Wilson’s Philosophy: Why the New York Giants should pursue Byron Jones over Jeff Okudah

New York Giants, Jeff Okudah, Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants, Jeff Okudah, Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys

As one of the best cornerback prospects in recent memory, Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah represents a significant upgrade at the position for the New York Giants if they are willing to invest the fourth overall pick in the standout defender.

However, another option lands in free agency in the form of Byron Jones, who is said to hit the market after the Dallas Cowboys considered his value. With Dallas looking to shed cap space due to the future signings of Dak Prescott and potentially Amari Cooper, Jones represents a premium target for the Giants, who lack a true number one corner after the departure of Janoris Jenkins in 2019.

Landing Jones would be a massive win for Big Blue and general manager Dave Gettleman. His statistics don’t say much regarding the detail of his quality, but often for a star corner, the lower the numbers, the better the performance. Opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators are staying away from Jones and his side of the field, as he limited one of the best wide receivers in the game, Michael Thomas, to zero receptions last year in their matchup.

Why the New York Giants should invest in Jones over Okudah:

Passing on Okuda will be extremely difficult, considering how young and cheap he is on a rookie deal. As one of the best options in the draft, he offers the secondary a bright future. The one thing that he lacks is guaranteed performance, and the Giants know what they are getting in Byron, who made the switch to cornerback in 2018 after featuring as a free safety for the Dallas Cowboys.

Seeing how he has performed over the past two seasons, the Giants can be confident that they are getting their money’s worth. At just 27 years old, Jones is still in his prime and will earn a multi-year contract worth at least $17 million per season. While that is a ton of space for the Giants to be spending at the cornerback position, they need to solidify their secondary and ensure that the pass rush has time to get after quarterbacks. That was a struggle for the defense last season as the secondary was weak and didn’t allow for many coverage sucks.

Additionally, it’s important to note that the Giants have plenty of avenues they can exercise on draft day. Whether they trade back or not, options like Isaiah Simmons, a top tackle prospect, or even Chase Young could be on the board with the 4th pick.


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