PFF ranks two Giants among league's top corners
Pro Football Focus has been breaking down the top players at various positions as we inch closer to the start of training camp next month.
Last week, Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence were ranked two of the top defensive tackles by the analytics site. Then PFF's Anthony Treash named Kenny Golladay one of the league's top deep threats. Now PFF is highlighting the cornerback position, and two Giants find themselves near the top of the list.
PFF's Ben Linsey recently ranked the NFL's top 32 outside cornerbacks, with James Bradberry landing at No. 5 and Adoree' Jackson at No. 12.
"Bradberry put up solid performances against a difficult slate of NFC South cornerbacks across the first four seasons of his career with the Carolina Panthers, but he took a clear step forward in his first year with the Giants last season," writes Linsey. "Bradberry was the fourth-most valuable cornerback in the league in 2020 per PFF WAR, with career-best coverage numbers across the board.
"The former Samford Bulldog put up one of the better performances of any cornerback in the league against Allen Robinson II, allowing just one reception on six targets with three pass breakups and an interception in that Week 2 matchup."
View photos of Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry during his time with the Giants.
The 27-year-old cornerback started 15 games and was on the field for at least 96 percent of defensive snaps in each one. The only game he missed was due to his placement on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after he was deemed to be a high-risk, close contact of an individual who tested positive.
Bradberry was a dominant force in Big Blue's secondary. The fifth-year corner matched his previous career-high of three interceptions, while setting new personal bests with two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 18 passes defensed, just two behind Miami's Xavier Howard for the league lead. He earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2020.
As for Jackson, Linsey notes "Tennessee's loss has turned into the Giants' gain. Jackson missed the majority of the 2020 season with a lingering knee injury, but he profiled as one of the most promising young cornerbacks in the league before last year, fresh off a career-high 82.5 coverage grade in 2019.
"Jackson has been one of the stingiest cornerbacks in the league on deep targets since entering the league. Since 2017, he has forced more incompletions on passes 20-plus yards downfield (18) than he has receptions allowed (14)."
Jackson was one of the most consistent outside cornerbacks from 2017-2019. Across those three campaigns, he earned Pro Football Focus’ eighth-highest grade in outside coverage (85.0) while registering 29 pass breakups.
Since entering the league in 2017, Jackson has been targeted 51 times on passes 20+ yards downfield. Among those 51 targets, he allowed 14 receptions while racking up 18 forced incompletions, the second-most in the NFL.
In addition, Jackson's 17.4 percent forced incompletion rate in 11 games during the 2019 campaign ranked 12th in the league. He surrendered just one touchdown on 390 coverage snaps that season.
Top 25 plays from the Manning family
Throughout the history of the National Football League, there have been numerous families that have stood out for having multiple generations of players leave their mark on the sport.
None more so than the Manning family.
Archie Manning was the first to star in the NFL after he was selected second overall in the 1971 NFL Draft. He went on to play from 1971 to 1984, including 10 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, where he twice earned a trip to the Pro Bowl. He would go on to be inducted into the New Orleans Saints Ring of Honor and Hall of Fame.
Next up was Peyton Manning, Archie's second-oldest son. Peyton was the first overall pick in 1998 and ended up having one of the strongest careers of any quarterback in league history. He was a 10-time All-Pro selection, five-time league MVP and two-time Super Bowl champion. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this year in his first year of eligibility.
Finally, there is legendary Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Similar to his brother, Eli was also the first overall pick back in 2004. The two-time Super Bowl MVP played 16 seasons for the Giants and finished his career as the franchise's leader in games played, wins, passing yards, passing touchdowns and several other stats. Following Eli's retirement a few years ago, Giants president and CEO John Mara announced that the No. 10 would be retired in honor of the Giants great.
To celebrate the Manning family, the NFL put together a video of the top 25 plays from the three star quarterbacks' careers, which can be found below.
Inside the Film Room: Elerson Smith brings size and length on the edge
Check out the video below to watch two-time Super Bowl champion David Diehl and Bob Papa break down the film of fourth-round pick Elerson Smith.