The New York Giants had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2020. The Giants’ defense ranked ninth in the NFL in points allowed and twelfth in yards allowed. What looked like arguably the team’s biggest weakness heading into the season became its biggest strength by year’s end. The Giants’ secondary saw some standout performances that made it one of the best units in the league last season.
No defensive back stood out more than cornerback James Bradberry in his first season with the New York Giants. Last offseason, Bradberry signed a three-year $43.4M contract with the Giants. The Giants made Bradberry one of the league’s highest-paid cornerbacks and many, at the time, felt like that was an overpay. But now, almost unanimously, fans agree that Bradberry lived up to the contract in his first year and even exceeded expectations.
James Bradberry was a true shutdown cornerback last season, but opposite of him, the Giants struggled to get consistency out of its secondary cornerback position. New York’s other boundary cornerback spot became a revolving door, seeing players like Corey Ballentine, Ryan Lewis, Isaac Yiadom, and Julian Love start games in that position. The Giants seemingly fixed this problem in the 2021 offseason, though, by signing Adoree’ Jackson to a three-year deal. Now the Giants might have one of the NFL’s most elite cornerback duos in 2021.
James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson make up an elite duo
James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson, when both playing their best football, are top-tier boundary cornerbacks. In 2020, Brabderry proved that while he was snubbed from an AP All-Pro Team selection. He dominated opposing wide receivers week in and week out, holding Amari Cooper to only 23 and 41 yards in two contests, and holding Allen Robinson to only 33 yards in Week Two.
Bradberry set a new career-high in 2020 with 18 passes defended, which was tied for the second-most in the NFL and only two behind Miami’s Xavien Howard for the league lead (Giants.com). PFF also ranked James Bradberry as the fifth-best cornerback in the NFL entering the 2021 season. He has forced 42 incompletions since 2018, the most of any cornerback in the NFL. Not many cornerbacks can blanket opposing wideouts the way James Bradberry does.
Adoree’ Jackson, though, has a similar ability. He too makes plays on the ball and shuts down opposing receivers. Jackson had the second-highest forced incompletion rate (18.4%) among cornerbacks from 2010-2019 (PFF). Since 2018, Adoree Jackson has the fourth-highest coverage grade when lined up outside according to Pro Football Focus with a grade of 85.6. Jackson has missed a lot of time with injuries over the past two years. But if he can stay healthy, Adoree’ Jackson will pair with James Bradberry to create an elite cornerback duo on the New York Giants defense.