Ross and Webster

Camp Battles: Cornerback

One weakness within the 2010 Giants squad was the pass defense and it was addressed with the drafting of Prince Amukamara created a log jam of corners. I’m not getting into the play of the safeties in this article of their contribution of giving up big plays, and not helping the defense get off the field. The landscape of the NFC has changed with more 4 receiver offenses being more common. The Giants have to figure out the depth chart among Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, Terrell Thomas and Prince. Depending on how things shake out one of these players may not be on the team depending on the salary cap situation.

Prince Amukamara, rookie, 6’1, 205 lb, University of Nebraska, comes to the team as a draft night surprise and was just too good to pass up. Prince has speed, evident in his 4.38 forty time during his draft journey. Scouts believe he can be an excellent press corner and be a tough nosed in run support, which is essential in the Giant scheme. One aspect Amukamara’s game he needs to work on over the summer, hands. Prince did not record an interception during his last season at Nebraska. Some concerns for the first year player is transitioning to the NFL physical play, complex playbook and technique. I’m comfortable with Prince starting out in the nickel spot and worked into the rotation slowly throughout the season.

Aaron Ross, a 5th year, former first round draft pick out of University of Texas. Ross in his first couple of seasons was pushing for starting position and had special teams’ involvement. However, over the last 3 seasons Ross has had trouble seeing the field with repeated hamstring and other leg issues seemingly living in the training room. The Giants in 2009 also tried to shift him to safety to try to get him on the field, but was a fish out of water trying to transition. Aaron last season played the role of nickel corner, but with the drafting of Amukamara it appears that Ross is under the most pressure to bring his “A” game during training camp. I still think Ross has value with Big Blue in the nickel, dime and in punt returning as he has the speed and instincts to be a good corner, but is he too expensive to keep or is he cursed with his health?

Terrell Thomas, 4th year corner out of Southern Cal was the starting right corner in 2010. Originally, Thomas was brought in as a nickel corner, but with the struggles of Ross was able to capture the starting spot. Thomas not a flashy corner, but consistent in his coverage skills and its rare to see him out of position. Terrell also had 5 picks, over 100 tackles and started all 16 games in 2010. My prediction is Terrell keeps his job but is pushed by Prince to work harder and competition will make him a better player.

Corey Webster, 7 year corner out of LSU was the starting left corner in 2010. Webster is consistently on the cusp of being an elite corner and in my opinion, probably one of the most underrated players at his position. Corey needs to continue to work on his game and push himself to improve to the point of being a shut down corner. At the age of 29 he’s in the prime of his career and should be cemented in his role of starting corner. If Webster was to get hurt the Giants would see a slight drop off to replace him but the overall talent behind him is a luxury.

Prediction- In a perfect world the Giants would love to keep all the corners on the roster, especially with amount of talented receivers in the NFC. However, the reality of the salary cap era will force the Giants to make some tough decisions on reworking contracts, trades or releasing players. With the Giants not likely to resign Deon Grant they will find a way to keep all corners and reevaluate the position after the 2011 season. I think the Giants coaches saw how they got torched by Green Bay and Philadelphia last season and know they need as many talented corners as possible to compete.

Follow me on Twitter: @chrisinstpete

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Tags: Giants; NFC East; Training Camp

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