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Adoree' Jackson adds key piece to secondary

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The Giants made two rather big splashes within the first week of free agency this offseason, one on each side of the ball. The first move was the signing of wide receiver Kenny Golladay, which added a big, tough pass-catcher to an offense that the coaching staff hopes will take a big step forward this season.

The second move was the addition of cornerback Adoree' Jackson.

Jackson was a surprise cut by the Tennessee Titans right before the start of the new league year. The 25-year-old was the 18th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and one of the league's up-and-coming corners throughout his first three seasons.

The addition of Jackson marked the second significant free agent signing to the cornerback group in the last two offseasons. And after the success James Bradberry had in his first season with Big Blue, the Giants are hoping for similar results from the former USC Trojan.

Jackson racked up double-digit pass breakups in each of his first two NFL seasons, including 17 as a rookie in 2017. The speedy corner will add a lot to the Giants' defense, and should bring a steadying force to the secondary opposite Bradberry.

"I'm just going to be a great teammate, first of all, to the guys," Jackson said during the recent Giants' Town Hall session about what he will bring to the secondary. "I'm willing to learn. I don't know a lot of anything, pretty much. I'm always willing to learn. Just going out there and competing and playing, and just trying to be a brother to the guys in the locker room and keep a smile on their faces. Just be a great guy, a genuine person. That's all I know how to be.

"Football-wise, just try to be somebody that can lead by example. Going out there and competing, day in and day out, getting one percent better every day. I think that's what I'm going to bring to the table, just a competitor. Competing and not only just try to bring the best out of me, but my teammates as well."

According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson put up some impressive numbers during his time in Tennessee. In each of his first three seasons, the young corner registered an overall grade of 73.0 or higher. That streak was capped with a strong 82.5 coverage grade in 2019 that ranked sixth among cornerbacks. His coverage grade when lined up outside ranked 5th among CBs.

Despite his early success, Jackson knows his game is far from complete.

"Pretty much everything," he said when asked what part of his game needs improvement. "There is not one thing that I'm set in stone or comfortable with me doing. I'm always looking for room to improve, whatever it may be. I even text Champ Bailey and ask him when I can call him and talk to him and try to get pointers and see what he thinks I can do and what I can improve on.

"I'm always trying to talk to people that have been there and done it, and have been great at what they do in trying to improve my game. I'm always willing to learn. I talk to Coach (Jerome) Henderson, we go back and forth seeing what I can improve on, what I can do and just try to stay sharp, not just physically but mentally as well."

Jackson was brought in for a visit to Quest Diagnostics Training Center before the two sides put pen to paper on a multi-year contract. It was on this visit that he was able to sit down with the front office, the coaching staff and even some players to learn more about the culture that Joe Judge and the staff have created.

After having all of those conversations with a variety of different Giants representatives, Jackson knew that the fit was too good to pass up.

"It really started with Logan Ryan," Jackson said. "He's one of the smartest guys I know, so I would ask him a bunch of questions. I asked him because he's a player, and then I asked coaches. I just tried to make sure everything aligned and everything fit with the stories they were both telling. Then other players as well because one person has one opinion. I just always ask everybody 'what are the pros and the cons? What do you like? What don't you like?'

"For me, it just balanced out and matched. What they wanted from me as a player and as a person is the same thing I wanted for myself. When those core foundations aligned, I felt like that was just a great fit for me."

The Giants have signed free agent cornerback Adoree' Jackson.

As we all know, it is a big week for the Giants and the entire league with the 2021 NFL Draft finally here.

Jackson did not have to wait long to hear his name called in 2017, as the Titans made him the 18th overall selection. He was coming off a season in which he earned several prestigious accolades, including Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back.

Despite his draft status, Jackson was fully aware that the hard work was only beginning for him. And with a new crop of rookies set to join the Giants over the next couple of days, the veteran corner had some simple advice for the soon-to-be newest members of the team - enjoy draft night, get ready to work, and keep doing whatever it is that got you to the NFL in the first place.

"For future Giants, wherever you get drafted, whether it's the first round or the last round, just come in ready to work," Jackson explained. "Have fun and compete. When your name is called, just enjoy the moment as much as possible. It's a once in a lifetime experience.

"Keep doing what got you here to this point. Don't change, don't waiver. Understand that the things you've done were good enough to get you here, so keep doing that and just add on to it as you come along. I'm excited for the new teammates and to be able to see them when we're able to get back out there."

View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands.

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