Donte Deayon is a popular, easy to root for, member of the New York Giants. At just 5-foot-9, 163 pounds he has already managed to stick around for two seasons, albeit that he has only played in four games.
Can Deayon earn a spot on the 53-man roster? Let’s examine that as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2017 season in review
Deayon played in four games for the Giants, with seven tackles and a pass defensed in 94 defensive snaps. He finished the season on injured reserve with a forearm injury. Deayon had a 59.1 Pro Football Focus grade, in the “poor” category. He did, however, excel in one area over a small sample size.
With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie & Ross Cockrell no longer on the #Giants roster, Donte Deayon could see an increased role.@AyoItsND had the best Coverage Snaps per Target rate (8.5) among #BigBlue CBs last season. https://t.co/ej7OrkxsjJ— PFF NY Giants (@PFF_Giants) May 24, 2018
It easy to overlook Deayon in the competition for spots on the Giants’ cornerback depth chart — and that isn’t because of his diminutive stature. It is because of the number of new faces the Giants have added at the cornerback spot, and because of Deayon’s minimal contribution over his two seasons as a Giant.
Deayon, who went undrafted, started 2016 on the practice squad and finished it on IR. He again finished last season on IR, perhaps playing into the narrative that it is difficult for such a small player to hold up in the NFL.
Still, the Giants have openings behind Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple. William Gay is the favorite to be the slot corner, but he is old for a corner at 33 and Father Time is unbeaten. Undrafted Grant Haley impressed during rookie mini-camp, but that was just a rookie mini-camp.
Journeymen like B.W. Webb, Teddy Williams, Curtis Riley and Chris Lewis-Harris are also part of the competition. None figure to have a clear hold on a roster spot, so there does seem to be an opportunity for Deayon.