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Giants Now: Media praises Tyler Nubin, Dru Phillips

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Nubin played in 55 games for Minnesota and set a program-record with his 13 interceptions, including 12 across the last three years, and also registered over 50 total tackles in each of the last three seasons.

PFF awarded Nubin a 90.1 coverage grade in 2023, which was the highest mark among all Power Five safeties. He also held opposing quarterbacks to a 39.6 passer rating last season.

The 6-foot-1, 199-pound safety was named Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-Big Ten for his 2023 performance. His five interceptions that season were tied for the sixth-most in the FBS.

Sikkema wasn’t the only analyst to discuss Nubin’s potential impact as a rookie. ESPN’s Field Yates recently ranked the top 10 non-round 1 rookies on both sides of the ball that could play a big role in 2024. Landing at No. 2 on the defensive list was the Giants’ rookie safety.

“Following the departure of safety Xavier McKinney to Green Bay, the Giants had a major need to add an impact safety in the draft,”wrote Yates. “Enter Nubin, a football magnet with incredible ball skills, field vision and instincts. He picked off 13 passes in college, including five last season.”

As for Philips, the former Wildcat cornerback declared for the NFL Draft following a junior campaign in which he started in 12 games and registered 47 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and five pass breakups, which ranked second on the team.

He was a three-year letterman who played in 38 career games with 16 starts for Kentucky and totaled 82 tackles along with 10 pass breakups and 3.0 tackles for loss.

Another one of Sikkema’s colleagues at Pro Football Focus shared in the draft analyst’s praise of Phillips’ fit with the Giants.

“The Giants needed cornerback help opposite Deonte Banks, and they got it in the form of Phillips,” wrote PFF’s Bradley Locker. “The 70th overall pick saw 57 targets a season ago, the fourth-most in the SEC, but he surrendered only 38 catches. He tied for 10th among all FBS corners with 23 defensive stops. Although Giants cornerback Nick McCloud played well last year, earning a 74.8 overall grade and 80.7 coverage grade, he played just 312 snaps. As a result, Phillips could be in for a bigger share of responsibilities right away, largely because of how few bodies can man the outside for the Giants.”

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