James Bradberry, Adoree' Jackson named among NFL's top CB duos
NFL Network analytics expert Cynthia Frelund ranked the top 10 cornerback duos heading into the 2021 season, and the Giants' pair of James Bradberry and Adoree' Jackson landed at No. 10.
As Frelund writes, "Since 2018, James Bradberry has forced a whopping 42 incompletions -- the top figure in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. Last season, he earned an overall PFF grade of 79.8, which tied for seventh among corners with Jalen Ramsey. Computer vision shows that on snaps where the front was unable to generate pressure, Bradberry still allowed just a 59.6 percent completion percentage, the second-lowest mark amongst corners in 2020. Overall passing data logically shows that an increase in pressure correlates with a decrease in completion percentage, but it also shows that effective coverage from defensive backs ahead of the pass can correlate with increased pressure.
"Bradberry's production, combined with the addition of Adoree' Jackson, should help the Giants more effectively blanket pass catchers before the snap. Between that and the additions made up front, New York should increase its pressure rate in 2021, which will in turn drive even more efficiency from the corners."
Bradberry is fresh off the most dominant season of his career. The 28-year-old registered 18 pass breakups (tied for the second-most in the league), three interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 15 games. He earned his first Pro Bowl selection and was also recently named to the NFL Top 100 of 2021.
Jackson was limited to just three games (two starts) in 2020, but was one of the most consistent outside cornerbacks in the NFL over the three previous seasons. From 2017-2019, Jackson 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.
John Mara believes Giants moving in right direction
John Mara believes the Giants are a better team on paper than they were in 2020. But a lifetime association with the franchise and four consecutive sub-.500 seasons has taught Mara that is far from the proving ground for success.
"I'd like to see us show that on the field now and win more games and make the playoffs," Mara, the Giants' president and chief executive officer, said today. "That's my expectation every year coming into the season. Obviously, we've fallen far short of that the last four years, but I think on paper, I'm pleased with where we are, but I want to see us win some games."
The entire organization and its huge fan base concur. How close the Giants are to achieving that goal was a recurring theme in Mara's annual training camp news conference.
From 2017-20, the Giants were a combined 18-46, a .281 winning percentage. That includes a 15-33 mark in Dave Gettleman's first three years as general manager and 6-10 last year in Joe Judge's debut season as head coach.
Mara is convinced the right decision-makers are in place to resurrect the franchise's fortunes.
"I really do believe we're moving in the right direction here," Mara said. "I think the attitude on the team is really good and with the coaches. I think I just have to try to continue to have some patience, which is not easy for me given the last four seasons that we've had. I do think Dave and Joe have made a lot of good decisions. Again, I think we're moving in the right direction."
GM Dave Gettleman stands by Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones
In his first three drafts as the Giants' general manager, Gettleman selected 27 players, including cornerback Sam Beal in the 2018 supplemental draft. But Giants fans and the media are most keenly fixated on two of them, the first-round selections of running back Saquon Barkley in 2018 and quarterback Daniel Jones the following year.
Each was a debated choice, Barkley because running backs are seldom taken as high as No. 2 overall and Jones because many draft pundits that pontificate on television did not rate him as highly as did the Giants, who drafted him sixth overall.
Barkley was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and posted impressive numbers his first two seasons, despite missing three games in 2019 with an ankle injury. But he was sidelined almost the entire 2020 season after suffering a serious knee injury that required surgery in Week 2 in Chicago. Barkley returned to the practice field last week but did not play in the preseason opener vs. the Jets.
Jones also played impressively in his debut season in the high-pressure role as the successor to franchise icon Eli Manning. But he threw 13 fewer touchdown passes last season than he did as a rookie and his record as a starter is 8-18.
Gettleman, however, remains absolutely convinced he made the correct decisions in bringing Barkley and Jones to the Giants.
At his annual training camp news conference today, Gettleman was asked if he feels as "passionately" that selecting a running back second overall was the right move.
"Absolutely, absolutely," Gettleman said. "Stuff happens, not everything's perfect and there are guys all over this league who get hurt, big-time players. He's done a great job and I feel the same way about him. He's different and he's going to be ready to go when he's ready to go."
Giants trade CBs with Packers; acquire Josh Jackson
The Giants and Green Bay Packers today executed a rare trade for veteran players at the same position when they exchanged cornerbacks Isaac Yiadom and Josh Jackson.
Each player is entering his fourth NFL season.
Yiadom goes to Green Bay less than a year after he was acquired in a trade with the Denver Broncos. Jackson, 25, spent his first three seasons with the Packers.
This is the second consecutive day the Giants have traded for a cornerback who will also contribute on special teams. Yesterday, they sent a 2023 sixth-round draft choice to the Houston Texans for Keion Crossen, who is a core special teams contributor.
Jackson, 6-0 and 196 pounds, was a 2018 second-round draft choice by Green Bay, No. 45 overall. He played in 42 regular-season games with 15 starts, plus one postseason game. His career totals include 87 tackles (60 solo) and 15 passes defensed on defense and 11 tackles (nine solo) and one fumble recovery on special teams. Jackson had one special teams tackle in his only playoff game, the 2019 NFC Championship Game.
View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands.