While everyone is focused on first-round picks Evan Neal and Kayvon Thibodeaux, the New York Giants are trying to find value with their undrafted free agents. Everybody knows what the top talents in the draft offer, but it’s the gems you find afterward that could be the difference between having a good or great team.
In fact, most of the NFL is composed of undrafted free agents, so finding quality players on the open market is an essential part of every team’s strategy. That is why the Giants brought in so many this off-season with new management taking over.
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One player who has stood out thus far is Kentucky safety Yusuf Corker, who was expected to be drafted in the mid-rounds.
“I think that happens every year, where this guy should’ve got drafted in the fourth or seventh or sixth, he’s a free agent or this guy should have been a seventh, and he was a second-round pick,” head coach Brian Daboll said of Corker, via Giants Wire. “We’ll see. He’s a good kid. I think he’s got a good skillset. Put him back there, see how he does.”
Corker is an intriguing player at 6-foot, 203 pounds. He doesn’t have extraordinary size, but he plays an aggressive brand of football.
UDFA SAF Yusuf Corker (Kentucky) is a hard hitting DB. Here are some big hits from his tape. pic.twitter.com/m4Oq2VOeus
— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) May 4, 2022
As a hard-hitting DB, defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will probably love him in the run game. Corker is known for his ability to get to the line of scrimmage and make stops before the runner can hit the next level. He picked up four tackles for a loss last season, running downfield and showing off his physicality.
Overall, Corker produced 82 total tackles, and eight passes defended in 2021. Despite being projected as an average backup or special teams player, he was at least expected to be drafted, which should provide the Giants with ample value as a UDFA.
Another positive — Corker was a three-year starter for Kentucky, and while he has missed a large number of tackles over the past few years, the Giants can work out that deficiency with good coaching. Being over-aggressive may have hurt him in the past, but if the Giants can create a more balanced approach and help him develop his tackling technique, he could end up being a solid box safety. I expect him to be a special-teams contributor to start his career with Big Blue.