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2022 NFL Draft: Getting Wink some press-man cornerbacks

Sauce Gardner, Derek Stingley are top of the class, but there are others

Syndication: The Record
Wink Martindale at Giants’ voluntary minicamp.
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

By the time we get to the 2022 NFL regular season the New York Giants cornerback depth chart figures to look a lot different than it does today. Let’s look at that depth chart and the possibilities in the upcoming NFL draft.

The current depth chart

Starters: James Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson, Aaron Robinson

Reserves: Darnay Holmes, Jarren Williams, Rodarius Williams

We know that Bradberry is probably not going to be part of the roster. That leaves Jackson as the only proven outside cornerback. Perhaps Robinson could move out there, but he was drafted by the previous regime to be a slot cornerback and that is likely where he will have the best chance of success.

Holmes is a slot cornerback. Jarren Williams might be moving to safety. Rodarius Williams showed promise last year before suffering a season-ending injury. He is a sixth-round pick, though, and we have no idea how the Giants’ new regime views him.

Cornerback, especially players with the ability and willingness to play press-man, is a definite need heading into the draft.

2022 draft class

[Estimates using the NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board]

Round 1 possibilitie

Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, Cincinnati
Derek Stingley Jr., LSU [Prospect profile]
Trent McDuffie, Washington [Prospect profile]
Andrew Booth, Clemson [Prospect profile]
Kaiir Elam, Florida [Prospect profile]

Everyone who has followed our draft coverage understands that I am a fan of Sauce Gardner and would love to see the Giants select him in the top seven.

What is interesting is the increasing speculation that the Giants have interest in Stingley.

Below is a chart showing that Stingley’s skill set is absolutely a fit for a press-man reliant defense. ‘Kudos’ to Tony Del Genio for the great find.

I am not a big Stingley fan. His best play was back in 2019, a long time ago. He has had injury issues. His Combine press conference, which I attended, was not impressive. Based on what I know, Stingley feels like a risk I would not be willing to take in the top 10.

That said, NFL teams obviously have a lot more access to and information about draft prospects than we could ever hope to have. If the Giants are happy with the medical info and feel good about Stingley the person then so be it. The physical skillset is definitely that of a top-10 player in this draft class.

McDuffie, Booth and Elam are all players who could be of interest in trade-down scenarios.

Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) possibilities

Roger McCreary, Auburn [Prospect profile]
Kyler Gordon, Washington
Tariq Woolen, UTSA [Prospect profile]
Coby Bryant, Cincinnati
Marcus Jones, Houston
Cam Taylor-Britt, Nebraska [Prospect profile]
Martin Emerson, Mississippi State
Alontae Taylor, Tennessee

McCreary is an interesting case. First-round skillset, but those 28⅞-inch arms (the absolute bottom — percentile 0 — among cornerbacks ever measured at the Combine) are going to turn off a number of teams.

Gordon, Woolen and Marcus Jones are all intriguing talents.

Day 3 (Rounds 4-6) possibilities

Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston State
Mario Goodrich, Clemson [Prospect profile]
Akayleb Evans, Missouri
Jayln Armour-Davis, Alabama
Josh Jobe, Alabama
Derion Kendrick, Georgia
Joshua Williams, Fayetteville State
Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State
Damarri Mathis, Pitt
Mykael Wright, Oregon
Kalon Barnes, Baylor
Cordale Flott, LSU
Jaylen Watson, Washington State
Decobie Durant, South Carolina State