While most are mocking offensive playmakers to the New York Giants with the 11th overall pick, I wouldnâ€™t rule out the possibility of them going defensive in the first round. In 2020, the Giants surprised everybody with a stellar defense, led by coordinator Patrick Graham. He installed a 3-4 scheme that relied on versatility and discipline. His players performed well above expectations, finishing as a top-10 unit in points per game allowed and represented one of the best run defenses in the NFL. Their main weakness was the secondary, or rather one spot in the defensive backfield.
The second cornerback position was a liability all season long, as the Giants started off with Corey Ballentine at CB2 and quickly moved on to Isaac Yiadom and Ryan Lewis. Yiadom ended up playing a majority of the snaps as the season progressed, but he remained a liability, and the Giants must do something to upgrade the position in 2021.
The team does have Sam Beal returning, and Julian Love did show a spark in the final two games of the season, but the Giants have an opportunity to grab a premium asset at the beginning of the 2021 NFL draft. They just have to figure out if it is more beneficial to add an offensive weapon or the final piece to the secondary, which would give them a premium defense capable of competing against some of the best teams in the league.
There are two top-tier CBs with fantastic potential that are worthy of being selected at 11, let’s take a look.
Two CBs, the New York Giants, can target at 11:
1.) Patrick Surtain
One fantastic option for the Giants if they elect to go to CB is Patrick Surtain out of Alabama. Playing in a pro-style defense has prepared Surtain for the NFL, and that 6-foot-1 and 203 pounds, he has great size and reach for a corner.
As a former 5 star recruit, he has elite athleticism and upside, and it runs in his DNA. Heâ€™s not the most aggressive player, utilizing finesse and a conservative approach is to his game.
Patrickâ€™s primary weakness revolves around his deep speed when quarterbacks are throwing go-routes. If you he solve those issues and stack receivers properly, he can alleviate any concerns, but as of now, it is something that teams will have to work around at the next level. Having a solid deep safety would be helpful, and the Giants have Xavier McKinney preparing to take a larger role in 2021, and having experience with Surtain at Alabama, they could be a dynamic duo.
The Giants play a ton of zone defense, but that was primarily due to their weakness at CB2 in 2020. Patrick Graham played predominantly cover-1 while acting as the DC for the Miami Dolphins in 2019, which focuses on man coverage. Acquiring Surtain would allow him to go back to his roots, and with dangerous man-cover corners like Bradberry and Surtain in the secondary, it would allow the Giants to utilize more blitzers on passing downs.
2.) Caleb Farley
Another target is Caleb Farley out of Virginia tech. At 6-foot-2 and 197 pounds, Farley is a speedster corner that has unbelievable tracking speed. For defenses that are worried about getting beat over the top, Farley is the perfect fit, but he hasnâ€™t had much diversity in his game. Farley has barely played in the slot and aligns on the left side for a majority of his snaps. In addition, injuries have taken their toll in the past, which represents a potential liability in the NFL.
Farley projects as an elite man-coverage corner with exciting tangible traits, but his actual film isnâ€™t full of examples of why those traits will translate. Surtain is a more developed and fundamental option, but Farley has a higher ceiling.