Giants ‘Doing Homework’ On South Carolina Cornerbacks: Report

South Carolina cornerback Cam Smith (9) in coverage.

Getty Images The Giants are showing interest in South Carolina CB Cam Smith (9).

The state of South Carolina might produce the New York Giants’ next starting cornerback.

A team contingent took top 2023 NFL Draft prospect Cam Smith out to dinner before Gamecocks Pro Day, according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. 

League sources also told Leonard the Giants could have interest in South Carolina’s other cornerback, Darius Rush, “in the middle rounds” next month. 

Both Smith and Rush would continue general manager Joe Schoen’s defensive revamp, which includes new additions in defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches, linebacker Bobby Okereke, and cornerback Leonard Johnson. 

Here’s what to know about Smith, Rush, and the Giants’ current cornerback corps:

Two Gamecock Greats

Smith is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound corner who notched 6 INTs and 18 pass breakups during his time in Columbia, S.C.

The Draft Network’s Joe Marino compares him favorably to rising Falcons star A.J. Terrell.

“Smith is a highly-competitive defender that plays the game with confidence and physicality,” Marino wrote in his scouting report. “He’s a twitchy athlete with good speed, loose hips, and quick feet that lead to sticky reps in man coverage.”

That last note cements the Giants interest in Smith. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s scheme relies on man coverage; any defensive back who can hold his own in 1-on-1 scenarios would help more of Martindale’s blitzes hit home.

He’d also help the Giants create more turnovers, according to Marino. The Giants were dead last in interceptions (6) in 2022.

Wrote Marino: “Smith showcases outstanding ball skills where his body control ability to locate the football leads to exciting plays on the ball in the air.”

But if scouts are excited about Smith, they’re thrilled about his Gamecocks teammate. Multiple sources told Leonard that Rush, a 6-foot-2, 198-pound corner, could be a “cleaner” prospect.

“As a converted wide receiver with only two years as a starting corner, Rush is seen as a developing defensive player on the rise,” Leonard wrote. “Multiple sources believe he could go anywhere between the second and fourth rounds.”

Smith might hear his name called earlier, but Rush could be a better value. 

Wrote Marino:  “For a player that is still relatively new to playing corner, his development and production as a two-year starter in the SEC are impressive.”

If the Giants agree, they have some homework to do. Cornerback-needy teams like the Seahawks (20th overall), Chargers (21st overall), Ravens (22nd overall), Vikings (23rd overall), and Jaguars (24th overall) all select ahead of Big Blue in the first round. 

In Other Giants News

Former Giants guard D.J. Fluker is making a comeback. 

According to The Score’s Jordan Schutz, Fluker will work out at Alabama Pro Day on March 30. The former No. 11 overall pick has been out of the league since 2021.

It’s wild to think Fluker has lost weight — and still weighs 330 pounds. It’s wilder still to remember Fluker’s last snap for the Giants came six years ago, during the 2017 season.

He’s still only 32 years old. And if Schultz’s report is accurate, a team is getting the best (and most physically imposing) version of Fluker yet. 

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