The New York Giants got a head start on revamping their cornerback unit last year when they selected Sam Beal in the third-round of the supplemental draft.
Despite Beal having never played a snap for the Giants last year, general manager Dave Gettleman revealed at this year’s combine that had Beal been in the draft class, he would have had a second-round grade.
So where does this relatively unknown draft pick fit into the big picture, especially after the Giants loaded up on corners in this year’s draft?
How he got here
The Giants selected Beal in the third round of the 2018 supplemental draft out of Western Michigan. In three college seasons, Beal finished with 92 tackles, (2 tackles for a loss), two interceptions and 19 passes defensed.
Unfortunately, any hopes of getting Beal ready for a potential starting role in 2019 came to a crashing halt when after just one training camp practice, it was revealed that Beal had an ailing shoulder for which he needed season-ending surgery.
Despite not getting the chance to make an impact on the field, Beal remained actively involved with the team, participating in all the activities he was allowed to join in so that he wouldn’t fall too far behind.
The good news is that because Beal had the surgery so early, he is completely recovered and is not expected to be limited during the rest of the spring or to start training camp.
When Eli Apple was traded, the signs pointed to Beal as being the heir apparent to Apple’s spot.
That, however, will not be the case, as the Giants traded up into the end of the first round to grab former Georgia defensive back DeAndre Baker with the No. 30 overall pick.
Baker and Beal will likely compete for the starting job this summer, with fourth-round pick Julian Love in direct competition with incumbent slot cornerback Grant Haley, but don’t expect Beal to be in the starting lineup this year unless there is an injury.
Instead, a more likely plan for Beal will be to have him step in for Janoris Jenkins after this year, a move that, if it comes to fruition, will give the Giants a young trio of corners who should rule that defensive backfield for years to come.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are following our series of 90-man roster profiles, which are traditionally done in alphabetical order, you know Saquon Barkley should have come up before Beal. We’re jumping around just a bit, but we will get to Barkley.