

“The biggest thing, eliminating the extra steps, making sure you’re not too high. Football is a game of angles. The proper angles get you in the right situation. The game is about technique because everyone is bigger, stronger faster.”

Walker is a fundamentalist, refining his players’ techniques and noticing the details to improve their game. He understands one major accelerant in development — fixing the minor issues leads to ‘major’ growth.

Being an athlete is only one step of the process, being a stellar student is half the battle.

Q: How important is being a good student as part of your teachings?

“I have a track background, we filmed everything to make every step is correct. With DBs, sometimes we can give the verbiage, but it might not resonate the right way. Using film, we can slow it down and break it down the right way. It’s just repetition, like a golf swing, the more you swing, the better you get.”

With technology becoming such an influential part of the way athletes train and build out their style, Walker is always ahead of the curve, using advancements to help his students.

Q: How do you use technology to your advantage? 

“I can actually teach more, I can pull up information in the blink of an eye. The little details, the micro and you can get it to the macro by using technology.”

Q: What Pro Athletes do you currently work with?

“Currently, we work with Darnay Holmes, Jabrill Peppers, Juwann Winfree, a handful of college guys, Jordan Fuller. Rashan Gary, some offensive linemen.”

“A lot of my guys are from the ground-up, 8th grade in the making. I’ve built relationships with these players, and I do tell people, I know the process of getting people from highschool to college, to pro. I know all three phases.”

What make the professionals different, what is their mentality?

“The mindset with all of them, they continue to want to learn. Growth mindset is really important for athletes.”

The purpose of DBs Academy isn’t to be a one-stop training session for professionals, it’s meant to develop relationships that grow over time, leading to exponential growth. Think of it as investing in the stock market — the longer you wait, the more money you will gain over time (given you’re invested in the right areas). With Brian, he views himself as the stock, and the more you trust and put effort back into him, the better you will be in the future.

Q: Defensive back-specific Combine:

“With the NFL Combine, there’s always a lot of DBs, and they get drafted, but unfortunately, they get drafted and then they’re out of camp within 2-3 months. That’s disheartening, because these are young men who spend most of their life trying to get drafted and they’re not there.”

“What’s the primary issue, what’s the root, the source?”

“I can be that eye, what makes the combine I do so special, never done before, extremely detailed on what we’re doing for the NFL, but also for a longer career. If I can make a free agent or 7th rounder first-day pick, that shows the development is there. How do you make them work as efficient and successful as they want to be? That’s what this Combine is meant to extract.”

The most innovative aspect of Walker’s system is the DB-specific Combine, giving young athletes a chance to showcase their abilities to scouts in a specific setting. The NFL Combine focuses so much on athleticism, it can often-time overlook the factor of potential. Brian respects and appreciates all of the hard work athletes put into their game, and with the high number of defensive backs trying to make it, any competitive advantage counts.

This DB Combine provides just that — a better way to get yourself in front of those that matter and refine your skills for what team-officials really need to see.

Follow DBacks Academy on Twitter!

 

 

New York Giants’ defense set to gain back two influential defensive backs

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes

The New York Giants have been dealing with a string of injuries the past few weeks, notably against the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns. Without James Bradberry in week 15, the Giants’ secondary was shredded by quarterback Baker Mayfield. Against the Baltimore Ravens, they desperately need a better performance on defense, let alone on offense.

The Ravens have arguably one of the worst passing attacks in the NFL, so the Giants should have success in the secondary, but their running game is ranked first in the league, which matches up well against Patrick Graham’s unit’s strengths.

The New York Giants are getting back arguably their best defender:

Bradberry making his return will be extremely influential. He is able to shut down one side of the field or match up well in man coverage against any opponent. Bradberry was awarded a Pro Bowl nod this season for his performance, and losing him last week proved to be significant. Nonetheless, they will have him active and ready to go against Baltimore, but one other defensive back will also be making a return.

Slot corner Darnay Holmes has missed the last two weeks with a knee injury. He has made significant strides forward this season with the defense. Losing Holmes proved to be catastrophic the past two weeks, as the Giants were forced to utilize supplements in his absence.

Rookie safety Xavier McKinney suffered through slot duties, and he was shredded on multiple occasions by the Browns. Against Arizona, Larry Fitzgerald worked out of the slot and picked up chunks of yardage in the middle of the field without Holmes in coverage, so getting him back will prove to be beneficial against Baltimore.

As long as the Giants can mitigate the Ravens’ passing attack, they can force them to utilize the run game. Thankfully, the Giants have a top-10 run defense with their big interior defenders. However, star linebacker Blake Martinez is questionable for the contest with an ankle injury he picked up this past week. If he is unable to go, they will lose a key cog in the middle of the defense, especially against the run.

Nonetheless, Holmes is also expected to perform in the running game as the slot corner. He has increasingly become more efficient as the season has progressed in run defense, and his coverage grades have also taken gradual steps forward, per PFF.

So far this season, Holmes has 30 combined tackles, five passes defended, and a 75% completion rate against. He’s also missed 18.9% of his tackles, indicating he has struggled at times. Earlier this season, a majority of these poor statistics were acquired, but he has taken such big steps the past few active weeks, it’s not even comparable.

New York Giants getting everything and more out of 2020 rookie class

New York Giants, Tae Crowder

The New York Giants are on a four-game winning streak. This is the longest winning streak the Giants have been on since 2016. New York is also in first place in the NFC East after beating a tough 8-3 Seahawks team on the road this Sunday. The Giants look poised to make a playoff run this season, proving their legitimacy while beating one of the best offenses in the NFL in Seattle.

One of the biggest difference-makers on the Giants this season has been their 2020 rookie class. New York has seen early returns on nearly every single rookie they drafted or signed this offseason. These rookies have been crucial to the Giants’ success in recent weeks.

Rookies on offense

On the offensive line, the Giants have been seeing their young, inexperienced players improve every single week. Andrew Thomas had the best performance of his young career so far this week against Seattle. For the second week in a row, Thomas did not allow a single pressure in pass protection. He also recorded the highest single-game Pro Football Focus grade of his career at 87.1 overall. Not only was this his highest-graded single game this year, but it was also the highest single-game grade among all first-round offensive tackle picks this season (PFF).

Right beside Andrew Thomas is Shane Lemieux, the Giants’ fifth-round pick from Oregon who has been starting at left guard for the past few weeks. The entire offensive line has played significantly better since Lemieux entered the lineup. Lemieux has had his fair share of ups and downs, but he has been very impressive when considering where he was drafted. Lemieux has also been improving week-by-week and looks like he will be with Big Blue for a long time.

In addition to the two rookies on the offensive line, Nick Gates has gotten better every week playing a brand new position. Initially, a guard, then a tackle, Nick Gates has transitioned to the center position and played at a high level in recent weeks after some great struggles early in the season. Gates is basically a rookie as he is learning and playing a brand new position this year. He has shown tremendous progress, though, and is already locked into a contract extension that should keep him as the Giants’ starting center for years to come.

Undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Austin Mack also has a game this season as the Giants’ leading receiver. The Giants’ other rookie offensive tackle, Matt Peart (selected 99th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft), has not elevated to starting status yet. However, he has seen playing time while rotating in at both left and right tackle this season. He has been super impressive whenever he is on the field and could play his way into a starting role sooner than later.

Rookies on defense

The defensive side of the ball is where the Giants have really seen their rookies contribute this year. New York has been starting rookies at multiple defensive positions this year. Darnay Holmes, New York’s fourth-round selection out of UCLA, has started at slot cornerback all season long. Holmes has, like the rest, improved every single week. He certainly has not been a liability like the slot cornerback position has been for the Giants in the past. Holmes had his first career interception against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks this week. A promising future seems to be laid out for Darnay Holmes and the Giants’ defense.

The second half of the Giants’ 2020 NFL Draft class was filled with defensive selections. New York drafted the likes of Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, and Tae Crowder in the sixth and seventh rounds. Whether earned through merit or obtained through injuries, these rookies have all seen significant playing time in the Giants’ defense.

Tae Crowder, Mr. Irrelevant from the 2020 NFL Draft, has been starting on the Giants’ defense this year when healthy. Crowder has been so impressive for a player who nearly went undrafted. Crowder recorded a clutch sack against the Seahawks this week and recorded a game-winning scoop-and-score fumble recovery against Washington earlier this season. He has exceeded all expectations as a starting inside linebacker for the Giants this year.

Crowder was one pick away from going undrafted. When speaking of undrafted rookies, it is hard not to talk about Niko Lalos, the Giants’ undrafted gem out of Dartmouth. Lalos was elevated to the Giants’ active roster last week before their matchup with the Bengals. In his first NFL game, Lalos recorded an interception and earned more playing time this week. Of course, the Ivy League animal went ahead and recovered a fumble this week against Seattle. This undrafted rookie has been forcing turnovers left and right.

Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin were two under-the-radar linebackers that the Giants found late in the 2020 NFL Draft. Coughlin has seen increased playing time with EDGE Kyler Fackrell recently placed on injured reserve. Coughlin has played 79 defensive snaps this season, already totaling 6 combined tackles, 1 sack, 8 total pressures, and 6 hurries. Cam Brown has played 48 snaps, recording 5 pressures 3 hurries, and 8 combined tackles already.

Second-round pick Xavier McKinney has yet to see expanded playing time after returning from a fractured foot, but he is sure to be part of New York’s long-term defensive plans as well.

The Giants have seen early returns on nearly every rookie they drafted or signed this offseason. It was a job fantastically done by Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge, and company, acquiring young, talented players this offseason. The future is bright in the Big Apple.

New York Giants: Rookie Darnay Holmes quietly having impressive rookie season

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes

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.

Giants Preparing For Bears’ Receivers

New York Giants, James Bradberry

The 0-1 New York Giants will travel to Chicago to face the 1-0 Bears this Sunday in a matchup that should be a better fit for them than the Steelers were in Week 1.

The Giants played the Bears not too long ago, last year in Week 12, with the Bears winning, 19-14. In that game, the Bears’ wide receivers had big games. Allen Robinson caught six of 10 targets for 131 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Miller added 77 yards on six receptions.

Last week the Giants’ secondary didn’t give up any big plays to the Steelers length-wise, but were soft in some areas. Rookie Darnay Holmes played the slot for the Giants and contained well but allowed five of six passes his way to be completed. This week, he’ll draw Miller, who just might tea this up.

From Pro Football Focus:

Anthony Miller has the third-best matchup of the week, according to the wide receiver/cornerback matchup chart. He played 91% of his snaps in the slot, which lines him up against Darnay Holmes, who had 100% of his snaps in the slot. Holmes allowed five of six passes thrown his way to be caught for 56 yards. Miller led all slot receivers in yards per route run in the slot (3.8) among those with at least 18 slot routes. If there is any week to insert Miller into your starting lineup, this is it.

Giants’ head coach Joe Judge will rely on the tape of last year’s game even though many of the players the Giants will send out to cover the Bears this week weren’t on the team last year.

“I think the biggest thing that helps you from watching last year’s matchup is some of the similar players we have on the roster, and some of the ways they really looked to isolate and attack guys who are still on the roster. Schematically, there are some differences, obviously. You try to look at a lot in terms of coordinators, in terms of the experience you’ve had against them. Whether that’s going back to the Miami days with (Bill) Lazor, whether that’s going back and watching some of Pat’s (Graham) experience in Green Bay against the Bears, or maybe some of the old New England games, some of our defenses, how they attacked it, how they used it. Then offensively, how they attack both our personnel and then also maybe when Jason (Garrett) was at Dallas. You look at everything you can to gather as much knowledge and then try to form how you think they’re going to attack you and have a plan that fits that.”

Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham knows what Robinson is capable of and is wary of what he might do to his newly-formed secondary.

“I think what makes him special is his catch radius,” said Graham. “That’s one of those, I remember when I first heard that, I was like, ‘what in the world does that mean?’ His catch radius is pretty good. I think he’s competitive, he’s really really competitive. Whether it’s at the line of scrimmage or further down the field, getting open and away from defenders. The finish on the ball, he does a great job of tracking the ball and bringing it away from defenders’ hands and always ending up with the ball. Of course, when you have go-to guy like that, and obviously he’s a heavy target for the quarterback in terms of going to him. We have to adjust, whether it’s a matchup thing or just an awareness in coverage. You always have to adjust for those great players. Any time it’s a great player, I don’t know when you wouldn’t adjust or have some awareness of those guys. Sometimes the plan works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Any time you have a good player, one of those great players, you have to do something to adjust to it. Hopefully the plan works out.”

Hopefully.

 

New York Giants: Positions To Keep An Eye On With Cuts Around The Corner

New York Giants

The New York Giants will set their fifty-three man roster in a week from today. Over this next week, the team will be determining who will stay and who will go. The Giants do have a few positions of need, and they also have few positions of strength. Ahead of camp cuts, which positions are worth keeping a close eye on?

UDFA Wide Receivers

Behind Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Golden Tate, the Giants have a positional battle at the wide receiver position. Corey Coleman will be competing with a number of rookie wide receivers to win the fourth wide receiver position.

New York has four undrafted free agent wide receivers currently on the roster. Derrick Dillon, Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, and Cody White were all signed by the Giants this offseason. They have all had their fair share of ups and downs in camp, but Victor and Mack have had a few more standout plays.

There are also two other receivers making their names known in camp: David Stills and Alex Bachman. Both players have impressed in practice and could earn themselves a spot on the final roster. For all of these wide receivers, this next week of practice is crucial.

New York Giants: Rookie DB Darnay Holmes Standing Out At Practice

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes

The New York Giants had their first intra-squad scrimmage today. This was the first opportunity for the Giants’ offense to matchup against the team’s defense. There were a few highlight plays as the New Jersey beat writers live-tweeted the practice game.

The reporters tweeted after the scrimmage had ended any stats or highlights they recorded during the game. One name that kept popping up: Darnay Holmes. In fact, this rookie’s name has popped up a number of times since training camp started.

Darnay Holmes Practice Highlights

Darnay Holmes turned heads today at practice. The fourth-round rookie out of UCLA put together an impressive performance during the Giants’ first scrimmage of training camp. And this was not the first impressive day that Holmes has had during training camp.

Holmes was seen making an impressive pass breakup just a few days ago:

In today’s scrimmage, Darnay Holmes made a spectacular interception down the sideline in coverage against Golden Tate. Holmes stuck with Tate step for step, then lunged to make a full-extension interception. Check it out:

This was also not Darnay’s first interception of training camp, according to reports. Holmes has been balling out in every practice. He was listed as a standout player in each of the first three practice reports on Giants.com.

The Giants’ secondary had some major question marks heading into training camp. The absence of DeAndre Baker and Sam Beal was worrying. The Giants did not appear to have a capable outside cornerback to play opposite of James Bradberry.

Many fans were too quick to pen Darnay Holmes down as a pure slot cornerback. Darnay has been cross-training with the Giants at both inside and outside cornerback. The interception he made today was from the outside position. Darnay played outside cornerback throughout his entire collegiate career. He played slot cornerback at the Senior Bowl this year and was very impressive, which is why many expected him to make the transition to slot in the NFL. So far, though, it seems like Darnay will be able to make an impact from either cornerback position. If he continues to play like this, Darnay Holmes could see himself starting on the outside opposite of James Bradberry in the regular season.