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Andru Phillips could be key part of Giants secondary rebuild



SIX QBs in the top 12 of the NFL Draft? So many people are getting fired

The New York Giants have not been afraid to spend draft capital on Kentucky players. Jared Lorenzen joined the NFC East franchise as an undrafted free agent in 2004. Andre Woodson was a sixth-round pick in 2008. George Asafo-Adjei was a surprise seventh-round pick in 2015. Wan’Dale Robinson was a second-round pick in 2022. General manager Joe Schoen went back to the Kentucky well in the 2024 NFL Draft.

With the sixth pick in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft, New York selected Kentucky cornerback Andru Phillips at No. 71 overall. The class of 2020 recruit will be part of a secondary rebuild in New York.

In free agency, the Giants lost young star safety Xavier McKinney after the second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft signed a four-year deal worth $67 million in free agency. To replace his lost production. the Giants drafted Minnesota All-American Tyler Nubin in the second round. But the work in the secondary on Day 2 did not end there.

Cordale Flott is entering year three with the franchise, but the former third-round selection had a poor year two finishing the with a 53.3 PFF grade. Flott owned a high miss tackle rate through two seasons in the NFL, does not have great size (6-1, 175), and allowed a 64.5 percent catch rate last season. The Giants need improvement in coverage. Andru Phillips will be given a chance to find a role for new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen sooner rather than later.

But nickel isn’t the only position open in the secondary.

The Giants spent a first-round on Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks, and the second-year pro has one position outside locked up. On the other side, there is a spot wide open. Former undrafted free agent Nick McCloud will have a chance to secure a starting position with his third year in the franchise, but expect Andru Phillips to also get a long look there.

Over the last two drafts, the Giants have spent three picks in the first three rounds to upgrade the secondary. Deonte Banks was a starter in year one. Tyler Nubin is a likely starter in year one. Andru Phillips will be given a chance to make an impact at two positions.

The Kentucky product spent the 2023 season as a starter outside who shifted inside to slot cornerback when the Wildcats went into subpackages. That positional versatility will likely be valued heavily by a rebuilding Giants defense.

Expect Andru Phillips to play a significant role at MetLife Stadium in year one. The Giants have snaps to fill in the secondary. The rookie is stepping into a great playing time situation despite slipping into the third round.

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