The New York Giants have been panned for selecting Daniel Jones No. 6 overall by many analysts who feel they could have gotten him with their second first-round pick, No. 17 overall. One thing the Giants appear to have done right in the 2019 NFL Draft, though, was to select cornerback Julian Love in Round 4, 108th overall.
Gettleman has said he was “pacing the floor” as the Giants’ pick at No. 108 approached, hoping Love would still be on the board.
“We were shocked he was there. We were thrilled, obviously. He was sticking out on our board like a sore thumb,” Gettleman said. “He’s a complete defensive back. He’s got all the movement. He’s got the ability to carry the vertical and he plays the nickel. And he tackles — there’s a crazy concept, tackling.”
A variety of draft analysts have continued to express the idea that getting Love at that point in the draft was perhaps Gettleman’s best move.
Pro Football Focus says:
What a string of picks to start the fourth round it was. Love capped off a run of PFF favorites, as he checked in at 45th on our final draft board. Love is a gamer who excels with his physical style of play. His 38 forced incompletions over his last two seasons were the second most in college football.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein says:
Evaluators I spoke with were able to pick at Love’s game (primarily his long speed), but for the most part, they all acknowledged that he was a talented player. I saw Love as a solid second-round cornerback. He offers outstanding mirror-and-match footwork as well as the ability to slide inside to play the slot. I understand that he lacks long speed, but he has a long history of making plays on the football, and I don’t see that changing in the pros.
I think the Giants’ best value of this entire class falls at the feet of Julian Love. Love is a productive corner who (like Baker) won’t shine in off-man coverage, but he will beat the tar out of you at the line of scrimmage. I’d assume functional athleticism was a key area of concern for Love, seeing as how he tumbled out of the top three rounds. But here? At 108? The value is a no brainer.
We’ve already briefly discussed the merits of attacking the defensive backfield in the NFC East, doubling down on a physical corner like Love protects the Giants from depth issues. You can never have too many cornerbacks.
All Love did the past two seasons at Notre Dame was defended 36 -- yes, 36 -- passes and intercept four passes. He's not a burner -- 4.54 speed -- but has incredibly quick reactionary skills and clearly plays the ball aggressively as its approaching its target.
In New York, Love will step into a secondary that doesn't feature a lockdown corner in his prime. Sure, first-round pick Deandre Baker will get more opportunities early, but in all honesty, I don't believe he and Love are that different as players. Baker was my CB2 in this class. Love was my CB4. Both first-round talents. Frankly, I was surprised Love made it to the fourth round. My pre-draft comparison for him was Avonte Maddox.
The Notre Dame star has the instincts, coverage versatility, and ball skills to make a quick splash in the summer and the preseason and parlay that into a full-time, impact role as a rookie for the G-Men.
Love showed his versatility during rookie mini-camp by lining up outside at cornerback, at slot cornerback, and at free safety.
“Love is a really, really good football player,” coach Pat Shurmur said when the giants selected him. “He can play in the slot. He can play high. He’s kind of got that tweener kind of corner safety ability, which makes him a unique player for us.”
It appears that the draft community agrees.