The New York Giants entered the season low on talent at the corner position compared to some of the other teams in the NFL, but through some good scouting earlier this year, it looks like they managed to secure a talent that they can stick with during the rebuilding process, which looks like it will stretch beyond this season and into 2019.
Grant Haley joined the Giants from Penn State, and despite not being drafted, Haley making an NFL roster didn’t really surprise any Penn State fans. During his college years, Haley racked up 139 tackles and 22 passes defended, getting a pair of interceptions in his last season with the Nittany Lions and five interceptions overall.
Perhaps most notably, Haley was the player that led Penn State to their most recent victory over Ohio State, with a miraculous field goal block that would be returned by his team for a touchdown. Haley was praised at Penn State despite his small size, and that trend is continuing in the NFL.
“I think heâ€™s a little bit beyond his years. All the guys work hard and study film, but he just logs a little bit of extra time knowing that he has a bigger role now. In college he showed that, he was a guy thatâ€™d be around the ball, Big Ten guy who faced some downhill running teams in that league,” said Giants defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo.
Haley has played in seven games this season and has 23 total tackles, all but one of them coming as solo tackles. Notably, Haley made his first appearance almost halfway through the season, owing to the fact that he didn’t make the active roster until October, when he was brought up from the practice squad.
“Heâ€™s still young and I think heâ€™s learning. Thereâ€™s a lot going on inside, with the different calls and different things that he has to do. Heâ€™s done a good job taking control. There are some things where heâ€™s been outside already, so yeah, weâ€™ll see. Heâ€™s still young,” Anarumo added.
Haley is indeed still young, but it looks like he’ll finish out the season as a contributing member of the defense, and it would be hard to imagine him not taking a step forward in 2019 after an incomplete rookie season that, so far, has only featured seven games. For now, Haley looks to be in the rotation for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, as the Giants try to hold onto some very thin playoff hopes.