New York Giants Sign Two Top Defensive Rookies To Deals

New York Giants defensive lineman, Dexter Lawrence.

The New York Giants defense is going to look very different next year, and DeAndre Baker and Dexter Lawrence are both going to be a part of that. Both players were drafted by the Giants this year and fill a position of need, with Baker coming in to help a secondary that was thin on talent entering the offseason and Lawrence helping to replace Damon Harrison on the defensive line, which may be the Giants’ biggest need on defense after the improvements made to the secondary.

Both of those players are now officially part of the team, after signing their rookie contracts on Friday. Both players are on four year contracts and as the higher drafted player, Lawrence will make slightly more with $13M compared to Baker’s $10.5M deal. But despite the difference in salary, both players are expected to be immediate impact players and Baker just might be the more important of the two, because of the team’s need at cornerback going into this season.

Baker, though, has more competition than Lawrence, with Julian Love and Sam Beal also vying for playing time along with fellow rookie Corey Ballentine.

Lawrence will also have a chance to get playing time in his first season, on a defensive line that lost its anchor, nose tackle Damon Harrison, in a trade with the Lions last season. The move puts pressure on Lawrence, as the most obvious replacement for the star defensive tackle, who was one of the finest in the entire league against the run.

While Lawrence probably won’t reach that level in his rookie season, his impact should help a Giants team that is already expecting to get more production from second year DT B.J. Hill, who performed quite well for a rookie after Harrison’s departure. One thing is clear right now, however, which is that the Giants’ defense next year is going to be a lot younger, and possibly better, than it was before.

New York Giants News, 6/15 – Ranking the top 3 rookies so far

New York Giants, Julian Love, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

The Giants might have replicated the success they had in the 2018 NFL draft this year, but practicing in shorts with no pads can be deceiving. So far, we’ve seen some good things from the rookies, though, enough to provide optimism moving forward.

The progression of Darius Slayton and CJ Conrad has been impressive, Daniel Jonas has had his fair share of successes, and cornerback DeAndre Baker has been excellent. But who’s really played at the top of their game?

Here are the top 3 rookies so far:

1.) TE – CJ Conrad

The Giants snagged undrafted tight end CJ Conrad in the hopes of him providing value. Speaking of value, he’s one of just two players that earned first-team reps this summer. He’s been a great addition for a UDFA, and hopefully, he can make an impact during the regular season.

2.) CB – DeAndre Baker

The Giants’ expected No. 2 corner has played well enough to fit the part. His tenacity in coverage and speed will provide quality alongside Janoris Jenkins, I’m looking forward to seeing more from the young defender.

3.) WR – Darius Slayton

After starting off with multiple drops, Slayton picked up the slack as training camp progressed. He was the other player to earn first-team reps. His chemistry with Jones has been growing steadily and his speed makes him a threat everywhere on the field. His progression will be exciting to watch.

Nonetheless–

Your Giants top news of the day!

Dan Salomone (Giants.com) – Who stood out in Giants offseason program?

Jordan Raanan (ESPN) – Giants QBs this offseason: Daniel Jones impresses, Eli still No. 1

Ed Valentine (Big Blue View) – Which player was the Giants’ most important acquisition of the 2019 offseason?

Ryan Dunleavy (NJ.com) – Giants roster breakdown: Locks, long shots, on the bubble for all 90 players

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants looking to bring the best out of Jabrill Peppers

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New York Giants: DeAndre Baker Can’t Wait For Training Camp

New York Giants draft Georgia corner, Deandre Baker.

Minicamp is over for the New York Giants and after that small preview of what’s to come, training camp and the preseason are the next big things on the schedule for the Giants organization. However, training camp won’t happen until later in July, leaving some time to analyze what was learned from mandatory minicamp and from the OTAs before that.

One thing to analyze is which players proved themselves and which didn’t during the offseason so far, and one of the players definitely in the first category is DeAndre Baker, who looks to be one of the team’s starting corners next to last season’s top cornerback Janoris Jenkins. The Giants took a risk on Baker by trading up into the first round to make him their third first round selection, and it looks like that risk will pay off in the end.

It also looks like Baker is looking forward to a larger challenge: playing with pads on during training camp next month. “We want the pads on,” Baker said following minicamp. “We can tackle, get more physical with the pads on. I love the pads.”

Head coach Pat Shurmur also praised the competitiveness and tenacity of the rookie cornerback. “He is very competitive, he’s very tough. The corners are at a little bit of a disadvantage this time of year because there is no bump-and-run. And part of his charm was his ability to get up and crawl up [to] a receiver and bump him. We even think we’re going to see more good stuff once training camp starts.”

Baker is just one player coming in to add depth to a secondary that looked depleted, with cornerback entering the offseason as a thin position and the Giants losing talent at safety by letting Landon Collins walk as a free agent. However, they’ve drafted Baker, Julian Love, and Corey Ballentine, all of whom are players expected to make an impact to some degree, and will be aided by the return of Sam Beal following last season’s injury.

The Giants have a chance to turn their secondary around this season, with Jabrill Peppers also getting good reviews early on in his role replacing Landon Collins, and if they manage to pull it off, DeAndre Baker might just be one of the players on the forefront of the new look.

New York Giants: Ranking the top 5 rookies on their development

New York Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones during voluntary OTAs.

With minicamp coming to a close for the New York Giants and OTAs starting up again next week, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate the rookies.

The Giants had a solid draft in 2019, grabbing Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, DeAndre Baker, Oshane Ximines and more, but who has looked the best so far this offseason?

Ranking the top 5 New York Giants rookies in terms of progress and development playing with the veterans:

1.) DeAndre Baker – Cornerback

The Giants traded up into the first round to grab Georgia standout corner, DeAndre Baker. An aggressive cornerback with the ability to man-mark receivers provides the Giants with a true No. 2 alongside Janoris Jenkins.

So far, Baker has been nothing but stellar in camp. He’s been on the back of every assignment, playing extremely close in coverage and showing elite speed on the ball. Head coach Pat Shurmur mentioned that he loves how Baker can play press, but the Giants haven’t been able to exercise the part of his game due to the restrictions of practice thus far. He’s been great in every other aspect.

Having Jenkins as a mentor should help Baker see his true potential. I expect him to eventually overtake Jackrabbit for the top role within the next two seasons.

2.) Daniel Jones – quarterback

Drafting Jones with the 6th overall pick certainly forced a few head scratches, but he’s developed very well since joining Big Blue. Every practice has seen the Duke product elevate his game and grow in comfort. His deep ball has been solid, accuracy on point, and progressions seamless.

In fact, he has looked better than Eli Manning so far, which only attests to his potential at such a young age. He will undoubtedly sit behind Manning for the first year of his career, and that will only allow him to prepare for Eli’s succession even more efficiently.

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3.) Darius Slayton – wide receiver

When Slayton entered camp for the Giants, it was thought he forgot how to catch. His fundamentals were completely sideways and looked as if he was a redshirt freshman off the streets. Since then, he has made strides in his development, and his name is starting to surface in the No. 3 wide receiver battle.

Slayton will have to fend off Corey Coleman and Cody Latimer, but his progress so far has been exciting. One of the faster pass catchers in the most recent draft, the Auburn product has shown he can play at a high level. He will have to continue working on his hands and catching without using his body, but he could sneakily earn the final starting receiver spot with a bit more work.

Shurmur thinks WR Darius Slayton has made huge strides. “He’s the first guy that comes to mind” when asked about standouts from the rookie class.

4.) CJ Conrad – tight end

Some might not even know who CJ Conrad is out of Kentucky, but he has the potential to be a steal of an undrafted free agent. Conrad has the ability to catch passes and block on the line of scrimmage – he was the Wildcats’ only weapon and defenses game planned around stopping him.

So far, he’s looked solid alongside Daniel Jones in red-zone drills, hauling in two consecutive touchdown passes, one of which was an impressive sliding grab. At 6-4, 248-pounds, the big tight end will look to develop even further and hopefully earn some playing time in his first season with the Giants.

5.) Oshane Ximines – pass rusher

General manager Dave Gettleman really skimped on the pass rusher position this offseason, drafting only Ximines to fill a glaring hole Olivier Vernon left in his wake after being traded. However, the Old Dominion product has developed attributes for a small-school athlete.

Gettleman found his counter-punch very appealing and has great speed around the edge. Oshane will have to adapt to a 3-4 outside linebacker role, but if he can adjust well, he will earn significant reps in 2019.

 

New York Giants: Shurmur Talks About Baker, Daniel Jones, After First Minicamp Day

New York Giants cornerback, DeAndre Baker.

Training camp is coming up in July for the New York Giants – before that happens, however, the team will have mandatory minicamp following the finish of OTAs. The first day of that mandatory minicamp already happened, giving us a look at several of the season’s most anticipated players. Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Jabrill Peppers, and others took to the field – and reports are coming out about what we can take away from the first day of minicamp.

Head coach Pat Shurmur had some things to say about a number of players following the day’s activities.

“He obviously moves around well. He is down there around the 4.6 mark,” Pat Shurmur said while talking about Daniel Jones, and how his running skills from college translate to the Giants. “I think he had 17 rushing touchdowns. He can move around and that is a huge part. If a quarterback can move around, not so much on just structured runs but the ability to be able to create a play within a passing play, I think he can do that.”

Eli Manning’s lack of mobility is something that has been criticized, especially last season, so it will be interesting to see the differences offered by Jones’ skillset, even if both players are primarily pocket passing quarterbacks.

Shurmur also talked about the secondary and particularly, Deandre Baker and new safety Jabrill Peppers. “I think he has made a play or two at each practice. Again, just learning how to compete at this level. Unfortunately, you can’t do a whole bunch of bump and run and press coverage, so the corners are at a little bit of a disadvantage. However, you need to learn to play off and for him to be able to make plays in those situations is good,” Shurmur said about Baker.

But it looks like Peppers is already off to a quicker start comparatively, as the more experienced player between the two. “It doesn’t really apply to Jabrill because his leadership was felt immediately…” Shurmur said when asked about Pepper’s development as a leader. “He picked up quickly what we were doing on defense well and he is extremely smart. He is very tough and very competitive.”

There largely hasn’t been negative press around the Giants since offseason activities began. While that may be a result of moving on from a number of players this offseason, time will tell whether dumping said players was a wise move for the team’s success on the field.

New York Giants: Janoris Jenkins and DeAndre Baker duo could be elite

New York Giants cornerback, DeAndre Baker.

It was assumed that the New York Giants would feature first-round pick DeAndre Baker at the No. 2 corner spot opposite Janoris Jenkins in 2019, but Supplemental Draft pick Sam Beal might have thrown a wrench in that expected outcome.

Beal has looked fantastic so far during OTAs, but he has a long while to go before he can be considered an everyday starter. The reality is, Baker is far ahead of Beal, who’s coming off a shoulder surgery that ended his 2018 season before it even started.

The Georgia product is in a position to grab the starting job and hold on tight until he eventually takes the top role from Jenkins after his contract expires in 2020. DeAndre has already begun impression people around the Giants.

“No one seems to get very open on DeAndre Baker,” John Schmeelk of Giants.com wrote. “The young outside cornerbacks are showing promise and ability, and their development will continue in training camp as they figure out how much contact they can get away with beyond five yards.”

The Miami native showed his efficiency in coverage last year, tallying two interceptions, a team-high 10 passes defended and a forced fumble for the Bulldogs. Opposing quarterbacks tended to shy away from the talented corner, as his physicality and speed make him a threat in the secondary.

At 5-11, 193-pounds, Baker is an aggressive player that will drive on the ball and stop receivers at the line of scrimmage. He’s deceivingly fast and can catch up in a hurry on deep passes. Look for him to experience a few growing pains early in the NFL career but progress quickly.

The Giants moved up into the first round to grab Baker, a player that will likely fit very well alongside Jenkins. The Giants’ veteran has taken on a leadership role thus far after a draft that saw Big Blue acquire three defensive backs.

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Jenkins, a feisty corner that can stick with his man like glue will lock up the opposing team’s top receiver, while Baker will develop against the No. 2 pass-catcher. It’s the perfect process to catapult him into the No. 1 role after Janoris leaves the team.

The Giants will depend on these two talented corners to elevate a unit that ranked 23rd in pass yards per game (252.8( in 2018.

New York Giants: 3 rookies that can make a significant impact

New York Giants defensive lineman, Dexter Lawrence.

The New York Giants made the most of their draft picks by adding numerous high-profile prospects, here is how they rank by impact.

The most efficient way to build a team in the NFL is through draft picks, specifically picks in the first two rounds. The New York Giants told the world that this ideology was their priority after they traded away Odell Beckham Jr. for draft capital.

Holding two first-round selections and a second-round pick presented the front office with an opportunity to fill positions of need with premium talent. However, not every top selection will have an impact on the 2019 season, in fact, a majority of the later round players will likely hold the most value in specific situations.

Here are the 3 rookies that will hold the most value for the New York Giants:

1.) CB DeAndre Baker

Moving up into the top of the first round to snag DeAndre Baker from Georgie might have been one of the better moves general manager Dave Gettleman executed during the most recent draft.

Baker is an extremely talented corner with the ability to develop into Janoris Jenkins’ ultimate replacement. He was considered the best corner in the draft, and moving up to grab him turned out to be a sneaky good move. Corners began flying off the shelf just after Baker was selected.

He’s feisty in coverage and physical at the line of scrimmage. He will be an impact player for a secondary that lacked talent considerably.

2.) OLB Oshane Ximines

As stated before, sometimes players drafted after round two can turn out to be the most significant. Old Dominion pass-rusher Oshane Ximines can be that player for the Giants. He has a quality counter-punch, which impressed Gettleman enough to earn a second-round grade. Grabbing him in the third was a great pick for the Giants, as they acquired a high-upside outside linebacker to essentially replace Olivier Vernon.

Coming from a smaller school will force Ximines to hurdle the obstacles of transition, but he seems to be adapting well so far. Adding a few pounds of muscle and facing off against NFL talent should provide him with the skills to develop into a player of impact in 2019.

Despite coming from a small school, Oshane tallied 18.5 tackles for a loss and 12 sacks in 2018, proving he’s capable of getting into the backfield with tenacity. Additionally, he’s skilled in forcing fumbles, a category the Giants will be looking to improve upon this upcoming season. The Giants only forced nine fumbles last year, ranking 30th in the league.

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3.) DL Dexter Lawrence

The Giants desperately needed to add a big body to the interior of the defensive line. While BJ Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson have proven they’re capable players, there’s nothing that compares to adding a massive 6-4, 342-pound goliath to the trenches.

Lawrence is a massive, far bigger than the infamous Vince Wilfork. If he can be just as talented the Giants will have hit a home run with this pick. The Clemson product is expected to be a force in the pass-rush game as well, despite recording just 3.5 sacks in 2018.

Despite his lack of numbers in the sack category, he will be a key cog in the run defense. I’m hoping he can add a bit of quickness to his game and develop into a capable pass-rusher, as that would really round out his influence on the team.

Honorable mentions:

-Julian Love

-Darius Slayton

-Ryan Connelly

How the New York Giants have upgraded the secondary significantly

New York Giants cornerback, Grant Haley.

The New York Giants spent plenty of capital fixing up the secondary this offseason, bringing Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, and Corey Ballentine.

Considering the unit only consisted of Janoris Jenkins, Grant Haley, and Sam Beal before the 2019 NFL Draft, it’s impressive how far the unit has come in such a short period of time. However, most of the players featured here haven’t played a snap in an NFL game, which is noted.

Aside from that fact, the talent added provides a reason for excitement. Baker is a first-round value pick, Love was a projected second-round talent that fell to the fourth, and Ballentine was projected to go in the fourth and fell to the sixth. Peppers was a former first-round selection that struggled at times with misuse in Cleveland, and Bethea is a seasoned veteran that has plenty of gas left in the tank.

As I said before, plenty of talent and reason for excitement. So far in OTAs, the secondary has completely locked down the offense, forcing Eli Manning to sail throws out of bounds and Daniel Jones to show his rookie jitters.

The Giants are very happy with Baker so far, stating:

“No one seems to get very open on DeAndre Baker,” John Schmeelk of Giants.com wrote. “The young outside cornerbacks are showing promise and ability, and their development will continue in training camp as they figure out how much contact they can get away with beyond five yards.”

Beal as well:

Shurmur stated that the third-round Supplemental Draft pick has looked good and is getting his sea legs under him. Julian Love scooped up a fumble from Elijah Penny on Tuesday and took it to the house for the virtual score.

I’m curious to see some of the position battles that will ensue between the cornerbacks this offseason.

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New York Giants top corner position battles:

There are two specific battles that I’m very excited to watch — DeAndre Baker vs Sam Beal & Julian Love vs Grant Haley.

Some might not think Baker vs Beal is much of a battle, considering where Baker was drafted and the talent he faced at Georgia. However, Beal is feisty and has shown his abilities in a small sample size so far during OTAs. The competitive nature will bring the best out of both, which is exactly what the Giants want to happen.

Between Haley and Love, I believe the former will win the job simply based on experience. Love will be close behind and would be first in line if Haley looks replaceable.

New York Giants Betting on Secondary to Mask Pass Rush Flaws

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

The New York Giants secondary got off to a blazing start in the first practice of OTAs. Both Eli Manning and Daniel Jones struggled passing in their first practice together. Manning with two interceptions, Jones with one.

The most notable of the three picks occurred when second-year cornerback Sam Beal deflected a Manning pass into the arms of newly acquired Jabrill Peppers. Missing the entire 2018 season due to injury, Beal on the field may be a rookie but mentally is a second-year pro. Beal worked with the first team opposite of Janoris Jenkins with Grant Haley in the slot.

An Influx of Talent for the New York Giants at corner

The Giants selected Beal in the third round of the 2018 Supplemental draft and gained praise in their selection. Draft Scout Matt Miller of Bleacher Report wrote an article last July labeling Sam Beal as the best Supplemental draft prospect since Josh Gordon in 2012.

The Supplemental draft takes place each year after the official NFL draft. In most cases, a player who enters the supplemental draft has been deemed ineligible by the NCAA for the upcoming season. More often than not, a player who has entered in the supplemental draft usually comes with off the field issues. Beal, however, was different. Beal was ruled academically ineligible due to poor performance in the classroom.

In the 2017 season, Beal had 10 pass breakups, 26 tackles, a forced fumble, and two interceptions. Perhaps the biggest interception of his career came against former USC and now Jets Quarterback Sam Darnold. Tallied at 6’1, 185 lbs, and running a 4.40 forty yard dash, it is his length mixed with speed that put him on the NFL radar in the first place.

2019 Draft Products

In addition to Beal, The Giants selected All-Americans Deandre Baker (Rd1) and Julian Love (Rd4) in the 2019 NFL Draft. Love was arguably the biggest steal of the draft. If not for an underwhelming 4.54 40 yard dash, Love would have most likely been selected on Day 2 of the draft. He received a second-round grade from the NFL’s college advisory committee. Deandre Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award which represents the Nations Most Outstanding Defensive Back. Julian Love was a finalist for the same award, who is listed right below Baker in the graphic below. 

By passing on Josh Allen at 6, the Giants have shown that they believe in James Bettcher and his ability to create pressure in other ways aside from the edge. In a prior article, I mentioned that it was clear Bettcher’s scheme had to be altered due to a lack of talent on the back end. With the addition of Baker and Love, the hope is that Bettcher will be able to send extra pressure after the quarterback with confidence the secondary can hold its own in 1v1 matchups.

New York Giants Might Have a Serious Cornerback Position Battle

New York Giants cornerback, DeAndre Baker.

One of the more underrated position battles of the 2019 offseason might come at the cornerback position for the New York Giants. If the first day of OTAs had any indication of what the Giants’ mindset is going into the start of full-team practices, it’s that second-year corner Sam Beal has claim to the first-team reps.

Beal was a Supplemental Draft selected in 2018, finishing the year on injured reserve after succumbing to season-ending surgery before the regular-season even began. An unfortunate circumstance for Beal, despite the team, knowing about the ailment prior to drafting him.

However, Beal is a feisty corner with solid instincts. He’s not the fastest defender on the field, but he’s pesky and will play tight in man-coverage. He had a solid first day of OTAs on Monday, securing an interception and nearly coming up with a second off Eli Manning.

New York Giants: An exciting position battle is forming

First-round pick, DeAndre Baker, started OTAs with the 2nd-string team. This was surprising as Beal and Baker theoretically have the same amount of NFL experience given the former’s injury.

Nonetheless, Beal performed well, and head coach Pat Shurmur noticed, stating:

“Beal looked pretty good, he has to get his seas legs a bit, but he looked good.”

This is very good news for the second-year player, given he’s coming off a significant injury and surgery. This presents a big challenge for Baker, one that some did not anticipate given his quality at Georgia and tenacity in coverage.

What does DeAndre Baker bring to the Giants?

Big Blue is getting a potentially premium corner in Baker, the top-ranked player at his position from the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants moved up into the first-round from the 37th pick to grab him.

Last season, he tallied nine passes defended, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. He’s a physical corner that can match up with any wide receiver. He has elite speed and man-coverage capabilities. The expectation is that he will secure the No. 2 corner spot opposite Janoris Jenkins, but Beal has certainly shown he can provide competition in a limited sample size.