Cornerback Darnay Holmes is looking to impress in his first year with the New York Giants, regardless of the position he plays.
The New York Giants employ an extremely young cornerback unit heading into the 2020 campaign. Two of the inexperienced pros were actually selected during this past April’s draft, including UCLA’s Darnay Holmes in the fourth round.
Holmes likely won’t start on the outside but could have a shot at the slot corner position or on special teams. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, the former Bruin will play wherever the team requests, possessing the goal of impressing the coaching staff any way he can.
“I see myself just playing a role in whatever they want me to play a role in,” Holmes told Madelyn Burke of Giants.com. “If they want me to play gunner or wherever they want me to play, I’m going to go out there and really maximize that role. If I get back there and catch a few balls, I would definitely love to do that. But if not, I’m going to be the one who’s encouraging that punt returner to make sure we have complimentary football going.”
Holmes is certainly an option when it comes to the return game, having returned 38 kicks in his collegiate career for a total of 878 yards (23.1 yards per return). He only notched four punt returns for 18 yards though (4.5 yards per return).
My guess is that Holmes’ prime area for playing time will be special teams. A fourth-rounder seeing significant defensive playing time after an offseason that didn’t encompass an in-person rookie camp, minicamp, or OTAs may be a stretch. If anything, Holmes could earn reps at slot corner, where he may compete with Julian Love, Grant Haley, Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, and fellow rookie corner Chris Williamson.
Things might change among the passion battles in the secondary though. Amid the uncertainty of DeAndre Baker’s legal situation, one of the aforementioned names could end up starting on the outside. But honestly, I doubt it would be either of the two rookies.