New York Giants: Rookie Corey Ballentine Will Quickly Make An Impact On Defense And Special Teams

The New York Giants made it a point of emphasis to improve the secondary in the 2019 offseason. Big Blue drafted 3 defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (4 if you count Sam Beal).

One of the talented young cornerbacks that the Giants drafted was Corey Ballentine out of Washburn. The New York Giants drafted Ballentine in the 6th round with the 180th overall pick in the draft.

Corey Ballentine missed rookie minicamp as he recovered from a bullet wound suffered in a shooting on draft night and mourned the loss of his friend and former teammate. The Giants were fully supportive of Corey Ballentine during his time away.

Ballentine is now back and practicing at OTA’s.  Corey Ballentine is possibly the Giants’ most underrated 2019 draft pick. It is rare to see a 6th round rookie make an immediate impact on a team, but here is why we should expect to see Ballentine see a solid amount of playing time:

Corey Ballentine Defensive Stats And Highlights:

The New York Giants’ secondary is now light years ahead of where it was in 2018. Big Blue went from having little to no depth in their secondary to having an abundance of quality players in just one offseason.

Corey Ballentine is one of those quality players. Ballentine played at a small, Division II school, Washburn, for four seasons. He did not receive an abundance of playing time as a freshman, but once he got his opportunities, Corey Ballentine lit it up in his final three seasons.

Ballentine earned 6 starts in 12 games as a sophomore in 2016 and played his way to honorable mention All-MIAA honors. Corey recorded 65 tackles that season with 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, and 5 pass breakups.

In Corey’s junior season, MIAA coaches named him first-team all-conference as the 12-game starter posted 54 tackles and seven pass breakups on the year.

As a senior, Corey Ballentine recorded 50 total tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 4 pass breakups, and 3 interceptions. He was a true playmaker in Washburn’s secondary and was a first-team all-conference defender.

Corey is a speedy corner with nice size. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash and was one of the fastest players at the Senior Bowl, clocking in at 21.6 mph. which was the second fastest on the North Team. Ballentine is 5 feet 11 inches, 196 pounds and has lanky arms which NFL scouts loved.

Corey Ballentine used his size and athleticism to be an impact player for Washburn’s defense, but it does not end there. Ballentine was a defensive phenom, but also a special teams extraordinaire.

Corey Ballentine Special Teams Stats And Highlights:

Corey Ballentine’s presence on special teams was felt instantly during his sophomore season. He recorded a team-high 10 special teams tackles that year.

In 2017, Corey’s junior year, Washburn gave him the opportunity to return kicks. This paid dividends, as Ballentine ranked fifth in Division II by averaging 30.6 yards per kick return. The Giants have not had a serious threat returning kicks in years, so they will certainly hope that Ballentine can change that.

Ballentine was not just an impactful kick returner. In his senior season, Corey was a terror on special teams, recording 3 blocked kicks in one season. Giants fans should know how important it can be to have a talented special teams player that can block kicks.

Corey Ballentine was a do-it-all player at Washburn for 4 seasons. His impact on both defense and special teams was more than enough to make the Giants draft him in 2019, despite already addressing the cornerback position earlier in the draft. Ballentine is a talented defensive back who will make an impact on defense and special teams for the Giants for years to come.

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