The New York Giants selected Kentucky defensive back Andru “Dru” Phillips in the third round of the 2024 NFL draft in an ongoing effort to beef up their secondary.

The Giants plan on deploying the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Phillips in several roles. They entered the draft in need of a physical outside corner. Phillips is certainly physical enough, but he may not fill the bill on the outside.

“Every defense is specifically unique,” Philips told reporters on the first day of the Giants’ rookie minicamp on Friday. “So, this one, some different techniques to what I do down at nickel. Just got to pick up on it. The faster I get it, the easier it’s coming. I’m just in the playbook trying to study and make sure I get everything right.”

But when push comes to shove, Phillips says he favors playing in packages.

“I can play both, but preferably the nickel position,” he said. “When I went to Kentucky, I always wanted to play nickel the whole time. I didn’t really get an opportunity until my junior year. Once I got the opportunity I kind of like — I embodied it. I felt like it’s who I was. That’s what I did best, so I went all in on it. It carried over here, so I’m out here playing nickel now.”

Phillips added that there is “so much going on at that nickel.”

“I like being in control a lot of times. You get to communicate more. You’re involved in the run game as well as the pass game. A lot of times on certain down distances you know that ball is coming to you. I’m trying just to make as many plays as possible,” he said.

The Giants could very well stick with Phillips in the slot and at nickel and move another one of their young defensive backs such as Cor’Dale Flott or Tre Hawkins III to the outside.

One thing is for sure: The Giants are getting a gamer — a physical player — in Phillips.

“I take a lot of pride in it. It’s probably one of the top things about who I am,” Phillips said of his physical style. “I know I’m (not) the 6’4” corner, but you’ve got to make up for it in some ways. I’ve always known that. It was one thing I never shied away from my whole life.

“I was that one kid, I was going — as a little kid I was just a daredevil. I just want to go do whatever… It just comes from who I am as a person. I don’t want to shy away from anything and that’s from anybody or any circumstance. It’s kind of just second nature.”

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