NFL Draft Day 2 Grades: Giants nailed it by landing top-rated safety Tyler Nubin

The Giants have their heir for Xavier McKinney who received very high grades in college
Wisconsin v Minnesota
Wisconsin v Minnesota / David Berding/GettyImages

When the NY Giants lost Xavier McKinney in free agency to the Green Bay Packers last month, some thought the team would address that need once they got to the 2024 NFL Draft. During the second day, and in the second round of the NFL Draft, the Giants found McKinney’s replacement when they selected Tyler Nubin from the University of Minnesota.

Just how good was Nubin when he played for Minnesota? Pro Football Focus had him as their top-rated coverage safety in the Power 5. Countless experts had him as the No. 1 safety for this draft class too.

The Giants improved the secondary in a big way on Day 2 of the draft

Nubin was considered a bit of a ball-hawk with Minnesota, as he had 13 total interceptions for the Golden Gophers. In the 2023 season, he had a career high five picks to go along with 53 total tackles and one sack. In 2022, Nubin had four interceptions with 55 total tackles.

Getting such a high grade in coverage is a great feature for the Giants to be getting, especially since the guy who left for Green Bay in free agency in McKinney was also a highly-graded safety in coverage.

Nubin also had 11 pass breakups and only allowed a 33.0 passer rating with just 371 passing yards allowed since the 2021 season. The Giants already had decent players at safety with Jason Pinnock and Dane Belton, both of whom had two interceptions a piece in 2023. The Giants also added veteran Jalen Mills as well in free agency. However, with the addition of Nubin, it takes a lot of the sting some fans felt when McKinney departed after four seasons, as many felt McKinney was one of the team’s best players in the secondary.

Now, though, the Giants may have found not only just a replacement, but someone who may truly excel at the position and give the Giants a legitimate interception threat out on the field, as Nubin’s ball-seeking abilities are why he was likely the first safety taken off the board and taken with a high pick by the Giants.