Are the New York Giants set at cornerback? They still have Janoris Jenkins in the fold and are expecting Sam Beal to emerge as a starter across from him. They will be hoping that Tony Lippett can emerge as a viable third corner and that Grant Haley builds on his rookie season in his second year.
However, Jenkins can’t be long for the Giants, and beyond him they are hoping for a pair of young, injured players to pan out at an important position.
So yes, cornerback should definitely be in the conversation throughout the draft. If the Giants are looking for a big corner with the upside to play press-man coverage and versatility to play in both man and zone coverage, they could look at Amani Oruwariye out of Penn State.
- Excellent size and frame for the position.
- Good, balanced footwork.
- Shows nice awareness in zone coverage.
- Capable of disrupting routes in man coverage.
- Disruptive at the catch point.
- Capable of playing in multiple coverage schemes
- Makes the occasional business decision.
- Not an elite athlete.
- Red-shirt senior but only one year of starting experience.
What They’re Saying
He can be an effective press-man defender, but must win at the line of scrimmage or he could become an early target for quarterbacks as he lacks makeup speed once he’s beaten. Oruwariye is a proven disruptor at the catch point and is willing to step up and take on run support duties. When all factors are considered, he’ll be considered a scheme fit for zone-heavy teams who covet physicality in press.
- Lance Zierlein
”Our national scout is high on him because of his size and length. We don’t care as much about speed numbers as long as you can play the big receivers and make plays on the ball, but he has to hit our minimum speed numbers at the Combine.” -- Pro personnel director with NFC team
- NFL.com Scouting Report
Does He Fit The Giants?
Oruwariye does fit what James Bettcher likes to do in coverage.
With his size and strength, Oruwariye has the ability to be disruptive early in plays when in press-man coverage. He wasn’t in press-man often in college, but when he was, he showed a solid jam to throw off timing and releases. He is also capable in zone coverage, particularly when he can position himself over the play drive back down toward the ball. Between his awareness and clean “click and close” footwork, Oruwariye can be legitimately explosive when driving on the ball and routinely broke up plays at the catch point by separating the receiver from the football.
Teams will have to be careful in how they match him up. For all that Penn State has been producing elite athletes of late, Oruwariye is not among them. He is a good athlete, particularly for a 6-foot-1 5/8, 205-pound cornerback, but if a receiver is able to win early, he will struggle to recover.
But perhaps the most annoying part of his game are the occasional “business decisions” he makes. There are instances when Oruwariye ratchets up his intensity and can lay devastating hits, but other times he will try to avoid contact and get by with arm tackles. That is something he will have to clean up at the next level.
Oruwariye will have to answer questions about why he wasn’t able to secure a starting job before his last year at Penn State, but players develop at different rates. It could be that he is finally starting to blossom and whichever team drafts him might be getting him as he begins to ascend and reach his potential.