Ever since the Deandre Baker debacle, the New York Giants have not been the same regarding the second cornerback position. Many cornerbacks that were brought in, struggled in this year’s training camp. With barely any options at the time, the Giants stuck to second-year man Corey Ballentine as the cornerback opposite James Bradberry.
Bradberry is one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL right now. He leads the league in passes defended with nine. However, the feeling is not the same for the other cornerbacks. Despite the signing of veteran Logan Ryan, Ballentine, Isaac Yiadom, and rookie Darnay Holmes have not done well thus far.
Patrick Graham tried hiding Ballentine in the first two games. However, Ben Roethlisberger and Mitchell Trubisky found ways to pick on him. Ballentine is currently ranked the 103rd best cornerback (out of 109) in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. Joe Judge made a switch in Week 3 and decided to go with former Broncos’ third-round pick Isaac Yiadom.
Yiadom has not performed better than Ballentine. He has given up one touchdown, a 66.7 completion percentage to go along with 14.9 yards per completion, and a 134.5 passer rating. Yiadom is still on track to start Sunday vs the Los Angeles Rams.
Dave Gettleman’s job is in jeopardy right now. His fourth-round pick from this year (Holmes), his sixth-round pick from last year (Ballentine), and his recent trade acquiree (Yiadom) have struggled so far to start the season, making the secondary the weakest link. It also does not help that Julian Love and Jabrill Peppers are not playing up to standards.
There is one option that the Giants should consider to fix their secondary temporarily. That is revisiting a Ross Cockrell contract. Here is a look at his player profile.
Current Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Practice Squad)
Previous Teams: Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, Carolina Panthers
14 Games Played
11 Games Started
Allowed 37 completions on 67 targets
55.2 percent completion
450 yards allowed
68.6 passer rating
New York Giants fans were excited when they heard the rumors about Ross Cockrell coming in for a visit on August 8th. The Giants were expected to sign Cockrell, however, the deal fell through.
Due to a lack of cornerback depth, the Giants have thrown fourth-round rookie Darnay Holmes into the fire. Even though the number of snaps played has decreased since Week 1, Holmes has struggled mightily. He has allowed nine completions on 14 targets so far this season. That goes along with a 64.3 completion percentage, 108 yards allowed, and an 87.8 passer rating. Pro Football Focus currently ranks Holmes as the 107th best cornerback in the NFL. The stats may look decent, however, his tackling angles have been taken advantage of in the run game. Enter Ross Cockrell.
Cockrell posted some decent stats last year with Carolina in 2019, playing on one of the worst defenses in the NFL. He is currently with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad. That means if the Giants entice him with a deal better than what he is getting in Tampa, he would be eligible to join the Giants. The organization would need to make the first move first.
The secondary is the weakness of the defense right now. If the Giants sign Cockrell, they can give Holmes more time to develop and they won’t have to rely on a lost Corey Ballentine or Isaac Yiadom at the second cornerback position.