NY Giants met with under-the-radar safety who could replace Xavier McKinney

The Washington State standout could step in if Xavier McKinney leaves this offseason
Feb 29, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Washington State defensive back Jaden Hicks (DB51) talks to the
Feb 29, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Washington State defensive back Jaden Hicks (DB51) talks to the / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

While the hope is that the NY Giants will be able to get things done with Xavier McKinney in terms of a long-term extension, it's time to start thinking about a Plan B as well. McKinney wants to be paid like a Top 5 safety, but general manager Joe Schoen may not give him what he wants.

That's why doing research on youngsters at the NFL Combine is surely a no-brainer for Schoen. Over in Indianapolis, the Giants met with Washington State star Jaden Hicks, a 6-3, 215-pounder who is coming off a big year for Jake Dickert.

The Giants and Joe Schoen met with Jaden Hicks at the NFL Combine

We've been a fan of Hicks for a while now and he'd be a solid get for NY. Luckily, he's not someone the Giants would have to go after in the first round. This past season for the Cougars, Hicks finished with 76 total tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble.

The year before, Hicks had 75 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery to his name. Hicks has great size and speed, with his closing ability being downright impressive. The majority of experts have Hicks pegged as a second-round pick, but he could even fall to the third round.

Thanks to the Leonard Williams trade with the Seattle Seahawks, the Giants own two second-round picks in late April. Depending on what the Giants do with their No. 6 overall pick, it will play a massive role in what happens on Day 2, but a replacement for McKinney will be needed if he joins a new team in free agency.

No one wants to see that happen, but a player like Hicks would make a ton of sense for new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen. Hicks is originally from Las Vegas and although Pullman, Wash., is a small town, something tells us he'd be comfortable in a big market like New York. The DB is a true talent and will be one to watch for the Giants once the draft gets here.