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Mel Kiper: Darnay Holmes is ‘a really solid slot corner’

The newest member of the New York Giants is already receiving praise

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We’re scouring over draft grades and reviews of all 32 NFL teams, spotting all the times your UCLA Bruins are mentioned. Both from where they’re picked, what grade they’re apart of and how potentially they impact their new teams in 2020.

While we outlined Joshua Kelley’s influence in the ‘B-graded’ draft from the LA Chargers, we spotted something really interesting from Mel Kiper Jr. in his writeup about the New York Giants draft haul.

Kiper assigned the Giants a B for their drafting of Holmes in the fourth round (110 overall) along with Andrew Thomas (1/4), Xavier McKinney (2/36), Matt Peart (3/99), Shane Lemieux (5/150), Cam Brown (6/183), Carter Coughlin (7/218), T.J. Brunson (7/238), Chris Williamson (7/247) and Tae Crowder (7/255).

*Important to note there that Crowder became Mr. Irrelevant with his selection as the last player of the 2020 NFL Draft.*

Back to it, Kiper wrote up a bit on the Giants’ haul:

Eli Manning is gone, and rookie quarterback Daniel Jones showed flashes of his potential last season, though he has to take care of the football; he fumbled a league-high 18 times and threw 12 interceptions. It’s clear that general manager Dave Gettleman and new coach Joe Judge are trying to help their quarterback and star running back Saquon Barkley, with two of their first three picks going to offensive tackles. “We want to fix this offensive line once and for all,” Gettleman said on Thursday night.

I would have gone with Jedrick Wills Jr. or Tristan Wirfs at No. 4, but Andrew Thomas fits what Gettleman wants in his hog mollies. Thomas is an experienced, athletic, smart player who doesn’t commit penalties. He played left tackle at Georgia but could play right tackle in New York with Nate Solder on the left side. Third-round pick Matt Peart (99) started 48 games for UConn and has the potential to start down the road. There’s no question the Giants’ offensive line is better now.

I loved the value of safety Xavier McKinney (36) early on Day 2. There were teams looking at him in the 20s, but he lasted until the second round. He’s a good fit next to Jabrill Peppers. Darnay Holmes (110) is a really solid slot corner. Guard Shane Lemieux (150) could be a future starter. The Giants had four seventh-round picks, and I’m intrigued by what linebacker Carter Coughlin (218) turns into after he develops more in the NFL.

With a new coach in Judge, I’m not sure what to expect from New York in 2020, but I do think this is a good start to fixing the offensive line issues that Gettleman mentioned, and McKinney has Pro Bowl potential.

It’s brief, it’s short, but if you look for it, you can spot a very positive mention about Holmes, stating that he’s a really solid slot cornerback.

What it doesn’t mention is that Holmes played outside for the heavy majority of his career so this is seemingly a projection. I hit the PFF database to ensure what I remembered on tape was accurate, and I was surprised by how few snaps Holmes actually played in the slot:

2019: 16
2018: 11
2017: 49

So there you have it, Kiper wrote that he’s a really solid slot cornerback who has played all of 76 slot snaps in his career. Here’s hoping that projection is accurate and Holmes does stick in the slot for the Giants.

Either way, Holmes is a great pickup, in my opinion, for any team in the NFL and the Giants fans should be happy.