The free-agent signing of James Bradberry (to a whopping three-year, $45 million deal) addressed a huge need for the Giants, adding a veteran cornerback capable of locking up opposing receivers. Bradberry joins a young group filled with untapped and perhaps suspect potential.
The key to this entire position will be how much DeAndre Baker develops in Year 2. The Giants last year traded up into the first round to take Baker out of Georgia, and what they got in return was a mess of a rookie for the first portion of the season, as Baker was not ready for the mental rigors and work commitment of life as an NFL player. He improved his habits, and as a result, the back end of this first year offered hope this will not be a wasted pick.
An interesting first-round draft scenario could confront the Giants if Jeff Okudah of Ohio State is on the board at No. 4. Okudah is far and away the top corner prospect in this draft, considered to be an instant starter. There is no such thing as having too many capable cornerbacks. Would the Giants take Okudah ahead of Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons? Would the Giants take Okudah ahead of any of the top offensive tackles? All legitimate questions.
What if Trevon Diggs of Alabama is available early in the second round? Do not discount new head coach Joe Judge’s affinity for all things Alabama, nor his allegiance to Nick Saban. If Saban signs off on Diggs — the younger brother of Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs — that would surely resonate with Judge. There is always a good chance the Giants take a flier on a corner late in the draft, as long as he fits some physical or skill-set measurable they ascribe to the position.
The roster is filled with maybes and possibilities. Bradberry must show he can be a No. 1 corner. Baker must show he was worth a first-round pick and that he can turn the corner as far as professionalism and attention to detail. Sam Beal must show he can stay healthy and translate his size-speed numbers into production on the field. Corey Ballentine and Grant Haley must show they deserve spots on the team. There is plenty of youth — Bradberry is just 26 and everyone else is younger — and that is a plus.
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