New York Giants: Julian Love likely to fill in at outside cornerback in Week 15

New York Giants, Julian Love

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 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.

Giants vs. Eagles: The three major keys for the Giants to come up with the win

New York Giants, Evan Engram

This is the biggest game for both teams up to this point. The Philadelphia Eagles are in first place with a 3-4-1 record, and the New York Giants are in third place with a 2-7 record. The Giants can split the series against the Eagles if they can do a few things correctly. The three major keys for the Giants this weekend will include Daniel Jones, Evan Engram, and Isaac Yiadom.

Daniel Jones needs to protect the ball

The New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has to be on target this weekend. Jones can not afford to force a turnover against the Eagles. DJ was not perfect last week, but he did not force a turnover. DJ fumbled twice in the game. The first fumble ended up going out of bounds, and the second fumble DJ jumped on to retain possession.

If Daniel Jones can protect the ball and throw the ball away when he has to, then the Giants can control the game on offense and with field position.

Last week’s game against Washington was the first time this season that DJ did not turn the ball over, the Giants came out on top. DJ and the entire offense needs to do the same thing as they did last week to have the best chance to win this game.

Evan Engram needs to catch the ball

The New York Giants tight end Evan Engram has been consistently dropping passes week in and week out. The last time the Giants and the Eagles played each other this season, Engram dropped a ball on third down that would have sealed the game for the Giants. The Giants were forced to punt and gave the ball back to Carson Wentz and the Eagles. The Eagles ended up winning this game against the Giants. What is in the past is in the past. All Giants fans hope for is that Engram can hold on to the ball, especially on third down.

Engram is a miss-match for most linebackers in the NFL, and DJ knows that. DJ just needs to find ways to get the ball into Engram’s hands in open space.

Isaac Yiadom needs to step up

In last week’s game against Washington, Isaac Yiadom allowed a perfect passer rating to Alex Smith when passes were thrown to Yiadom’s side of the field. If the New York Giants want to beat the Eagles this weekend, this simply can not happen this weekend. Wentz will attack Yiadom every time he gets.

The way that James Bradberry has been playing this season, Yiadom is going to see a lot of attention week in and week out, which isn’t going to change this weekend.

Outcome if all goes well

This is a lot to ask for, but if the Giants are able to pull this off against the Eagles, they could find themselves in a rhythm. On offense, DJ has to play a clean game, and Engram needs to catch the catchable balls. On defense, Yiadom will see the ball thrown his way a bunch this weekend. He needs to play just good for the Giants to come out with a big win and compete in the NFC East once again!

New York Giants still suffering from CB2 problems

New York Giants, Ryan Lewis

The New York Giants won their Week 9 matchup against Washington behind a dominating, five turnover performance from their defense. New York forced three interceptions as the secondary managed to contain Washington’s passing attack.

Despite this, there was still a familiar struggle within the Giants’ pass defense. The secondary cornerback position, this week manned by Isaac Yiadom, has been a consistent area of weakness for the Giants all season. The Giants have rotated the likes of Corey Ballentine, Isaac Yiadom, and Ryan Lewis in that position.

This week, Terry McLaurin was the lone bright spot on the Football Team’s offense as he totaled 7 receptions for 115 yards and 1 touchdown. James Bradberry managed McLaurin and any other receivers he lined up against, but Isaac Yiadom struggled severely.

Cornerback Isaac Yiadom allowed a perfect 158.3 passer rating against Washington on Sunday, according to Pro Football Focus. James Bradberry, on the other hand, was only targeted in coverage one time. Washington made a conscious effort to avoid Bradberry and attack the Giants’ second cornerback position.

Ryan Lewis seemed to be the answer to the Giants’ cornerback problems. But, after he was placed on injured reserve, Isaac Yiadom was put back into the starting lineup. After this disappointing performance, it will be interesting to see who the Giants roll out there in Week 10 versus Philadelphia.

Additionally, Xavier McKinney could return to the Giants’ defense sometime this month. His addition to the lineup could move Logan Ryan over to cornerback two, or even Julian Love. New York, fortunately, has solid depth at the safety positions, but the cornerback position will need to improve.

New York Giants trade for Denver CB Isaac Yiadom

New York Giants, Isaac Yiadom

The New York Giants made a value trade on Wednesday evening, sending a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Denver Broncos in exchange for former third-round pick, Isaac Yiadom.

Yiadom won’t become a Giant until he passes COVID-19 protocols and a physical, but if he evidently joins the team, the Giants will now have another player to compete at cornerback.

At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Isaac is going into his third season in the NFL. Formally a Boston College stand out, he has played in 29 games with nine starts over two seasons. He has a total of 55 tackles, one interception, and seven passes defended.

In 2019, he enjoyed eight starts and 16 appearances, earning 38 tackles, four passes defended, and five special teams tackles.

How will the New York Giants utilize the young corner?

Worst case scenario, he becomes a valuable special-teams player, but his ability to play cornerback fits well with the mold head coach Joe Judge is trying to implement.

The Giants are currently trying to supplement the loss of DeAndre Baker and Sam Beal at the CB2 position, so Yiadom will join the ranks and try to earn starting reps immediately.

Nonetheless, he has a tall task ahead of him as the Giants recently signed Logan Ryan to a one year, maximum $7.5 million deal.