Why the NY Giants’ rebuild is further along than the Jets’

NY Giants vs NY Jets(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NY Giants vs NY Jets(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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NY Giants
Jabrill Peppers of the NY Giants (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images). /


Obviously, the safety position took a massive hit for the NY Jets when they traded away All-Pro Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks recently. Adams is one of the top safeties in the National Football League and is difficult to replace.

The Jets were able to secure Brad McDougald as part of the Adams deal. Last year, the 29-year-old registered 70 total tackles, a half-sack, two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and six pass deflections in 15 games for the Seahawks. He is expected to start at strong safety for the Jets.

Gang Green hopes to start their second-round draft pick from the 2017 draft, Marcus Maye at the free safety position. Last year the 27-year-old had 65 total tackles, seven pass deflections, and an interception in 16 games for the team.

The Jets used a third-round pick in the 2020 draft to select Ashtyn Davis out of the University of California. The 23-year-old had 55 total tackles, four pass deflections, and two interceptions last season for the Golden Bears.

The Giants safety corps looks strong heading into 2020, which was not the case in 2019. Jabrill Peppers is expected to start at strong safety for the Giants after his first season with the team started strong before being cut short due to a back injury. On the season, the 24-year-old Peppers had 76 total tackles, three forced fumbles, an interception, a touchdown, and five pass deflections in just 11 games.

At free safety, the NY Giants are expected to start the 36th overall pick in the 2020 draft, Xavier McKinney. Surprisingly, the former Alabama star slipped to the second round, despite being a top ten overall talent on most big boards. The 21-year-old rookie is extremely versatile and many experts expect him to be a difference-maker on the Giants defense.

As previously mentioned, Julian Love could end up being part of the safety rotation. As a former collegiate cornerback, the 22-year-old has the versatility to be used in various manners. In fact, all three safeties could find themselves in versatile hybrid roles according to new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s defensive playcalling. Last season Love came on strong late in the year after transitioning from corner to safety.

Advantage: NY Giants

Even if Jamal Adams were still on the Jets roster, I feel like I would have given the Giants the advantage here, which is saying something given how talented Adams is. Peppers seemed to thrive upon coming to the Meadowlands and that was playing next to a liability in an aging Antoine Bethea.

Coaches, former players, and experts have been heaping praise on the rookie McKinney. The kid has incredible talent and has shown every sign of being an intelligent young player who already exudes the leadership skills of a savvy veteran.

Julian Love was viewed as an absolute steal in the 2019 draft, given what he was able to do as a four-year starter in a blue-chip program at Notre Dame. Regardless of what position he plays this season, he will likely be highly impactful for the Giants.

While the Jets have a serviceable safety group, the Giants have an incredibly talented trio of safeties that average just over 22 years of age between them. I firmly believe this will be one of the best safety groups in the league in short order.