The NY Giants were one of the many NFL teams to dip their toes into waters of the signing of XFL players. What can former XFL’er Dravon Askew-Henry bring to the NY Giants defense?
Man, first off – and no offense – Dravon Askew-Henry is going to be a mouthful to say all season long. Yet, I’m sure if he’s able to help revitalize this downtrodden NY Giants defense, fans will be fine with screaming his name loud and proud every Sunday.
Askew-Henry is as versatile as they come when it comes to defensive backs; he can play outside, inside, and even a little bit of free safety. Sound like any other members of the NY Giants secondary? Dave Gettleman is building an incredibly versatile secondary which is the perfect strategy in today’s NFL.
Askew-Henry was a five-star runningback in high school in Pennsylvania who put up huge numbers, but nevertheless transitioned to cornerback when he enrolled at West Virginia, a move that is common and has been a successful one for many players in the past.
That leads to one of his biggest strengths, which is his overall smooth movement and hips, which goes without saying is enormously important for a defensive back. He set a school record at West Virginia with 51 games played, although he did miss an entire season due to a torn ACL.
He was a do-it-all player for the Mountaineers as he compiled 215 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss, 6 interceptions, and 10 passes defended during his time in college. He was tasked with multiple responsibilities and in many regards was considered the leader of the ‘D’ in his later years.
Although he was given a solid mid-round draft grade he surprisingly went undrafted in the 2019 draft. However, right after the draft, he was a hot commodity as many as a dozen teams called for his services.
He ended up signing with his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers before being released and bouncing around on the Patriots and Jaguars practice squads before being released again.
This led him to make the tough decision to put his NFL dreams on pause and take the risk of putting together solid tape in the newly founded XFL could up his stock, and that it did. Askew-Henry didn’t come down with any interceptions in his six games, but he had 6 pass breakups and 10 tackles while being more than formidable in coverage.
This led to him once again being a hot commodity in the NFL circle and the NY Giants were lucky enough to sign him.
So, where does he fit in and what can he bring to the ‘D’?
Right now, the NY Giants have multiple different players that can play outside corner, slot corner and safety; Askew-Henry fits right into that category. What that allows defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, to do is have a heavy ‘multiple’ type defense where any given defensive back could be lined up at any given position on any play.
That type of thing can give opposing offenses nightmares, and if Askew-Henry’s pedigree is as good as it seems he’ll fit in seamlessly with what the NY Giants are currently building. Initially thought to be signed to compete for the slot corner role, it now seems more likely that he’ll be the #2 slot corner and maybe even play a little bit of a third safety role.
Coming out of college, scouts praised his vision and control on the field, lauding him as a player that doesn’t make many mistakes. On the flip side, he doesn’t take too many risks, either, so don’t expect a ton of turnovers coming from him.
By the looks of things, the NY Giants got a steal here and after potentially losing Baker, Askew-Henry becomes even more valuable.