As the Giants stole Xavier McKinney in the second round, many Giants fans started drooling over the pairing of McKinney and Jabrill Peppers at safety. Both safeties are under the age of 25 and carry very high potential.
Could McKinney bring explosiveness to a dull Giants secondary that failed to help out the defense last year? Well, we are going to find out.
First off, the value of taking McKinney in the second round is clearly there, as he was being mocked as high as 17th overall to the Cowboys. The question is, why did he fall so far?
In my opinion, McKinney dropped due to the fact that the value of safeties is rapidly decreasing draft-wise, similar to running backs. That’s why LSU’s Grant Delpit also took a hard fall into the second round. Delpit did not play particularly great in his senior season, but he still should not have fallen as far as he did far.
Also, recently the Indianapolis Colts decided to pass on Malik Hooker’s fifth-year option. Hooker has had some injuries, but the playmaking skills he holds should not be passed up so easily. It is starting to seem like teams are just drafting new safeties every four years.
That explains why McKinney fell, but what can he bring to the Giants? Well, that’s next up.
First, a couple of his strengths include that he can take away deep routes, match up in the slot, and can be effective as a blitzer. McKinney is often compared to Jamal Adams or Derwin James, and these strengths point straight toward versatility. Head Coach Joe Judge has harped on versatility and that is exactly what McKinney brings to the table. It makes a lot of sense if you ask me.
Now, nobody is perfect, so let’s head over to McKinney’s weaknesses. McKinney can sometimes be caught standing still while focused on reading the QB’s eyes, he is a bit undersized, and his aggressiveness can sometimes hurt him more than help him. From what I’ve read, McKinney only has a few minor issues that could be ironed out by good coaches.
Overall, I believe McKinney will come in and become a crucial piece to the Giants’ young secondary. I do not believe he quite is the piece that will separate the Giants’ secondary from others, but I believe McKinney can develop to be that piece.
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