One of the biggest question marks coming into this season for the Giants was the cornerback position opposite of James Bradberry.
Second-year pro Deandre Baker looked poised to start in that role, but he ran into some legal issues that caused him to be released. Baker has since had the charges of armed robbery against him dropped, and is now a member of the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad.
Sam Beal was another option for the G-Men, but he opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns.
In an attempt to bolster the position, the Giants brought in free agent Ryan Lewis and traded a 2021 7th round for Broncos cornerback Isaac Yiadom. Both players were set to compete with Corey Ballentine for the cornerback position opposite of Bradberry.
Through the first seven weeks of the season, snaps between the three were divided up. Each had at least one game where they received at least 75% of the defensive snaps. However, in early November the Giants placed Ryan Lewis on injured reserve with a hamstring issue and released Corey Ballentine.
Ballentine was quickly picked up by the Jets the next day.
The job then fell into the lap of Isaac Yiadom.
Yiadom received 100% of the defensive snaps in the Giants’ week eight matchup versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He didn’t have a stellar night, but the young corner held his own fairly well. He was targeted eight times and gave up five receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown.
In the following four games, Yiadom also received 100% of the defensive snaps. Aside from a shaky performance in week nine, the 6-foot-1-inch corner showed promise in his new role. Against the Eagles and Bengals, he was targeted a combined 12 times but only gave up seven receptions for a mere 54 yards and one touchdown.
Surely not a pair of shutdown performances, but two solid ones that gave the Giants the opportunity to win, and win they did.
Yiadom also played a role in shutting down the high-powered Seattle Seahawks offense, as the Giants defense held them to 12 points.
The young corner is continually improving, and he very well could earn that second cornerback role for next season if he keeps it up.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has put together an incredible defense that ranks top ten in total yards allowed per game, rush yards allowed per game, and points allowed per game. It’s no secret that Graham’s scheme and the coaching staff working with Yiadom likely has a lot to do with his improvement over the past few weeks.
However, Yiadom is the one that has to go out there and perform. His increased level of play has a lot to say about himself, Graham, and the coaching staff as a whole.
Big Blue may have found their second cornerback.
Featured Image: Elsa/Getty Images