New York Giants: Who Will Start At Slot Cornerback In 2020?

The New York Giants have invested heavily in their secondary over the past two years. The Giants drafted three defensive backs in each of the last two NFL Drafts. They spent a first-round pick on DeAndre Baker, a second-round pick on Xavier McKinney, and two fourth-round picks on Julian Love and Darnay Holmes.

New York has a lot of potential in its young secondary, however, it is not yet a position of strength. In particular, the slot cornerback is a position of weakness for the Giants. Heading into 2020, there is a positional battle brewing at the nickel cornerback position, with a few young cornerbacks ready to compete. Who will start at slot cornerback in 2020?

Grant Haley

For the majority of the 2019 season, Grant Haley started at slot cornerback for the Giants. Haley’s performance was highly inconsistent, though. The young Penn State product struggled immensely in coverage. Haley allowed an 82.1% completion percentage in coverage last year, along with 342 yards and 1 touchdown.

Haley showed minimal improvement in coverage after an inconsistent rookie season in 2018. However, Grant has been consistently efficient as a tackler. In 2019 the cornerback recorded 43 combined tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and only 3 missed tackles.

Grant Haley is an efficient run-defender. But his lack of production in coverage will likely take him out of the running for the starting role in 2020.

Julian Love

Julian Love had an impressive rookie season in 2019. Love played cornerback in college and was considered for the Giants’ nickel corner job last season, however, he ended up playing safety instead. Julian Love was very impressive as a safety and made a strong impact, starting in 5 games while Jabrill Peppers was out with injury.

It seemed like Love would be the starting safety alongside Peppers in 2020. That was until the NFL Draft. New York selected the talented safety Xavier McKinney in the second round this year. Julian Love could stick around at the safety position, giving the Giants plenty of flexibility and versatility in their secondary. However, he could make the move back inside to slot cornerback and receive more playing time.

Julian Love has the coverage skills and experience to compete for the slot cornerback job. However, his impressive play at safety as a rookie will likely keep him in that role this season.

Darnay Holmes

The newest option for the Giants at slot cornerback is rookie Darnay Holmes out of UCLA. New York selected Holmes in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Darnay Holmes was not a slot cornerback in college- he was an excellent outside cornerback. But he is a bit undersized for the outside, so he projects better as a nickel cornerback in the NFL.

Darnay Holmes was impressive working as a slot cornerback at the Senior Bowl. He dealt with an injury in his last collegiate season, but he still showed plenty of promise and potential. The Giants may not want to put Holmes out there as a rookie immediately, however, the upside is clearly there. He is a talented and athletic cornerback that could be a difference-maker on the Giants’ defense for years to come.

New York Giants: The youth in the Giants’ secondary should excite the fan base

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers, DeAndre Baker, Xavier McKinney, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants are in the middle of an entire roster rebuild, and their secondary’s age attests to that.

From an overhead view, it is quite clear that the Giants are in the middle of a rebuild. Looking at how old every player is should be a good indication of what stage they are in, and with James Bradberry being the oldest of the bunch at just 26 and recent free-agent signing, we can conclude they’re in stage two of three.

The first round of premium free-agent signings indicates that the Giants feel they can win games but aren’t just quite at the position to be a playoff-contending team. General manager Dave Gettleman signed the majority of free agents this off-season to three-year contracts, and the second year of their deal will likely be the most influential and significant.

They will clear cap space in 2021 and hopefully find an elite defender to add to the defense. I would imagine it would be a star pass rusher, considering the lack of talent the Giants currently hold at the outside linebacker position. However, Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is used to scheming a pass rush, and he will utilize both safeties and linebackers to keep opposing offenses on their toes.

Nonetheless, let’s take a look at how young the secondary is and what that means for the Giants.

Jabrill Peppers: 24 years old

Peppers is one of the rising players for Big Blue, having posted solid numbers in 2019. He features in the strong safety role and will likely rotate with Xavier McKinney in 2020. His athleticism allows him to stick with tight ends in coverage but is also solid against the run, and we should expect to see more of that next season. At just 24 years old, the Giants could have their staple at the position for the next few seasons.

Xavier McKinney: 21 years old

McKinney was the Giants’ second-round pick this past NFL draft, and what a selection it was. As the top-rated safety on the board, the Giants gained a sure-fire tackler and turnover machine. He logged four forced fumbles and three interceptions last season as a junior for Alabama. Legendary head coach Nick Saban had nothing but good things to say about McKinney, and he should bring versatility and game speed to a defense that severely lacks playmakers.

DeAndre Baker: 22 years old

DeAndre Baker struggled significantly in his rookie campaign, but he got better as the season went on. Reports of him sleeping in meetings and not understanding the defensive playbook entirely emerged last season, which was extremely problematic given the state of the team. New head coach Joe Judge will not allow Baker to fall into those same tendencies, so expect him to be on his best behavior. Graham plays man-coverage a majority of the time, which will benefit Baker, who was playing in zone and off by coverage for most of 2019 with James Bettcher. Playing out of position and against his strengths was a significant reason why he failed to develop correctly last year.

James Bradberry: 26 years old

Bradberry is the oldest of the bunch, and he signed a three-year deal with the Giants this off-season. He is a quality corner and was the second-best available on the market, aside from Byron Jones. The Giants gained a corner that can mirror and contain opposing number one wideouts and follow them into the slot. Expect him to be all over the field and replacing Janoris Jenkins with youth and quality.

Julian Love: 22 years old

Love is the most underrated player of the bunch, having played only the last few games in 2019. He was the supplement to Jabrill Peppers’ hip injury that prematurely ended his campaign, and Love stepped in and played admirably in his absence. Love posted a 65.5 completion rate against, and only allowed one touchdown on 29 targets. He was a solid tackler close to the line of scrimmage and played all over the defense. He has experience at strong safety, free safety, and in the slot, which will make him an asset moving forward.

Corey Ballentine: 24 years old

Ballentine is a bit old for being a second-year player in the NFL, and he struggled heavily last year. However, he was a late-round selection was always expected to be a developmental piece. He posted a 64.3 completion rate against an allowed for touchdowns, which was extremely troubling. He played only 27% of defensive snaps and will likely stick in the slot with Darnay Holmes and Grant Haley. Youth is on his side and will allow him more time to grow into his role.

Sam Beal: 23 years old

Beal has been injured for the last two seasons, barely making an impact since his inception as a supplemental draft pick in 2018. Last year, Beal played in just six games, allowing a 76.2 completion rate. At just 23 years old, he has plenty of time to develop and grow, but going into his third season in the NFL is a bit problematic. He must take a big step this year, or he could be in danger of being cut.

Grant Haley: 24 years old

Grant Haley, formally out of Penn State, is a great tackle close to the line of scrimmage. The problem is, he is quite inadequate in coverage, making his role in the slot a bit shaky. The Giants drafted Darnay Holmes to supplement his inability to cover speedy receivers, but his ability against the run still makes him valuable. I anticipate him playing in situational spots and maybe early downs when the probability of an offense running the ball is high.

Darnay Holmes: 21 years old

Holmes, who was drafted in the fourth round in the most recent NFL draft, was coined as the best nickel corner available. While he only played in the nickel during the Senior Bowl, his size at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds attest to his ability to match up again speedy NFL receivers in the slot. Darnay will compete with Haley, Love, and Ballentine for starting reps, but he has the athleticism and tenacity to earn a starting spot on the Giants’ defense quickly.

Where Does Grant Haley Fit In The New York Giants’ 2020 Defense?

New York Giants cornerback, Grant Haley.

The New York Giants have made plenty of roster improvements this offseason. They have invested heavily in their secondary in each of the past two drafts. Last season, Grant Haley served primarily as the team’s slot cornerback. He did struggle, though, and the Giants drafted Darnay Holmes in the fourth round this year to seemingly start in the slot.

On top of that, the Giants selected safety Xavier McKinney in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. This could mean more reps in the slot for Julian Love. So, with these additions, it seems like Grant Haley has been pushed down the depth chart and will not be involved with the defense much in 2020. But I do not believe that to be true. I think that Grant Haley has a specific, and important role to play in this defense.

Grant Haley’s Role

Grant Haley struggled in coverage last season. He allowed an 82.1% completion percentage when targeted, surrendering 32 completions for 342 yards. He also failed to record a pass defended in 2019.

Despite his struggles in coverage, Haley demonstrated that he is a capable tackler. He totaled 43 combined tackles with only 3 missed tackles on the season. Haley’s tackling ability is well above-average for a cornerback and provides him with value in the Giants’ defense this season.

Being an excellent open-field tackler, Haley will be impactful for this defense on obvious run-downs. When the opposing offense is certainly going to run, substituting Haley into the defense in place of Holmes makes plenty of sense. Haley could be the featured cornerback in goal-line situations as well. Near the goal line, Haley will not have to worry about tracking a receiver downfield and could simply play a flat zone, waiting to attack any runner that may come near.

Third or fourth-and-short situations also make sense for Grant Haley. Pretty much anytime you can be certain that the offense is either running the ball or throwing the ball short-range, Haley provides value because of his excellent tackling ability. Joe Judge and Patrick Graham have made it abundantly clear that they will play their players to their strengths. Players will not be forced to do things they do not excel at. Haley will not be asked to travel with Desean Jackson on a 30-yard post route in man coverage. But it would make sense if Haley was asked to make a clutch open-field tackle on Miles Sanders.

Meet The New York Giants’ New & Improved 2020 Secondary

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers, DeAndre Baker, Xavier McKinney, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants‘ secondary dealt with peaks and valleys in 2019. There were some big-plays mixed in with plenty of rookie mistakes and persistent struggles against top offenses. New York invested a lot of draft capital into its secondary in 2019 and doubled down this offseason.

The Giants made a big splash-signing at cornerback in free agency. They then followed that up by drafting a potential day-one starter at slot cornerback this past weekend. The New York Giants’ secondary is now loaded with young, versatile talents. The potential is there for the Giants to have one of the best young secondaries in the NFL in 2020.

The Versatile Safeties

Jabrill Peppers, Julian Love, and Xavier McKinney combine to create arguably the most versatile safety group in the NFL. Each of the players in this trio can line up in at least three different positions. Julian Love has played slot cornerback, deep free safety, and in-the-box strong safety. Jabrill Peppers is primarily an in-the-box strong safety but has also played linebacker and deep safety. In college, Xavier McKinney played over 200 snaps at three different positions; 323 snaps in the box, 227 in the slot, and 271 deep (PFF).

Thie trio of versatile safeties will allow Patrick Graham to be very creative with his defense. Having three different safeties that can each play three different positions efficiently will keep opposing offenses guessing. Typically there are only two safeties on the field at a time, but with this trio, Giants fans can expect to see plenty of three-safety looks.

Young, Talented Outside Cornerbacks

The Giants have invested heavily in their secondary over the past two years. They spent a first-round pick on DeAndre Baker last year. Baker struggled for much of his rookie season but seemed to show significant signs of improvement towards the end of the year. In 2020, DeAndre will start on the outside again and hopefully build on a promising finish to the 2019 season.

Starting opposite of Baker as the Giants’ primary cornerback will be newly signed free agent James Bradberry. Bradberry, coming from Carolina, is no stranger to following top-tier receiving talent. Bradberry shadowed the likes of Julio Jones, Mike Evans, and Michael Thomas twice a year as a member of the Panthers. He will instantly join the Giants’ secondary as the best coverage man and take on the most challenging tasks for the defense week to week.

DeAndre Baker and James Bradberry will man the outside cornerback positions. But who will play the slot/nickel cornerback position? There will be a competition to see who gets that starting role but expect to see a rotation in this position.

Nickel Cornerback Competition

Last year, the slot cornerback position was manned by Grant Haley and Corey Ballentine. Haley struggled immensely in coverage but demonstrated impressive open-field tackling. Ballentine, a sixth-round draft pick from 2019, was not ready to perform and struggled considerably. But he showed a lot of promise last preseason, so hopefully, Ballentine can take a step forward and improve in 2020.

The latest addition to the slot cornerback position is 2020 fourth-round pick, Darnay Holmes, out of UCLA. Holmes played on the outside in college, but his limited size will move him into the slot at the professional level. Holmes did try out nickel cornerback at the Senior Bowl this year, and he said he loved it. Analysts pointed out that he excelled in that new role in Mobile.

The Giants have plenty of depth at the slot cornerback position. But who will be the starter at the nickel? As I stated earlier, expect to see rotation. Since day one, Joe Judge has made it clear: players will play to their strengths. They will not be asked to do things at which they are not proficient. These three slot cornerbacks all have different skillsets that can be applied in various ways.

Maximizing Potential Through Rotations

For example, Grant Haley struggles in coverage but is a solid open-field tackler. This is why the Giants can use Haley in goal-line or short-yardage packages. Third-and-goal, fourth-and-two, Grant Haley can go in there and make a clutch tackle to keep the defense short of the line to gain.

On the flip side, in long-yardage situations and obvious passing-downs, Darnay Holmes’s speed and athleticism will come into play. He has the speed to keep up with quicker receivers going deep and the coverage ability to stick with slot receivers on deep-breaking routes.

The Giants’ two-year investment into the secondary is paying off. They have the versatility and flexibility to move their players around and put them in the best situations possible to make an impact. Giants fans should be ecstatic about the foundation that has been laid out for the future of the defense.

A Look At The New York Giants’ 2020 Secondary After Signing James Bradberry

The New York Giants made a big splash signing today. Dave Gettleman and company signed cornerback James Bradberry to a three-year, $15 million deal, making him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. Bradberry is 26 years old and was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft by Dave Gettleman and the Carolina Panthers.

James Bradberry is the Giants’ new number one cornerback. He will be the guy that follows opposing teams’ primary receiver. Bradberry will join a youthful Giants secondary that has received a heavy investment of assets in recent years. The former Carolina Panthers corner will be a big upgrade for the Giants’ secondary.

The Killer B’s

The New York Giants’ cornerbacks in 2020 (barring any more additions) will be as follows: James Bradberry, DeAndre Baker, Same Beal, Corey Ballentine, and Grant Haley. The oldest of the bunch is Bradberry at 26-years-old. Baker and Ballentine will both be entering their sophomore seasons while Beal enters his third pro season.

The Giants have a young group of cornerbacks that will start the 2020 NFL season. Youth, of course, means inexperience, also. That could be New York’s defensive downfall. But hopefully adding a veteran cornerback in James Bradberry helps the rest of the group develop.

The Two Jay’s

Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love will enter the 2020 NFL season as the Giants’ starting safeties (unless the team signs or drafts somebody uber-talented between now and September). The team’s safety duo provides more youthful talent to the defense. Julian Love is 21 and entering his second NFL season. Jabrill Peppers is 24, entering his fourth NFL season and second season with the New York Giants.

Julian Love showed promise filling in as a starter for the injured Peppers in the final five games of the 2019 season. He recorded 37 combined tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and only 4 missed tackles in 2019. The former collegiate slot cornerback converted to safety as a rookie and allowed only 190 yards and 1 touchdown in coverage.

Jabrill Peppers suffered an injury in 2019 that caused him to miss the final five games of the season. Up to that point, however, Jabrill was performing as possibly the best player on the Giants’ defense. In 11 games, JP totaled 76 combined tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and allowed only 1 touchdown in coverage.

The Giants’ young, talented secondary gives fans a reason to be excited heading into the 2020 NFL season. The youthful unit has all the potential in the world. Expect an impressive turnaround from the Giants’ pass-defense in 2020.

New York Giants: Kyler Murray Could Cause A Lot Of Problems For The Giants Defense On Sunday

The New York Giants will host the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday in a week seven matchup at 1:00 p.m. The game will feature a duel between the 2019 NFL Draft’s first overall pick and sixth overall pick, both quarterbacks.

Daniel Jones will be trying to keep the Giants in the playoff hunt on Sunday, but it will really be up to his defense to contain Kyler Murray and help the Giants get this crucial win.

Kyler Is Tough To Catch

In week six, the Arizona Cardinals did not allow a single quarterback hit on Kyler Murray. Murray has only been sacked once in the last two weeks, but 20 times in the 4 games prior. Logically, the Cardinals have won their last two games when they have protected Murray. In those 4 games with 20 sacks, the Cardinals have lost three of them and tied one.

Kyler has really come into his own these last two weeks and has begun to look worthy of the first overall draft pick that the Cardinals selected him with. Kyler is one of the fastest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL, even though he did not run at the NFL Combine, it was predicted that Murray would run a sub 4.4s forty-yard dash, possibly even sub 4.3s.

Kyler can be seen on this play putting his extreme speed and agility to work in the pocket, avoiding the sack, extending the play, and delivering a strike deep downfield:

Kyler Has A Plethora Of Weapons

The New York Giants’ defense has been struggling all season so far. The Giants’ secondary is arguably the worst in the league, ranking 31st in passing yards allowed. The Giants have let quarterbacks throw against them at will.

According to Pro Football Focus, there are 15 cornerbacks in the league who have allowed 300 or more yards on receptions as the primary coverage defender so far this season. The New York Giants have three of them — Deandre Baker (394), Janoris Jenkins (351) and Grant Haley (315).

This weekend, the Giants’ struggling secondary will be matched up with a strong receiver group. The Cardinals’ receivers are finally starting to create real chemistry with Kyler Murray.

Murray has been accurate as a rookie, completing 64.3% of his passes with 7.0 yards per attempt. He is throwing to the veteran legend Larry Fitzgerald and the young and talented Christian Kirk. So far, Larry has caught 35 passes for 427 yards and 2 touchdowns, being Murray’s primary receiver. Christian has yet to score a touchdown this season but has been playing a solid second receiver role with 24 catches for 242 yards. The Giants will also have to keep an eye on the Cardinals’ running back, too.

David Johnson is one of the best running backs in the NFL. After dealing with an injury in 2017 and the worst offense in the league in 2018, Johnson has finally returned to form in 2019. David is a dual-threat running back who has rushed the ball 76 times and caught 30 passes. Johnson has accumulated 613 total yards from scrimmage and 5 total touchdowns through six games.

The Giants’ defense is going to have its hands full, but it is coming off of an impressive performance against the New England Patriots. Things fell apart in the second half, but in the first half, the Giants forced the Patriots’ offense to turn the ball over three times and held their offense to only 14 points (since 7 of their 21 came off of the Giants’ special teams debacle).

The Giants’ defense will have their hands full against the explosive Cardinals offense. But luckily, they have some solid pass-rushers playing at a high level. Markus Golden has recorded at least a half-sack in each of the last five games and Dexter Lawrence is PFF’s highest-graded rookie defender of the season so far. Pressuring Kyler Murray and not giving him enough time to get the ball into the hands of his dynamic playmakers is the key to beating the Cardinals this week.

New York Giants: Training Camp and 2019 Season Thoughts

The start of the New York Giants training camp is a time when most fans find a reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season for the football team they dedicate 17+ weeks to. It’s also necessary to pause and provide some introspection on the team and address some of the mainstream storylines that have circulated across the Giants message boards and Twitter.  Below are my thoughts at we conclude the first two weeks of training camp. 

  • The Giants desperately need Lorenzo Carter to take a major leap. The Giants linebacking unit may be the worst in the league. Carter was their best cover linebacker last year and is the only player I trust to not be a liability on third down. It wouldn’t surprise me if B.J. Goodson and Alec Ogletree’s playing time was reduced in passing situations, both struggled in coverage last season. Carter might even be more valuable to the Giants playing out in space as he is rushing the passer.
  • The defense will likely stink again this season. The Giants had the 24th ranked defense by DVOA last year and is unlikely to improve this year. The Giants don’t have anyone on the roster that proved they could consistently rush the passer last season, their linebackers will struggle to defend the run and the pass and they don’t have any corners that played well in coverage last year. Furthermore, the Giants will be relying on a lot of young players (B.J. Hill, Carter, Dexter Lawrence, Sam Beal, DeAndre Baker, Grant Haley, Julian Love, and Oshane Ximines) to play well this year. It’s unrealistic to think that most of these young players can be impactful on a consistent basis.
  • Evan Engram is an upgrade over Golden Tate. The loss of Golden Tate will hurt the Giants, but not as much as people may think. Evan Engram will get more targets in Tate’s absence, and at this point of their careers, Engram is a more explosive receiver than Tate. Engram needs to improve his route running and struggles to shake from coverage, but Shurmur finally figured out how to use Engram in the second half of the season. Get him in space and let him run. I expect the Giants to use him more to stretch the field than they have in the past. 
  • The offense will not be better without Odell Beckham Jr. this year. For the first time since 2010, the Giants should have an above-average pass-blocking offensive line. However, don’t expect the Giants offense to be better than last year when they ranked 13th by DVOA. It’s too simple to look at the last four games of the season, wipe out the Titans game and come to the conclusion the Giants offense can thrive without Beckham. It can’t. Without Beckham, defenses can focus on containing Barkley and will have confidence their secondary can hold up against the Giants receivers. Shurmer will have to be extra creative with his scheme and play calling to help the Giants receiver get open against man coverage.
  • Daniel Jones needs first-team reps. The Giants can help Jones grow without sacrificing victories this season. He needs to be given first-team reps in training camp and the preseason. Eli Manning does not require 100% of the reps with the starters to get himself ready for the season. Giving Jones a portion of those reps will help Eli rest his arm while giving Jones valuable experience playing behind the first-string offensive line. The Giants will learn very little about the potential of their first-round pick if he’s spending camp and preseason running for his life. 

 

New York Giants: Corey Ballentine the steal of the 2019 Draft?

New York Giants, Corey Ballentine, Ronald Zamort

Did the New York Giants snag a steal in cornerback, Corey Ballentine?

It was only a few weeks ago that New York Giants rookie cornerback Corey Ballentine was shot alongside his best friend who passed away. The trauma and despair caused by the event has not been lost; in fact, it seems as if Ballentine has used it as fuel.

The rookie 6th round pick has done nothing but shine with the Giants so far, starting Monday’s training camp practice with the first team opposite DeAndre Baker. Janoris Jenkins, the Giants’ no. 1 option played in the slot.

Ballentine shined last week in practice, having one of the better days of any player this summer, coming down with an interception and swatting two balls away. He’s become Daniel Jones’ nemesis in a sense.

Corey commented on his progression and what has helped him up to this point:

“I feel like I’m catching up because of the older guys in the room,” said Ballentine. “A lot of them will help us and stay after meetings to help us learn run fits, learn plays, and they’ll help us once we get back to the hotel as well. So, with the help of them and my teammates, and just extra studying, I think I caught up pretty well.”

The cornerbacks unit is plush full of youth and inexperience; however, the youngsters have looked stellar thus far in camp. Both Ballentine and DeAndre Baker have shown confidence in coverage and the ability to lock down opposing receivers. Fourth-round pick Julian Love has been working in the slot with Grant Haley, second-year undrafted man out of Penn State.

The defense as a whole seems to be headed in the right direction with the quality of youth present, but there will be challenges and speed bumps along the way. With the pre-season starting on Thursday against the Jets, we should get a good idea of where the rookies are at and what they need to be working on.

New York Giants: Veteran duo can make secondary great again

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

After years of neglect towards the free safety position and no real consistency with the cornerbacks, the New York Giants are finally in a place to develop a young core of talent.

Drafting DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Corey Ballantine, and trading for Jabrill Peppers will immediately give the unit a boost in 2019. Last season, the Giants’ defense allowed 371.4 yards per game, good enough for the 24th best in the NFL. Their lack of effectiveness against opposing offenses passing attacks was a primary reason for their failure.

Collecting just five wins after a complete rebuild is justifiable, but general manager Dave Gettleman laid down the hammer in the secondary this offseason, allocating plenty of resources towards its hopeful transcendence into stardom.

Maybe stardom is too optimistic, but rather serviceability is the better descriptive word. Baker has looked solid during training camp so far, and Love has competed valiantly at the slot-corner spot alongside Grant Haley. The Giants may look to transition him to the free safety position where Antoine Bethea can develop his skill-set.

Both Bethea and Janoris Jenkins will both play an essential role in the success of the team this upcoming season. The veteran corner has taken on a leadership role despite never really emerging as a voice in the locker room.

Newly signed receiver Golden Tate recalled a moment where Jenkins displayed his care for the younger players, according to the New York Post:

“One of the receivers made a play, and before the receiver and the DB could even get up, Janoris was jogging over to the DB to give him a tip,’’ Tate said Friday. “I didn’t hear the tip, but Janoris was kind of in his ear very calmly and letting him know, ‘Hey, this is what you can do next time.’ ’’

The Giants have established a newfound culture that is centered around veteran leadership and the ability to come together when the going gets tough. The team must be capable of weathering the storm, especially with so many young pieces on the side.

The defense will rely heavily on Jenkins and Bethea to step up and take the lead, as the 2019 season can either be a success, or a travesty.

New York Giants: Will The Secondary Or Defensive Line Be Better In 2019?

The New York Giants‘ defense has undergone numerous changes this offseason. They have seen two star defenders leave, Landon Collins and Olivier Vernon, opening big holes in both the secondary and the front seven.

But the Giants have also made plenty of acquisitions to try to patch these holes. They revamped their secondary in the 2019 NFL Draft and also added a stud rookie defensive lineman to their already solid young core.

This raises an interesting question for the 2019 NFL season. Which unit will perform better? The secondary or the defensive line?

Why The Secondary Might Perform Better

The New York Giants‘ secondary has been one of the league’s worst over the past two years. In 2017, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.4 passing yards per game (ranked 31st in the NFL). In 2018, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.8 passing yards (ranked 23rd in the NFL), showing minimal to no improvement.

Fortunately, Big Blue has made some major changes to help improve the backend of the defense. New York drafted three defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if counting Sam Beal). These young cornerbacks wi

The Giants should have a solid new cornerback duo in Janoris Jenkins and DeAndre Baker. Jenkins has been a solid player with the Giants the past three seasons and Baker is a talented young rookie that New York drafted in the first-round.

But the Giants are not just set on the outside. At slot cornerback, the Giants have bounds of talent. Grant Haley is heading into his second season after a promising rookie season that saw him break up 2 passes and total 33 tackles in only 10 games.

But the Giants now have options at slot cornerback. Julian Love was the Giants’ steal of the draft in the fourth round. He could see playing time at both slot cornerback and free safety.

The Giants’ best new defensive addition this offseason was Jabrill Peppers. The Giants acquired Peppers in a trade with Cleveland, and Jabrill should instantly be the Giants’ best defender. Peppers is a playmaker all over a defense, as he has experience playing just about everywhere.

In 2018, most of Jabrill’s snaps were played at safety (281 snaps), but he played a lot of snaps at linebacker (172 snaps), edge (133 snaps), and slot cornerback (108 snaps), too, according to Pro Football Focus. The Swiss-Army Knife Julius Peppers was able to snag an interception, a sack, and record 79 combined tackles.

The Giants’ new secondary has a lot of young potential. But this unit is not the only piece of the defense with a lot of potential.

Why The Defensive Line Might Peform Better

The New York Giants’ defensive line is vastly underrated as of right now. They have an immensly talented young core that should serve them well for the next decade (if Gettleman manages to keep everyone tigether).

First up on Big Blue’s feroucious defensive line is Dalvin Tomlinson. Tomlinson has been described by Pro Football Focus as one of the NFL’s secret defensive superstars. This is because of Dalvin’s incredibly efficient play throughout his first two professional seasons.

Dalvin Tomlinson had the longest active streak of tackles without a miss with 60. Dalvin has only missed one tackle in his two-year NFL career. Tomlinson has also racked up 24 defensive stops against the run in two years in the NFL. His continued development will make him one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL.

Next up is one of New York’s brightest young stars on defense, B.J. Hill. Hill was a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and he played much better than his draft stock in his rookie season.

Hill proved that he is an excellent interior penetrator in 2018. B.J. set a New York Giants franchise record in 2018. His 5.5 sacks were the most ever by a rookie in Giants history since the sack became an official statistic in 1982. The 5.5 sacks were also the fourth most by a rookie this season.

Last but not least, the Giants’ latest addition to the offensive line, Dexter Lawrence. The Giants drafted Dexter Lawrence with the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Lawrence is a young stud with tons of potential who could make an impact instantly.

Dexter Lawrence is known for his incredible work in run-defense, but he is also a criminally underrated interior pass-rusher. In three years at Clemson, Dexter totaled 131 tackles and 18 tackles for loss. But Dexter Lawrence also racked up 33 total pressures in 2018 (T12th in draft class) and he also had the third-highest pass rush productivity percentage in the draft class, applying pressure on 13.8% of his snaps.

The Giants’ defensive line has the potential to be one of the best young defensive lines in the NFL in 2019. The secondary has a lot of potential, but the talent is not as proven as the defensive line. Personally, I think the defensive line will perform better out of the two units because the secondary has too many young and unproven players. However, both units should surprise and be a lot better than most expect them to be this season.