So, what is the deal with cornerback Asa Jackson, one of the two players the New York Giants were awarded on waivers Sunday? What is the scouting report? Why did the Baltimore Ravens let him go? Why did the Giants think he was a better option than Mike Harris, let go to make room for him?
Jackson was a fifth-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2012 and spent his three NFL seasons there. We asked Matthew Stevens of SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown for thoughts on Jackson. What Stevens offered was anything but kind:
"Asa is a playmaker, but cannot be consistent in any phase of his game. As a returner, he will fumble the ball away from a stupid decision as often as he will make a play with it in his hands. As a corner, he is at best a nickel cornerback, who will routinely be beat and requires safety help to limit mistakes.
"He is a guy that the Ravens gave every possible shot to make the roster as either a kick returner, punt returner, cornerback, special teams player and he just couldn't get it together long enough to warrant another roster spot this season.
"He will be a good depth player for you that will make you scratch your head one minute and then cheer for him the next. He was about the most bipolar guy I've ever seen on the field in that respect."
In writing about the release of Jackson over the weekend, Beatdown's Nathan Beaucage called Jackson "a liability in the secondary."
Still, Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was with the Ravens for two seasons and was Jackson's position coach last year. There has to be something there. Right?
Ravens coach John Harbaugh called Jackson "a dangerous, dangerous returner." He had a 103-yard kickoff return and a 53-3 yard punt return this preseason, but he has a problem holding onto the ball. "You've got to be dangerous for them, not for us," Harbaugh said.
Jackson's Pro Football Focus grade at cornerback last season was -12.4 in 335 snaps playing both outside corners and in the slot. His pass coverage score was -9.0. He had a passer rating against of 106.6, giving up 30 completions in 43 targets. He had no interceptions or passes defensed. This preseason, Jackson's passer rating against was 134.7.
Does this sound like help? Or, does it sound like the Giants taking a flier on a talented player and hoping they can get lucky?