Two Giants defensive standouts were named to the 2016 AP All-Pro Team, plus four teammates made the second team:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Defensive tackle Damon (Snacks) Harrison and safety Landon Collins were today named to the Associated Press 2016 NFL All-Pro team.
Both Harrison and Collins were standouts on a Giants defense that finished second in the NFL in points allowed (17.6 per game) and led the team to an 11-5 finish. The fifth-seeded Giants will visit fourth-seeded Green Bay Sunday in an NFC Wild Card Game in Lambeau Field.
The Giants also had four players named to the second team: wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., defensive end Olivier Vernon, and cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
"I think it is great," coach Ben McAdoo said of the honors. "They are great individual honors. It is great for them and their teammates and it is exciting to see.
Harrison is a fifth-year pro who signed with the Giants as a free agent on March 10. He started every game and led all NFL defensive tackles with a career-high 86 tackles (55 solo), nine more than runner-up Linval Joseph, the former Giant. Harrison also had a career-best 2.5 sacks, six tackles for losses, and a pass defensed. Harrison had 10 tackles against Washington on Sept. 25, and nine in consecutive games vs. Cleveland and Pittsburgh on Nov. 27 and Dec. 4.
"Snacks is, first and foremost, a man of integrity, has tremendous leadership, works hard at his game, his techniques and fundamentals," McAdoo said. "At that position, you have to enjoy watching others have success to do your job well, and he seems to fit into that mold."
Ironically, Harrison wasn't selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team. But he was cited in voting that covers all of the NFL's 32 teams.
"This is much better," Harrison said. "The Pro Bowl is nice, but getting that recognition for All-Pro is something different. That's the guys who know the game inside and out. They get a chance to not only view you from afar, but watch you up close. They know what they're looking for. They're not just looking for the guys that are getting the sack numbers and the guys that are getting the interceptions. They know when they see good football being played. It's nice to be recognized.
"But I didn't do it alone. There are a lot of guys around me who helped me get to this point. It's a credit to everybody else. My name is on there, but everybody was just as much a part of it."
Collins, a second-round draft choice in 2015, has started all 32 games in his career. In 2016, he led the Giants for the second time in as many seasons with 125 tackles, a franchise record for a safety, including 100 solo stops. Collins also had 4.0 sacks, five interceptions, 13 passes defensed, and a fumble recovery. He was twice named NFC Defensive Player of the Week, and the conference's Defensive Player of the Month in December.
Collins is the only player in NFL history to have at least 100 tackles, 2l0 sacks, 100+ solo tackles, 2+ sacks, five interceptions, and 12 passes defensed in a season.
"It's just hard work that I put in," Collins said. "The work that I told you all that I was going to put in last year. Just proven to be a force on the defense and someone to be talked about. That was just my mindset."
Harrison and Collins as the Giants' first AP All-Pro first-team selections since defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in 2011.
Beckham was third in the NFL with 101 receptions and 1,367 yards, and fifth with 10 touchdown catches.
Vernon had 64 tackles (46 solo), and led the team with 8.5 sacks, 17 tackles for losses, and 23 quarterback hits.
Jenkins, who joined Harrison and Vernon in the Giants' 2016 group of veteran free agent signees, usually covered the opposition's best receiver and had 49 tackles (44 solo), three interceptions and 18 passes defensed.
Rodgers-Cromartie, who shifted seamlessly between the outside and slot, also finished with 49 tackles (1 solo), and added team-high totals of six interceptions and 21 passes defensed.