The NFL Draft isn’t everything. But it is something.
If you’re one who puts a lot of stock in it, then you’ll want to take a look at Cincinnati’s secondary. Seven of its 11 defensive backs are former first-round picks, including all five cornerbacks.
They are: cornerbacks Leon Hall (2007), Adam Jones (2005), Jason Allen (2006), Terence Newman (2003), and Dre Kirkpatrick (2012). Reggie Nelson (2007) plays safety while Nate Clements (2001) has seen time at both positions this season.
However, amassing the talent has led to mixed results in the first half of the season for Cincinnati, a year after it boasted a top 10 defense. The Bengals are 19th in the NFL against the pass, giving up 240.4 yards per game, while opponents average 27.3 points against them.
Wide receiver Rueben Randle, who has recently been thrown to in key situations, will test them out in the Giants’ second straight game against the AFC North.
“They’re pretty deep over there,” Randle said. “But we’ll have to find ways to beat them. We’ll just go out there and work on our techniques, be more patient and make some plays.”
Patience and playmaking are two things Randle has shown as a rookie.
As the primary punt returner, the rookie second-round draft choice has caught just nine passes. But those include two big plays of 56 and 36 yards, making up the bulk of his 154 yards on the year for a 17.1 average.
The 56-yarder came two weeks ago in Dallas, while his best game so far was six catches for 82 yards in Week 5 against Cleveland. Randle didn’t record a catch last week against Pittsburgh but was targeted on two third-and-shorts, including one from the Steelers’ five-yard line when the Giants settled for a field goal late in the third quarter.
Earlier in the week, Tom Coughlin said Randle was put in those situations based off his success the week before against the Cowboys. Coughlin and his staff also believe he could contribute more.
“It’s just based off the read Eli gets,” Randle said. “I had some opportunities to make some plays and didn’t quite make them. I’m just going back this week working to prepare myself to complete those opportunities when they come.”
Tags: Rueben Randle
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