NY Giants second-year player, Julian Love, being able to play two positions can be both a blessing if used in the right way. The team is going to have to figure out its plans for him after not addressing free safety or slot corner in free agency.
When the NY Giants drafted Julian Love in the fourth-round of the 2020 NFL draft most expected him to be a slot corner in the NFL. However, almost immediately, the coaching staff began working him out at free safety in practice which has led many to speculate this was their plan for him all along.
Despite clamoring for Love to see the field after it became apparent the 2019 NY Giants were going nowhere, the former Notre Dame stud didn’t end up seeing the field until injuries played a role. When that did happen, he shined, putting together a solid 5 starts that included 37 tackles (92% tackle success rate), 5 TFL, an interception and, 3 passes defended.
Love allowed just an 81.3 QB rating against him and just 1 touchdown in 2019. His evaluation becomes complicated by the fact that Jabrill Peppers was the player to go down and the fact that he ended up not playing exclusively as the center fielding free safety.
When he was in that spot though, he looked terrific. Love showed himself to be a solid and able tackler, saving many big plays and potential touchdowns from happening while looking comfortable roaming the deep part of the field.
Now that the NY Giants have not addressed the slot corner or free safety position in free agency, the team needs to decide where it plans to play Love in 2020. Both holes are enormous, but coming to a decision before the draft would be helpful in making draft plans.
Capable slot corners have proven to fall to the later parts of the draft over the past few seasons and this draft looks to be no different, with proven nickels projected to go in the fourth round and beyond. Due to this, and the team initially playing Love at free safety in training camp, it’s fair to assume they’ll target a free safety in the draft rather than a slot.
One thing is for sure though; the team needs to figure out where it wants Julian Love playing for the long term this offseason, as floating between positions isn’t as easy as many make them out to be.