The Giants have acquired Steelers CB Ross Cockrell for a conditional seventh-round 2018 NFL Draft pick.
A fourth round pick by the Bills back in 2014, Cockrell has spent the past two seasons with the Steelers. Last season, he started in all 16 games at corner where he totaled 62 tackles, 14 passes defended and one fumble recovery.
The 26-year-old amassed 106 tackles, two interceptions, and 25 passes defended in his two seasons with Pittsburgh.
The Giants have one of the best secondaries in the NFL, and few teams can match their Big Three of Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. But they have long been concerned with the depth beyond them. And that's why Cockrell is such a great addition.
Remember how bad things got in Green Bay during the playoffs last season when Rodgers-Cromartie got hurt? That's the kind of thing the Giants are trying to prevent by bringing in a player who started 16 games for the Steelers last season. He's not on the level of the other three, but he can be trusted to come in and get the job done.
Now, young cornerback Michael Hunter had a strong summer before he got hurt, but he has two games of NFL experience. The Giants just weren't ready to trust him in a bigger role yet. The same went for Donte Deayon, the small corner who was cut on Saturday - probably as soon as the Giants completed the Cockrell trade.
Cockrell fills a void the Giants have been trying to fill since the offseason. They wanted to re-sign veteran Coty Sensabaugh who provided good veteran insurance for them last year, but they were out-bid by the Pittsburgh Steelers (Ironically, Sensabaugh's presence made Cockrell expendable in Pittsburgh). They also brought in veteran Valentino Blake, but he left the team due to personal reasons and there's no word on when he'll be back.
Maybe the Giants won't need much of Cockrell. But the injury history of DRC and Apple would suggest otherwise. And if the cost is presumably a low-round draft pick to insure the Giants secondary remains a strength, it's totally worth it.