New York Giants: Pro Football Focus offers high praise for Andrew Adams
New York Knicks free safety Andrew Adams was one of the unsung heroes of the 2016 season. Pro Football Focus is giving Adams his due.
As the 2017 NFL regular season slowly approaches, all eyes are turning to the battle at free safety. Darian Thompson holds the early advantage in the hearts and minds of New York Giants fans, but Andrew Adams is maintaining a solid pace.
Although unheralded as a rookie, Adams is finally receiving the respect he deserves for what was a special first season.
As an undrafted free agent who began his career on the practice squad, Adams wasn’t expected to make a significant impact in 2016. Over the course of his rookie season, however, he proved to be of significant value to the 11-win Giants.
In an article penned by Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, Adams was singled out as the, “Secret superstar,” on the Giants’ roster.
"Landon Collins was transformed as a player by moving to strong safety where he could be a bigger impact force in and around the box, but the play of Adams in his old free safety role was also a huge factor in the transformation of New York’s defense. Adams got his chance to start in Week 5 and put together a sequence of impressive displays, ending the year with a PFF grade of 79.4."
The term, “Superstar,” shouldn’t be the focus here—the acknowledgement of the criminal underrating of Adams should be.
Pro Football Focus graded Adams as No. 39 amongst all safeties during the 2016 season. That Top 40 ranking is a fair indication of why Adams still has the respect of his coaches and teammates despite fans preparing to slam the door shut on him at free safety.
The numbers display a different story, however, as Adams remains firmly in the race to become the 2017 starter.
With 14 games of NFL experience on his resume—all of which were played alongside strong safety Landon Collins—Adams is an intriguing player.
The working theory is that Thompson, the Giants’ third-round draft pick in 2016, has the higher ceiling. While Thompson may be the 6’1″ free safety who picked off 19 passes during his college career, Adams is the workhorse who recorded 198 tackles between his junior and senior seasons.
More importantly: Adams is the workhorse who made his way up from the practice squad to starting for the No. 2 ranked scoring defense in the NFL.
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Andrew Adams may or may not be the starting free safety in 2017, but he deserves respect from New York Giants fans.