Which NY Giants draft picks will turn out to be studs?

NY Giants, Micah McFadden (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
NY Giants, Micah McFadden (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
NY Giants, Dane Belton
NY Giants, Dane Belton (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Iowa safety Dane Belton 

Another defensive position group which appears to be light in talent is safety. Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan both left in free agency. Young star Xavier McKinney appears to be the top dog at the position, with fourth-round selection Dane Belton certainly in the conversation for the second spot.

Belton played a hybrid role at Iowa, seeing snaps at linebacker, safety and in the slot over his career. He had a successful 2021, which resulted in eight forced pass breakups and five interceptions – a number which saw him tied for the fourth-most interceptions in the FBS last season.

As you can tell by his ball production in 2021, Belton certainly fits the mould of a “ball hawk.” He added to that an 82.3 coverage grade last season according to PFF – one of the better grades in the nation. If his ball production can translate to the NFL, Belton could prove to be a valuable asset against the pass-heavy, explosive offenses in the modern NFL.

A key feature which allowed Belton to see so much production at the collegiate level is his explosive nature. This is perhaps most apparent from his 36.5-inch vertical jump at the combine – tied for fifth-best in the 2022 safety class. He also ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and certainly has the speed to be an effective blitzing option. This is something Martindale will no doubt use to his advantage.

Trending. NY Giants 2022 schedule release date, full list of opponents, more. light

While he still has a lot to learn, the state of the current depth chart could certainly allow Belton to see more action than many fourth-round rookies usually see. Being thrown in the deep end could be great for the talented safety and a young pairing with McKinney has the potential to be a key piece of the Giants’ secondary for a long time to come.