clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Assessing Giants corners Eli Apple “better” with hands, Donte Deayon still impressing

Cornerbacks coach Tim Walton offers perspective on the players in his position group

NFL: New York Giants-Training Camp
Eli Apple battles with Sterling Shepard during training camp.
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Asked on Wednesday about the play of the team’s secondary thus far in training camp, coach Ben McAdoo was complementary of the group.

“It’s tough to complete a ball against them. The first couple of groups are doing a nice job out there. They seem to be communicating fairly well, which is a big part of it. Allows them to play faster, allows them to play competitively, and they are making it tough on the offense,” McAdoo said.

“Communication is a big part of what we do. We obviously want to make it tough to complete the ball.”

We already discussed the somewhat visceral reaction from the fan base to the work thus far of Janoris Jenkins. Cornerbacks coach Tim Walton was available to the media on Wednesday, so let’s go through several of the other players and see what Walton’s take is on each.

Eli Apple

The first-round pick came to the Giants with a reputation for being “handsy,” for grabbing too much. It is something that has been acknowledged, and that Walton said the rookie is getting better with.

“It shows up every now and then, but he’s been better at it,” Walton said. “He’s been much better than he was in college with doing that and I think he’ll continue to improve on it, and that’s what the reps are for. He’s definitely taking a step forward in that area.”

Walton said the mental part of the game will be Apple’s biggest challenge.

“This game is going to be the biggest challenge, period, mentally because it’s different than college. So outside, it’s going to be the same thing on a lot of the things that you have to learn at this level. We’re going to keep working him and trying to get him as much experience as we can before the first game,” he said.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

The veteran has taken far more reps in the slot than Apple or Jenkins. While no one with the Giants, including Walton, will admit that DRC will play more slot than Apple that has become obvious.

“In the spring we had them rotating, so we’re just moving around based on parts of practice right now, starting out,” Walton said. “Each practice is a different situation, so we’re just moving around and everybody will get their chance and we’re looking around just to see what’s the best fit for us.”

Trevin Wade

Wade played more snaps in the slot than any other Giant corner last season, and he remains the team’s most natural fit in that spot.

“He’s smart and has a good understanding of the game. He’s played there (slot) before, so he’s the guy who has the most experience doing it, so things happen fast in there in zone and man,” Walton said. “He can understand the combination routes and that type of stuff, so his knowledge of the game helps him.”

Donte Deayon

We identified Deayon, a 5-foot-9, 158-pound dynamo, as a player to watch early in OTAs. That is still the case, with Walton saying Deayon is “doing a great job for us.”

“He’s been playing inside, but we’re going to get him some stuff outside ... he’s really comfortable inside because he understands it really well,” Walton said. “There’s been small guys who play well in the league before, so that doesn’t bother me. There are some big guys that play small and some small guys that play big.”

Walton also mentioned undrafted free agent Michael Hunter as a corner who has been impressive.