New York Giants: Five players on defense who could surprise in camp

Pat Shurmur, New York Giants. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Pat Shurmur, New York Giants. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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New York Giants
Sam Beal, Western Michigan Broncos. New York Giants. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

No. 1 – Sam Beal, cornerback

The Giants selected Sam Beal in the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft with their third-round pick. There was plenty of chatter beforehand that the cornerback from Western Michigan was a first-round talent had he been in the regular phase of the draft.

After all, he posses many desirable skills teams want at the corner. Unfortunately, Beal suffered a bizarre shoulder injury the first day of training camp last year which forced him to miss out on the entire season.

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Sam Beal is very fast. In high school, he was an All-American sprinter. Aside from speed, Beal plays a physical game and doesn’t shy away from making contact or fighting receivers for a ball. It makes for a rare combination of mobility and strength. Maybe more impressive is that he didn’t start playing corner until his freshman season at WMU.

Although raw, Beal shows good instincts and uses his bodily attributes such as his height and long arms to efficiently to gain position on receivers. He tracks the ball in the air well, so he doesn’t get beat very often.

Obviously, his lack of experience is a drawback, but he’s had a year to watch and learn Bettcher’s defense. That should help with one of his biggest drawbacks, the tendency to play overly physical resulting in pass interference penalties. Beal doesn’t tackle well and needs help at times to bring his opponent to the ground. There is nothing about his downside, which can’t be improved with time and good coaching.

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