NFL.com: New York Giants Have A Top-5 Cornerback Duo
NFL.com’s Ike Taylor ranked the top cornerback duos in the NFL and New York Giants CBs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins ranked fourth in the league.
NFL Media Analyst Ike Taylor ranked the league’s top cornerback tandems and, somewhat surprisingly, the New York Giants duo of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins placed fourth. While Rodgers-Cromartie and Jenkins both had productive 2015 seasons for the Giants and Rams respectively, it’s surprising to see the Giants ranked high in any category that concerns pass defense.
The Giants had the worst pass defense in the league in 2015 allowing 299 yards per game, but Taylor, a respected cornerback in his day, believes they will be much improved. Here’s his writeup:
“The bright spot in the Giants’ defense last season was Rodgers-Cromartie. He is good in man coverage and is one of the fastest defensive backs in the NFL. Although he has a lanky 6-2 frame, his superb back-pedaling skills, along with his play-making ability, make him just as good as any corner in the league. This is supported by the fact that he allowed quarterbacks to register a 53.1 passer rating against him in 2015, fifth in the league among corners.There is a reason that Jenkins got PAID this offseason. He was a cornerstone for the Rams’ defense in his four seasons with the team. He is underrated as a man-to-man corner. Last season, Jenkins had a career-high 16 passes defensed and three INTs. Both of these cornerbacks can line up on either side, and that’s a defensive coordinator’s dream. The Giants’ defense is headed in the right direction behind these two players.”
DRC certainly had a solid season leading the team in interceptions, taking one back to the house, and forcing two fumbles, but he was battling an ankle injury. If he stays healthy, he should be primed for a solid 2016. If not, we may see rookie Eli Apple thrust into situations where he’s covering an opponent’s top receiver.
Taylor is clearly higher on the Jenkins signing than most analysts. Signing the ‘Jackrabbit’ was labeled as a “boom-or-bust” move for the Giants. While some of his 2015 stats, as Taylor pointed out, were career-highs, he’s at the bottom in some other statistical categories as well.
As Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus points out, “Since Jenkins entered the league in 2012, only Buster Skrine (25) and Patrick Peterson (23) have surrendered more than Jenkins’ 22 touchdowns, while only four corners (Antonio Cromartie, Brandon Carr, Cary Williams and Tramon Williams) have allowed more plays of 20-plus yards than Jenkins (39).”
Both cornerbacks will benefit from what should be a greatly improved pass rush. The addition of Olivier Vernon and a full season of Jason Pierre-Paul should allow these two corners to improve on their 2015 production. Are they deserving of a top-five nod? Possibly. But for a position group on the defense to be ranked near the top of the NFL in the offseason is a good sign for the Giants.