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Apple’s strong play caught the attention of NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt, who named Apple to his 2016 All-Rookie Team.
Here’s Brandt’s write-up:
“Some thought the Giants reached for Apple in the draft, but I think he outplayed expectations, posting 51 tackles, a pick and a forced fumble. Apple looks like he’ll be a cornerback in the NFL for a long time; he can play inside or outside.”
Including the playoffs, Apple started 12 games for the Giants and played opposite of Jenkins in the base 4-3 defense. The rookie suffered a hamstring injury in Week 3 which cost him one game and he appeared on the injury report for several weeks after. Once fully healthy, Apple played his best ball down the stretch. From Week 10 on, he took more than 95 percent of the snaps on defense.
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Apple was one of only three NFC East rookies to make Brandt’s list. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott were the other two. Giants’ rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard was voted to the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) All-Rookie Team last month.