6. Barry CofieldI knew he was a good player, but this year, Barry Cofield raised his game to another level.
A former 4th round draft selection in 2006, Cofield has always been an effective run-stopper who showed great promise in his first three seasons. And then, in 2009, Cofield struggled in a new system under defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan. Cofield also struggled to find playing time, despite injuries to fellow DTs Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard and Fred Robbins.
But this season, Cofield returned to his previous form, and then some. He grabbed a firm handle on a starting job, and did not relinquish. He was great against the run, totaling a new career high with 54 total tackles. He also did a better job getting after the quarterback, setting a new career high with 4 sacks.
With big names like Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck, it’s easy to forget how important Cofield was for the Giants’ defensive line. His consistent play in the middle freed up the rest of the Giants’ pass rushers to get after the quarterback. The 27 year old will be a free agent this off-season, and with the season he had, Cofield is going to get his money one way or another.