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Giants expected to sign cornerbacks Brandon Williams, KeiVarae Russell

The Giants appear set to add to needed depth

Arizona Cardinals v Green Bay Packers
Brandon Williams makes a tackle on a punt return.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants are expected to sign cornerback Brandon Williams, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals.

Williams was originally selected out of Texas A&M by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Williams tested well at the scouting combine, running a 4.37 second 40-yard dash and 6.85 second 3-cone drill, at 5-foot-11, 197 pounds.

Williams was named the Cardinals’ starter opposite Patrick Peterson as a rookie, but lost the job in Week 3 and was only spot player until he was waived (injured) following last year’s training camp.

The Giants have also begun the testing protocol on KeiVarae Russell, another cornerback selected in the third round of the 2016 draft.

Russell was originally selected by the Kansas City Chiefs, but in a rare move was waived one week into his rookie season. Russell ultimately landed with the Cincinnati Bengals, for whom he played in 20 games over three seasons. Russell spent part of last season the Los Angeles Chargers’ practice squad.

Russell, 5-foot-11, 192 pounds, was only able to bench press at the combine that year, but performed well at Notre Dame’s Pro Day. He ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash to go with a 38-inch vertical leap, a 6.89-second 3-cone drill and 4.09-second short shuttle.

The Giants are obviously thin at cornerback following DeAndre Baker’s off-field troubles and Sam Beal opting out of the 2020 season. They attempted to sign veteran CB Ross Cockrell to reinforce their secondary before that deal fell through. It makes sense that the Giants would bring in veterans with high athletic upsides in the hopes that they would be able to unlock the potential that got them drafted on the second day.

In related news, Ralph Vachiano of SNY is reporting that the Giants placed CB Shakail Taylor on the Reserve/Opt-out list.

It was originally reported that the Giants waived Taylor, but he made the decision to opt out before he was officially waived.