What's Next for the Giants After Sam Beal Opts-out of 2020?
The Giants cornerback depth, already thin thanks to DeAndre Baker's placement on the Commissioner's Exempt list, just took another hit.
Third-year corner Sam Beal has decided to opt-out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. The
Beal, 23, was drafted in the third round of the 2018 supplemental draft. However, he missed his entire rookie season after undergoing shoulder surgery after a couple of training camp practices.
Last year the Giants had high hopes for the 6'1, 177-pound Beal as a potential starter, but once again, the injury bug bit the former Western Michigan star.
Beal spent the first half fo the season on injured reserve with a hamstring strain.
He appeared in six games with three starts, recording just one interception before being forced to miss the regular-season finale with a shoulder injury.
Beal, who joins offensive tackle Nate Solder and receiver Da'Mari Scott as the Giants players who have opted out, was thought to be in the mix for the vacant starting job opposite of newcomer James Bradberry.
Players have until 4 p.m. ET this Thursday to decide whether to opt-out of the 2020 season.
Who's the Next Man Up?
With Beal and Baker now both unavailable to the Giants, the Giants' roster options appear to be dwindling.
Second-year man Corey Ballentine is one such option, as is rookie Darnay Holmes. Holmes, the fourth-round pick, stands 5'10, and some have opined that his best position in the pros is at the slot.
Another player to watch and one who managed to avoid being part of the initial roster cut from 90 to 80 men is undrafted rookie free agent Christian Angulo, 6'2, 190 pounds.
Angulo, who spent four years at the University of Cincinnati before transferring to Hampton, followed the Bearcats associate head coach and defensive ends coaching Robert Punty to the Pirates after the 2018 season.
At Hampton, Angulo played one season but finished fifth in the Football Championship Subdivision with 14 pass breakups and was the Pirates team leader in interceptions with three.
He also played a lot of press-man coverage, a style of play with which he gained a comfort level which should help him at the NFL level.
Depending on how quickly Angulo can learn new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham's defense and how well he executes it, his skill set and size could make for a favorable combination that helps ease Beal and Baker's loss.
The Giants could also look to sign a veteran to fill the other cornerback spot, though such a signing would likely be a short-term one for this season only and is unlikely to come cheap.
Logan Ryan, last with the Titans, and one-time Giant Ross Cockrell, most recently with the Panthers, are two veterans under 30 who might be worth a look.
Ryan would undoubtedly be a significant upgrade over any of the young players the Giants currently have, but if Joe Judge is looking to build a foundation to sustain the club over time, bringing in a potentially high priced veteran might not be the way to go.