Dec 22, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (98) takes the field for action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 24-19. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Giants finished the 2016 NFL regular season at 11-5. Six players were honored for the incredible season, including five defensive standouts.
The 2016 NFL regular season was one of the most rewarding in New York Giants history. After spending the past four seasons watching the playoffs from home, the Giants finally broke through with an outstanding showing under first-year head coach Ben McAdoo.
As the Giants prepare for a Wild Card Round game against the Green Bay Packers, six players were given reason for additional confidence.
Six members of the Giants were named to the 2016 NFL All-Pro Teams by the Associated Press. Five of those players were defensive stars, including three whom general manager Jerry Reese signed this past offseason.
Suddenly, the critics who claimed the Giants spent too much money on defense are eating their words.
Though only one offensive player made the cut, the fact that six members of the Giants were honored is a testament to the depth and star power they possess. It’s an incredible honor that every player should be grateful to have received.
The question is: which Giants players made the All-Pro Teams and what did they do to earn those incredible honors?
Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (98) celebrates in front of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Giants signed defensive tackle Damon Harrison to a $46 million contract during the 2016 offseason. It was a statement move by the front office that boldly stated how committed New York is to winning the war up front.
As a result of his sensational first season with the Giants, Harrison received a well-deserved selection to the NFL All-Pro First Team.
Thank you @AP_NFL and all the voters that recognize the work I put in. It's humbling and a blessing. 1st Team All-Pro Snacks #GiantsPride
Harrison finished the 2016 NFL regular season with 86 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, a pass defended, and five stuffs. He led all defensive linemen in combined and solo tackles, and emerged as the NFL’s premier run stopper.
According to Pro Football Focus, no interior lineman had a better grade in run coverage than Snacks Harrison in 2016.
This is the first All-Pro selection for the 28-year-old star from Louisiana. He was also honored as a member of the Pro Football Focus All-Pro Second Team, thus rounding out what was the best year by a Giants interior lineman in quite some time.
Congratulations for what was an extraordinary season, Snacks. Best of luck in the NFL Playoffs!
Had the Associated Press selected anyone other than Landon Collins to the All-Pro First Team, there would have been a widespread outrage. Collins may have been the best safety in the NFL in 2016—and it’s fair to say that’s the label he deserves from hereon out.
Collins was both productive and methodical en route to his first career Associated Press All-Pro First Team selection.
Collins finished the 2016 NFL regular season with 126 tackles, including 100 solo. He also tallied 4.0 sacks, a fumble recovery, five interceptions, a defensive touchdown, 13 passes defended, and five stuffs.
According to Pro-Football-Reference, Collins became just the second player since Rodney Harrison in 2000 to record at least 100 solo tackles, five interceptions, and 4.0 sacks.
Collins was named a Pro Bowler in 2016, as well, which further solidifies his status as an elite player. He ranked No. 3 amongst safeties on Pro Football Focus, trailing just Kam Chancellor and Eric Weddle.
Collins deserves every honor he receives in 2016 after a legendary season with the Giants. Congratulations and best of luck!
Jan 1, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) catches a pass during warm-ups prior to the Giants
Odell Beckham Jr.
The one and only offensive player to make this list is superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Arguably the most explosive player in the NFL, Beckham continues to produce at an elite rate in an otherwise erratic offense.
As a result of what was yet another unforgettable season in New York, Beckham was named to the All-Pro Second Team.
Voting for AP All Pro at WR Antonio Brown 43 Julio Jones, Atlanta, 30 Odell Beckham Jr. 16 Mike Evans 6 Jordy Nelson 5
Beckham finished the 2016 NFL regular season with 101 receptions for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns. It was the first time in his NFL career that he recorded at least 100 receptions and his third consecutive season with at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.
For perspective on just how impressive that is, Beckham is the third player in NFL history to have at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons.
Beckham ranked No. 7 amongst wide receivers on Pro Football Focus in 2016. He was No. 3 in the NFL in receptions and receiving yards, and No. 5 in receiving touchdowns—a stellar combination of rankings that inevitably earned All-Pro recognition.
Beckham will now have an opportunity to shine in the playoffs for the first time in his career. Congratulations on the honor and best of luck on the big stage!
Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) hits Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) after a pass for a personal foul during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
For roughly the first half of the 2016 NFL regular season, offseason signee Olivier Vernon struggled to produce. He recorded 1.0 sack in his first seven games with the New York Giants and was quietly generating bust hype.
During the final nine games of the season, however, Vernon stepped up and earned a selection to the All-Pro Second Team.
Vernon recorded 7.5 sacks in the final nine games to reach 8.5 sacks on the season. He also picked up 63 tackles, including 44 solo, as well as one fumble forced, one fumble recovery, and five stuffs as a true all-around contributor.
As a result of his stellar final half of the season, voters seemed to have overlooked the slow start and granted him his first career All-Pro nod.
Vernon ranked No. 12 amongst edge defenders on Pro Football Focus, but that’s not the full story. Even when he wasn’t producing as a pass rusher, he was brilliant against the run and invaluable in creating pressure.
In his first season with the Giants, Vernon received the accolade that many felt he deserved last season. Congratulations and best of luck in the playoffs!
Dec 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) can’t catch a pass on fourth down with coverage by New York Giants corner back Janoris Jenkins (20) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The call on the field was a first down catch and was overturned following a review. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Second Team Cornerback: Janoris Jenkins
The New York Giants invested what many deemed to be, “Too much money,” into cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Though he’d emerged as a dynamic playmaker with the St. Louis Rams, there were glaring signs of inconsistency.
Following his first season with the Giants, the critics have turned to fans as Jenkins justifiably received his first career All-Pro selection.
NYG CB Janoris Jenkins has had majority coverage on AJ Green, Antonio Brown & Dez Bryant (twice) this season. None have gone over 68 yards.
Jenkins was ranked as the No. 8 cornerback in the NFL by Pro Football Focus for the 2016 season. He routinely took on the No. 1 wide receiver on the opposing team, often shutting down or containing their best efforts.
The best example of this is the fact that Dez Bryant recorded a combined two receptions for 15 yards in two games against Jenkins and the Giants.
Jenkins recorded 49 tackles, three interceptions, 1.0 sack, 18 passes defended, and four stuffs in 2016. He missed a game due to injury and was hindered by it in another, but he put forth a legitimately elite display at cornerback.
Congratulations to Jenkins, who changed his entire outlook on the game from playmaker to scheme-fitting star. Best of luck in the playoffs.
Jan 1, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (41) celebrates after intercepting a pass against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Giants have more than just one sensational cornerback. Janoris Jenkins may receive more praise and headlines, but Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has quietly played at an almost equal level.
The Giants were one of the best teams in the NFL at defending the pass, with both Jenkins and Rodgers-Cromartie anchoring that success.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played a lot in the slot, but most of his great play came out wide. 36.5 rating allowed out wide, 97.8 in slot pic.twitter.com/MBPeSxd9oP
Rodgers-Cromartie was dominant against No. 1 and No. 2 wide receivers. Pro Football Focus graded him as the second-best cornerback in the NFL, trailing just Denver Broncos superstar Chris Harris in that regard.
Jenkins deserves every ounce of praise he’s received, but Rodgers-Cromartie has become one of the most underrated players in the NFL.
Rodgers-Cromartie recorded 49 tackles, six interceptions, 1.0 sack, a forced fumble, and 21 passes defended in 2016. He tied for No. 2 in the NFL in interceptions, yet was snubbed from what should have been his third career Pro Bowl appearance.
Fortunately, Rodgers-Cromartie was honored with his first career All-Pro nod and will have a chance to silence his critics in the playoffs.