After the selection of cornerback Eli Apple in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the New York Giants decision to give cornerback Janoris Jenkins a mega-contract has come to question. The Giants signed Jenkins to a 5-year deal, averaging $12.5M dollars per year. Now with the selection and signing of Apple, the Giants have not only Jenkins and Apple, but also Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, another cornerback, who is under contract for 3 more years, averaging $8.35M per year.
With two cornerbacks on big contracts, drafting a cornerback in the first round doesn’t make much sense. The Giants best way to back up their decision of drafting a cornerback in the first round would be to say that they lack a nickel cornerback, which is true. However, with that said, Apple is ideally an outside cornerback, just like Jenkins and Rodgers-Cromartie.
The Giants have said they will experiment with all 3 cornerbacks to see where they can play each player so that they can all be on the field at the same time. With defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo favoring a blitzing scheme, these three cornerbacks will definitely help the blitz. With that said, the Giants must focus on their pass defense, which was among the worst in the league in 2015.
The Giants addressed greater needs in the later rounds, but the selection of Apple in the first round is definitely a “head-scratcher”. With General Manager Jerry Reese’s job on the line, most analysts expected the Giants to address a major need rather than just adding depth to the secondary.
Another issue the Giants may have is that it isn’t unlikely Rodgers-Cromartie will ask for either an extension, or more money. With Rodgers-Cromartie coming off of a pro-bowl year, he knows he can be making more money. But aside from his reasoning, the Giants signed Jenkins who is making over $4 M dollars more per year than Rodgers-Cromartie, even though Jenkins is yet to make a pro-bowl and Rodgers-Cromartie is coming off of a career year.
All in all, the Giants have some work to do in terms of organizing the secondary. Although most fans and analysts have questions the Giants first round selection of Apple, adding depth to the secondary cant hurt, especially when the team had the worst defense in the league in 2015.