Giants Standout Defender Surrenders Jersey Number to Big-Ticket Free Agent

Giants' Julian Love listed as potential breakout star

Getty Julian Love of the Giants makes a tackle

The New York Giants landing James Bradberry was arguably the team’s biggest homerun get of the free agency period. Unfortunately, New York fans are uncertain how long they will need to wait to see their big-money cornerback take the playing field. However, we do know what jersey number he will be wearing once he does, thanks to the help of a familiar face.

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Julian Love Gives Jersey Number to James Bradberry

Julian Love started for the Giants defense down the latter stretch of the 2019 NFL season. The defensive back started five games for New York a season ago, compiling a grand total of 37 tackles on a 92% tackle success rate, five TFL, three pass breakups, and one interception.

His play on the field earned him a spot on Pro Football Focus’ Top 50 NFL Rookies list, where he came in at number 13 overall. Per PFF, Love earned the ninth-best grade in the box and allowed a meager 19 yards on 80 coverage snaps at that alignment.

However, when he takes the field next season, he’ll be looking quite different. Love, who sported the number 24 during his rookie season, will be giving new Giants signee and fellow defensive back James Bradberry his old number as he transitions to the number 20 in 2020.

Love, a fourth-round pick out of Notre Dame a season ago, donned the number 27 during his time with the Fighting Irish, in return not having a true connection with the number 24. Bradberry, on the other hand, has worn the number throughout his four-year NFL career.

You can check out all the newest Giants’ jersey numbers here.

Where Will Love Play Next Season?

Love was a former consensus All-American during his time at Note Dame as a cornerback. However, concerns over his speed led many to project him as a safety at the next level.

While it took some time and an injury to Jabrill Peppers for Love to get on the field for the Giants last year, once he did he excelled at both the safety and cornerback position.

In 2019, Love played 176 snaps in the box and 129 snaps as a slot corner. Interestingly enough, Love played his fewest snaps at the position many projected him to start at next season, free safety. Love played just 77 snaps from the position a season ago.

Love will likely start opposite of Jabrill Peppers in the team’s base defense, but expect the defensive back to continue to flaunt his flexibility in the Giants’ secondary, lining up all over the field. In many ways, the Giants would like to use Love the same way the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs use the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu.

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