The New York Giants‘ cornerback position is in a dire circumstance at the moment. Elite cornerback James Bradberry has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will be out on Sunday night. Additionally, starting slot cornerback Darnay Holmes was out last week and is expected to be out again this week, as he has not practiced this week.
This leaves the Giants with few options at cornerback. Isaac Yiadom is healthy and will continue to start on the outside. But on the opposite side of Yiadom is a huge question mark. The Giants are likely to move rookie safety Xavier McKinney inside to play slot cornerback this week. However, the second outside cornerback position might also be played by a safety.
The Giants have a few talented safeties who could shift outside to cornerback this week. One intriguing option is second-year safety, Julian Love. The Giants drafted Julian Love in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and he has been an excellent depth piece for them since last season.
Julian Love at outside cornerback
When the New York Giants drafted Julian Love last offseason, he was actually designated as a cornerback. Love played the cornerback position in college at Notre Dame. He occasionally played safety at the collegiate level but moved to the back end full-time once he was in the NFL.
Love is not the fastest guy by any means, which is why he is a better fit on the back end. But with few options outside this week, Julian Love could move back to his collegiate position against the Cleveland Browns.
Most of the beat reporters are predicting that Julian Love will play outside cornerback in Week 15. Upon being drafted, Julian Love had this to say about his alignment on the defense:
My skillset allows me to play outside or inside. Wherever they need me I’m going to compete. – Julian Love via the Giants on Twitter
According to Pro Football Focus, Julian Love played 8 total snaps at wide cornerback in his rookie season. This season, he has played only 6 snaps out wide. The majority of Julian’s snaps have come at free safety this season (453 snaps).
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com stated that “Love’s cover talent, intelligence, and ball skills give him a good shot at succeeding outside or from the slot,” prior to the NFL Draft. Finally, Giants fans might actually get to see Julian Love put those skills to use on the outside.