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NFL Draft results: Giants pick S Xavier McKinney at No. 36

Giants get help for their secondary in Round 2

NFL Combine - Day 4
Xavier McKinney
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The New York Giants have selected Alabama safety Xavier McKinney in Round 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft, 36th overall.

McKinney, the top safety in the draft class, joins free agent signees Blake Martinez (linebacker), James Bradberry (cornerback), and Kyler Fackrell (edge) as key parts of the Giants’ defensive makeover.

In his McKinney prospect profile, Chris wrote:

“Xavier McKinney projects as a scheme-diverse starting safety at the NFL level. McKinney has the versatility to be moved around the defensive back 7, and can be used as a deep safety or a box safety as necessary to match up with offensive players or to disguise coverages. McKinney was often rotated from a disguise at or just before the snap, and shows the ability to handle complicated defensive concepts. ...

“McKinney has the upside to be a good, versatile, and reliable safety for almost any defense in the NFL.

In his 2020 Draft Guide, Dane Brugler of The Athletic said this about McKinney:

McKinney is explosive downhill and a reliable open-field tackler, finding his center and dropping ball carriers. He does a nice job in coverage vs. backs and tight ends with solid ball skills, although he doesn’t always play to his athletic profile when matched up with receivers. Overall, McKinney is an instinctive, full-speed- ahead defender with the functional range and diagnose skills to put himself in position to make plays, projecting as an interchangeable safety who should start from Day 1.

Where does McKinney fit?

As a starter alongside Jabrill Peppers at the back end of the Giants’ defense. The Giants have had a weakness at free safety the past two seasons, with Curtis Riley in that spot in 2018 and a past-his-prime Antoine Bethea last season. Julian Love, a fourth-round pick last season, played well filling in for an injured Peppers at the end of last season. It remains to be seen, though, if Love can be a free safety or if he would be better off playing slot cornerback, the position for which he was originally drafted.

Grade the pick

Vote in the poll below to let us know how you feel about the selection of McKinney.


How would you grade the Giants’ Round 2 selection of safety Xavier McKinney?

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  • 76%
    (3492 votes)
  • 19%
    (900 votes)
  • 3%
    (152 votes)
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    (24 votes)
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4593 votes total Vote Now

Giants draft picks

Round 1 (No. 4) — Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Round 2 (No. 36) — Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Round 3 (No. 99)
Round 4 (No. 110)
Round 5 (No. 150)
Round 6 (No. 183)
Round 7 (No. 218)
Round 7 (No. 238)
Round 7 (No. 247)
Round 7 (No. 255)

How to watch the rest of the draft

Saturday, April 25
Rounds 4-7 (12 -7 p.m.)
Broadcast on: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio


The 2020 NFL Draft will also be streamed live via a number of NFL and ESPN digital properties across devices (Phone, PC, tablet and connected TVs). NFL Network or ESPN authentication may be required.

NFL Digital Platforms

  • NFL App

ESPN Digital Platforms

  • ESPN App


Radio coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be provided by SiriusXM, Westwood One, and ESPN Radio. Digital audio coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be available via the TuneIn app.

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