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Should the New York Giants be Looking for Help at Cornerback?

February 28th, 2011 at 3:52 PM
By Kyle Langan

Over the course of the 2010 season, the New York Giants cornerbacks performed admirably. Corey Webster had one of his strongest seasons as a pro, sticking with some of the league's top receivers and limiting the damage that they inflicted on the defense. Despite the fact that he is set to make over $8 million this coming season, I expect him to return as the quiet leader of the secondary. 

New York Giants CoreyWebster a is tripped up after intercepting a pass against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter on Sunday November 7, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle. UPI/Jim Bryant

Terrell Thomas improved on his breakout 2009 campaign, recording over 100 tackles, four forced fumbles, and five interceptions. Thomas is an excellent young player with a ton of room for improvement whom I expect will be a cornerstone of the Giants defense for years to come.

Next up on the depth chart is Aaron Ross. Ross had an under-the radar season this past season and stuck with slot receivers relatively well. I would love to see Ross crack the starting lineup considering how highly he was drafted, but there is certainly value in being a good nickel back. 

As one begins to think about the future of the position, there are a number of question marks worth considering if the Giants are going to continue to sport a strong secondary. Primarily, it is important to consider whether the team will be able to keep the top three players. Webster already carries a hefty salary, and it is unlikely that the team offer similar deals to both Thomas and Ross.

As it stands, the Giants only have Brian Jackson and Michael Coe on the roster behind the top three players. 

It is worth pointing out that in 2010, the Giants enjoyed a very healthy year at this position. Aaron Ross has had durability issues in the past, and the unit would quickly appear very thin if one of the top guys were to go down with injury. This leads me to wonder: should the Giants be considering a cornerback in the draft this coming season?

With the 19th overall selection, history would tell you that the Giants are in perfect position to draft a corner. In six of the last 10 draft, the 17-32 slots in the draft have produced at least one pro bowler (including Darrelle Revis and Devin McCourty).

One guy whom I believe Giants brass has their eye on in this coming draft is Jimmy Smith out of Colorado. Over the last two seasons, Smith has been nothing short of stellar in every phase of the game for Colorado. He has recorded 70 tackles in each of the last two seasons, including five which saved touchdowns in 2010. Over the course of a 12 game slate, Smith was only thrown at a total of 20 times this past season, allowing merely one touchdown.

The 6'2" 211 pound Smith could offer some speed and depth to the back end of a defense that is in need of it right out of the gate, while breathing down the backs of the respective starters for the next few seasons.

Shut- down ability is very rare in the NFL today, and if a player is able to display that in college, then he is certainly worth looking twice at, especially for a team whose pass defense hurt them as much as the Giants has the past two seasons. The NFC east is stacked with receiver talent up and down the division, and some of the best NFL teams are built on throwing the football

I expect general manager Jerry Reese to invest in the secondary fairly early in this draft. 

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Tags: Aaron Ross, Brian Jackson, Corey Webster, Football, Jerry Reese, Michael Coe, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Terrell Thomas

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65 Responses to “Should the New York Giants be Looking for Help at Cornerback?”

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  1.  SterlingTN says:

    Kyle: Absolutely, I’ve had picking up another CB as a high priority on my list… preferably a fast CB. I haven’t seen Smith play, so I can’t really comment on him. I believe someone said a couple of weeks ago that he was a Terrell Thomas type. Is that true?

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I agree. My only concern with someone like Smith is that he’s too much like Webster and Thomas, I think we could use more speed. But this is a good piece. I think this is our hardest 1st pick to read in a while. Though JR has found ways to shock us with his pick. With so much question about what we need vs. what’s available other than QB, WR or DE nothing would shocking.

  2.  Samardzija says:

    Like you said, I like this.. Def would love to add a CB.

  3.  Krow says:

    I believe that we have a primary need at LB. Now that doesn’t me we have to be foolish trying to fill it. But that’s our #1 issue.

    However after that CB, OT and RB jump out at me. They would be my secondary needs.

    The final group would be a backup TE and various special teams help.

    I will be shocked if our top 3 picks aren’t out of the LB, CB, OT, RB group.

    Of course free agency can change this… we’ll have to wait and see how that transpires.

  4. Matthew Kiernankujo says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article, and the comments made by Krow–our primary need is at LB, but the guy to fill that spot might not be available at #19. And, if he is, he might be available at #38, or #57. So to foolishly stumble and trip over our d***s to fix that spot would be unwise, particularly considering some of our other needs and the fact that there could be some excellent players who could fill those needs at any of those spots.

  5.  MentalHockey says:

    Smith is big and physical. I know nothing of his speed but if it isn’t better then Ross, who is our fastest corner, I don’t know if I’d like him. Don’t get me wrong a potential shut down corner is a great player to have but Webster is a Top 7 CB and Thomas is quickly making a name for himself. Both of them are big and physical, Thomas more than Wesbter. The Giants don’t need another big and physical CB, they need a guy fast enough to keep with the fast receivers we face. The Jackson and Maclins and Mike Wallace’s of the league.

    • Matthew Kiernankujo says:

      I’m sorry, did Desean Jackson have a big year against us this year?

      I’ll admit that something needs to be adjusted to account for Maclin, whose good, but not in the same league as Jackson. But I think that’s more scheme than anything.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        That’s bc we doubled him most if not all of the time. Jackson is who allowed for Maclin to face and beat some single coverage.

      •  MentalHockey says:

        No but that was because we had Phillips playing twenty yards back to help prevent the big play. The coaches knew Jackson would easily torch any of our corners and so played it safe.

        • Matthew Kiernankujo says:

          …and it worked.

          So what’s the problem?

          •  MentalHockey says:

            If we had someone who could actually stick with Jackson or Maclin and allowed Phillips to do more then worry about those two beating us deep maybe we wouldn’t have lost to the Eagles twice. Sure it worked because we contained one man but there is more then one man on a team and that team kept us out of the playoffs.

            • Matthew Kiernankujo says:

              Yeah, they kept us out of the playoffs by returning a punt with :00′s on the board.

              Look, I’m not averse to getting a speedy corner. I just disagree with your characterization of our existing ones, who did damn fine this year. Thomas got eaten up a bit by Maclin towards the end of that game, but that doesn’t mean we need to blow the whole group up. I still don’t understand why Ross isn’t used more–the guy was healthy all year! You’d think that his speed would be ideal against Maclin and Jackson.

              •  MentalHockey says:

                Never said we needed to blow it up. I just said I don’t want another big physical receiver like Thomas, Webster and to a lesser extent Ross. I want a guy who is fast not an exact clone of what we already have. That seems to be the general consensus of everyone on this site….

  6.  GOAT56 says:

    I think we all mostly agree that our #1 need is at LB. However, with the way the draft appears to be shakening up the only LB that could meet our needs at 19 is Ayers. Carter, Wilson and others maybe better fits but at this point they are all 2nd round or lower projections. Therefore, if we don’t like Ayers (seems very Sintim like to me) then one of our other needs will be addressed.

    I don’t think you can overlook DT either as a possibility. Cofield doesn’t seem like he will be re-signed and Benard is on his last legs. So we could use another DT too.

    After seeing all of the RBs I would even be more disappointed with a 1st round RB selection. There are a ton of good backs that will be available in the middle rounds.

    If that ND kid has a really good pro day I also wonder if he’s a possiblity at 19. Given the difference between him and the next best TE I could see his stock rising.

    • Matthew Kiernankujo says:

      I understand that DT is a possibility, and DE is even less so. But I would literally pull my hair out if that happened.

    •  SterlingTN says:

      GOAT56: I agree on the LB situation, and on the RBs as well. If Cofield does return, I think we’re fine at DT. While no one (including me) really likes Bernard all that much, he was actually decent enough as a back-up this past year; and if Joseph starts picking up playing time, Bernard will not be relied upon very much.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Benard played well last year. However, given his age and my belief that we can’t expect as many snaps out of Joeseph as we got from Cofield leads me to believe we could use another DT. Plus his cap number might be something we don;t want to carry.

        •  SterlingTN says:

          GOAT56: If you’re replying to me, I said that IF Cofield returns, we’re fine with Joseph taking more snaps than last year, and Bernard as out other DT. If Cofield does NOT return, I wouldn’t be comfortable unless we added another solid player at DT. As for his effect on the cap, those financial parts of the game are not my forte. That’d be a concern, of course.

  7.  Remy says:

    I would be a fan of the pick. Something like 9 catches allowed in 2 seasons, incredible. Interested to see how he runs tomorrow.

    I’d also be pretty happy with Brandon Harris at #19.

  8.  MentalHockey says:

    And I was the one who said something along the lines of Smith being similar to Thomas. Someone compared Smith to Asomugha in their style of play. I said we already have someone like Asomugha in Thomas, even if Thomas isn’t nearly as good.

  9.  TroyThorne says:

    I’ve been telling you guys for a while now to start getting used to the idea of a DL being added in the first round. That’s where the value will most likely lie. Unless of course somebody gets Von Miller partying with Pierce who gets him to make some bad decisions. That’s not a bad idea actually. Who’s got AP’s twitter?

    • Matthew Kiernankujo says:

      I used to follow him; now he’s blocked me. Apparently he didn’t like these comments:

      Kujonicus @AntonioPierce @bhofheimer_espn Yeah…they’ve been exponentially better! And hey, none of them have driven across state lines with a glock! 19 Dec

      Kujonicus @AntonioPierce How does it feel to see Goff, in his first game of his 2nd yr, give a performance better than any NYG MLB since early ’06?
      14 Sep

    •  Remy says:

      Agree on DL pick. I’d be fine with either the 3rd or 4th top corners, or even the Rudolph kid, but you gotta think it’ll be DT, perhaps even DE, there’s a ton with a first round grade. A lot of people around here saying how upset by it they’d be. That’s a lot of folks who could be in for a rude shock.

      Frankly, I’d be fine with it, if that’s where the value lies.

      •  SterlingTN says:

        Whether we take a DT high depends on if JR has a gut feeling that Cofield will be back or not. If Cofield returns, DT is not anywhere near the top of my list. Similarly, his feelings re: Kiwanuka will impact whether we choose a DE.

        In general, I tend to trust Reese’s judgment.

  10.  GOAT56 says:

    One LB who I have been high on (I’m certainly no expert) is Wilson. I just saw he ran the fastest LB time at 4.49. I wonder if he’s now a possibility at 19. He seemed to jump off the screen to me everytime I saw Illinois play.

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