Giants’ secondary ranks as one of the best for 2021 season

New York Giants, James Bradberry
Oct 22, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry (24) intercepts the ball in front of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver John Hightower (82) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Despite all evidence pointing toward the offense having a better season in 2020, the New York Giants’ defense emerged as the more prominent unit on the team, leading the way toward a disappointing season, yet one that was littered with positives. The offense is liable for the majority of the struggles the team faced, as the time of possession heavily favored the defense, and the offense ranked 31st in points scored per game.

However, the Giants bolstered multiple spots across the roster this off-season, signing Kenny Golladay to a four-year, $72 million deal and retained Leonard Williams on a three-year, $63 million deal. Overall, the Giants have playmakers on both sides of the ball, and depending on the success of the offensive line and growth of Daniel Jones, the offense could find themselves taking an stratospheric rise to adequacy.

On defense, though, the Giants also found themselves investing in the secondary, signing Adoree’ Jackson to a three-year, $39 million deal to pair with James Bradberry on the outside. The pairing of Bradberry and Jackson could end up being one of the best in the NFL, given they both remain healthy. Bradberry had his best season to date in 2020, securing an 80 coverage grade per PFF and allowing just one touchdown after Week 1. He was one of the defense’s top performers and undoubtedly gave Patrick Graham a sense of comfort in man coverage. Bolstering the CB2 spot was a necessity, and while some may argue that the Giants overpaid Jackson, he has the potential to be a CB1, featuring in a secondary role opposite Bradberry.

Per PFF, the Giants have one of the best secondaries in the league, but in my opinion, they could be even higher on the list.

7. NEW YORK GIANTS

In two years, the Giants have gone from starting Janoris Jenkins and a combination of B.W. Webb and Eli Apple at outside cornerback to a projected James Bradberry–Adoree’ Jackson duo in 2021. Bradberry’s 79.9 coverage grade last season ranked seventh among qualifying cornerbacks in his first year with the Giants. Jackson’s 82.5 mark in 2019 in his last full season of action ranked sixth. The potential is there for this to be one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL.

Those two — along with a deep safety group that includes Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan and Xavier McKinney — give defensive coordinator Patrick Graham a lot to work with on the back end.

Jackson is coming off an injury-riddled 2020 campaign, but he is historically a solid corner who matches up well against faster, smaller receivers. While Bradberry can hold down the fort against possession options and elite runners, Jackson has the make-up speed to catch players like Tyreek Hill, which is a necessity in today’s NFL.

While PFF has the Giants ranked 7th, they could end up even higher on the list, and containing one of the best trios of safety in the league, Graham has all the talent he could possibly ask for.