When Adoree’ Jackson arrived at the Titans in 2017 as a first-round draft pick, he had Logan Ryan, an established veteran, to help show him the way.
The following year, Jackson acquired a new teammate, Malcolm Butler, after winning two Super Bowls with the Patriots.
For the small angle, this was akin to having personal tutors ready and willing to smooth his transition into the NFL.
Six years later, Jackson can pay it forward as a 27-year-old angler who exudes experience.
He’s the best the Giants have at a pool of positions that has been a constant concern in 2022, which is why the organization traded one spot, 25th to 24th, in the first round of the draft to pick Deonte Banks out of Maryland.
He was the last cornerback on the board that the Giants would covet and they wouldn’t let him get away.
The plan is for Banks to quickly work his way up the depth chart and into the starting role alongside Jackson.
The plan also includes plenty of mentoring by Jackson, who is eager to take over.
“I’m excited,” Jackson said last week after an organized group activity. “I saw his tape. like him. I watched him run through the corridors, different things. I spoke to him. He has a good head on his shoulder. Seems like a great guy. I was excited to get D-Banks. ”
General Manager Joe Schoen on draft night expressed his excitement after Banks was secured, as did Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale, who nearly crushed Schoen with a bear hug after making the selection.
Of all the positions on offense or defense, the cornerback was the most fragile for the Giants.
Banks should help strengthen the entire defensive unit from front to back.
When asked if he uses analytics to help him develop as a passing attacker, outside linebacker Kayvon Thibaudoux chose to point out an addition to defense that would give him a few extra seconds to make his moves.
“I mean, we made a corner,” Thibodeau said. “I know that will help. I’m excited to see more closing coverage. I’m excited to be able to make things happen. ”
There was not enough closing coverage in a defensive backfield in 2022 who ranked 14th in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 214 yards per game.
This average ranking was a bit misleading.
Opponents often saw little need to throw the ball all over the field against a Giants defense that was 27th in the league in run defense, allowing 144.3 rushing yards per game.
Banks should benefit from having Jerome Henderson — whom Martindale calls the best coach in the NFL — in his ear.
Jackson has already had inroads with Banks, and in the early stages of their relationship, he likes how it feels.
“It wasn’t a challenge,” Jackson said. “He is an amazing guy. It was accepted in the culture, what we’re trying to build here. And I can do nothing but truly appreciate and welcome him. It takes a lot to gain a lot of trust and vice versa. He came with open arms, as we did. He was such a good guy, giving us laughs and singing and stuff, which is so cool to see him not being shy or shy at all and trying to be one of us. Strange to see.
Together, perhaps Jackson and Banks can help each other locate and secure the ball more regularly.
Banks was no hawk at Maryland, with just two interceptions in 28 games. Jackson has three career interceptions in 69 NFL games, none of which he has started in 10 regular season starts in 2022.
“Trying to get the ball, it just doesn’t happen that way,” Jackson said. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it and just think ‘I need to do this, do this,’ and then think about the wrong thing. Then something else happens, and I give up or screw up a play somewhere else.
“For me, it’s just a moment, be in that play and then wipe it out, be in the mindset of the next play, because I say I got a pick, first quarter, I still have three more quarters to play. Wink says always give us two. For me, just try to play my game when the chance comes, and play. ”
And rookie Deonte Banks helped make his plays.