The New York Giants churned and churned and churned their cornerback depth chart during training camp a season ago. They finally acquired Isaac Yiadom from the Denver Broncos for a seventh-round draft choice.
Yiadom was serviceable for the Giants last season, but the signing of Adoree’ Jackson showed that the organization wanted better.
Let’s discuss Yiadom as we finish this year’s profiles of the 90 players who are about to report to training camp.
Contract: One-year, $1.07 million | Guaranteed: $100,000 | 2021 cap hit: $1.07 million
Career to date
Yiadom was a third-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2018. He started just nine of the 29 games in which he played, and after two seasons had fallen out of the favor. The Giants, desperate to find anyone who could adequately play cornerback opposite James Bradberry, acquired him in exchange for a seventh-round pick.
Yiadom played in 16 games for the Giants, starting 10. He took over the job from Corey Ballentine, lost it to Ryan Lewis, then regained it. When Yiadom was playing, the Giants played a heavy amount of zone coverage. In 92 man coverage snaps, Yiadom had a 38.8 Pro Football Focus grade. That’s 104th out of 137 qualifying cornerbacks. In zone coverage, Yiadom’s 56.8 PFF grades was 105th. So, the grade was better in zone — but that did not push him up the rankings.
Yiadom ended up playing 633 defensive snaps (58 percent). He compiled a less-than-acceptable 120.1 passer rating against, with 46 tackles, five passes defensed and a forced fumble. Not terrible production considering the price for him was a seventh-round pick, but probably not what the Giants want to go forward with as a starting cornerback.
Considering the number of players the Giants brought in at cornerback, including a high-priced free agent and two draft picks, Yiadom would seem to be a bubble player entering training camp.
He appears to understand that. Yiadom was on the final year of his rookie contract, but took a pay cut that lowered his cap hit from $2.183 million to $1.07 million this season. That is a more manageable number for a backup, and could improve Yiadom’s chance to stick around.
I had Yiadom missing out in my post-minicamp 53-man roster projection, but I might reconsider that. Backups with special teams ability and a good amount of playing experience can be important, and Yiadom has both.
The one thing Yiadom does not give the Giants is the ability to play a heavy amount of man coverage when he is on the field. We will see if that costs him a roster spot.