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Experts react to Giants Free Agent Signings

Posted Mar 10, 2016

Media experts give their take on the Giants signing of CB Janoris Jenkins and DE Olivier Vernon

The Giants kicked off free agency with the signing of Janoris Jenkins, regarded by some as the top cornerback available in this year’s market.

Originally a second-round draft pick by St. Louis in 2012, the Florida native started 58 games over four seasons with the Rams, racking up 10 interceptions, 48 passes defensed and six defensive touchdowns.

Here is what the experts are saying about the newest Giant:

Adam Schefter, ESPN

“Biggest CB domino expected to fall after new league year kicks off:  Rams CB Janoris Jenkins is poised to join NY Giants.”


Albert Breer, NFL Network

“One key to the Giants' tentative deal with Janoris Jenkins: Secondary coach Tim Walton. He was Jenkins' DC in St. Louis in 2013.”


Matt Bowen, ESPN (former NFL defensive back)

“With Jenkins, the Giants see a cornerback with natural coverage skills, closing speed and playmaking ability. Jenkins can play off-man, walk up in press and has the speed to match the vertical passing game. Plus, with his ball skills, the Giants get a cornerback who can flip the field, create scoring position and change the course of the game when he finishes plays. This is an aggressive cornerback who isn’t afraid to challenge (or even sit) on routes. He is going to drive on the throw.”


Rand Getlin, NFL Network

“Huge for the Giants to grab Janoris Jenkins in free agency. Rams would have loved to have kept him. Has 6 defensive TDs in his career.”


Art Stapleton, The Record

“Jenkins, 27, has been one of the league's best playmaking defensive backs, scoring six touchdowns, the most of any defensive player in the NFL in that span.”


Ralph Vacchiano, NY Daily News

“Jenkins, 27, is arguably the top corner available on the free agent market, a fast, aggressive coverman who had three interceptions last season.”

“Jenkins will team with veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to give the club a pair of elite corners, which is something that GM Jerry Reese has been trying to achieve for several years.”


The Giants continued to fortify their defense in free agency by signing defensive end Olivier Vernon, the former Miami Dolphin who was one of the biggest names on the market this year.

Here is what experts and analysts are saying:

Gil Brandt, NFL.com

“He's a really good pass rusher, and that's something the Giants needed. New York has a pretty good offense; the team just couldn't stop anyone. Now, they've added Vernon and Damon Harrison to their line and Janoris Jenkins to their secondary, in addition to retaining Jason Pierre-Paul.”


Albert Breer, NFL Network

“Giants' best teams have always been built through their defensive front -- They spent BIG to get Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon today.”


Chris Canty, NBC Sports (former Super Bowl XLVI-winning defensive tackle for the Giants)

“Absolutely Olivier Vernon is worth that kind of money. Why? Because the New York Giants paid him that kind of money. It’s market value. There is no such thing as overpaying for players, and the Giants are getting a tremendous rusher in Olivier Vernon. They understand the need for having pass rushers, and there just aren’t enough of those guys to go around. So I think it’s a great add for the Giants. I think it gives them a complementary edge rusher to Jason Pierre-Paul, and that way they can maximize what they can get out of the front guys that they’ve invested so much money in.”


Sam Monson, ESPN

“If a team existed that was quietly a perfect fit for defensive end Olivier Vernon, it was the New York Giants, and that's precisely where he has landed.”


Ben Stockwell, Pro Football Focus

“The quartet of Vernon, JPP, Johnathan Hankins, and fellow free-agent signee Damon Harrison provides the Giants with a formidable defensive line, but at a hefty price for their newest additions. Vernon was the highest-graded edge defender over the second half of the season, racking up 64 pressures (nine sacks, 26 hits, 29 hurries) from Week 8 onwards, with his 40 defensive stops in that span also the most for any edge defender (only Khalil Mack was within 10 of his total for that 10-week span).”


Art Stapleton, The Record

“Vernon, 25, and Pierre-Paul, 27, are now the bookends of a defensive line that added Harrison, the 350-pound run-stopping stalwart nicknamed ‘Snacks’ who will form quite an interior pair with Johnathan Hankins.”


Jordan Raanan, NJ.com

“Vernon, 25, was the Giants' top priority in free agency. He's a young, productive pass rusher who finished third in Pro Football Focus' edge defender grades for 2015. He was behind only Oakland's Khalil Mack and Denver's Von Miller. Vernon led all 4-3 defensive ends with 30 quarterback hits and finished with 7.5 sacks.

“The Giants have a completely new look to their defensive line with the signings of Vernon and defensive tackle Damon Harrison. They will join tackle Johnathan Hankins and the freshly re-signed Jason Pierre-Paul to create a rather formidable front four.”



The Giants bolstered the middle of their defensive line with the signing of former Jets defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison.

Here is what the experts and analysts are saying about the newest Giants defender:

Chris Canty, NBC Sports (former Super Bowl XLVI-winning defensive tackle for the Giants)

“Damon Harrison is probably the name people would least recognize from the Jets’ front four, but he’s a guy that had tremendous impact. He’s a guy that can push the pocket, and he’s a guy that can push the line of scrimmage back in the running game. But one of the things that you love about him is that he commands a double team. You have to constantly have two people on this guy, and what that does is that frees up those other guys to have one-on-one situations where they can go to work.”


Jonathan Vilma, NBC Sports (former Pro Bowl linebacker)

“You bring in a guy like him, he makes [linebackers] a lot better. Now the [offensive] linemen can’t get up on them. Now they can make the stops in the run game, get into a passing situation, and get those sacks.”


Dan Graziano, ESPN

“He's a 6-foot-4, 350-pound run-stopper who'd look really good next to Johnathan Hankins on the defensive line between whoever the ends turn out to be.”


Dan Hanzus, NFL.com

“Harrison [fills] a huge need for the Giants, who are pumping major funds into an overhaul to their defense. The 6-foot-4, 350-pound Harrison will be paired with Johnathan Hankins on what suddenly looks like a formidable Big Blue interior line.”


Jordan Raanan, NJ.com

“Harrison (6-4, 350) has spent the first four years of his career with the Jets and is known as a dominant interior lineman. He was Pro Football Focus' No. 1 ranked run defender this past season with a 97.3 grade. The 27-year-old lineman was an undrafted free agent out of William Penn in 2012. He's grown into one of the Jets top defensive players.”