Julian Love performed admirably down the stretch a season ago for the New York Giants. The former Notre Dame standout started the final five games at safety for Big Blue, serving as an injury replacement to Jabrill Peppers, and appeared primed to start across from a healthy Peppers entering 2020. However, things have clearly changed.
Landing Xavier McKinney seemed like a nearly impossible scenario for Big Blue leading up to the Draft. Yet, when the projected top-20 draft pick slid all the way to Day 2, New York had no option but to select the former Alabama safety. In return, likely ending the short reign of Love as the Giants’ starting free safety.
Follow the Heavy on Giants for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content!
Julian Shows Love to McKinney
While some might expect Love to feel a certain type of way about New York drafting his likely replacement, it appears to be all love on Julian’s end. Love took to Twitter shortly after the McKinney selection, boasting the same type of excitement that Big Blue fandom had following New York stealing the former Bama safety atop Round 2.
The addition of McKinney will undoubtedly change Love’s role moving forward with the organization. He had previously had his sights on being the team’s free safety and was quite adamant about landing the starting gig.
“I want to be the safety of the future for the Giants,” Love told NY Post’s Paul Schwartz earlier this offseason.
I believe I’m the guy. If I didn’t feel that way I wouldn’t say that. But I do feel like that. I’ve been working real hard. I want to go there and get everything in motion and really have a dominant year.
Will Love Move Back to CB?
While Love could still certainly battle for the starting safety position, the more likely scenario is Love moves back down to his natural position of cornerback where he played and starred during his college days.
However, Love will have more than his fair share of competitors trying to nab down the starting nickel position in New York.
Grant Haley has been the Giants’ starting slot corner for the better part of the past two seasons and has a familiarity with the new coaching staff dating back to his college days. Haley played under Sean Spencer at Penn State, who is now New York’s defensive line coach.
New York also added more competition for Love in the draft, selecting UCLA cornerback Darnay Holmes in the 4th-Round.
Bleacher Report draft experts Matt Miller and Conner Rogers are clearly a fan of Holmes, giving the G-Men an A-grade for the selection.
“The New York Giants have added one of the toughest, fastest, quickest corners in the 2020 draft class,” Miller said.
Still, despite the addition of Holmes and the presence of Haley, Love’s versatility should help find himself on the field often for Big Blue in 2020. If anything, the selection of Holmes and Love’s projected switch to corner may put former 2018 compensatory draft pick, Sam Beal, on notice.