3 ambitious expectations for NY Giants’ Xavier McKinney in 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 03: Xavier McKinney #29 of the New York Giants in action against the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Caesars Superdome on October 03, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 03: Xavier McKinney #29 of the New York Giants in action against the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Caesars Superdome on October 03, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next
Xavier McKinney, NY Giants
Xavier McKinney #29 of the New York Giants (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

2. Become the Leader of the Defense

With the departure of veterans James Bradberry and Logan Ryan, the Giants’ defense has lost two of its most prominent leaders. Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson has stepped up to fill that role, but there’s no reason to think that McKinney can’t do the same.

While he is just 22 years old, he will be entering Year 3 on a fairly young team. There is also a case to be made that he is one of, if not the best player on this defense. It is also worth noting that the Giants addressed the defense heavily in this year’s draft, which could be an indication that some of the older players could be on their way out in the near future. McKinney stepping into a leadership role could help any potential transition on this defensive unit.

When looking at many of the NFL’s top defenses, they are headlined by an explosive safety. The Los Angeles Chargers and Derwin James, the Denver Broncos and Justin Simmons, and Jessie Bates and the Cincinnati Bengals are just a few that come to mind. If McKinney can join the ranks of players like these and become the voice of this defense, he will be fully viewed as the leader of this unit.