One of the unexpected things the New York Giants did during the offseason was massively upgrade the talent and depth at the cornerback position with the free-agent signings of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Walter Thurmond and Zack Bowman. Let's look at Thurmond today as we continue our series of player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp next week.
2013 Season In Review
Thurmond earned himself a Super Bowl ring as the slot cornerback for the champion Seattle Seahawks' Legion of Boom secondary. Thurmond played in 12 games, having served a four-game suspension at the beginning of the season for a violation of the NFL substance abuse policy. Thurmond had a +4.8 Pro Football focus grade, including +5.7 in coverage. He compiled a 67.5 passer rating against and gave up only 7.4 yards per catch. Thurmond did not surrender a touchdown pass.
2014 Season Outlook
Thurmond, hoping to prove he was more than just a small part of a Seattle secondary that was considered the best in the league last season, entered free agency looking for a place where he could play full time and prove once and for all that he is a top-flight cornerback. He settled on a one-year deal with the Giants and, following the team's signing of Rodgers-Cromartie, is once again in the role of slot corner.
Thurmond brings some swagger to the Giants, calling himself the best slot corner in the league. Whether that is true or not, Thurmond, who turns 27 next month, is a talented player who should be a huge asset to the Giants' rebuilt secondary.
In a recent film study, Jordan Ranaan of NJ.com concluded that Thurmond is actually underrated, writing that "he looks capable of being an impact player. He can cover, make plays against the run and add a new dimension for the Giants off the edge as a pass rusher. He can also easily fill-in as a starter on the outside if something happens to Rodgers-Cromartie or Prince Amukamara."
The Giants have not gotten enough impact plays from their corners the past couple of seasons. Thurmond could help change that.
[E-mail Ed at email@example.com]