All of a sudden, the New York Giants aren’t looking as deep at the cornerback position. Adoree’ Jackson hurt his ankle in the first joint practice Wednesday against the New England Patriots. The severity of the injury isn’t entirely determined.
That injury is compounded by Quincy Wilson being placed on injured reserve. The Giants have also yet to see rookie Aaron Robinson, who remains on the PUP. Josh Jackson, who was acquired last week from the Green Bay Packers, is also dealing with a lower-body injury. If Adoree’ Jackson can’t play, then the Giants have scant options and lighter depth.
Julian Love makes the most sense as a starter. The Giants love his versatile skillset, but he may not see the field that often with Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers, and Xavier McKinney active. He’s also competent and willing in run support, which is valued in Patrick Graham’s defense.
Another option is rookie sixth-round pick Rodarius Williams, who’s played well in training camp. Williams has surrendered 10 of 13 targets in preseason but has flashed a bit. In my opinion, this isn’t ideal; I’d instead try Love at the position. Regardless of who starts, the Giants may be looking for depth at cornerback with their recent rash of injuries. Here are five names that were just waived/terminated that may make sense for the Giants.
Brooks spent time with the Miami Dolphins in 2019 under Patrick Graham. The Dolphins claimed the 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback off the New England Patriots practice squad. He was targeted 13 times, surrendering eight catches for 127 yards with a long of 50 in 2019. He also batted two balls away and gave up one touchdown - to the New York Giants. The 24-year-old is a solid-run defender who was productive at Northern Texas and tested well at their pro-day, specifically with his lower-body explosiveness - he jumped 40.5 inches in the vertical. He was a UDFA in 2019. He could be an option to add after being waived by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Eagles waived Hill just before the 85-80 man cut down. Hill is an undersized 5-11, 188-pound cornerback out of Michigan. He was a UDFA in 2020. He benched 21 reps of 225 pounds at the combine, which is in the 93rd percentile for the position. He has a lot of experience playing man coverage in Don Brown’s Wolverines defense, so he could provide value to the Giants from that standpoint. He’s not the longest, but he’s solid with his discipline at the line of scrimmage when in press alignment. He also had adequate fluidity coming out of college. He’s still only 22 years old, and he may have some insight into what our friends in Philadelphia are doing.
The Las Vegas Raiders recently released the former Philadelphia Eagle. Douglas, a key rookie for the Eagles’ lone Super Bowl victory, is only 25 years old. He’s a long, physical cornerback whose skillset translates to a more zone-heavy Cover 3 scheme. He’s not the most fluid cornerback, so man coverage might not be his strong suit. The Giants could look to Douglas for depth. He would join Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers as New Jersians in the Giants’ secondary room; Douglas is a native of East Orange.
[UPDATE: Douglas is off the market]
Texans placed wide receiver Taywan Taylor on injured reserve instead of waiving him, per a league source. They officially signed Rasul Douglas to a one-year contract for the veteran minimum— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) August 25, 2021
Desir, a fourth-round pick in 2014 by the Cleveland Browns out of Lindenwood, was a diamond in the rough for the Indianapolis Colts. The long 6-0, 200-pound cornerback has played well in spurts throughout his career. In 2018 with the Colts, he defended ten passes and had an interception while only allowing 48 catches on 83 targets. He struggled in 2019 with Indianapolis and then had a down year in 2020 with the Ravens and Jets. He’s 30 years old, uses his length well, and is an adequate tackler. He is more of a zone than man cornerback at this stage of his career, and that could be one reason why the Seattle Seahawks recently terminated him. It would be a wise investment if he could provide what Isaac Yiadom provided for the Giants last season. Hopefully, Josh Jackson can see the field and show some potential.
The Browns recently released Jackson from their cornerback room. He’s a big 6-2, 207-pound 27-year-old defensive back who played some safety at UNLV. He had one pass defended last season and saw 11 targets, surrendering 6 of them. He would be nothing more than a depth addition for the Giants, but that could be valuable if these injuries continue to happen.