EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants today continued both their roster reconstruction and their collection of draft choices when for the second time this week they announced a trade involving a defensive starter.
Defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who has started every game since the start of the 2016 season, was sent to the Detroit Lions for a fifth-round choice in the 2019 NFL Draft.
On Tuesday, cornerback Eli Apple was dealt to the New Orleans Saints for a fourth-round choice next year and a seventh-round selection in 2020.
"We were presented with some deals," coach Pat Shurmur said. "We made a couple trades and we're moving on. For the guys that play those positions, it gives them the opportunity to get more reps and show us what they can do, so I'm looking forward to seeing what our guys can do. We're always looking for ways to improve the roster. My concern obviously is getting the team ready to play this week and beyond, but we all know there are short-term and long-term things that go on.
"We traded two players, and we're moving on. In our mind, we've got some guys that we feel can step in and fill in."
The Giants currently own nine choices in the 2019 draft. In addition to their extra selections in the fourth and fifth rounds obtained this week, they have two picks in the seventh round, though not their own, which was sent to Denver for punter Riley Dixon. The two seventh round choices are from the Rams (in the Alec Ogletree trade) and the Vikings for center Brett Jones.
The Giants do not have a third-round choice after selecting cornerback Sam Beal in the supplemental draft in July. Beal is on injured reserve.
Harrison's departure leaves the Giants with a core of young defensive linemen, including second-year pro Dalvin Tomlinson, rookie B.J. Hill, Mario Edwards, Jr., Kerry Wynn, Josh Mauro and John Jenkins.
B.W. Webb is expected to step in for Apple at left cornerback.
The 1-6 Giants will host the Washington Redskins on Sunday and then have their bye.
"We are going to put guys in there and they're going to play well," Shurmur said. "And we expect them to."
Harrison, who turns 30 on Nov. 29, is in his seventh NFL season and third with the Giants. He spent his first four seasons with the Jets before joining the Giants as a free agent on March 10, 2016.
Known for his ability to stop the run, Harrison played in 92 games with 87 consecutive starts for the two teams. His 39-game starting streak (plus one postseason game) for the Giants was the team's longest; Tomlinson, a second-round draft choice in 2017, now has the longest current streak at 23 games.
Harrison's totals in his 39 games with the Giants included 193 tackles (121 solo), 4.0 sacks, four passes defensed, one interception and two forced fumbles.
In his first season with the Giants in 2016, Harrison was selected as a first-team All-Pro after finishing with career-high totals of 86 tackles (55 solo) and 2.5 sacks.
This season, he was fifth on the team with 31 stops (15 solo), including four tackles for losses and a forced fumble.
"I thought Snacks had some really good reps in the games and just like everybody, there are things in each game that he could've been better," Shurmur said.
But the Giants defense has struggled at times this season. The team is tied for 25th in points allowed (26.4 a game), and the defense is ranked 18th in the NFL in yards allowed (367.3), including 20th against the run (113.9).
*The Giants signed wide receiver Corey Coleman off their practice squad, which he joined a week ago.
Coleman, 5-11 and 185 pounds, was the 15th overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He played 19 games with 18 starts in two seasons for Cleveland, and caught 56 passes for 718 yards (12.8-yard avg.) and five touchdowns.
On Aug. 5, Coleman was traded to the Buffalo Bills, who released him on Sept. 1. Ten days later, he signed with the New England Patriots, who waived him on Sept. 17. Coleman was on the Patriots' practice squad from Sept. 20-29.