Connect with us


New York Giants Positional Breakdown: Defensive Backs

Throughout the next several weeks, I’ll be breaking down the Giants’ roster, position by position. We’ll take a look at what each player brings to the table, their chances of making the roster and, if applicable, their roles on the 2015 team. Next, we’ll take a look at the defensive backs.


Prince Amukamara

Roster odds: 100%

Amukamara is currently dealing with a groin strain, and will not play in Friday’s preseason opener against the Bengals. But he’s expected to be just fine for the regular season, and the Giants will be relying on him to produce in his contract year.

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

He missed the second half of last season after suffering a torn biceps, but that injury is fully recovered. Still, it was a shame since Amukamara seemed to be on his way to his best season yet. In just eight games, he recorded three interceptions, 37 tackles and 11 passes defended.

He will be a free agent after the season, so the Giants will hope Amukamara picks up where he left off last season, and they can lock their star corner up for years to come.


Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Roster odds: 100%

DRC is a lock to start opposite Amukamara, but like his fellow corner, Rodgers-Cromartie is also dealing with a groin injury. Both should be fine.

Rodgers-Cromartie battled a number of injuries during his first year as a Giant last season, but still managed to play in all 16 games. He tallied up 36 tackles, two interceptions and 12 passes defended.

He and Amukamara are far and away the Giants’ top corners, so they will be heavily relied on to improve a Giants pass defense that ranked 18th in the NFL last year.


Landon Collins

Roster odds: 100%

In perhaps the weakest safety corps in the NFL, Collins is the only sure thing at the position.

The Giants traded up to select Collins by swapping second-round picks with Tennessee, in addition to sending them a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick. The Alabama product was the best safety in the draft. I expect him to have the biggest impact among this year’s Giants rookies.

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Collins is a beast in the box and is the no-brainer starter at free safety. There could be some minor hiccups as he adjusts to the NFL, but many considered him among the most pro-ready prospects of the draft.


Nat Berhe

Roster odds: 100%

Berhe is currently sidelined with a torn calf muscle, and his 100% roster odds are completely dependent on his health.

The second-year safety suffered the injury over a week ago. Besides Tom Coughlin saying there is no timetable for his return, there hasn’t been much of an update on him since.

As a rookie, Berhe played in all 16 games, mostly contributing on special teams on his way to 11 tackles and one fumble recovery.

Berhe seemed to have the inside track on the starting strong safety job, but it seems the longer he sits out with this injury, the less likely he is to earn that spot. Of course, for all we know, Berhe could miss the entire season. It’s obviously something to keep an eye on.


Bennett Jackson

Roster odds: 100%

Jackson is a tough player to figure out.

On the surface, he’s just a former sixth-round pick who missed his entire rookie season due to an injury. Not to mention, he’s in the process of converting from a cornerback to a safety.

But all reports out of training camp say Jackson has looked great, and could be the favorite to start at strong safety with Berhe sidelined. For what it’s worth, many reports have had Jackson working as the nickel corner too.

The bottom line is Jackson’s versatility is what makes him valuable to the Giants, and why he’ll make the team. Whether it’s as a starting safety or a nickel corner is yet to be seen. He’ll be interesting to watch in Friday’s preseason game.


Jeromy Miles

Roster odds: 100%

I wrote back in July that Miles profiles as a third safety that could push for a starting job, and now that’s becoming more of a reality.

Miles has the most experience among all Giants safeties, and has experience playing under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. With Berhe on the shelf and Jackson potentially settling in as a nickel corner, Miles would be the logical next man up to start alongside Collins.

Whether it’s as a starter or third safety, Miles should be a lock to make the final roster.


Jayron Hosley

Roster odds: 80%

Three years after being a third-round pick out of Virginia Tech, it seems Jayron Hosley is finally ready to contribute.

Hosley missed the beginning of last season serving a suspension, and then managed only to get into six games, where he recorded eight tackles and one pass defended. Those stats are hardly encouraging, but Hosley’s name has popped up a number of times during training camp.

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today

Thanks to a strong training camp performance, Hosley currently finds himself third on the Giants’ cornerback depth chart. And with Amukamara sidelined, Rodgers-Cromartie ailing, and Chykie Brown not making the trip to Cincinnati, Hosley could very well be the Giants’ top corner on Friday.

Barring injuries to Amukamara and DRC, Hosley won’t start in the regular season. Jackson could also take up playing time at the nickel corner spot, so despite these glowing reports out of camp. I wouldn’t expect huge production from Hosley in 2015. Still, he should be on the team and at the very least have a chance to contribute.


Mykkele Thompson

Roster odds: 75%

Simply put, Thompson’s roster spot is pretty safe because it’s hard to see the Giants giving up on this year’s fifth-round pick before his rookie season ever starts.

Many were surprised that the Texas product was even drafted, as he was widely projected to go unselected. But the Giants obviously see something they like in the former Longhorn, and with Big Blue’s lack of depth at safety, Thompson has a golden opportunity to earn playing time.

He played some corner in college too, and has the speed to cover a lot of ground in the defensive backfield. It will be interesting to see how the safety situation shakes out throughout the preseason, but at the very least Thompson should have a role on special teams.


Chykie Brown

Roster odds: 65%

Brown seems to be at the top of the remaining cornerbacks who are competing to make the team.

Brown came over in the middle of last season after being let go by the Ravens. He played in eight games for Big Blue (four starts), and managed 25 tackles and two passes defended.

He is currently sidelined with a quad injury, but it doesn’t sound too serious. He will, however, need to get back on the field soon to fend off his competitors, but as long as he’s healthy, I think he just barely edges out the rest.


Cooper Taylor

Roster odds: 50%

Depending on whom you ask, Taylor is either a leading candidate to start alongside Collins, or he will be left off the roster entirely.

The truth is it’s really hard to see how things shake out for the safeties right now. Based on what I’ve observed, Collins is a lock to start and Berhe will start with him if he’s healthy. And I get the impression Miles and Thompson are ahead of Taylor. While Jackson could see most of his time at nickel corner, he can play safety too.

That’s at least four safeties that seem to be ahead of Taylor right now, and five if Berhe avoids IR. With so much uncertainty, things could change quickly, so I’ll be paying close attention to how the safeties look on Friday night against Cincinnati.


Trumaine McBride

Roster odds: 45%

Much like Taylor, I think things could change for McBride very quickly.

McBride played in just six games last year, but still showed up everywhere on the stat sheet: 19 tackles, one interception, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and even a sack.

He’s behind both Hosley and Brown on the Giants’ first released depth chart, but I could easily see him make the team ahead of either, especially Brown. Keep an eye on McBride against Cincinnati.


Josh Gordy

Roster odds: 40%

Gordy’s another example of a serviceable-not-great cornerback that is competing for a spot on the back-end of the roster.

He played in 16 games for the Colts last year, contributing 19 tackles, four passes defended and a fumble recovery. He hasn’t shone particularly bright in training camp so far, and projects as a nickel corner at best.

With Jackson a good bet to be the primary nickel corner, and McBride competing for a similar role, I think Gordy falls a little short. But again, this defensive backfield is very fluid, so keep a close eye on preseason performances. All it takes is one big performance to change a coach’s mind.


Mike Haris

Roster odds: 35%

Harris collected 20 tackles, two passes defended, one pick and one sack in five games last year. Not too shabby, but he’ll need a big preseason to make the squad.


Chandler Fenner

Roster odds: 30%

Fenner played in 11 games last season, pretty much exclusively on special teams. With so many corners with defensive experience ahead of him, I don’t see Fenner making the team.


Trevin Wade

Roster odds: 15%

Wade did not appear in a single game in 2014, and is a longshot to do so with the Giants in 2015.


Justin Currie

Roster odds: 5%

Currie, a rookie out of Western Michigan was released earlier this summer before being re-signed just a week later. Expect him to be released again before final cuts.


Justin Halley

Roster odds: 0%

Halley is an undrafted rookie out of FIU who doubles as a male model. Expect him to do more modeling than tackling for the Giants this fall.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Football