The spring and summer of the NFL calendar are a time filled with lists and rankings. After a disappointing and embarrassing 2018 season that ended in a 3-13 record, there aren’t many New York Giants on any list.
With weekly reveal and reaction shows, the most well known list is the NFL’s list of the Top 100 players of 2018 is the most well known, but there are others making the rounds.
One of the more prominent is Pro Football Focus’ list of the Top 50 players in the NFL. So far, three Giants have made that list: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (47th), DT Damon Harrison (44th) and S Landon Collins. Despite taking a step back in 2017, Giants’ safety Landon Collins cracked their top-20, landing at 18th overall.
Collins struggled terribly as a rookie, but a position switch in Year 2 saw him immediately transform into a Defensive Player of the Year candidate as he manned his natural position of strong safety. His 92.5 grade that season was backed up by one of 88.5 in 2017 despite the Giants’ defense as a whole and secondary in particular collapsing around him. Collins has 83 defensive stops over the past two seasons – tackles that constitute an offensive failure on the play – which is the most of any safety by a considerable margin.
(Tony Jefferson came in second with 60 defensive stops, and Malcolm Jenkins finished third with 57)
Collins played at a historic level in 2016, but failed to live up to his own high bar while playing through injury and on a defense that was riddled with injuries and fractured behind the scenes. However, he had strong season nonetheless, notching 104 tackles, a forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, and a pair of interceptions.
Collins’ 332 tackles leads all safeties since he entered the NFL in 2015, and his 28 passes defensed ranks second over that same span. He has also lead the Giants in tackles in each of the last three years.
The Giants and Collins both are hoping that a healthy and resurgent 2018 campaign will help power the team back to having a fearsome — and playoff caliber — defense.