NY Giants 2016 Draft Preview: Cornerbacks

The New York Giants made a big splash in free agency with the signing of former Los Angeles Rams’ coner back Janoris Jenkins. However, Jenkins’ arrival alone will not stop New York from continuing to upgrade their secondary, which is still in need of a slot corner. Here are some “diamond in the rough” defensive backs for the Giants to keep an eye on in the later rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Harlan Miller, Southeastern Louisiana

At 6 foot, and 180 pounds, Southeastern Louisiana cornerback Harlan Miller was a relatively unknown small school commodity despite a productive collegiate career.

Miller elevated himself during the week of practice and subsequent January 30th game with a stellar performance where he lead the South team with seven solo tackles. Now firmly on NFL scouts’ radars, Miller looks ahead to further solidify his status as one of the draft’s top defensive backs.

A three-time First Team All-Southland Conference, Miller recorded 11 interceptions with  22 pass breakups during his career. He has great agility, but did not impress any scouts with just a 4.65 second forty yard dashing, raising questions about if he can handle speedy receivers in the NFL. He can also be overly aggressive in his decision-making on the field at times, making him a high risk- high reward type of player. Then again, that is the exact same style of play used by New York’s presumed starting corners for next season in Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Joey Pham, Millersville

Coming in at six feet and 190 lbs, Millersville cornerback Joey Pham has been an impact player ever since his sophomore season where he recorded 30 tackles, half a sack, one interception, and three passes defended.

He then went on to develop into one of his school’s top players in his junior season, finishing with 46 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one interception, and 13 passes defended. As a senior last year, Pham then made the transition from one of his team’s best players to one of the PSAC league’s best players.

With 40 tackles, two tackles for a loss, four interceptions, and 17 passes defended as a senior, Pham made it clear he has the talent level and natural football IQ to make a push for a slot on an NFL roster.

Questions about the level competition he faced at college, as well as his small frame, will push down Pham’s draft stock. If he can put on more weight and prove his salt in the preseason though, he could be an exciting player to watch at the NFL level.

Mike Ford, American International

A 5’9″ and 180 lbs, senior defensive back Mike Ford established himself last season as one of the top players on American International’s sixth nationally ranked defense. En route to Northeast-10 All-Conference First Teamer and a Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America honorable mention honors in 2015, Ford recorded  five interceptions, 32 tackles, 22 of them solo, and 13 passes defended for the Yellow Jackets.

The former Northeast-10 All-Rookie Teamer has a great motor and a nose for the ball. Of course he will have to answer questions about his small school background, height, and lack of imposing frame before an NFL team would feel comfortable taking a chance on him.

By: Jack Alymer | Contributor