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It appeared that the Giants had added a veteran CB several days ago, when it was reported that the club had signed Ross Cockrell. While his 2019 production looks solid on paper, racking up 62 total tackles, two interceptions and eight passes defended, the advance metrics show Cockrell struggled mightily at times a season ago. The Giants might’ve lost two highly-drafted cornerbacks in the span of a few days, and yet their secondary somehow looks better today than it was last week. He struggled as a junior at UCLA — allowing five touchdowns, per PFF — but that was partly due to an ankle injury that plagued him. 1 Pick, Puts Giants QB in MVP Race. Zack Rosenblatt may be reached at Giants’ Deal With Ross Cockrell Falls Through August 12th, 2020 at 1:39pm CST by Rory Parks It appeared that the Giants had added a veteran CB several days ago, when it was reported that the club had signed Ross Cockrell. First, let’s start with Cockrell, since the Giants just signed him. According to’s Art Stapleton, the Giants intend to sign veteran free-agent cornerback Ross Cockrell, should he clear the camp-entry COVID-19 testing. Still, the Giants are exceedingly thin at cornerback behind free agent acquisition (and former Cockrell teammate) James Bradberry, so Cockrell may have had a real chance to re-establish himself as a starting-caliber corner with Big Blue. Sign up for Giants Extra: Get exclusive news, behind-the-scenes observations and the ability to text directly with reporters. Getty According to’s Art Stapleton, All-Pro Shades Michael Strahan’s Sack Record: ‘I Don’t Think That’s Hard to Get’, Giants’ 2x-Super Bowl Champion Announces NFL Retirement, Giants’ DeAndre Baker Facing Possible Life in Prison Sentence: Report, Analyst Takes Daniel Jones Over Ex-No. That plan didn’t work out, so for 2020 at least, all of a sudden general manager Dave Gettleman’s offseason investment in the secondary should pay off. He tended to prevent the big play but wasn’t a game-changer by any means in Pittsburgh and New York. NFL free agent rankings with analysis, projected salaries, PFF grades and PFF WAR. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. Peppers is healthy and is expected to take a big leap in his second season since coming over in the Odell Beckham trade. Free Agent profile for CB Ross Cockrell. The ex-Panthers defensive back finished with a fairly abysmal Pro Football Focus grade of just 57.5 last year. For a team that ranked 28th in pass defense in 2019 and allowed 30 touchdowns, the only way to go is up. The Giants will be looking for Cockrell to tap into his pre-injury form in his return to New York, as the corner had averaged a solid 72.2 PFF grade over a three-year span prior to the broken tibia, including a 71.1 grade during his one-year stint in New York back in 2017. He only allowed one touchdown total in matchups with those receivers, which included two games each against Thomas, Evans and Jones. Saturday, the Giants put the wheels in motion to sign former Panthers cornerback Ross Cockrell, pending him passing COVID-19 protocols and a physical. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Cockrell will be starting opposite a familiar face too — Bradberry, who the Giants signed from the Panthers on a lucrative three-year, $43.5 million contract. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). “He gives you a big, long body that has played against number ones,” Gettleman said in April. He could be used as a blitzer more often in Patrick Graham’s defense, too. As for the slot cornerback role, the Giants are hoping that rookie Darnay Holmes, picked in the fourth round out of UCLA, wins that role. Our journalism needs your support now. Please subscribe now and support the local journalism YOU rely on and trust. “You can see he definitely plays bigger than his size. He ultimately appeared in 14 games (11 starts) for Carolina in 2019, and though he tied a career-high with 62 total tackles and tallied two interceptions, he was not as sharp in coverage as he had been in previous seasons. Cockrell was traded to New York from the Pittsburgh Steelers at the start of the 2017 NFL regular season. He spent the last two years with the Panthers after getting three interceptions for the Giants in 2017. “He has the mindset, he’s not shy and the moment is not too big for him.”, Buy Daniel Jones Giants gear: Fanatics, NFL Shop, Lids. If he can get back to that, he’ll be an obvious upgrade over the nickel cornerbacks from 2019, which was split between Grant Haley and 2019 sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here. He couldn’t possibly perform much worse than Baker did for most of last season. This doesn’t bode well for Cockrell. According to Ralph Vacchiano of, New York believed it had agreed to terms with Cockrell before he came to the facility. Holmes might have to hold off Julian Love, a 2019 fourth-round pick, who also would be an upgrade at nickel over Ballentine and Haley, too. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. As a sophomore, Holmes looked like a potential first-round pick, earning an overall grade of 81.5 from PFF. He and Cockrell started 11 games together last season. If they were one player, that would be the second-most slot yardage allowed by any cornerbacks in 2019, behind Logan Ryan’s 766 yards allowed. AP. It just goes to show you can’t always rely on PFF’s metrics. Giants to Sign Ex-Panthers Cornerback: Report, Copyright © 2020 Heavy, Inc. All rights reserved. The two gave up around the same amount of yardage — Bradberry allowed 655, Jenkins 607 in one less game, per Pro Football Focus — though Jenkins (four) allowed more touchdowns (two). On paper, this group looks appreciably better than the secondary from 2020. Then, there’s rookie Xavier McKinney, who fell to the Giants in the second round after an impressive career at Alabama. The New York Giants are bringing cornerback Ross Cockrell. “He plays with a good edge, shows some nasty,” Giants coach Joe Judge said in April. Follow the Heavy on Giants Facebook page for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content! Actually, the secondary should be better than it was for the whole 2019 season. All told, that’s an upgrade at just about every spot in the secondary. Per the report, Cockrell visited the Giants on Saturday, just one day after starting cornerback DeAndre Baker was formally charged on four counts of robbery with a firearm, and just two days following Sam Beal’s decision to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season. Overall, only seven teams allowed more passing touchdowns (21) than the Panthers, who only allowed 231 passing yards per game, good for 13th league-wide. His signing comes days after DeAndre Baker, currently on the commissioner’s exempt list, was charged with armed robbery in Florida and Sam Beal opted out of the 2020 season.

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