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23 Questions in 23 Days

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23 Questions in 23 Days: State of the secondary

23-QUESTIONS-SECONDARY is counting down to the start of the team's 2023 training camp with 23 questions in 23 days.

Each day, a member of the crew will answer one question about the roster, coaching staff, schedule, and much more.

5) What is the state of the secondary?

I put together an in-depth article on this topic a few months ago, which can be found here. But let's dive in again, starting with the draft picks. The Giants moved up a slot in the first round in order to select cornerback Deonte Banks out of Maryland. Banks, 6-foot-2 and 205-pounds, has ideal size, speed and athleticism for an NFL cornerback. He ran a 4.35 40-yard dash to go with his 42-inch vertical and a broad jump of 11 feet, 4 inches, earning the highest athleticism score of all cornerbacks at the 2023 NFL Combine. The Giants added two more defensive backs on Day 3 of the draft – Old Dominion cornerback Tre Hawkins III and Houston safety Gervarrius Owens, both of whom provide depth in the secondary and could possibly contribute on special teams as well.

As for free agency, the Giants added two veterans in cornerback Amani Oruwariye and safety Bobby McCain. Oruwariye comes from the Lions, where he spent four seasons and totaled nine interceptions, while McCain has played 121 games across eight seasons with the Dolphins and Commanders. As for departing free agents, the most notable one to sign elsewhere was safety Julian Love, who served as a team captain in 2022 and led the team in tackles. The other departing defensive backs include Fabian Moreau, Tony Jefferson and Landon Collins, all of whom signed with the Giants in the middle of last season.

Looking at the secondary as a whole, the Giants have a lot of talent now. Adoree' Jackson will start at cornerback, where Banks will try to earn the other starting spot during training camp. The two are joined by Cor'Dale Flott, Aaron Robinson, Darnay Holmes, Nick McCloud, Rodarius Williams, Zyon Gilbert, Darren Evans and Hawkins III. Moving over to the safety position, Xavier McKinney is in a prime spot for a breakout campaign in 2023. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has a history of getting the best out of his safeties, and with last year's hand injury in the rearview mirror, McKinney could be in for a big season. McCain will compete for the other starting safety position alongside Dane Belton, Jason Pinnock, Trenton Thompson and Owens.

The Giants' pass defense ranked 14th in yards and ninth in touchdowns allowed last season. With the presence of Banks opposite Jackson, along with a healthy McKinney, the unit has a chance to improve even more in 2023.

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