Giants second-round pick Xavier McKinney out with significant injury

The New York Giants’ second-round selection out for a significant portion of season

If you watched any of the 16 New York Giants games last season, it became painfully obvious how putrid their defense was.

Once the 2020 league year began, the Giants spent most of their free agency cash to improve the defensive side of the ball. On the second day of the NFL Draft, the Giants got an absolute steal in Alabama safety Xavier McKinney, who shockingly dropped to the second-round. He was expected to be an instant starter in New York’s secondary … until Wednesday afternoon.

The Giants officially announced that McKinney suffered a fractured left foot and is expected to be sidelined for two-to-three months. McKinney is receiving surgery at the Hospital of Special Surgery in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. McKinney had participated in Giants practice on Tuesday.

Giants defense is already in trouble

The Giants were heavily expected to trade down in the second-round of the draft, but made one exception: they’ll keep the pick if McKinney was on the board. Low and behold, that’s exactly what happened.

McKinney was a playmaker for the Crimson Tide defense in his three seasons in Tuscaloosa. Through 32 games, McKinney tallied 175 combined tackles (13 for loss), 15 defended passes, six forced fumbles, six sacks and five interceptions. Those numbers helped make McKinney the top-rated safety in the entire 2020 draft class.

With the regular season approximately two weeks away, McKinney was set to be a part of an explosive safety duo with former 2017 first-round pick Jabrill Peppers. Now, those plans are out the window, as McKinney will likely return at the midway point of the 2020 season.

The expectation is Julian Love will resume his free safety duties like he did last year. There’s no mincing words, the Giants secondary is in dire straights.

Yes, they did add cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez, but they can only do so much with the lack of depth behind them.

The team did sign former Arizona Cardinals corner Brandon Williams on Tuesday, but he missed last season with a knee injury. If no extra additions are made prior to their regular season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, expect opposing teams to attack New York’s defensive backfield at will throughout the year.

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