Several veterans have been added, but should Corner be a draft priority?
Before the 2018 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, we’re going through the positions to assess needs to address over the weekend. The New York Giants made a lot of moves at cornerback this offseason, but does the team still need to do more?
Players lost: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Ross Cockrell
Players added: B.W. Webb, Teddy Williams, William Gay, Curtis Riley
Current roster: Eli Apple, Donte Deayon, Brandon Dixon, William Gay, Janoris Jenkins, Jeremiah McKinnon, Curtis Riley, B.W. Webb, Teddy Williams
There’s a difference between having bodies and having depth and nowhere is that more apparent than at cornerback for the Giants. There’s plenty of names to fill out of a depth chart, but if you did that right now, it wouldn’t take long to see that chart just isn’t very good.
The Giants ranked 20th in DVOA against the pass last season after finishing fourth in 2016. Two of the top three corners from last year’s team are gone — Rodgers Cromartie, who ranked first among all cornerbacks in Success Rate in 2016, and Cockrell, who ranked first in 2017. Eli Apple is getting a “fresh start” but he’s also currently slated to be the No. 2 corner after finishing 79th of 84 qualified cornerbacks in Success Rate in 2016, per Football Outsiders, and 69th of 81 qualified corners last season.
Need: higher than you’d think.
Outside of Jenkins, it’s really hard to have faith in any current corner on the roster. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Giants go this direction some time during Day 2. Round 2 or 3 prospects could include UCF’s Mike Hughes if he falls, Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver, Auburn’s Carlton Davis, and LSU’s Donte Jackson.
D.J. Reed of Kansas State is one of my personal favorite Day 3 prospects. Despite being 5-foot-9, Reed played almost exclusively on the outside in college and showed the awareness, physicality, and ball skills to match up with bigger receivers. He also brings return ability.