New York Giants: Predicting 2021’s dark horse defensive player

New York Giants, Tae Crowder

The New York Giants will likely come into 2021 with a better defense than they had in 2020. While more of the focus has gone to improving the offense, there have been some good additions to the defense and we can expect more from defensive coordinator Patrick Graham now that the Giants are no longer working with an entirely new staff.

It’s easy to point to some of the top names on the defense as future big performers. But what about the dark horses? Which player will come away from the season with better numbers and on the field play than we expected?

The answer might be Tae Crowder

It’s easy to see why Tae Crowder already picked up some notability last season. He was selected with the last pick in the draft in 2020 but performed above expectations, and one could argue that he was also the most dramatic dark horse player for the Giants last season.

His 52 tackles and one fumble recovery is more than most would have expected from a player drafted at his position. After all, Crowder was hardly even guaranteed to make the team going into training camp. The fact that he ended up with a touchdown last season via running back that recovered fumble is even more impressive.

However, he has a chance to emerge as a larger part of the defense this season and once again surprise people with his play.

The position, after all, is there for the taking. The Giants moved on from competing linebacker David Mayo when they released him back in March, and it looks like Crowder might be in a position battle with Reggie Ragland this offseason.

Ragland, of course, is a new addition. We don’t know how he’ll perform yet with the Giants, meaning the other inside linebacker spot next to Blake Martinez is still a tossup. Ragland peculiarly had the same amount of tackles last year with the Lions that Crowder had with the Giants. While some might expect Ragland to take the spot, it’s not a foregone conclusion just yet and we shouldn’t be surprised if Crowder emerges as a starter and records more tackles this year.

It would be a pretty good progression from being Mr. Irrelevant, and if it does happen, it would certainly make Crowder one of the top dark horse performers on the defense.

The New York Giants will have one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL in 2021

New York Giants, James Bradberry

The New York Giants‘ secondary was one of the team’s biggest strengths in 2020. Veteran cornerback James Bradberry led New York’s defensive backs to a stellar season in his first year with the team. However, the unit was not perfect and there was still a hole to fill in the 2021 offseason.

Opposite James Bradberry, the Giants struggled to find a consistent cornerback on the outside. CB2 was a major hole on the Giants’ defense. The Giants filled that hole in March when they signed veteran cornerback Adoree’ Jackson.

The Giants signed Adoree’ Jackson to a three-year deal worth $39 million. He will be the starter opposite of James Bradberry and will give the Giants one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL this season.

James Bradberry stats and highlights

Many fans felt like James Bradberry was an All-Pro Team snub in 2020. He was selected to his first career Pro Bowl, but fans felt like Bradberry’s performance warranted a more prestigious reward.

In 2020, James Bradberry locked down everything deep. The Giants basically had an extra safety on the field with Bradberry at cornerback. On targets 20+ yards downfield, James Bradberry allowed 0 touchdowns and totaled 3 interceptions (T-2nd) according to PFF.

But Bradberry was not just a beast on the deep ball. He was also a true lockdown cornerback that could go one-on-one with any wide receiver. James Bradberry forced 14 incompletions in single coverage, tied for the most in the NFL in 2020 (PFF).

Bradberry set a new career-high 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.

Adoree’ Jackson stats and highlights

It came as a shock when the Tennessee Titans released cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. The Titans cleared some valuable cap space but parted ways with one of the NFL’s best outside cornerbacks. When healthy, there are not many boundary corners better than Adoree’ Jackson.

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. This grade has Jackson on a list with stars like Jaire Alexander, Richard Sherman, and Stephon Gilmore. PFF also ranked Adoree’ Jackson as the twelfth-best cornerback in the NFL entering 2021.

Like James Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson is elite when shutting down deep balls. According to Pro Football Focus, since 2017, Adoree’ Jackson has forced more incompletions on passes 20-plus yards downfield (18) than he has receptions allowed (14).

Adoree’ Jackson has played in only 14 games over the past two years. When he is on the field, Jackson is an elite outside cornerback. The Giants are hoping to see Adoree Jackson stay healthy in 2021 and shut down opposing wide receivers alongside James Bradberry.

New York Giants: Former Giant Victor Cruz Pops in the Morning

New York Giants, Victor Cruz

Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz was a remarkably talented player, brimming with skills and dynamism every time he was on the field!  Cruz went on to have an extremely exceptional career and since retiring he has not slowed down one bit.

Cruz has embarked on many very successful endeavors excelling at each and everything he has done.  His latest venture is joining Lilliana Vazquez and Scott Tweedie as co-host of E!’s ‘Pop of the Morning’ News Show airing weekdays at 11 a.m.!  The show centers around the latest pop culture news and trends where the hosts share their opinions and take on certain topics along with celebrity guests and icons.

Cruz is a natural at it and is a genuine people person.  His effervescence, along with his witty humor, brings such joy and fun to the show.  Cruz is always enthusiastic to try something new and when he does he brings nothing but passion and heart.  He brings with him an earnest, heartfelt and righteous insight into pop culture and everyday life.  Cruz is kind, respectful and courteous to all and his sincerity shines through-with Cruz there is no facade- what you see is what you get and that is the most down-to-earth guy you will find!

The hosts have good rapport and chemistry with each other which makes it all the more enjoyable.  Although the show has had just a few episodes, it certainly looks promising to do extremely well and garner a loyal fan base!  This show is funny, entertaining, real, honest, interesting and full of variety, making the hour fly by.  It is innovative and ingenious and an absolutely fantastic way to start your morning.  It is a pop of brightness to start the morning!

Cruz is a shining star in everything he tackles and this will be no different!  He has a GIANT personality and that along with his determination is a winning combination! Be sure to catch Victor Cruz, along with Lilliana Vazquez and Scott Tweedie on ‘Pop of the Morning’, weekdays at 11 a.m. on E! Network!

Could the New York Giants shut down Daniel Jones for the rest of 2019?

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

With the Miami Dolphins proving to be just a roadblock and nothing more against an inspired New York Giants team, they will push forward against the Washington Redskins in week 16. The release of Janoris Jenkins seemed to motivate the young rookies who were battling for playing time.

There’s no question head coach Pat Shurmur told both DeAndre Baker and Sam Beal to go out and earn the No. 1 corner position, as they both played well. Beal recorded 11 combined tackles with eight solos, and also came up big with a tackle in the endzone resulting in a safety.

Baker, on the other hand, had two pass breakups and 11 total tackles. Despite their success, Dolphins’ DeVante Parker finished the day with 72 yards and two scores, displaying the youthfulness of the Giants’ secondary. However, while the defense is littered with rookies, veteran passer Eli Manning remained under center for the second-consecutive week.

Should the New York Giants play it safe with Daniel Jones?

One could make the argument that the Giants should sit rookie passer Daniel Jones for the remainder of the season, considering his mild high ankle sprain and the success Manning has had through two weeks (not including the three INTs against Miami).

Risking further damage to Jones’ ankle might force the Giants to stick with the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the remaining two games of the season, and it makes sense if his injury isn’t healed to a point where there’s no pain present. If Jones is still feeling discomfort, they should not push him to play, especially with the amount of time he’s had to develop and gain essential film.

Jones was never expected to become the consistent starter this season, and earning 11 week’s worth of experience and film will give him a great foundation to build off of. He’s already racked up three 4-score games in his young career, a number that should spur optimism moving forward.

New York Giants news, 10/16 – Janoris Jenkins to the Jags? Deandre Baker, more

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

With the Jacksonville Jaguars sending star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams for two first-round picks and more, an open spot on the defense now must be filled. The New York Giants could have just the player to offer in Janoris Jenkins, but it ultimately comes down to value.

The October 29 trade deadline for the NFL could spell some significant moves, but it all depends on the Giants’ record and if they’re realistically competing for a top spot in the NFC East. They currently sit just one game behind the Dallas Cowboys and Philidelphia Eagles, and with two tough matchups versus Arizona and Detroit, the Giants could be in a position to deal players instead of bringing them in.

Adding draft capital for the next offseason could be a good move considering their struggles on defense. However, the theoretical departure of Jenkins would force rookie DeAndre Baker into the No. 1 corner spot, and I don’t believe he’s ready for that type of challenge.

Baker has struggled this season to match up against quality pass-catchers, and trading Jenkins away would throw him right into the fire in a fight he likely cannot win. He’s still in dire need of development and refinement, but the New York Giants could see the value in gaining draft picks, especially if a team comes to the table for a third-round pick.

Injury update:

Both Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram practiced in a full capacity on Monday, giving us the indication that they will be available to play next Sunday against the Cardinals. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard is still working through the concussion protocol despite participating in individual drills, as well. He will likely miss week seven but could eye a potential return against Detroit — it’s still too early to tell.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Jordan Raanan – A deeper look at Daniel Jones’ six interceptions this season

Paul Schwartz – Beware of angry Saquon Barkley

Mark Schofield – Daniel Jones: Progress report after four starts by Giants’ rookie quarterback
Dan Benton – Giants remain very much alive in struggling NFC East
Anthony Rivardo – New York Giants: Ranking Daniel Jones’s Top Five Plays Of The Season So Far

Just How Great Has Saquon Barkley Been For The New York Giants?

The New York Giants are in the middle of another lost season. Through twelve weeks, the Giants are a measly 3-8. The team has not shown much improvement from last year’s disastrous campaign. However, this disappointing season has come with one awesome silver lining in the backfield. That silver lining goes by the name of Saquon Barkley.

Saquon Barkley Has Delivered On High Expectations:

Running back Saquon Barkley was drafted by the Giants with the second overall picks in this year’s draft. The Giants took Barkley ahead of notable quarterback prospects Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen. This decision was considered widely controversial all offseason.

While some may still say they should have taken a quarterback, no one will deny the fact that the Giants got the best player in the draft with Barkley. He had high expectations going into the season due to where he was drafted. Through eleven games, Saquon has surpassed these expectations by putting up an incredible 1,410 yards from scrimmage with ten total touchdowns. Barkley is also averaging an impressive 4.8 yards per carry. He is also fourth in the league in rushing yards with a total of 829 yards.

This is especially impressive when you consider he is only receiving 15.5 rushing attempts per game. This means that, in theory, if Barkley received as many attempts per game as the league’s leading rusher Ezekiel Elliot (19.7 a/g), he would have 1,040 yards, just 35 yards shy of the league lead. Perhaps the most impressive statistic of them all is that Barkley has a total of zero fumbles on the season. This is an incredible statistic considering he is only a rookie. The rookie out of Penn State also leads all rookies in the league in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

The Human Highlight Machine:

Playing in a big market like New York, it was expected that Barkley’s play would be put under a microscope. Every highlight would get more attention, and so would every mistake. However, there has not been many mistakes, but there has been plenty of highlights. Saquon has four touchdowns of 50+ yards already, including this beauty from Sunday’s most recent loss in Philadelphia:

Barkley has proven he can also be a serious receiving threat out of the backfield with four receiving touchdowns so far this season (also check out how he flew about fifteen feet through the air at the end of this one):

If those plays were not enough to wow you yet, just try to count how many defenders Barkley makes miss on this screen pass:

Barkley has played an almost perfect season of football so far for the Giants. From breaking rookie records to creating historic highlights, Saquon has proven he will be one of the best backs in the league for years to come. His play so far this season has solidified him as the top candidate for offensive rookie of the year.

New York Giants Big Money Linebacker Falling Short Of Expectations

When the New York Giants traded for middle linebacker Alec Ogletree on March 17, fans were hopeful for a better linebacking corps. They hoped that the Giants finally found their center piece to command the defense. However, 11 games into the 2018 season, Ogletree has not lived up to the hype.

Alec Ogletree Commands A High Price:

The Giants traded their 2018 fourth and 2019 seventh round draft picks for Ogletree. Considering the Giants received a fifth round draft pick by trading Damon Harrison, the best run stuffer in the NFL, maybe a fourth round pick for Ogletree was too much. On top of that, his cap hit next season spikes up to $11 million. This would make him the third highest-paid inside linebacker in the league next season. Alec Ogletree’s performance does not reflect that of a top three linebacker in the NFL. Thankfully, if the Giants decide to cut him next season (post-June 1st), they will save $10 million in cap space.

Below Average Performance:

Alec Ogletree is currently ranked as the 75th linebacker on Pro Football Focus with a below average grade of 43.2. Considering what the Giants gave up for Ogletree, and what they plan on paying him, this is unacceptable. This low grade comes from Ogletree’s poor play in coverage. For example, against the 49ers in week 10, Ogletree allowed tight end George Kittle to gain 83 yards on nine receptions.

In week 11, Ogletree was not assigned to pass coverage because of his play in San Francisco. Rather than play coverage, he was assigned to play run defense, but he struggled mightily there, too. The big-money linebacker played his part in allowing Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber to rush for 109 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. The Giants have been allowing 125.4 rushing yards per game this season and 152.3 per game over the last three games. Their run defense is arguably their biggest weakness, and the blame for that should be carried on the shoulders of the middle linebacker.

Alec Ogletree does have a captain’s patch, and he has seemed to be an excellent leader this season. But that doesn’t excuse his poor play. The Giants can’t afford to pay top dollar for someone just to be a locker room leader. They need to pay for performance, and they need to get top level play when spending top dollar. Unfortunately, Alec Ogletree has not been giving the Giants top level performances, and this makes him a big cut-candidate next season.

New York Giants: Derek Carr Among Quarterback Options For 2019

New York Giants, Pat Shurmur

After Derek Carr’s first three years in Oakland, few would have thought that there would be speculation about the quarterback being traded. That, however, seems to be the case right now. The New York Giants are one of the teams that may be in the running, and as the chances of the Giants making a move for a quarterback grow higher and higher, the more realistic a move for the Raiders starter seems.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports is one of the ones that believes a trade can happen. “Ultimately what’s the point of keeping Derek Carr? And if you have all this draft capital and you get a one plus something else for Derek Carr, which I think he can. I’ll call it right now, Derek Carr to the New York Giants, at the combine,” La Canfora said on the Pick Six Podcast.

A trade at the combine likely assumes that the Giants aren’t confident in getting Oregon’s Justin Herbert, who could easily be the top pick. It seems like they could be on pace for that, but there’s still many games left to be played, and getting three or four wins could throw off the team’s chances of landing this year’s consensus top quarterback.

But one advantage that Carr provides that Herbert doesn’t is experience. In 2019, Carr will enter the sixth year of his career. In each of the past four seasons, Carr has thrown for more than 20 touchdowns, but the Raiders aren’t doing so well this year and have the same record as the Giants at 1-5. With both teams rebuilding, big name players changing hands isn’t such a crazy idea.

“I think that’s what they do and they plug him right in there with Barkley, Odell and Shepard and [Evan Engram] and they try to keep that thing going,” La Canfora continued.

It still remains to be seen, however, what the Giants would have to give up in a trade for Derek Carr. It likely won’t be a first round pick, and Carr’s contract also complicates things and means that the move might come with some kind of other roster change. Will it happen? It’s too early to tell.

But options are always good, especially when it seems almost certain that, for better or worse, the team will make a change in 2019.

Three Giants Players That Need To Shine During Pre-Season

Where the New York Giants upgraded at several positions, they also left spots with little depth and unproven talent. Most of the uncertainty lies with the secondary and defensive unit, which will make the pre-season a very important time for some players to prove to the Giants’ regime that they are capable of playing at a high level, one that’s expected on a rejuvenated Big Blue team.

Three players that will use the pre-season to their advantage:

QB, Davis Webb:

While some players are fighting for a roster spot, second-year quarterback, Davis Webb, is fighting to be the face of the franchise. The Giants elected to pass on a quarterback in the most recent NFL draft, putting the pressure on Webb, but also instilling their confidence in him. He knows that his mentality going forward will have to be spotless if he wants to become the future signal caller for New York.

The pre-season represents an opportunity for him to display the skills he has been refining since entering the league in 2017. Coming out of Cal, Webb was raw in talent and had a lot to learn. After spending a year under center behind Eli Manning, he grasped a new sense of professionalism and passion for the game. He worked tirelessly during the offseason and began to develop chemistry with some of the Giants’ top offensive weapons.

We can expect that Manning will play sparingly during the pre-season and Webb will receive a heavy dosage of the reps, which will only benefit him and the organization as they prepare for Manning to retire in the near future.

S, Curtis Riley:

The former Tennessee Titan is entering his fourth-year in the league, and none of which have seen him as a starter, nor a consistent backup. After being brought up from the practice squad to the 53-man roster in 2016, Riley appeared in 11 games over the next two seasons (2016 & 2017).

The Giants brought Riley on to compete at as a cornerback but noticed that his skills might be a better fit at safety. Being that Riley has spent time developing his footwork and coverage skills at corner, his abilities as a corner might fit the bill for a team looking to plug in a free safety. Currently, Darian Thompson and Andrew Adams are both competing for the free safety job along with Riley, but Thompson has taken a majority of the second-string reps while Adams and Riley split them with the first-team.

The pre-season will allow the Giants to see the former Titan in action, as he attempts to make the transition to safety, similar to what Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie experiences last season. If his coverage skills can impress, he could be in a solid spot to earn the starting job.

CB, Grant Haley:

See the trend here? A of the uncertainty is in the secondary, and Penn State product, Grant Haley, will look to showcase his abilities during the pre-season. The fact that Haley went undrafted was a big surprise to most, as he played well with the Nittany Lions and displayed solid coverage skills.

Its expected that Haley will compete for the starting slot-corner spot, as William Gay has also taken reps there. He will likely be inserted with the first-team to test his actions in a live-game situation. If he can show that his speed and agility can match up with NFL talent, there’s no reason he can’t become the starting slot-corner moving forward.

New York Giants Vs Jets: Which Is The Better Team Looking Into The future?

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

While many analysts and fans believe that the New York Giants should have spent their No. 2 overall pick on a top-tier quarterback, the move to take one of the most enticing running backs in the last decade cannot be overlooked.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is as close to a generational talent as you can get coming out of college, and having Eli Manning for the next two years puts the Giants in a good position to win in the short term and further develop Davis Webb.

The offense took massive strides over the offseason, as they signed left tackle Nate Solder and drafted guard Will Hernandez. The mentality of the team has shifted on its axis, and the culture change will prove to be one of the driving factors towards the overall success of the team.

The New York Giants have a new crop of rookies and a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. You won’t want to miss out on any breaking news stories, updates, or every-day activities! Sign up for FREE to receive premium content delivered straight to your email.

But what makes them different than their home-town rivals, the New York Jets, and are the Giants in a better position to succeed?

The Jets chose to draft a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick. They selected USC signal caller, Sam Darnold, who brings a dynamic style of play to their offense and has the ability to develop into a quality player in the NFL.

MUST READ: The truth about Odell Beckham Jr.’s impending mega-deal

While Darnold has struggled to find a rhythm in his first few weeks as a professional, all rookies tend to have hiccups in the beginning of their professional career – unless you’re Saquon Barkley of course (joking).

The primary difference between the teams are their age, and the status of their rebuilding. The Jets have used the NFL draft to organize their defense and put a fresh and young product on the field. With players like Jamal Adams, Darron Lee, Lorenzo Mauldin, Morris Claiborne, and Leonard Williams, the Jets are on the right track to success. In 2017, their defense ranked 22nd in the league, primarily due to their youth agenda and inexperienced roster. The Giants on the other hand ranked 31st overall, struggling to stop the run. Despite the influx in injuries for the Giants, the defense struggled as a result of the offenses incapability to manage the clock. In 2018, we should expect to see a major turnaround.

The offensive side of the ball:

With the Giants selecting Barkley, they will receive a dynamic back that can run, catch, and block. Eli Manning has never had as complete a back as Barkley, and we should expect head coach Pat Shurmur to bring the best out of both players.

A starting unit consisting of Manning, Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and a new offensive line, should immediately put the Giants in a position to succeed offensively. The major question in play for the Giants will be: How long will it take for the players and coaches to develop a balanced chemistry? 

Often times it can take at least one full season to develop the inter-workings of a team, and that fact alone may set the Giants back one season, putting Manning on the back end of his remaining two-years with Big Blue.

Luckily, good signs have been leaking from OTAs in regard to Davis Webb. Check out his latest progress here!

For the Jets, things have also looked good in terms of progress. Success has been hard to come by for Gang Green on the offensive side of the ball, but the drafting of Darnold and signing of Isaiah Crowell should put them in a solid position moving forward.

While their team as a whole will take another two-seasons to see a significant turnout due to the inexperience on both sides of the ball, they will likely be in a better position five-years down the line. The Giants on the other hand are set up to success on the short term, but if Webb pans out, they could be looking at success for the next decade.