The New York Giants defense has been strengthened after a trade for two cornerbacks. The New York Giants have added two more defensive backs to the roster, trading for former New England Patriots and Houston Texans cornerback Keion Crossen and Green Bay Packers cornerback Josh Jackson. Here is what skills the Giants are adding in their two newest additions.
We have traded with the Packers to acquire CB Josh Jackson
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 17, 2021
New York Giants Add Two Cornerbacks Via Trade
Keion Crossen is a special teams standout
Keion Crossen was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. Joe Judge coached him on special teams, where he excelled. In 2019, the Patriots then traded Crossen to the Texans for a sixth-round pick. Interestingly enough, that is exactly what the Giants gave up to acquire Crossen, a 2023 sixth-round pick.
The first aspect of Crossen’s game that stands out is his speed. He ran a 4.33 at his Pro Day in 2018. Coaches cannot teach speed, and Crossen’s physical mentality is perfect on special teams.
Crossen did not contribute much his rookie year on defense. Yet, he appeared in 113 special teams snaps, which only went up in Houston. Once he became a Texan, he was able to finally play both cornerback and on special teams. In 2020, Crossen logged 307 defensive snaps and 263 special teams snaps, starting weeks 12-16 at cornerback. He ended 2020 with 46 combined tackles and five passes defended.
Crossen will be mainly used on special teams, with standouts Cody Core and Nate Ebner not likely to return to the roster. He is beginning to come into his own as a cornerback. Patrick Graham and a loaded secondary will help him be in the right position to refine his skills.
Josh Jackson gets a new start
Josh Jackson was a second round pick of the Packers in 2018. He was highly regarded as a steal of the draft after recording eight interceptions and 18 pass deflections in his final year at Iowa. He had a solid rookie year in 2018 as well, starting 10 games, appearing in all 16, and recording 10 pass breakups.
Yet, it seems to have gone downhill since, missing six games over the next two seasons and not performing at a high level. In 2019 and 2020, Jackson allowed an 85.7 and 74.2 completion percentage, respectively. After appearing in 68% of defensive snaps in his rookie year, Jackson was phased out of the Packers defense as his career continued, only appearing in just 10% in 2019 and 32% in 2020.
Jackson likely needs a fresh start on a new team. He will get the space for a fresh start, as the Giants traded cornerback Isaac Yiadom for the fourth-year cornerback. The 25-year-old Jackson will now get to learn under cornerbacks such as James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson while having a key veteran in Logan Ryan always in his ear.
Looking into what the Giants are accomplishing
Many believe that secondary is the last position that the Giants should be worrying about. While that may be true, a team can never have too many defensive backs, as depth is key to a great secondary.
Crossen will become the best special team asset this team has, while also bringing his physical play-style to an already aggressive secondary. Jackson will look at this opportunity as a clean slate and make the most of his new team. Both will now earn a chance to show their skills in preseason. The Packers have to be happy with their new depth pieces.
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