NY Giants: Evaluating the Impact of the 2019 Draft Class.
Round 4, #108 Overall: DB Julian Love, Notre Dame
Julian Love is a fighter in the Giants secondary.
Love has been lauded for his football smarts and versatility ever since the team took him in the 4th round two years back. Love has had to learn multiple positions from outside cornerback, slot cornerback, and both safety spots as a swiss army knife in the NY Giants’ defense.
Love’s snap count jumped mightily from 409 defensive snaps in 2019 to 720 snaps in 2020. He saw time all over the field from playing deep safety, lining up in the box as a pseudo linebacker, to also manning receivers up in coverage as a cornerback.
His only bad play in a big moment came off a dropped game-winning interception on the last drive in the team’s biggest win of the season in Seattle. Luckily, the defense got the stop they needed to close out and win the game, and Love helped bat down the game-ending pass that was incomplete from Russell Wilson.
There aren’t many guys on the Giants that have the ability to be so versatile. He is a valued, important player for the defense and what they want to accomplish in terms of disguising coverages and giving quarterbacks exotic looks in zone coverage.
Love’s numbers from 2020 included 64 tackles, one interception, three pass deflections, and one QB hit. His ability to impact games from several angles is a huge part of what makes his game so useful.
Year 2 Grade: B
2021 Role and Beyond:
Love will continue to have an extensive role in Graham’s defense in 2021.
With that being said, Love is more an immense contributing backup than a starter at any position. He will see several snaps every game despite possibly not starting many. He is vital in the team’s nickel and dime packages and he helps provide a calming presence to the back of the New York defense.
He will provide additional support to the safety trio of Peppers-Ryan-McKinney while also helping out Bradberry and whoever lines up at corner this season.