For the most part, the New York Giants have enjoyed a solid offseason. That is, aside from the tumultuous few months Big Blue’s cornerback position has endured. With additions such as fourth-overall draft pick Andrew Thomas on the offensive line and upgrades on defense with signings such as free-agent Blake Martinez and James Bradberry, things are mostly looking up for the G-Men.
However, with DeAndre Baker’s playing future in doubt, Sam Beal’s decision to opt-out and Ross Cockrell’s contract signing falling through, the Giants are left searching for answers opposite Bradberry.
One of the favorites to stake claim to the vacant starting spot on New York’s defense is fourth-rounder Darnay Holmes. Yet, it appears the former UCLA standout may need a bit more time to learn the ropes before he throws his name into the competition.
“He’s doing a good job in camp,” defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said of Holmes. “But he has a long, long way to go,” adding “he has some growing to do.”
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Holmes Continues to Make Plays at Camp
If Holmes “has some growing to do” we’d love to see the type of player he could be in a few months. The rookie may be learning on the go, but he’s been flying around the practice field, making numerous plays on the football early in camp. In return, Holmes has found himself highlighted in back-to-back columns of Giants.com’s Standouts.
CB Darnay Holmes: Henderson said Holmes still has a ‘long, long way’ to go, as do all rookies, but the fourth-round pick flashed for a second consecutive day with a nice pass breakup. Holmes has been cross-training inside and outside, and he will be someone to watch once the pads come on tomorrow.
As Holmes continues to flash, Coach Henderson is excited to see the feisty cornerback in action once the pads come on, starting Monday.
We haven’t even gotten to the pads yet to really see. That’ll be when you can really see what you have in those guys, is when we put the pads on and it’s a little more competitive, it’s real and he’s going against guys. Right now, we’ve just been in shorts. He’s been positive, doing some positive things. He has some growing to do. But we’ll see what he is when we put the pads on and actually compete against each other.
Who is Holmes’ Biggest Competition?
Holmes isn’t the only cornerback turning heads early in camp. Second-year man, Corey Ballentine, has gotten his hands on numerous balls during practice, including making a touchdown-saving play during red-zone work on Friday.
Ballentine appears ready to take his game to new heights following a rocky rookie debut. In 2019, he played mostly out of position, operating out of the slot, in return registering a devastatingly poor Pro Football Focus overall grade of just 36.6.
The 6-foot-tall, nearly 200-pound Ballentine certainly looks the part of an outside cornerback, owning a 76-inch-plus wingspan. Especially when you compare him to the diminutive Holmes, who checks in at just 5-foot-10-inches.
With that said, measurements will only take Ballentine so far, as the Giants are looking for the best football player for the job.
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