*Giants cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple and Janoris Jenkins were ranked by NFL.com as a Top-5 tandem: *
What is the best cornerback tandem in the NFL?
The New York Giants have a case that the league's best resides in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
For the second straight year, former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback and current NFL.com analyst Ike Taylor examined the top five cornerback tandems. And for the second straight year, Janoris "Jackrabbit" Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made the cut. Taylor ranked the DB's, including Eli Apple as his third-best cornerback tandem, up from the fourth spot a year ago.
"Because of the dominant play of safety Landon Collins, Janoris Jenkins flew somewhat under the radar until late last season," Taylor writes. "Jenkins has the best eyes of any cornerback in the league. He trusts what he sees and doesn't let the receiver beat him with the double move. This quality -- something I learned from my former coach Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh -- is so valuable in a cornerback."
Taylor also praised the play of DRC, who moved inside to play the slot after the arrival of Eli Apple.
"Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie opened the 2016 campaign on the outside but moved inside to play the slot, which I didn't expect, leaving Apple to man the perimeter," Taylor writes. "DRC came through, with his versatility playing a big part in the improvement of the Giants' secondary."
The secondary was only one part of a resurgent year for the Big Blue defense. The unit finished second in the NFL in points allowed (17.6 per game) and allowed a league-low 25 offensive touchdowns. The defense was especially stingy against the run, allowing just two 100-yard rushers all year.
Collins was named to the Associated Press 2016 All-Pro team, while cornerbacks Jenkins and Rodgers-Cromartie earned second-team honors. Collins and Jenkins both made their first Pro Bowl appearance as well.
Here's the rest of Taylor's Top 5 list:
- Jacksonville Jaguars – A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey
- Denver Broncos – Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby and Chris Harris Jr.
- New York Giants – Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
- Los Angeles Chargers – Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward
- New England Patriots – Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore