Dave Gettleman and the Giants have undergone two straight productive offseasons, but the superb moves may further alter the 2019 draft class.
The swift fallout of the New York Giants‘ 2019 draft class — a class constructed by Dave Gettleman and eventually coached by Pat Shurmur — is one of the more interesting developments that’s surrounded Big Blue over the last few years.
It’s not devastating in the long run — the great offseasons of both 2020 and 2021 are reasons for the rise and fall of the 2019 class. However, it is intriguing that in less than two years, five of the ten individuals selected to join New York back during that annual event are already gone.
This summer, more may join the group of departures.
Who’s already exited East Rutherford?
Following an injured reserve placement due to a concussion, 2019 seventh-round offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei was waived in March 2020 with a failed physical designation.
After not appearing in a single game during his rookie campaign, 2019 seventh-round defensive lineman Chris Slayton was additionally waived in September 2020.
Of course, cutting a pair of seventh-rounders isn’t that significant of a story. But it was around the time of Slayton’s release when guys began dropping like flies.
Prior to the 2020 regular season, the Giants, in a somewhat surprising move, cut 2019 fifth-round linebacker Ryan Connelly, who looked to be a promising defensive weapon before a torn ACL prematurely concluded his rookie season. Cornerback DeAndre Baker was also waived in September amid armed robbery charges after Big Blue traded back into the first round to draft him the year prior.
Then with the 2020 regular season already underway, the Giants decided to part ways with 2019 sixth-round cornerback Corey Ballentine in November. Ballentine couldn’t locate a concrete role within Patrick Graham’s defense, having only been on the field for 10% of the defensive snaps through nine games last season.
Thus, two years after the 2019 draft, five of ten players remain — Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Darius Slayton, Oshane Ximines, and Julian Love.
The final two aforementioned names, however, may join the group of departures late this summer.
The exits of Ximines and Love may be approaching
Sure, Dave Gettleman drafted both Ximines and Love, but that was during a different head-coaching regime. With Joe Judge at the helm, a new roster outlook looks to be in place.
In regard to Ximines, the former third-rounder seemingly falls lower and lower on the depth chart as the Giants continue to add to the pass rush.
He doesn’t possess a concrete role to begin with and that’s because of his unreliable play and inconsistent health (he played in just four games in 2020 due to a shoulder injury). Since he last took the field — in Week 4 of last season — the Giants have enhanced the roles of 2020 draftees Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin and acquired former Washington Football Team edge rusher Ryan Anderson, Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari (2021 second round), and Northern Iowa edge rusher Elerson Smith (2021 fourth round).
Judge was not with the organization when Ximines joined the team; neither was Patrick Graham. The pair of coaches will likely prioritize the players they worked to acquire, which could lead to the departure of Oshane.
The organization has additionally added to the secondary a great amount, and every time it does, it seems Love is more likely to be phased out at some point.
Over the last year or so, the Gettleman-Judge regime has brought in James Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson, Logan Ryan, Darnay Holmes, Xavier McKinney, and now Aaron Robinson in this year’s third round.
It’s additionally interesting to point out how every time there seems to be a concrete starting role for Love on the horizon, the Giants fill it with someone else.
New York decided not to bring Antoine Bethea back last year and it looked as if Love and Jabrill Peppers could be the two starting safeties…until the Giants drafted Xavier McKinney in 2020’s second round.
The team then needed a starting slot corner and Love could’ve filled that role on a consistent basis…but the Giants drafted Darnay Holmes in last year’s fourth round.
McKinney subsequently suffered a long-term injury prior to the 2020 regular season and Love was an option to step up in his place…until Gettleman offered then-free agent Logan Ryan a one-year deal before extending his contract in December.
The Giants then needed a cornerback opposite James Bradberry this offseason and could’ve chosen Love to finally be a legitimate every-game starter…but they signed Adoree’ Jackson to a three-year deal and drafted Aaron Robinson.
Every time there seems to be a possible role for Love, him earning a legitimate starting job doesn’t come to fruition. It just doesn’t seem like this coaching staff is high on him at all — this could lead to Judge’s group favoring other individuals over him during the training camp and preseason periods.
Are there further departures past this summer?
If these two cuts actually occur, the Giants will then be left with just Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, and Darius Slayton from the 2019 draft class.
While Lawrence looks to be a long-term piece of a productive defense, Jones still hasn’t proven he’s the answer at the quarterback position. Slayton, on the other hand, has potentially become the fourth receiver on the roster following the signing of Kenny Golladay and drafting of Kadarius Toney, so who knows what his long-term future holds?
Flies have dropped, and flies may continue to drop over time.
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