3 underrated NY Giants rookies who can make an immediate impact
By Reese Nasser
2. S Dane Belton
The Giants used their other fourth-round pick on Iowa safety Dane Belton. Belton was a standout defender while in college. In his three seasons at Iowa, he played in a total of 30 games. In this time, he racked up 112 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions and 10 defended passes. In his final collegiate season, he earned First Team All-Big Ten conference honors. He also finished fourth in the FBS in interceptions. He split time between safety and linebacker and was effective in both areas.
When looking at the current state of the Giants secondary, there is a clear lack of depth. Due to the overall lack of depth, and lack of experience, it is arguably the worst position group. The loss of veteran safeties Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers will be felt in a big way.
The two safety spots are currently held down by Xavier McKinney and Julian Love. McKinney is entering Year 3 and is well on his way to becoming a star on this defense. Love is entering his fourth season, but has often struggled at times in the secondary. Last season he posted a defense grade of 55.4 according to PFF.
While Belton is a rookie, he could potentially move into the spot alongside McKinney. His experience in the slot could make him a huge piece for this group. He brings flexibility that this secondary is in desperate need of. Throughout last season, he posted a defensive grade of 77.1 according to PFF. He also recorded a coverage grade of 82.3. If Belton can continue to improve heading into the season, he could immediately contribute to this defense.