Shortly after the conclusion of the 2019 NFL Draft, ESPN’s Todd McShay broke down his list of the league’s best value picks, and the New York Giants were right near the top due to their selection of cornerback Julian Love in Round 4.
Outside of quarterback — which the Giants did address, even if it was in a questionable way with Daniel Jones — cornerback was the team’s biggest problem. There was no one there outside of Janoris Jenkins. But Big Blue adds Love and Corey Ballentine to clean the position up a bit. Love is one of the more instinctive cornerbacks in the class, and while he is definitely at his best in off-man coverage, he can also play press. Love has fast eyes and pretty good ball skills, and he is an above-average tackler who won’t shy away from contact.
By getting him in the fourth round, the Giants got a very good player at a premium. I would have thought he’d be off the board by the closing bell on Day 2. He’s ready to play immediately, which is a good thing because there aren’t too many other options for New York.
As it turns out, McShay wasn’t the only person who loved that pick. In fact, Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News also viewed it as one of the league’s top late-round steals.
Julian Love – fourth round, No. 108 overall, Giants
The Giants traded back into the first round for Georgia’s Deandre Baker, but getting Love 78 picks later was an even crafiter move. The team really had nothing at cornerback after Janoris Jenkins, prompting the selections of Baker, Love and sixth-rounder Corey Ballentine. Don’t sleep on Love getting the No. 2 job over Baker. At worst, he should step in and be a strong nickelback because of his quickness and smooth technique in both man and zone coverage. His savvy will allow him to settle into James Bettcher’s defense fast.
Pro Football Focus also listed Love as a steal of the draft alongside fellow cornerback Deandre Baker.
PICK 108 – CB JULIAN LOVE, NEW YORK GIANTS
Love has better ball production than any other cornerback in the draft over the past couple seasons. His 38 forced incompletions over that span were the second-most in college football. He’s also racked up 21 coverage stops and missed only four tackles on 77 attempts in coverage. His 4.54 40-yard dash dropped him down boards, but he can overcome that lack of elite speed with his physicality.
It’s rare that a team finds an unquestioned Day 1 starter in Round 4 or beyond, but the Giants and general manager Dave Gettleman seem to have found one in Love.