It’s been a rough go for Sam Beal in his first two seasons in the NFL with the NY Giants. It’s time for the cornerback to separate himself from the back this year and show he was worth the investment.
When the NY Giants took the risk that was drafting Sam Beal in the 2018 supplemental draft – giving up a future third-round pick to do so – he was widely touted as the best supplemental draft prospect since wideout Josh Gordon.
That proclamation has not turned out to be true in the least bit, as the former Western Michigan star has struggled to stay on the field, and when he finally did see action in 2019 the results were less than impressive.
With the NY Giants cornerback group turned on its head after the stunning off the field news involving DeAndre Baker, the time is now for Beal to make his mark and prove he was worth such a steep investment.
Beal profiles as a true outside cornerback, standing 6’1 inches tall with world-class speed to boot. Even though he’s still only 23-years-old, time is running out quickly for him to make an impression on the team as he is heading into the third year of his four year rookie contract.
When he finally made his NY Giants debut midway through the 2019 season, the results weren’t terrific as he allowed 16 of 21 completions for 171 yards and a 115 quarterback rating when targeted. He collected no interceptions and defended just one pass.
Where Sam Beal fits in the 2020 defense
Despite his struggles, Beal still finds himself in an intriguing situation heading into the 2020 season due to the aforementioned DeAndre Baker’s situation. Even if Baker is to be cleared to play, new head coach Joe Judge has clearly stated that the best players will play regardless of draft position or contract status; if that’s truly the case, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see Beal outplay Baker if he can live up to his potential.
Right now, Beal finds himself in a battle with Julian Love for the team’s #2 cornerback spot, and from a size and speed standpoint he should have a major leg up on the scrappy second-year corner out of Notre Dame.
Even though Beal was routinely beat when targeted, he slightly made up for it by not missing a tackle in 2019. Should he be able to add to his small, 190-pound frame, he should become an even better tackler and we saw that he could make a difference in the run game when he got free for a safety against the Dolphins last December.
Should he lose out in the battle to Love for the #2 job, Beal will still have his hands full competing for snaps with second-year pro Corey Ballentine. It’s not going to be easy for Beal to ascend from this talented group of young corners, but if he can stay healthy he’s got more than a puncher’s chance.
With training camp and preseason expected to be heavily reduced, Beal has a much better shot to emerge from the offseason healthy – something he hasn’t been able to do in each of his first two seasons.
The NY Giants need him to step up now more than ever.