Collins, Harrison Earn First Team All-Pro Honors; Beckham, Vernon, Jenkins, DRC Named to Second Team
With an 11-5 record, fans expect to see some of their favorite teams’ players named to the All-Pro team. This Friday, the Giants have six players named to the All-Pro Team.
Giants’ safety Landon Collins and defensive tackle Damon Harrison have been named to the Associated Press 2016 NFL All-Pro Team. Collins and Harrison were named to the All-Pro First Team as standouts at their position throughout the entire league. Collins and Harrison are the first Giants to be given All-Pro honors since 2011, where Jason-Pierre Paul was given that recognition.
The Giants have more representatives, as receiver Odell Beckham Jr, defensive end Olivier Vernon, and cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were named to the All-Pro Second Team.
Six players on the All-Pro teams is a testament to how well the Giants have been this season. These six standouts exemplify why the Giants have an 11-5 record and why they are in the playoffs this season.
“I think it is great,” said Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “They are great individual honors. It is great for them and their teammates and it is exciting to see.”
Collins led All-Pro votes amongst safeties, netting 47 votes. Not enough can be said about Collins’ play this season. Collins has etched his name in stone as the league’s best safety. Collins has the franchise lead in total tackles in single season history with 125 (100 solo tackles). He also has five interceptions, 4.0 sacks, 13 passes defended, and one fumble recovery. Collins had two NFC Defensive Player of the Week awards (Weeks 7 & 9) this season and was named NFC Defensive player of the Month (December).
There is a telling stat that shows why Collins is an All-Pro safety. Collins is the only player in NFL history to have at least 100 tackles, 100+ solo tackles, 2+ sacks, five interceptions, and 12+ passes defended. That truly speaks to how well Collins has played this season and why he was presented with All-Pro honors.
“It’s just the hard work that I put in,” said Collins. “The work that I told you all that I was going to put in last year. Just proven to be a force on the defense and someone to be talked about. That was just my mindset.”
Damon Harrison finished second in votes amongst interior linemen with 16 votes. Harrison was one of the key defensive free agent acquisitions this offseason. After spending his first four seasons with the New York Jets, Harrison elected to sign a five year, $46.25 million contract. In his first season with the Giants, Harrison has certainly lived up to the contract. Harrison leads all NFL defensive tackles with 86 tackles (55 being solo tackles). Not only that, Harrison has 2.5 sacks, six tackles for losses and one pass defended.
For Harrison, being named to First Team All-Pro is a personal honor to how well he has played this season.
“That is much better,” said Harrison. “The Pro Bowl is nice, but getting that recognition for All-Pro is something different. That’s the guy show know the game inside and out. They get a chance to not only view you from afar, but watch you up close. They know what they’re looking for. They’re not just looking for the guys that are getting the sack numbers and the guys that are getting the interceptions. They know when they see good football being played. It’s nice to be recognized.”
Onto the Second Team representatives for the Giants. Odell Beckham Jr fell behind Antonio Brown (45 votes) and Julio Jones (30) in First Team votes, pulling in 16 votes. This doesn’t take anything away from how well Beckham has played this season. Beckham has 101 receptions (3rd amongst receivers) for 1, 367 yards, and ten touchdowns (5th amongst receivers).
Olivier Vernon tied for third in votes amongst edge rushers, obtaining three votes to make Second Team. Vernon is the second of the defensive acquisitions this past offseason. With the Giants abysmal pass rush in the 2015 season, Vernon was at the top of Jerry Reese’s list for free agent signees.
Vernon has 64 total tackles (46 being solo tackles), 17 tackles for losses, 23 quarterback hits, and leads the Giants with 8.5 sacks this season.
Onto the third defensive acquisition this offseason. Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins pulled in 17 All-Pro votes to finish third amongst cornerbacks, designating him to Second Team. Jenkins stepped into his own with his two interception game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 5. Jenkins has 49 total tackles this season (44 being solo tackles), one forced fumble, three interceptions, and 18 passes defended.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie finished second amongst defensive backs, netting himself six votes, earning a spot on the Second Team. Rodgers-Cromartie has done a great job with switching between playing on the outside and the slot throughout the season. Rodgers-Cromartie had an impressive performance in Week 17 against the Washington Redskins, hauling in two drive killing interceptions, two passes defended, and one sack. This performance earned Rodgers-Cromartie NFC Defensive Player of the Week. Rodgers-Cromartie posted 49 total tackles this season (one solo tackle), one forced fumble, and leading the team in interceptions (six) and passes defended (21).
The All-Pro Honors for these six players show how well the Giants have played this season and why the Giants are in the playoffs in the first place. This isn’t a situation where there is only one good player representing a team. This is six players showing that comradery and chemistry can lead to successful seasons for the team and the players.
“…I didn’t do it alone,” said Harrison. “There are a lot of guys around me who helped me get to this point. It’s a credit to everybody else. My name is on there, but everybody was just as much a part of it.”