The New York Giants have finally found their true lockdown cornerback in James Bradberry. The 27-year-old is playing lights out this season with 12 passes defensed and three interceptions through eight games. Bradberry, however, is not the topic of discussion when it comes to the ongoing problems on the other end of the field. The Giants have a issue at the second cornerback spot, and it will catch up to them if they do not act on it this off-season.
The Giants Continued Cornerback Woes
It’s easy to assume that the Giants would have their defensive perimeter wishes granted by now, considering they drafted two cornerbacks in the first round over the past five years.
Eli Apple turned out to be a disaster. The corner out of Ohio State was drafted by New York in 2016 and was not at all what they had hoped. Starting in only 23 games, he totaled just one interception. Apple only lasted until 2018 where he was shipped to the New Orleans Saints for a 2019 fourth-round pick and 2020 seventh-round pick. The former Giant now looks for a new team after recently being released from the Carolina Panthers.
Deandre Baker was selected late in the first round by the Giants in 2019. Baker had a disappointing rookie season to say the least but started to show signs of improvement later in the season, ending with eight passes defensed and two tackles for loss. Unfortunately, the now 23-year-old from Georgia was involved in off-field issues, and was later released by the Giants after just one campaign with the team.
Acquisitions Via Free Agency and Trade
Based on just this season alone, it is clear that the Giants are again struggling to find a steady cornerback to complement James Bradberry.
Issac Yiadom was traded to the Giants for a seventh-round pick before the season began. Yiadom has not been great halfway through the season. He didn’t see any snaps the previous three games leading up to the Tampa Bay matchup where he regained the starting role with Ryan Lewis out. Yiadom has allowed a 63.2 completion percentage and two touchdowns, along with allowing a 120.3 quarterback rating.
Corey Ballentine was drafted by the Giants in 2019 and was chosen to start Week 1 vs Pittsburgh. Ballentine’s short-starting stint lasted two games, as he constantly kept getting beat. Allowing a 75-percent completion rate along with a 145.3 quarterback rating, It is safe to say that Ballentine’s rep count will become more limited.
Ryan Lewis was signed to the active roster on September 22 and has had the job of locking up the side opposite of James Bradberry since. While Lewis is solid, he gives up big plays in crucial moments. He gave up a late-game catch to Amari Cooper which set up the Cowboys for a game-winning field goal. Unlike the two aforementioned players, Lewis is allowing a respectable 52.6 completion percentage and a 90.2 quarterback rating while yet to surrender a touchdown. Lewis is the best option that the Giants have, and he should regain his starting role once he returns from injury.
The Giants need to find a permanent solution to their cornerback issue. It seems they have found their lockdown corner in James Bradberry, along with an improving nickel corner in Darnay Holmes.
Should the team decide whether to address this nagging need via free agency or the draft, they must have this position as a priority in making this defense even better than what it already is.
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