The Giants 0-4 start has certainly been disappointing, but the improvement shown on defense cannot be overlooked.
Through four games, it’s fairly evident what the superior side of the ball is.
One of the only glaring holes on that defense is the outside cornerback opposite of James Bradberry IV. The Giants may have just filled that hole with fourth-year cornerback Ryan Lewis.
Lewis, who was an undrafted free agent in 2017, was signed to the Giants practice squad in early September. He has since been elevated to the active roster and has a real opportunity to stay on the team as the season goes on.
The 6’0” cornerback out of Pitt has had quite the journey to get where he is today. In just four seasons he has made stops in Arizona, New England, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Miami, Washington, and now New York. He saw his most playing time with the Dolphins in 2019, where he appeared in 13 games totaling 28 tackles, five pass deflections, and one interception. Nothing eye-popping, but solid numbers for an undrafted free agent looking for a team to call home.
Lewis has been on the active roster for three games with the Giants this season; his most impressive showing came this past week with the matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Lewis played 74% of the Giants defensive snaps, doing a good job holding his own against a good Rams receiving core. Clearly, the coaching staff saw something in him they liked.
The Giants have been actively looking for a CB2, and have given multiple players the opportunity to compete.
Amongst those players are Ryan Lewis himself, Corey Ballentine, and Isaac Yiadom.
Ballentine, who was a 6th round pick last year, is the longest-tenured Giant out of the three. When the Janoris Jenkins situation ended in Jenkins’ release, Ballentine found himself playing meaningful snaps as the season wore down last year.
The second-year cornerback has promise, he made the initial 53 and has stayed on it for a reason. He just needs some polishing, and asking a second-year 6th round pick to be an impact starter is a bit unfair.
Yiadom came over in a trade from the Broncos just before the 2020 season kicked off. The 6’1” cornerback is a former 3rd round pick but did not live up to the expectations set for him in Denver. Perhaps in a new environment, Yiadom can tap into that 3rd round potential, but for now, he looks to be a work in progress.
As the position battle remains up in the air, Lewis looks to add to his performance against the Rams and lock up that starting cornerback position opposite of Bradberry IV.
If the Giants can iron out that position, the secondary becomes even more of a worry for the opposing team’s offenses.
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