After letting go of James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, and Jabrill Peppers there were not many people with high hopes for the Giants’ secondary in 2022. With relying on young talent all over the back end of the defense there could be some room for optimism. Pro Football Focus recently released its secondary rankings coming into the 2022 season and put them all into tiers. The Giants landed at number 20 and in Tier 3 titled “Ascending Units.” The Giants landed one spot ahead of the Dallas Cowboys and one tier above the Washington Commanders, who landed in the “Serious Flaws” tier so it could always be worse.
The Giants have invested plenty of resources into their secondary on Days 2 and 3 of the draft in recent years, and it shows in their depth. This ranking could look a lot different at the year’s end if Xavier McKinney takes a similar leap forward in 2022 as he did in 2021. He went from a 69.2 coverage grade on limited snaps as a rookie to a 78.4 coverage grade last season. Bet on him becoming a top-10 safety sooner rather than later.
Even with all the departures from last season, PFF does have a point that there are still parts to like about this secondary. Adoree’ Jackson has taken the reigns on being the leader of this Giants’ secondary and was ranked on the cusp of the elite by PFF. If Jackson can take that next step and start intercepting more of the passes thrown his way, he can prove that he belongs in the conversation as a top-tier cornerback.
Aaron Robinson didn’t get a lot of action during his rookie season but there was a lot to like about him during the pre-draft process. Robinson will now have a chance to show why with Bradberry off to Philadelphia. Darnay Holmes will have a lot to prove now that it looks like the slot corner job is his to lose. Rookie Cor’Dale Flott will challenge Holmes in the slot.
All eyes will be on safety Xavier McKinney heading into 2022. PFF has high praise for the former Alabama standout stating that he could very well be a top 10 safety in the NFL. You can see why McKinney is getting that level of praise with the production he had during the 2021 campaign. McKinney finished with five interceptions. If McKinney continues to improve there could be Pro Bowls in his future.
Overall, while it’s hard to not look at the surface value of the players that left the Giants this past offseason, there is still some room for optimism that the secondary won’t be as far off as many think it will be.