New York Giants bring in defensive back reinforcements to help smooth over loss of James Bradberry

maurice canady, ravens, giants

The New York Giants recently cut cornerback James Bradberry to clear $10.1 million against the salary cap. In desperate need of money to sign their 2022 rookie draft class, general manager Joe Schoen was forced into this unfortunate move. He tried to execute a trade that would’ve opened up a bit more cash and added draft capital to the mix.

Nonetheless, Big Blue has been trying to supplement his loss ever since. The expectation is that second-year corner Aaron Robinson will get the first crack at replacing Bradberry. The Giants haven’t hesitated to bring in more competition, though.

“We still have — defensively, I think is where we are going to have to add. Again, when we got here, where the roster was, we had to add a lot of pieces, and there’s only so many resources. So we did the best we could this weekend, and we’ll continue to do that in free agency,” Schoen told reporters after the 2022 NFL draft.

On Wednesday morning, it was announced that Schoen had signed Maurice Canady and Khalil Dorsey to contracts.

What are Canady and Dorsey bringing to the New York Giants?

Canady is a 6’1″, 198-pound DB out of Virginia. He has spent five seasons in the NFL, playing eight games last year with the Dallas Cowboys at 27 years old. He picked up six combined tackles while on the field. However, he has plenty of experience featuring in Wink Martindale‘s defensive system during his days in Baltimore. Canady spent about 4.5 seasons with the Ravens during the early portion of his career. He played in 24 total games, with his best season coming in 2019 when he split time with the Ravens and New York Jets.

Maurice tallied 46 combined tackles, one tackle for a loss, and five passes defended during that season. He also intercepted one pass and forced a fumble. This is likely just a scheme-fit-related signing for Martindale. I wouldn’t anticipate him stealing a starting job anytime soon but at the very least, acting as competition and bringing knowledge.

The Giants also signed Khalil Dorsey to a contract, having featured with Baltimore in 2020. Dorsey made six appearances during his lone season, recording just two tackles. At 24 years old, he has knowledge of the system and will likely compete for a back-end reserve spot or special teams role.

New York Giants Day 2 OTAs: Main Takeaways

giants, kayvon thibodeaux

The New York Giants hosted their second day of OTA’s on Tuesday, featuring rookies and veterans alike. Thus far, second-round receiver Wan’Dale Robinson and a few undrafted free agents have stood out the most.

Via the Giants website:

*Wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson has displayed a quick twitch during OTAs. The rookie is already a frequent target of Daniel Jones. The two connected on several passes during 11-on-11 drills, including a sideline grab for a sizeable gain. Robinson is extremely quick in getting to the outside with his cuts and will be a tough matchup for defenders.

It is a great sign that Robinson and quarterback Daniel Jones have already begun developing chemistry this off-season. Robinson offers Jones a security blanket in the short portions of the field, especially given his success in the screen game.

With Kentucky last season, Robinson ranked 3rd in screen catches with 35 and 4th in screen yards with 268. He also caught 16 deep catches, ranking 6th in the league. With that array of qualities, Jones can target him in various portions of the field, which is likely how Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka visualize him being used.

The Giants are seeing what Kayvon Thibodeaux is capable of:

Fellow draft pick Kayvon Thibodeau also stepped up big in a scrimmage scenario, tipping a pass that landed in the hands of Xavier McKinney, who took it the other way. Seeing the Giants’ top draft picks making plays during OTAs is definitely a good sign, but it means nothing until they translate to an actual game.

*Speaking of pass breakups, Kayvon Thibodeaux made a nice play to tip a pass at the line of scrimmage, and the ball landed in the hands of Xavier McKinney, who returned it the other way.

So far, it seems as if the Giants have gotten off to a good start, especially given their successful health reports.

Giants may have landed UDFA steal at safety out of Kentucky

yusuf corker, giants, kentucky

While everyone is focused on first-round picks Evan Neal and Kayvon Thibodeaux, the New York Giants are trying to find value with their undrafted free agents. Everybody knows what the top talents in the draft offer, but it’s the gems you find afterward that could be the difference between having a good or great team.

In fact, most of the NFL is composed of undrafted free agents, so finding quality players on the open market is an essential part of every team’s strategy. That is why the Giants brought in so many this off-season with new management taking over.

One player who has stood out thus far is Kentucky safety Yusuf Corker, who was expected to be drafted in the mid-rounds.

“I think that happens every year, where this guy should’ve got drafted in the fourth or seventh or sixth, he’s a free agent or this guy should have been a seventh, and he was a second-round pick,” head coach Brian Daboll said of Corker, via Giants Wire. “We’ll see. He’s a good kid. I think he’s got a good skillset. Put him back there, see how he does.”

Corker is an intriguing player at 6-foot, 203 pounds. He doesn’t have extraordinary size, but he plays an aggressive brand of football.

As a hard-hitting DB, defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will probably love him in the run game. Corker is known for his ability to get to the line of scrimmage and make stops before the runner can hit the next level. He picked up four tackles for a loss last season, running downfield and showing off his physicality.

Overall, Corker produced 82 total tackles, and eight passes defended in 2021. Despite being projected as an average backup or special teams player, he was at least expected to be drafted, which should provide the Giants with ample value as a UDFA.

Another positive — Corker was a three-year starter for Kentucky, and while he has missed a large number of tackles over the past few years, the Giants can work out that deficiency with good coaching. Being over-aggressive may have hurt him in the past, but if the Giants can create a more balanced approach and help him develop his tackling technique, he could end up being a solid box safety. I expect him to be a special-teams contributor to start his career with Big Blue.

Giants have found an elite competitor in LSU corner Cor’Dale Flott

cor'dale flott, giants

Despite being a wirey cornerback at 6’1″ and 178 pounds, LSU defender Cor’Dale Flott has all of the intangible traits to become a quality NFL player. The New York Giants spent a third-round pick on Flott, who is bringing some talented attributes to a secondary that just released top cornerback, James Bradberry.

Flott is known for his work ethic, especially after taking a significant step forward last season compared to 2020. Two years ago, he allowed 656 yards and six touchdowns, good for a 71.1% completion rate against. However, in 2021, he allowed just 249 yards and two touchdowns, good for a 51.1% completion rate.

His significant development points toward positive progression, which is largely why the Giants keyed in on him as a third-round draft pick.

“I’m always the first person on campus — have been for years,” Flott’s high school coach Jeff Kelly told the New York Post. “The thing I’ll never forget is that every morning I rolled in that summer, Cor’Dale was out there and it was barely daylight. There was nobody with him — just him and his bag of cones and his step ladder for all his footwork drills. I don’t think he ever told me, and it wasn’t a deal that he was doing to be seen or to prove to the coach how hard he works.”

New management is constantly looking for high character guys who give everything on the football field but also put in the work behind the scenes. The Giants have had some questionable personalities join their team in recent years, but the most recent draft class seems to be full of committed individuals that have plenty of untapped potential.

“I’ve been doing it all my life: Being built like this, growing up, playing this game of football, everybody telling me I’m too small to do it,” Flott said. “I just focus on making an impact on the team.”

There is no question that Flott needs to add a bit of size to his game. With an NFL diet and workout plan, he should be able to add 5–10 pounds of muscle mass before the season begins, but hopefully it doesn’t impact his speed and agility.

Flott is a bouncy corner, capable of changing directions by using his momentum to shift his feet and react accordingly. He will immediately compete in the slot with Darnay Holmes. Aaron Robinson projects to move outside to replace Bradberry.

“I’m ready. Hopefully, I get the job,” Flott said. “Right now, I’m just focusing on improving and being able to fit wherever I am needed.”

Flott enjoyed 357 snaps last year in the slot and 178 outwide. Clearly, he fits the nickel role a bit better, but he has a long way to go before the Giants can depend on him routinely. He will have trouble making tackles at the next level, which is why he desperately needs to add more size to his frame. Flott participated in every combine measurement but the bench press, which likely would’ve displayed a severe lack of strength.

The Giants clearly seem optimistic they can improve his muscle mass and alleviate that concern.

The Giants drafted a perfect linebacker to fit Wink Martindale’s scheme

micah mcfadden, giants

One essential position the New York Giants needed to address in the 2022 NFL draft was linebacker. They landed Indiana defender Micah McFadden and Cincinnati LB Darrian Beavers to the roster. Both will compete alongside Blake Martinez for the LB2 spot. The Giants have rolled with Tae Crowder, the last pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Crowder has solid experience but lacks athletic upside, and the Giants wanted more players that fit their scheme well after overhauling the coaching staff this off-season.

McFadden stands out as a perfect scheme fit for Big Blue, showcasing great aggressiveness. He looks for contact. McFadden’s also capable of blitzing from the linebacker position, which makes him extremely valuable in Martindale’s blitz-heavy scheme.

McFadden fell to the 5th round for the Giants, far lower than he expected to go. That’s given him a chip on his shoulder to work harder and earn a big second contract in the NFL.

“I think it just puts a chip on your shoulder,” McFadden said on Saturday. “You know, you want to get better and you want to, everybody wants to play, and kind of being overlooked like that, it makes you want to play even more and it makes you go harder.”

In 2021, McFadden posted 6.5 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss, and 77 total tackles. He has similar attributes to Blake Martinez, who is one of the best tackling linebackers in football. Martinez should be a tremendous mentor for McFadden, teaching him to be a productive tackler without becoming a liability. McFadden missed 16 tackles last season, a massive number that needs to be corrected at the next level.

Taking a look at the clips above, Indiana utilized McFadden aggressively as a part of their blitz packages. The negatives regarding Micah’s game are that he is awful in coverage and serves primarily as a run-stopping/blitzing linebacker.

Beavers, the Giants’ 6th-round pick, is a far better coverage linebacker, who we may see on earlier downs, with McFadden putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks on third downs to try and force mistakes. Athletically, McFadden ranked above average with his 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle times, showcasing good speed and agility.

McFadden’s biggest positive is his physicality, so I expect the Giants to extrapolate on that attribute.

Why Giants’ 2nd round WR Wan’Dale Robinson is going to be a swiss-army knife on offense

wan'dale robinson, giants

When the New York Giants drafted Wan’Dale Robinson out of Kentucky with their second-round pick, many questioned the decision from general manager Joe Schoen. However, the Giants were looking for a versatile offensive weapon that could serve multiple roles and feature in a variety of alignments as they put together a new scheme.

The Giants hired former Buffalo Bills OC Brian Daboll and Kansas City Chiefs offensive quality control manager Mike Kafka to serve as the team’s new head coach and offensive coordinator, respectively.

Both coaches are known for their offensive pedigree, helping build two of the league’s most potent offenses as part of their resume. Management had plenty to do renovating the roster and adding pieces to both sides of the football that would fit specific schemes and styles.

Robinson is a product of scheme-related drafting, especially since Kafka is coming from an offense that features quick and agile receivers that can play multiple roles.

“Whatever they want me to do, whether that be run the ball, catch the ball, catch a bunch of screens, sweeps, whatever they ask me to do, I’ll be able to do it. That’s just what I want to do,” Robinson said at rookie minicamp, per John Fennelly of Giants Wire.

Robinson tallied 1,342 yards last season for Kentucky, with 12.9 yards per reception and seven total touchdowns. All of his best games came in 2021, and despite being a bit undersized at 5’8″, he has elite change of direction capabilities and proven health history.

Robinson isn’t the biggest or fastest receiver in the draft class, but he hosts several impressive numbers, including his 40-yard dash, at 4.44, 20-yard shuttle at 4.13, and 19 benchpress reps. Putting up 19 reps of 225-pounds under 180 pounds is extremely impressive and showcases Robinson’s underrated strength as a ball carrier. He ranks in the 0 percentile in arm length, meaning his catch-radius is tiny, but once he gets the football in his hands, he’s electric.

The Giants can utilize Robinson out of the slot or on the outside, enjoying 487 snaps in the slot and 239 outside last season. However, Robinson is also lethal on jet sweeps, and screen passes, providing him so much value for an offense that will likely focus on creativity and unpredictability.

With multiple home-run hitters like Robinson, Kadarius Toney, and Saquon Barkley, the Giants will feed them snaps until one of them breaks off a big chunk of yards.

New York Giants Rookie Mini Camp: Main Takeaways

wan'dale robinson, giants

The New York Giants hosted their first rookie minicamp practice on Friday afternoon, featuring the team’s new draft picks. The team had 85 players listed on the rookie minicamp roster, with Brian Lewerke as the only quarterback. That is probably why general manager Joe Schoen was seen throwing footballs around the field and participating in individual drills.

First-round picks Kayvonn Thibodeaux, and Evan Neal were on full display, showcasing their awesome attributes and athletism. Thibodeaux, specifically, spoke about the importance of camp and how excited he was to finally get started.

“I put it on and i feel like I’m not there yet,” Thibodeaux said, via NJ.com. “There’s still some hoops and hurdles I gotta go through to be part of the team … It still hasn’t hit me.”

Thibodeaux has eagerly digested Wink Martindale’s defensive playbook, and while there’s plenty of work left to be done, he is well on his way to making an impact in his first season as a professional football player.

The drills were all non-contact, given the nature of the practices, but seeing how massive Evan Neal is at 6’8″ and 365 pounds is astounding. The Alabama stand-out is preparing to take over at right tackle and help stifle some of the NFC East’s dominant pass rushers.

Wan’Dale Robinson Vs Cor’Dale Flott:

One of the more exciting matchups this off-season will be second-round receiver Wan’Dale Robinson and LSU defensive back Cor’Dale Flott, who was chosen in the third round with the 81st overall pick. Both players faced off against each other in 2021 when LSU traveled to Kentucky.

Robinson got the better of Flott in the game, but both players acknowledged how talented one another was. After an exciting matchup last season, they will have an opportunity to face off daily in multiple alignments. Robinson is capable of lining up in the slot and outside, and I imagine Flott will also travel to the boundary despite projections he will play the nickel position in the NFL.

Luckily, there were no disappointing mishaps like last season when Kadarius Toney had the size of the wrong cleats. Everything went smoothly in Joe Schoen’s first rookie minicamp practice, setting the tone for the rest of the off-season.

Ranking the Giants’ top 5 games of the 2022 regular season

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The NFL released the 2022 schedule on Thursday evening, and the New York Giants have one of the easiest in the entire league. This presents a good opportunity for Daniel Jones to dominate against lesser teams, putting his best foot forward and proving he can be a long-term solution at quarterback. A lighter schedule should ease the coaching staff into the season and help them enjoy some success and progress before taking on a far more difficult group of opponents in 2023.

Nonetheless, the Giants have some exciting games on the docket, so let’s take a look at which ones rank as the best.

Ranking the top 5 New York Giants regular-season games:

Week 12 – Nov. 24:  at Dallas (Thanksgiving), 4:25 p.m., FOX

The Giants haven’t enjoyed a Thanksgiving game in quite some time, and playing Dallas makes it even more exciting.

The Cowboys have struggled to make any noise in the playoffs, but after drafting stand-out pass rusher Micah Parsons last year, the Giants certainly will have their hands full. Big Blue made a concerted effort to address the offensive line this off-season, drafting Evan Neal with the 7th overall pick to plug right tackle.

This will be an exhilarating matchup in the trenches between the Giants and Cowboys, and with a turkey leg in hand, this is one of the most stimulating games of the season.

Week 3 – Sept. 26:  vs. Cowboys, (Monday Night Football), 8:15 p.m., ESPN/ABC

Nine weeks prior to the Giants taking on Dallas on Thanksgiving, they will play Monday Night Football in Week 3 on September 26. Any time the Giants get to play Dallas in primetime is a good one, and given this is one of the Giants’ only primetime games this year, it must be high on the list.

Week 5 – Oct. 9: vs. Packers (London), 9:30 a.m., NFLN

It was announced that the Giants would travel to London to face off against the Green Bay Packers several weeks ago. The last time Big Blue made the trip across the pond was against the Rams when Landon Collins took an interception to the house. This time around, the Packers will offer an entirely different quality of opponent, so Daniel Jones must be at the top of his game.

Week 16 – Dec. 24:  at Minnesota, 1 p.m., FOX

Another interesting game this season is against the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Eve. A little bit of football action to smooth over the holiday is exactly what we needed, making this the fourth-ranked game of the regular season.

Week 18 –  Jan. 7 or 8: at Philadelphia, TBD

The Giants always finished the season with an NFC East opponent. This time around, it is the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles had to show up on this list at least once, and the Giants seem to be in a far better position with their coaching staff to hopefully compete at a higher level.

With AJ Brown being traded to the Eagles during the draft, the Giants will have a tough task ahead of them, limiting him and his size. Matching Adoree Jackson up against Brown seems to be a match made in hell, but second-year corner Aaron Robinson has the height and size to attack him in press coverage. This could end up being one of the more exciting games of the season, and the Giants will be looking to close out the season strong.

New York Giants’ 2022 Schedule Released: Dates, times, networks

Brian Daboll, giants

The New York Giants’ 2022 regular season schedule was released on Thursday prematurely. They will open against the Tennessee Titans on September 11 at 4:25 PM in Nashville before hosting their home opener against the Carolina Panthers.

The Giants have one of the easiest schedules based on winning percentage from 2021, but teams take dramatic steps forward and backward in the NFL, so there’s no telling how difficult it could end up being based on injuries and other important variables.

Via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post:

New York Giants’ 2022 NFL Schedule:

Week 1 – Sept. 11:  at Tennessee, 4:25 p.m., FOX

Week 2 – Sept. 18:  vs. Panthers, 1 p.m., FOX

Week 3 – Sept. 26:  vs. Cowboys, (Monday Night Football), 8:15 p.m., ESPN/ABC

Week 4 – Oct. 2:  vs. Bears, 1 p.m., FOX

Week 5 – Oct. 9: vs. Packers (London), 9:30 a.m., NFLN

Week 6 – Oct. 16:  vs. Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS

Week 7 – Oct. 23: at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., FOX

Week 8 – Oct. 30:  at Seattle, 4:25 p.m., FOX

Week 9 – BYE

Week 10 – Nov. 13:  vs. Texans, 1 p.m., CBS

Week 11 – Nov. 20:  vs. Lions, 1 p.m., FOX

Week 12 – Nov. 24:  at Dallas (Thanksgiving), 4:25 p.m., FOX

Week 13 – Dec. 4: vs. Commanders, 1 p.m., FOX

Week 14 – Dec. 11: vs. Eagles, 1 p.m., FOX

Week 15 – Dec. 17 or 18:  at Washington, TBD

Week 16 – Dec. 24:  at Minnesota, 1 p.m., FOX

Week 17 – Jan. 1:  vs. Colts, 1 p.m., CBS

Week 18 –  Jan. 7 or 8: at Philadelphia, TBD

The Giants taking on Dallas on Thanksgiving afternoon is going to be a fun game to watch. In fact, Big Blue has four consecutive games against NFC East opponents from November 24 to December 17. Those are must-win games for the Giants since they have different values being in their division.

If the Giants are in a spot to make a playoff push, winning those games will be even more essential if the NFC East is once again a muddied division.

Why the New York Giants would be better off with a tough 2022 schedule

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The NFL is preparing to drop the 2022 schedule, and the New York Giants are expected to have a bit of a lighter group of opponents compared to 2021.

HOME:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Football Team
  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Baltimore Ravens

AWAY:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Football Team
  • Green Bay Packers (London)
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Seattle Seahawks

On paper, the Giants have a fairly light schedule given their opponents. Facing off against multiple rebuilding squads, including the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Seattle Seahawks, would suggest that Big Blue has a good chance at walking away with some wins in 2022.

However, having a tougher schedule would be more beneficial for the Giants, allowing them to properly evaluate Daniel Jones and the progress he can make. Having Jones dominate against lesser squads does not suggest he can win in a playoff atmosphere against teams that are considered above average. Gaining false hope he can develop into an elite quarterback could hurt the Giants significantly in the financial department.

A tough schedule would not only give the team more information on Jones’s potential ceiling, but if he fails, it would likely guarantee GM Joe Schoen a top pick in the 2023 NFL draft, which could end up becoming their next quarterback.

There are always a few surprise teams that make significant strides in the second year of a rebuild, and while the Giants have plenty of easy teams on the schedule, I wouldn’t underestimate them just yet.

The Lions could end up becoming a decent team, having shown signs of development last year. There’s no telling how much better Justin fields could look in his second season, and the Bears have a stout defensive unit. The NFC East is always competitive with one another; the Giants have struggled considerably to overcome them in the past.

Another variable to consider is that the Giants still have an unproven roster and team, so any schedule, no matter what it looks like on paper, should be considered difficult until proven otherwise.