Can a Revamped Defensive Line Help New York Giants' Cornerbacks?

By Jeff Nelson
New York Giants
Ed Mulholland- USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ pass defense ranked 28th in the NFL in 2012—surrendering a total of 254.2 yards per game. Moreover, New York was 31st in total defense.

With that established, many fans alike were somewhat baffled at the Giants’ neglect of the cornerback position in the 2013 NFL Draft.

After the conclusion of the draft, it is still widely agreed that the Giants have needs that are to be addressed at their cornerback position. With the decline of the aging Corey Webster, the lack of development in Prince Amukamara, and the once-promising Terrell Thomas’ inability to stay healthy, the previously stated assessment is valid.

However, cornerbacks—the NFL’s best and worst alike—only have the ability to cover receivers for a finite period of time. And, with the Giants’ 2012 sack leader– Jason Pierre-Paul–only tallying 6.5 sacks, it is clear that the Giants’ DBs were often suffering due to the ineffectiveness of the Giants’ pass rush.

Being praised as one of 2013’s best, the Giants’ newest draft class was clearly picked with the intent of pass rush-revitalization—a tactic that GM Jerry Reese might hope will assist with the 2012 Giants’ lackluster cornerback play.

Football is a team sport, and one strong area of the team can compensate for another weaker portion of the team. Clearly, Reese thought that the Giants’ pass rush—one of the league’s best in 2010 and 2011—could provide greater team-wide help in 2013 than the mid-to late round selection of a cornerback.

If Damontre Moore and Jonathan Hankins can develop, and if Justin Tuck and Pierre-Paul can bounce back from disappointing 2012 campaigns, then the Giants’ cornerback woes may vanish from the thought of fans and media alike.


Jeff Nelson  is a New York Giants writer for Follow him on Twitter @JNelson53_12, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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