S Darnell Savage Jr.
About a month before the 2019 NFL Draft, the Giants’ leading defensive player, safety Landon Collins, took his talents to divisional rival Washington when the Giants did not extend his contract.
In hindsight, no love lost. But it wouldn’t be until 2020 that the Giants would have a competent replacement.
But they missed out on Green Bay’s great selection at 21 overall in 2019, Darnell Savage Jr.
Savage had an un-flashy rookie campaign. He recorded 55 tackles, one of which was for a loss, and one qb hit. He also hauled in two interceptions, five pass deflections, and forced two fumbles.
But this year he’s made a big step forward, something only one of the Giants three picks from 2019’s first round have been able to do.
With one game left, Savage has 65 tackles, three of which were for losses, two qb hits, and one sack. But this season, Savage has flashed his ability to make plays on the ball.
He has four interceptions, one more than the Giants’ leader James Bradberry. He also has 12 pass deflections. And while that trails Bradberry’s 17, it does lead the Giants’ safeties.
The Giants’ Jabrill Peppers has turned into a strong defensive weapon. But once again we’re left to imagine a world in which Savage was drafted by the Giants.
Logan Ryan has been a fantastic addition this season, and the Giants rewarded him with a three-year, $30 million contract. Ryan is listed as the Giants starting free safety. But he is a corner back, and if the Giants had a playmaker to fill that spot, Ryan could play his natural position instead of allowing it to be a revolving door.
Fans are now putting all their hope that rookie Xavier McKinney can hold down that other spot. And the more he plays, the more he seems up for it.
But instead of drafting Savage and having the problem of too many good defensive players, the Giants struggle to fill the starting lineup because of the mismanagement of their 2019 first round draft.
2020 has been an awful showcase of their first round picks from the year before. Their selection of Daniel Jones has yielded no higher than the 23rd ranked offense, and that’s was with Manning playing a few of those games.
Jones may have been a better alternative than Haskins, but neither is a pick that can currently be defended.