New York Giants still have a major problem and the draft offers a solution

Rashawn Slater, New York Giants

The New York Giants had the 32nd ranked offensive line in pass-blocking efficiency in 2020 (PFF), and yet they still found a way to make their OL worse this off-season. By cutting veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler, not only did they lose their best lineman, but they created a massive hole at a position of strength.

It seems as if the Giants feel confident that Andrew Thomas can hold down the left tackle spot, Will Hernandez will likely start at left guard, Nick Gates at center, and a combination of Nate Solder and Matt Peart at right tackle. Most would say this isn’t an adequate unit, especially one worth investing optimism in, but as Dave Gettleman said in a recent press conference, “eventually you have to play the kids.”

Ultimately, signing Kenny Golladay, John Ross, and even investing more draft capital on an offensive playmaker won’t matter if the offensive line can’t protect quarterback Daniel Jones. Referencing the Buffalo Bills, who saw massive improvements in pass and run blocking last year, Josh Allen enjoyed a significant increase in passing efficiency. The Giants desperately need Jones to show a similar developmental leap, but they must protect him at all costs if they want to do so.

You can make one interesting argument, the return of Saquon Barkley and addition of Kenny Golladay should draw attention from defenders and coordinators, which will mitigate their ability to send extra blitzers to overwhelm the OL. While that schematic difference could play a meaningful part, the Giants can’t roll with Shane Lemieux as a starter in to begin the 2021 season and feel comfortable.

With their problems on the line, targeting a player like Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater or even USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker would make optimal sense.

“I would not count out the Giants drafting an offensive lineman (at No. 11),” Mel Kiper said in a recent interview, per Big Blue View. “You’ve gotta fix that spot or Daniel Jones is going to have no chance, even though you’ve got some receivers now with (Kenny) Golladay coming in, you could add Jaylen Waddle, you could add a lineman, could add a linebacker like Micah Parsons. They have some needs they have to address in this draft, it’s doing to be interesting to see how they attack it.

“I really want to see what they do to get this offensive line fixed and get this offensive line to play at a high level because to me that holds the whole key to what kind of year the Giants have.”

Luckily, if the Giants elect to go BPA in the first round, there is an unusual girth of 2nd round guards available that can offer instant starters with upside. They simply aren’t considered elite talent but rather slightly developmental with experience and upside.

How should the New York Giants go about the tight end position?

New York Giants, Evan Engram

The New York Giants recently signed former Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph to a two-year deal. This move leaves the tight end room crowded. Evan Engram, Kyle Rudolph, Kaden Smith, Levine Toilolo, and Rysen John make up this position. I think it’s possible that the Giants draft a tight end in the later rounds as well. The Giants obviously can’t carry 6 or 7 tight ends when positions like Cornerback and Wide Receiver need all the depth they can get.

While Big Blue could go in several different directions, here are two realistic options heading into the 2021 season:

Kaden Smith is dropped

Jason Garrett loves running three-tight end sets in the running game, utilizing a jumbo-blocker to open up holes. We predominantly saw this due to the inadequacy of the passing game in 2020, but I expect them to continue with it based on Saquon’s return. Normally, the third tight end in that set is a really good blocker. Kaden Smith was average at best in run blocking last year, and only had 18 total catches to go with it. For some reason, Jason Garrett has an affinity for Levine Toilolo, who’s only good trait is that he’s insanely tall. The Giants already have one tight end who can’t block for his life. Why have two? I would hate to see Smith get dropped, but business is business.

Evan Engram Gets Traded

It feels as if this option is less and less likely to happen as the days go on. Before the signing of Kyle Rudolph, it seemed as if the Giants could draft Kyle Pitts and trade away Evan Engram. Now, the likelihood of the Giants drafting Kyle Pitts at 11 is low. But, let’s say this is an alternate reality where Kyle Rudolph and another tight end take over the starting spots. Evan Engram doesn’t have the best value, due to drops and other issues, but he has some value. I believe the Giants could scrape a 4th round pick at his lowest value. The Giants would clear up $6m in cap space and could sweeten the deal for another free agent like Adoree Jackson.

New York Giants: Ranking the 3 positions that need upgrades this offseason

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants only have a specific amount of resources they can allocate this off-season, and they will have to be strategic with how they manipulate the money available. They are currently $3 million over the cap, which means they don’t currently have the cash and flexibility to extend Leonard Williams on a multi-year deal. They will have to shed dead weight and find ways to open up money, but that is what professional financial experts are expected to do, like Kevin Abrams.

However, it is quite disappointing that the Giants don’t have much cap space despite the fact that they have a quarterback on a rookie deal. They have too much money tied up in players who aren’t making an impact, like Nate Solder and Golden Tate. The expectation is that they will move on from these two this off-season unless they can find efficient ways to reconstruct their current deals.

Nonetheless, multiple positions need upgrades badly, and the Giants have a few ways they can maneuver their cap situation and utilize their draft picks.

Ranking the three weakest positions for the New York Giants:

1.) WR

Finding an offensive playmaker this off-season is essential, as the Giants ranked last in yards of separation among their receivers in 2020, forcing quarterback Daniel Jones to carry the load. Jones only threw 11 touchdown passes this past season, a steep drop off from the 24 he threw his rookie year.

Ultimately, the expectation is that Big Blue will find a receiver in free agency, whether it be Corey Davis or Curtis Samuel, and utilize either the 11th or 43rd overall pick on a playmaker. This is a unit that desperately needs help, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a WR, they could also target a player like TE Kyle Pitts in the draft.

The Giants can explore many different avenues, but we won’t forget co-owner John Mara guaranteeing they will allocate resources toward the position’s upgrade.

2.) RT

Right tackle has also been a tumultuous position, as the Giants utilized a rotation of Cameron Fleming and Matt Peart in 2020. Fleming was decent as a run blocker but a liability in pass protection. He played a key role in the Giants’ OL being the worst-ranked pass-blocking unit in the NFL. He is currently a free agent, so the Giants have to make another decision at RT, whether it be drafting a player in the first two rounds or signing a free agent. They could always stick with Peart, who is going into his second season but missed a good chunk of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19.

Dave Gettleman has been guaranteeing the solution for the OL for years now, and we are still right where we started in 2018.

3.) OLB

The New York Giants posted only 40 sacks in 2020, and after both starters went down with the season-ending injuries, the Giants did their best to supplement.

Ultimately, a majority of their pressure came from the interior defensive line, but they desperately need an upgrade at OLB, as relying on Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Cimines is becoming redundant. Neither has proven to be productive pass rushers, despite Carter showing a bit more development prior to tearing his Achilles against Dallas last season. There are a few options in the draft that could fall to the Giants at 43, including Joseph Ossai and Jayson Owen from Penn State.

New York Giants should target TE Kyle Pitts for these 3 reasons

New York Giants, Kyle Pitts

The New York Giants desperately need an offensive playmaker in the 2021 NFL draft, and Florida TE Kyle Pitts could fit the bill perfectly. As a dominant threat in man coverage, Pitts has the ability to overpower corners and align in several different spots.

Pitts could be the next big thing in the NFL, considering his revolutionary style of play, and most consider him the epitome of the modern-day tight end. For Florida last year, Kyle hauled in 770 yards and 12 touchdowns over eight games. He’s dominant in the red zone and would offer a quarterback Daniel Jones an outlet not only as a security blanket but as an every-play receiver.

Here are three reasons the New York Giants should consider drafting the stand out TE:

1.) Kyle Pitts is only 20 years old

Looking at Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith out of Alabama, both receivers are 22 years old. Pitts, who has the ability to play X, Z, and in the slot, is only 20 years old and hasn’t even scratched the surface of his potential. Not to say that the receivers won’t do the same, but Pitts has two additional years to find his underlying potential and maximize his physical traits.

At 6’6” and 246 pounds, not only is he a big body with the route running of a receiver, but he can line up as a traditional tight end and block in the running game. He needs to add a bit more muscle mass and refine his technique in that category, but if he develops properly, he has top-3 potential at the position in the NFL.

2.) Kyle Pitts didn’t drop a SINGLE pass in 2020

One of the biggest liabilities for the Giants currently is Evan Engram, who dropped a significant number of passes which ended up being significant to the Giants’ playoffs helps in 2020. Some might look at Pitts and compare them to Engram as a primary receiving option of the position, but there’s a simple difference, he doesn’t drop the football.

In fact, Pitts didn’t have a drop on 65 targets, as he was the only receiver in college football to have zero drops when commanding at least 65 targets. His reliable hands make him a fantastic threat in all facets, especially with a quarterback like Jones that spreads the ball around the field.

3.) Kyle Pitts is a dominant man-coverage receiver

Not only can Pitts dominate in the short/intermediate ranges of the field, but he is also capable of thriving as a vertical threat. He lead all TEs last year in catches and yards on targets when being thrown the ball 20+ yards from the line of scrimmage.

Considering Giants’ offensive coordinator Jason Garrett loves to utilize man coverage matchups, Pitts would be an absolute perfect scheme fit, especially when lined up outside against undersize corners. He’s a mismatch nightmare, and in 12 personnel with Engram, if they don’t trade the former first-round pick, the pair would simply be unguardable.

Should the New York Giants target Corey Davis in free agency?

New York Giants, Corey Davis

Promises, promises, promises. That is all New York Giants management feels necessary to provide fans these days. Whether it be guaranteeing the solution to fixing the offensive line or that they will allocate resources toward offensive playmakers, nothing has seemed to come to fruition.

Of course, this off-season could be telling, simply based on the fact that head coach Joe Judge has changed the narrative surrounding the team the last few years. The culture has taken a massive shift, the Giants have one a few games to prove they are on an upward trend, and the coaching has been superior compared to the recent past.

However, drafting must improve significantly if the Giants wish to be an adequate team moving forward. They rank among the worst in the league when it comes to the number of wins produced by spending in free agency, which also indicates poor draft selections.

Last season we saw a bit of a shift, as even late-round picks were contributing toward the Giants’ production. Whether it be in an injury-riddled outside linebacker unit or in the secondary, we finally witnessed youth performing well.

This off-season, though, the Giants don’t have much money to work with and don’t have a fifth-round pick, which they sent to the New York Jets in exchange for Leonard Williams in 2019.

General manager Dave Gettleman believes that the Giants do you have money to spend this off-season, and he’s depending on Kevin Abrams to find it.

“We’ve got cap space, we’ve got room,” Gettleman said during his post-season press conference. “You never have as much room as you want to have. We’ve got cap space, we’ve got room to do the things we feel like we need to do initially. A lot of it is going to be about the drop it’s going to take. How far of a plunge is it going to take? We don’t know. They’re talking 175, who knows. We’ll plan and then once we know the number, we’ll get moving.”

With the cap expected to be no less than $180 million, the Giants have a bit more leeway than previously expected. They still need to allocate resources toward a wide receiver, and with Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay projected to be franchise tagged by their respective teams, only Corey Davis of the Tennessee Titans and Curtis Samuel of the Carolina Panthers makes sense.

Should the New York Giants target Davis in free agency?

This leads us to our main topic, is Davis worth signing to be the Giants WR1? Davis had his best season in 2020 opposite AJ Brown, recording 984 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 15.1 yards per reception and a catch rate of 70.7%, both being career highs.

However, you could make the argument that the attention Brown demanded allowed Davis to realize his potential. That argument would lead us down a path that justifies him being a high-end WR2 and not a premium WR1.

Nonetheless, the Giants don’t have a plethora of options to choose from, so Davis could be a solid option to add to the receiving corps. At 6’3” and 209 pounds, Davis is capable of being a solid possession receiver with above-average route running abilities. He can high point catches well and use his strength to muscle balls away from corners.

Realistically, any upgrade at the WR position will help Daniel Jones excel in 2021. To be quite honest, I would be ecstatic if the Giants fulfill that promise and allocate resources toward the position, one that desperately needs help.

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: The Underrated Benefit of Drafting a Cornerback

New York Giants, Patrick Surtain

As the 2021 NFL Draft swiftly approaches, the New York Giants are doing their best to make sure they get the No. 11 overall pick correct. Following a 2020 season that saw the team make strides towards competitiveness for the first time in years, it’s vital Big Blue makes the correct choice. Most mock drafts have suggested the team take an offensive-playmaker, a pass rusher, or an offensive lineman. While all of those options would greatly benefit the Giants, there’s one position that would kill two birds with one stone – cornerback.

The Underrated Benefit of Drafting a Cornerback at No. 11 Overall

The Role a Strong Secondary Plays in the Pass Rushing Game

On paper, a cornerback’s main duty is to defend against the opponent’s passing game. Whether that be via soft-zone, press-man, or any other scheme that Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham draws up, that is their job. A strong secondary-unit does more than just wreak havoc on opposing receivers and quarterbacks though. It allows the pass rush to get after the QB and forces the opponent to adjust their style of play. The Giants would reap the major benefits of this style of play by taking a defensive-back in round one this spring.

Following the 2019 season, the Giants knew they needed to improve their secondary. They allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game in the NFL and consistently failed to get off the field in crunch-time. To fix this issue they went out and signed James Bradberry. Bradberry outperformed all expectations in his first year with Big Blue in 2020, earning the first pro-bowl nod of his career. But it wasn’t only Bradberry who enjoyed a successful season – the entire Giants secondary improved significantly. The team allowed 26.2 less yards per game through the air and finished as the 17th-ranked unit in the league. Along with the improved pass defense came an uptick in pressure on the QB.

The Giants finished 2020 tied for the 11th-most sacks in the NFL with 40, 11 spots higher than their ranking in 2019. Despite not signing a dominant pass rusher in free agency last offseason, their pass rush improved. How? Strong play from the secondary. It’s not a coincidence both sections of the defense improved either. Almost all of the best passing defenses rushed the passer effectively in 2020.

The Correlation Between a Strong Passing Defense/Sacks

Of the six-best defenses against the pass in 2020, three of them finished in the top-six for sacks. On the other end of the rankings the correlation is relevant as well. Of the 10-worst pass defenses, five of them were in the bottom-10 for total sacks. A strong secondary allows the defensive line to produce something called a “coverage sack.” That is when a team forces the QB to hold onto the ball for an extended period of time, allowing the pass rushers to blow the play up.

The biggest example of a player benefitting from strong secondary play, and converting on “coverage sacks” is the Giants own Leonard Williams. In eight games with the team in 2019 Williams posted a measly 0.5 sacks. He did, however, register 11 hits on the QB. It was clear in 2019 that Williams needed only one more second to turn those hits into sacks. And when he received that extra second this past season, he made it count.

In 16 games with Big Blue in 2020 Williams was simply dominant. His 11.5 sacks led the team and were the 7th-most in the NFL. Nothing much about the former No. 6 overall pick changed heading into 2020. He was the same player but this time around had a group of high-football-IQ players behind him. He pounced on his secondary’s success and showed everyone why he was taken so high back in 2015.

Who Would be in Play at No. 11

If the Giants were to go the CB route in round one, which I strongly endorse, there are two players on the table: Patrick Surtain from Alabama and Caleb Farley out of Virginia Tech. Both are projected to be lockdown corners at the next level, and with good reason. Each played against top-tier competition while in college, possess nearly identical long, rangy frames, as well as a wealth of skill to play in almost any type of defense. They’re each projected to go in the top-15 of the draft this April.

Let’s say the Giants like Surtain a bit more because of coach Judge’s connection to Alabama, and take him at No. 11. He would immediately slide into CB2 opposite Bradberry. It’s fair to say the Giants would have one of, if not the best CB duo in the NFL with that pairing. It would be extremely difficult for an opposing to QB to find an open receiver each play, thus giving the d-line time to do their job.

There’s no need to draft an edge rusher at No. 11 overall or overpay for one in free agency this offseason. Continue to build up the secondary and the sack production will increase as a result. When there’s a chance to fill two positions of need with one player, you must take it.

Should the New York Giants propose a trade for star CB Stephon Gilmore?

New York Giants, stephon Gilmore

In 2020, one of the New York Giants’ biggest weaknesses was the CB2 position. After starting the campaign with Corey Ballentine at the position, the Giants quickly moved onto Ryan Lewis and then Isaac Yiadom, as all three struggled to hold down the spot opposite James Bradberry. Bradberry’s emergency at CB1 was unexpected, but he dominated at a Pro Bowl level, proving he can be a solidified corner on the starting defense for the foreseeable future.

Bradberry’s going into the second year of a three-year contract, and the Giants might even consider extending him to lower his cap hit for the 2021 season. Nonetheless, it doesn’t eradicate the issue at CB2, a position the Giants need to solve this off-season. They could theoretically go with a rotation, similar to what they did in 2020, but they would be taking a major risk and forcing coordinator Patrick Graham to play more zone coverage.

There is a possibility the Giants tried to allocate a draft pick or trade for a player who could solve the spot, and this is where star CB Stephon Gilmore comes into play.

How could the New York Giants manage to trade for Gilmore?

Gilmore is one of the best man-to-man corners in the NFL, and with one year left on his contract, the Giants could strike a deal with the New England Patriots. It was reported last season that New England was searching for a first-round pick in exchange for Gilmore, but there were no takers, which likely drove his value down.

Considering he played in just 11 games this past season due to injuries, acquiring him might be a perfect scenario for the Giants, who likely wouldn’t have to offer significant value. Some believe that a second-round pick might be a realistic haul, but if the Giants were to offer a third-round pick from 2021 and a 5th rounder from 2022 (NYG gave 5th rounder for Leonard Williams in 2019), they could convince the Patriots to get it done. Of course, New England GM Bill Belichick and Giants’ head coach Joe Judge have a positive connection, so negotiations could be far more efficient with their relationship in place.

The star corner is currently 30 years old in entering the final year of a five-year deal he signed with the Patriots back in 2017. If the Giants did trade for him, he would count only $7.6 million against the cap, which is a significantly reduced number to the $15 million he would count if the Patriots retained him. Considering New England is in a rebuilding stage, acquiring draft capital might be in their best interest heading into the off-season.

As for the Giants, they would be adding a corner capable of dominating any receivers on the boundary, and pairing him with Bradberry would make them arguably the best CB duo in football. If the Giants are truly committed to building through their defense, which has been apparent over the last few seasons, trading for Gilmore would be a fantastic move.

Think about it this way, the Giants have wasted mid-round picks over the past few seasons, with 2020 finally changing the trend. From when Dave Gettleman become general manager, they’ve missed on mid-rounders Kyle Lauletta, Ryan Connelly, RJ McIntosh, and Corey Ballentine. Throw in Lorenzo Carter, BJ Hill, and Oshane Ximines for giggles.

Allocating mid-round picks for a proven player on a low cap hit would be a tremendous acquisition for Big Blue and allow Graham to get back to his roots of man coverage and utilizing blitzers more efficiently on defense.

Of course, trading for Gilmore would be under the assumption that the Giants can improve their offense quickly and become a postseason caliber team within the next two seasons. Gilmore would likely receive an extension shortly after and considering his age, he wouldn’t command an astronomical AAV.

This is just a theoretical scenario that the Giants could explore, and adding a dominant CB opposite Bradberry would terrify opposing offensive coordinators. An exciting thought, and I expect the Giants to be creative with how they approach this upcoming off-season.

New York Giants: Can Julian Love be the answer at CB2 in 2021?

New York Giants, Julian Love

The New York Giants had a great defense last season, much to the surprise of many. One of the weak spots of the unit, however, was CB2. James Bradberry was elite as a lockdown CB1 for the team, but on the other end of the field was a revolving door of cornerbacks.

This has resulted in many believing that Giants would look to address that position over the offseason, but it might not be as pressing of a need as we thought.

The multiple players the Giants put out there at CB2 continuously underwhelmed for much of the season. However, their last guy ended up being the best guy. In Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys, the Giants decided to give 2019 fourth-round pick Julian Love a try, and it worked out really well.

Love, who was a very good cornerback at Notre Dame, broke up a couple of passes and displayed tight coverage throughout against one of the premier wide receiving units in the league. He played a big part in the Giants holding Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup to under 50 receiving yards each. Love shored up the weak link in the Giants secondary with his play and provided them with two legitimate corners for the first time all season.

Love’s play made Giants fans wonder why it took so long for the team to give him a shot at cornerback. It is his natural position, after all, and he was one of the nation’s best in college.

Over his three-year career with the Fighting Irish, Love totaled 176 tackles, 5 interceptions, 39 passes defended, and 2 forced fumbles. He was a Consensus All-American in 2018 and was also a Thorpe Award finalist, which is given to the best defensive back in college football.

Since Love has been with the Giants, they’ve been using him as more of a safety than a corner, which is something he didn’t play much of in college. Despite showing some promise in his role, it was clear at times that Love was playing a new position. He was even starting to see his playing time disappear because of how crowded the Giants’ safety group became, and it was looking like he was on his way to being another wasted draft pick. Not anymore.

As someone who’s been calling for the Giants to try Love at cornerback for a while now, it was great to see them finally give him a shot. Ideally, you would’ve like to see them make the move sooner so we could’ve had a bigger sample size, but the promise Love showed against a good offense is intriguing.

I’m not saying that the Giants shouldn’t add to the cornerback group at all during the offseason, but they should be more confident in Love’s abilities. I, for one, think his play has made CB2 not as big of a need as it was prior to Week 17.

The Giants would still be wise to use a mid-to-late round draft pick on a defensive back or sign a lower-tier free agent for depth and insurance purposes, but I think that they should go into next season, giving Love every opportunity to start opposite Bradberry each week. He should definitely be the lead candidate.

Will Julian Love be the answer? That remains to be seen. But after what he showed when given a chance, he has definitely earned more of them going forward. Most thought that the Giants would have to look elsewhere to fill the void in the secondary, but for all we know, the Giants might not have to look very far after all.

New York Giants: Former Tennessee Vol’s HC Jeremy Pruitt joining Giants staff

Jeremy Pruitt, New York Giants

According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, recently fired University of Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt will be joining the New York Giants’ staff in a role that’s yet to be revealed. Duggan reported the news Wednesday evening. Pruitt was let go from Tennessee earlier this month after recruiting violation evidence was discovered.

It was previously reported that Pruitt was working on a deal to join Robert Saleh’s Jets staff, but that ended up not coming to fruition, per Connor Hughes of The Athletic. Pruitt would not have gone far from the Jets to the Giants.

While the role hasn’t been revealed yet, there’s a chance Pruitt could be working as a defensive backs coach, whether it’s as an assistant or in the lead role. With Patrick Graham getting some head coaching talks, Pruitt could be the next defensive coordinator if Graham would leave New York for a head coaching job.

What does Pruitt bring to the New York Giants?

Pruitt not only would be a great fit for New York, but he also has connections with head coach Joe Judge. Pruitt and Judge both coached at Alabama together during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Pruitt was the defensive backs coach, while Judge was the special team’s coordinator.

At the moment, the New York Giants employ Jerome Henderson as their defensive backs coach and Anthony Blevins as their assistant defensive backs coach. Will, the Giants, let one of them go to make room for Pruitt, or will he coach the linebacker?

Yes, Pruitt was also the linebackers coach for a few seasons (2016-2017) at Bama. That could be a potential role for Pruitt.