The New York Giants will have to cut their roster down to 53 players in the not-so-distant future, but deciding who will make the roster — let alone start — at cornerback could be something that goes down to the wire.
Tom Canavan of Yahoo! Sports reports that Prince Amukamara has claimed one of the two starter's spots, but the second one is up for grabs. Corey Webster, Jayron Hosley, Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross are all looking to play alongside Amukamara.
Webster, a veteran who has been a staple of the team's secondary since 2005, may end up being the favorite. He has the most experience in a starting role and has played just as well as the other candidates during both training camp and the preseason.
Jayron Hosley, a second-year player from Virginia Tech, started six games last season and recorded just one interception. He also forced one fumble and deflected five passes. The potential is there for the young corner, but he may not be all that ready to take a full-time starter's job.
Thomas, coming off two ACL surgeries (three in total), has surprised so far. His health has been the focus of his performance, and it seems as if he's passed every test thrown at him. The thing with Thomas may just be how his football instincts are after not playing since 2010.
Ross has returned from his one-year hiatus in Jacksonville, and it appears as if he hasn't missed a beat. It will be interesting to see where he stands on the depth chart in a few weeks.
Plus, there are a plethora of free agent corners looking to make the roster. David Caldwell, Trumaine McBride, Terrence Frederick, Junior Mertile, Laron Scott, Charles James and Alonzo Tweedy have all played well enough to warrant consideration for the roster.
No matter who gets the starting nod, determining the overall depth chart will be difficult. If everyone remains healthy, the Giants will have starting-caliber corners at Nos. 4 and 5 on the depth chart. A trade or position change could be in order, but depth has never been a bad thing.
The secondary has been a problem for the past several seasons, and having several options means Tom Coughlin has the liberty of riding the hot hand. One would assume that the secondary would improve drastically from last season given this new scenario, but it will all depend on health.
Amukamara, Thomas and Ross have all missed time in the past. Substituting players in and out of games before fatigue sets in will help to keep their bodies fresh. This would likely represent the best way to optimize the production of the secondary.
Aside from the linebackers' unit, the No. 2 corner job is the biggest battle in training camp for the Giants. It will be resolved in a few weeks, but it should be a topic of debate for all of the upcoming season if inconsistencies set in.
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