In what has been a grueling start to the 2020 season for the New York Giants, Big Blue was at least able to hang their hat on the fact that they entered Week 3 ranked as the NFL’s second-best pass defense. Of course, that number took quite a hit against the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday when they allowed backup quarterback Nick Mullens to rack up 343 passing yards (third-highest total in NFL for the week) against them.
Not happy with their secondary’s performance, as well as having a glaring question mark at the second cornerback gig opposite James Bradberry, the Giants have taken to Las Vegas to snag some reinforcement, at the Raiders’ expense.
According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, the Giants are signing cornerback Madre Harper off of Las Vegas’ practice squad. The 6-foot-1-inch, 196-pound corner made waves in the Raiders’ organization, with Ian Rapoport stating that the team “had plans” for him moving forward. However, Big Blue’s offer of potential playing time and a signing bonus was enough to pry him away.
Harper Has High-End Traits
Undrafted out of Southern Illinois, the 23-year-old Harper failed to make the Raiders’ 53-man roster out of training camp before finding a home on their practice squad. The stripping of Harper from the Raiders roster comes at a tough time for a team who may be without first-round cornerback Damon Arnette for a few weeks with a thumb injury, per Rapoport.
As a senior with the Salukis, Harper started 10 of his 11 games, ranking 17th in the nation with 12 total passes defended. He finished the season with 42 tackles and two interceptions, on his way to being named an honorable mention All-MVFC selection.
Prior to Harper’s stint at SIU, he spent two seasons at Oklahoma State, appearing in seven games and collecting 10 tackles.
While Harper carried little notoriety as a draft prospect this past offseason, his testing numbers match up against the elite talents at the position. Harper posted a 4.41 40-yard dash, 40-inch vertical, 4.1-second short shuttle and 6.7-second three-cone at NIU’s Pro Day. Had Harper been invited to this year’s NFL combine, those marks would have all finished within the top-five at his position.
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Giants Still Looking For a CB2
With Corey Ballentine seeing his snap count go from 59 in Week 1 all the way down to zero in Week 3, it’s clear the former sixth-round pick is currently not in the mix to nail down the starting job opposite James Bradberry. Issac Yiadom, who Big Blue traded for from the Denver Broncos ahead of the regular season, manned that role a week ago but put forth an up-and-down performance.
If Harper can tap into his elite traits, there’s no reason to think he can’t quickly work his way into the Giants’ secondary rotation.
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