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Grant Haley still trying to lock down New York Giants’ slot cornerback role

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How will new coaching staff view third-year player?

NFL: DEC 23 Giants at Colts
Grant Haley
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Grant Haley has had two seasons to show that he can be the answer at slot cornerback for the New York Giants. He hasn’t been able to do so. Can he convince a new coaching staff?

Let’s take a closer look.

The basics

Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 190
Age: 24
Position: Cornerback
Experience: 2
Contract: One-year, $750,000 (ERFA tender)

How he got here

Haley made the Giants’ roster in 2018 as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State. He has played in 27 games with 12 starts aa the team’s slot cornerback over those two seasons. Haley is a hard-working, intelligent player and is excellent in run support along the edges.

Haley, though, hasn’t been able to nail down the nickel cornerback role. Why? Because he has struggled at his primary responsibility — covering slot receivers. He had a passer rating against of 126.9 in 2018 and 111.4 last season. He has surrendered 55 completions in 75 targets (73.3 percent).

2020 outlook

Haley is part of the group of players competing for the slot cornerback role. He could win it. He could end up looking for a new team when roster cuts are made.

Corey Ballentine replaced Haley in the slot last season, and also struggled. We don’t know if the new coaching staff will continue to try to develop Ballentine in the slot, or move him back outside. Julian Love was drafted as a slot cornerback, but moved to safety. Again, we don’t know where the new coaching staff will choose to employ him.

Darnay Holmes was drafted in the fourth round, and the Giants expect him to compete for snaps in the slot. Seventh-round pick Chris Williamson might get a look there, as well. Dravon Askew-Henry and Rashaan Gaulden are also possibilities.

Haley brings a number of positive attributes to the table. His future with the Giants, and likely in the NFL, hinges on whether or not he can do a better job in coverage.