BBI New York Giants 2014 NFL Draft Preview: Cornerbacks
by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56
Current CBs on the NYG Roster:
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – 28 – Signed through 2018
Prince Amukamara – 25 – Signed through 2014
Walter Thurmond – 27 – Signed through 2014
Trumaine McBride – 29 – Signed through 2015
Jayron Hosley – 24 – Signed through 2015
Zack Bowman – 30 – Signed through 2014
Charles James – 24 – Signed through 2014
Junior Mertile – 25 – Signed through 2014
Ross Weaver – 27 – Signed through 2015
Chaz Powell – 26 – Signed through 2015
Travis Howard – 25 – Signed through 2015
Where They Stand:
On paper, this is one of the best groups of CBs that NYG has had in recent memory. The aggressive free agency signing of Rodgers-Cromartie was an impressive one for a front office that seems to usually error on the side of caution. The addition of Thurmond may end up being the top signing of this offseason though. He’s been a league-favorite of mine for a few years now and I think he will prove to be a difference maker right away. Round out the top three with the upside of Amukamara and this secondary appears to have the makings of something really good. The depth has a few question marks, as McBride/Hosley/Bowman all have their deficiencies, but what secondary in the league doesn’t find themselves in that position? It seems NYG is scouring the street free agent market for a starter every year at some point in the season. Reese appears to have really locked in a deep group at the position that will give them plenty of options should injuries arise. This may be the most impressive group of a revamped defense.
Top 10 Grades:
1: Justin Gilbert – Oklahoma State – 6’0/202: 86
2: Jason Verrett – TCU – 5’10/189: 83
3: Kyle Fuller – Virginia Tech – 6’0/190: 82
4: Travis Carrie – Ohio – 6’0/206: 78
5: Aaron Colvin – Oklahoma – 5’11/177: 78
6: Phillip Gaines – Rice – 6’0/193: 78
7: Darqueze Dennard – Michigan State – 5’11/199: 77
8: Shaquille Richardson – Arizona – 6’0/194: 76
9: Brock Vereen – Minnesota – 6’0/199: 75
10: Nevin Lawson – Utah State – 5’10/190: 74
Day One Target:
Justin Gilbert – Oklahoma State
I would say there is a 50/50 chance Gilbert is available for NYG when they are on the clock at #12 overall. I think he is widely considered the top corner in this class with his size/speed/agility/ball skills combination that isn’t matched by anyone in this class. He had a dominant 2013 season and showed just how well rounded he can be now that he has put it all together. Despite NYG beefing up their secondary via free agency, I think he should at least be a consideration for the slot. In this era, a team may never have too many quality cornerbacks. As I stated earlier, it seems as if NYG is looking for street free agents to be a part of the CB rotation on Sundays every year. This is not a spot where you want to have questionable depth. When you consider Rodgers-Cromartie is the only one that will definitely be around after 2014, a Gilbert selection makes sense.
Jason Verrett – TCU
Day Two Target:
Kyle Fuller – Virginia Tech
I’m having hard time gauging where Fuller will land in this draft class, but I think he is a legit top 20 player. His injuries are included in my grade, so I’m not ignoring them even though it appears they will not hamper him down the road at all. Fuller was one of my favorite players to watch in 2013. He is as aggressive as it gets against both the run and pass with elite movement ability and good awareness. I love the toughness he brings to the table. If he falls out of the first round, NYG should immediately consider him with their second pick. He has quality-starting corner written all over him.
Aaron Colvin – Oklahoma
Day Three Target:
Travis Carrie – Ohio
I’ll venture to say most of you have never heard of my #4 overall CB. That’s fair and from what I see out there, nobody has this kind of grade on him. I’m fine with that because I don’t use the media’s perception as part of my grading process. Carrie is a tall, well put together athlete that can move with anyone. He has some of the best feet and hips you’ll find and enough speed to stick with speed receivers down the field. He is a strong tackler that approaches that part of the game the right way. Carrie may be my biggest diamond in the rough this year and I wouldn’t hesitate to take him on day three for one second. He will be a player if he finds the right system that allows him to play bump and run coverage and attack the running game. I am really looking forward to his career.
BJ Lowery – Iowa
Bradley Roby – Ohio State
I want to like Roby because of his receiving ability and movement. He is a top tier agility/speed guy that can catch the ball. But every time I watch OSU tape, his lack of awareness and fluidity jumps off the screen. When he is matched up against receivers that understand the mental side of the game and do the little things right, Roby gets exposed. He loses a lot of his athleticism when tracking the deep ball as well. His speed does not translate to the field and guys like that always bother me.
Keith McGill – Utah
I’ve said it a few times that I am very confident this group of CBs can perform at a level that we haven’t seen here in quite some time. Their top 3 corners can be as good as any in the league. The depth behind them could be a lot worse when comparing depth charts from around the league, so I could see the case made for not addressing the position in the 2014 Draft. I have a different view, however. There are some interesting opportunities here to bring in a quality cover corner throughout the entire draft. I would have to give a long, hard thought to Gilbert at #12 overall if he is there. I understand he may not fill the biggest hole, or even the third biggest hole on this team right away, but cornerback is NOT a spot you want to ever be weak at. It would be foolish to approach this as a “Cross that bridge when we get to it” type mindset. Gilbert could have a spot on this roster right away that leads to contribution. If he is passed on, I have a lot of different grades on this class when comparing to what I see out there. There will be an opportunity in every round of day three for a great value grab. I would say that should be the route taken if Gilbert is not the pick at #12 overall.