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Can Darnay Holmes lock down the slot for the Giants?

The slot corner spot could be Holmes’ to lose

Syndication: The Record Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants’ cornerback situation heading into 2022 can be summarized quite succinctly: Adoree’ Jackson will be on top of the depth chart. After that, who knows?

Darnay Holmes is entering his third season, but he is one of the most experienced players in the team’s young secondary. Holmes has played most of his career in the slot. Is he poised to take on a bigger role there? Let’s take a look with the latest of our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.

By the numbers

Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 195
Age: 24
Position: Cornerback
Experience: 3 years
Contract: Year 3 of four-year, $4.086 million rookie deal | 2022 cap hit: $1.092 million

Career to date

Holmes, the Giants’ 2020 fourth-round pick, has seen mixed results during the start of his career. Once the fourth-ranked cornerback prospect in the nation coming out of high school, Holmes was a starter on the boundary at UCLA in 2017. He proved to be an able tackler with at least 24 solo tackles in each of his three seasons.

In his two years in New York, Holmes has floated around the middle of the depth chart while playing in the slot due to his underwhelming size. He started five games as a rookie and four games last year, with one interception in each season. He has yet to allow a touchdown.

Holmes’ 2021 season ended with a ribs injury suffered after an interception against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12. At that point, he had appeared in every game while allowing an average of 6.5 yards per target and a 66.7 percent completion rate — an improvement over his rookie year, but still a bit uninspiring.

Holmes worked as the starting nickel cornerback throughout OTAs — when he wasn’t in a red non-contact jersey.

2022 outlook

James Bradberry’s departure is going to shake up the Giants’ entire secondary, and Holmes could be one of the biggest beneficiaries. Adoree’ Jackson is now on top of the depth chart, and Aaron Robinson is projected to take his spot as the CB2. That means Robinson won’t be sparring with Holmes for reps in the slot.

Instead, Holmes’ biggest competition will be third-round pick Cor’Dale Flott, whose similarly underwhelming size places him in the same niche. However, Holmes has the obvious edge when it comes to experience.

Assuming Holmes and the rest of the secondary stays healthy, the coaching staff will have a much better idea of how they rank their young cornerbacks after this year. This is Holmes’ make-or-break season.