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
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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
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