The New York Giants made a big splash in free agency this offseason when they signed James Bradberry, but another newcomer at cornerback is making waves this year.
Rookie Darnay Holmes, a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft out of UCLA, is proving to be a valuable part of the Giants defense.
Halfway through his first NFL season, Holmes is the only rookie corner in the league to have been targeted 15 times or more without giving up a touchdown reception, according to Pro Football Focus. Holmes has been targeted 39 times without allowing a score.
Holmes is already looking like a Day 3 bargain for the Giants.
The Giants landed the top tackle in a loaded class when they selected Georgia’s Andrew Thomas in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft
The New York Giants stuck to their board and selected former Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Thomas was almost a forgotten man as the debate of which tackle would be the first one selected waged on. Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr. and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs were the popular names in the mock drafts, but in the end, a long-standing starter in Thomas was the right decision.
Thomas was the definition of consistency at Georgia while playing for legendary offensive line coach Sam Pittman. Thomas capped off a stellar collegiate career in 2019 by being named to the Walter Camp All-America 1st Team while becoming UGA’s first recipient of the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 21 years.
It’s easy to see why the Giants fell in love with Thomas. He has an ideal build for an NFL offensive tackle. He has vines for arms and his short area quickness is excellent. Thomas understands how to maximize the length he was gifted with. He showcases the type of footwork that should make him a brick wall in pass protection at the next level.
Thomas is well advanced in many technical aspects of the game. The timing and placement of his punch are often a huge plus to his game. He’s also a tremendously powerful blocker who’s rarely bothered by the bull rush. Georgia ran a pro-style offense, so Thomas is plenty familiar with NFL concepts and techniques. His transition to the big-time should be an easy one.
The Thomas pick made sense for so many reasons. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones had a stellar rookie season, but the team needed to upgrade the protection in front of him. Face of the franchise running back Saquon Barkley has also had a difficult time finding space to operate from behind a poor Giants O-line. The selection of Thomas should go a long way towards fixing both of those issues.
Check out Draft Wire’s exclusive interview with New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley
Two years ago, the New York Giants used the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, and he’s quickly become one of the most dynamic playmakers in the entire league.
Barkley recently spoke exclusively with Draft Wire about teaming up with FedEx to provide COVID-19 relief, his thoughts on drafting running backs early, and reflecting on his own draft experience.
JM: Saquon Barkley is joining me today on behalf of FedEx, as the company is playing a major role in the fight against COVID-19. You must be pretty proud be speaking on their behalf today.
SB: I’m very proud of FedEx and the work they’re doing to deliver critical medical supplies to the healthcare community, while ensuring that people receiving basic goods at home. Anytime you can align yourself with a company that’s making a positive impact in the community, it’s a no brainer for me, especially in this time of need. It’s truly amazing. To keep up to date with the FedEx relief efforts please visit: http://fedex.com/coronavirus. I wanna send a huge thank you to the first responders and everybody working on the front lines to help stop COVID-19.
JM: It’s an excellent cause. You won the FedEx Ground Player of the Year award in 2018. I think it’s time for you to repeat in 2020.
SB: That was a huge honor for me. Winning that award was an amazing feeling. My mindset right now is to just try and get back on that football field. When we do get back on the field, my job is to do whatever it takes to be an excellent teammate and to help us win games. That’s all I’m thinking about right now. It’s the little things that make a big difference in the long run.
JM: It’s NFL Draft day today, and your New York Giants are slated to make their first selection at No. 4 overall. Are you hoping for one of those big offensive linemen to come in and open up some holes in the run game?
SB: To be honest with you, I just want them to draft a player that’s gonna come into our building with the right mindset and be ready to work hard. At the end of the day, the goal is to win football games. I’ll be thrilled to gain any new teammates that’s gonna help us achieve our long term goals.
JM: No doubt. Who are some running backs in this class that have caught your eye?
SB: I sent out a tweet about that the other day. I got caught up taking a look at the talent at the running back position in this draft class. I’m very impressed by what I’ve seen. D’Andre Swift is gonna be a great player. Jonathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and A.J. Dillon definitely come to mind, as well. That’s a great group of guys right there. I’m excited for them as they get ready to come play at the next level.
Swift, JK, JT, Cam Akers, AJ Dillion and Clyde Edwards!! (those are the ones that come to my head right away) this gonna be a fun running back class!! 😤
JM: Are there any Penn State guys that we should be looking out for?
SB: We have a couple of guys you need to watch out for. One that jumps off the tape of course is K.J. Hamler. That’s an amazing player right there. He’s explosive and super fast. He’s quick and he has great hands. He has a lot of heart. I’m so excited to see where he goes. We have some talented guys at Penn State. Hopefully everything works out and we can all get back to playing football sooner rather than later.
JM: The pandemic hasn’t left a lot of room for first impressions, but what do you make of your new head coach Joe Judge and new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett?
SB: Just like you said, we haven’t had a ton of opportunities to interact. We’ve all been stuck at home. So far, I’m very impressed with both of them. I love their attitude and what they plan on bringing to the organization. I’ve appreciated how they’ve conducted themselves. It sucks that we can’t all be together right now but I’m very excited to work with both of those guys in the near future.
JM: Your general manager, Dave Gettleman, catches some slack for his alleged lack of tech smarts. Is he fooling everybody? He’s secretly a genius when it comes to technology, isn’t he?
SB: I’ve seen some of that on social media. I don’t really know (laughs). He drafted Daniel Jones and I. I think he’s done a great job so far with all of his draft picks.
JM: What’s the biggest hit you’ve taken so far in your career?
SB: J.J. Watt, my rookie year. He got me pretty good (laughs). It was within the first few weeks of my rookie season. It was definitely a “welcome to the NFL” moment for me. I remember it well.
JM: The value of drafting a running back early is often debated. We’ve seen guys such as yourself, Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott make huge impacts as top-10 selections. What are your thoughts on that debate?
SB: I think it all comes down to the team and what they’re looking for at that time. If they’re in need of a top running back, then it definitely makes sense to draft one early. That goes for any position, really. It could be a quarterback, an offensive tackle or a guard. I don’t think it should depend on your position. You never know what type of player a guy is gonna be when he gets to the NFL. A team should always be looking for a guy that has the right mindset, first and foremost. As a player, you can always find a way to add value to the team.
JM: What do you recall about your draft day experience, and do you have any advice for tonight’s selections?
SB: It was an amazing moment in my life. I had an amazing week. Reminiscing on it always reminds me of my daughter. Getting drafted is an incredible feeling, and a life-changing moment in any young man’s life. I was drafted to play for the New York Giants, the city in which I was born. You can’t ask for any more than that. It’s been an amazing experience. It was amazing for my mother as well. I live about an hour away from my mother. I can drive down there anytime I want to spend time with her.
As for any advice I have for the guys getting drafted tonight, congratulations to you. You’ve worked your butt off for this moment. It’s not about just making it to the NFL. You wanna be a leader and somebody that really adds value to the organization, both on and off the field. It’s time to take it to another level now.
FedEx as a company is playing a major role in the fight against COVID-19.
FedEx has responded to this global pandemic by working around the clock to deliver critical medical supplies to the healthcare community, while ensuring that people receiving basic goods at home.
Everything New York Giants fans need to know heading into the 2020 NFL Draft
Everything New York Giants fans need to know heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.
Head Coach: Joe Judge
General Manager: Dave Gettleman
2019 Record: 4-12
2020 DRAFT PICKS
The most likely to be the top need is edge rusher. The Giants need to find a way to get to the quarterback with Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott in the division. They have tried going the free agent in the past but for this season they need to find a way to upgrade their defensive front and it starts on the edge. While it remains unclear which route they will take on the defensive scheme, the team shouldn’t overthink it if somehow Chase Young makes it to them at four. Young is the best talent in the draft and if the Giants want to rebuild this team it starts with him.
One of the top priorities for Gettleman and first-year head coach Joe Judge needs to be finding someone to protect their young quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones was sacked 38 times a year ago. The team brought in Cameron Fleming who was a swing tackle in Dallas to reunite with now offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. They could use an upgrade at right tackle to team with Nate Solder. If Chase Young and or Isaiah Simmons are gone by pick four then the Giants would have their pick of the best offensive tackle available.
The team really needs playmakers at all three levels of the defense and it is no different at linebacker. They currently deploy Blake Martinez and David Mayo in the middle but adding a player the caliber of Isaiah Simmons can only strengthen this team. Given the fact that Simmons is so dynamic, he doesn’t have to play one specific spot on the field. He can help at linebacker or play a variation of a backer-safety-nickel corner hybrid for this defense.