3 New York Giants Defensive Players Poised To Have A Breakout Season 1
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 18: Eli Apple #24 of the New York Giants covers Marvin Jones #11 of the Detroit Lions for a completed pass in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

If you thought last year’s New York Giants defense was good, just wait. For there’s a trio of players poised to take this unit to another level in 2017.

Last season, the New York Giants had the second-ranked scoring defense in the NFL. This was in large part due to strong safety Landon Collins, who had an outstanding second season in the NFL and should have been named Defensive Player of the Year.

With Collins back for year three, this year’s Giants defense can be even better than last year’s edition. A trio of players heading into their second season has an excellent chance of delivering breakout campaigns, much like Collins did.

Who are we talking about? Let’s take a look.

1. CB Eli Apple

With a year under his belt, a firm grasp on defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s schemes and having adjusted to the speed of the NFL, Apple is poised to make a huge leap in year two.

He will have plenty of opportunities to come away with interceptions as teams will target him in an attempt to try and avoid Janoris Jenkins, the team’s top corner. Don’t be surprised if Apple winds up leading the team in interceptions.

2. LB B.J. Goodson

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Leonte Carroo #88 of the Miami Dolphins makes a catch and is tackled by B.J. Goodson #93 of the New York Giants in the second quarter of an NFL preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Entering his second year out of Clemson University, Goodson has already established himself as the team’s starting middle linebacker. His physicality and aggressiveness adds a new dimension to the Giants defense.

Considering how effective he was blitzing up the middle in the Giants first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, look for more of the same once the regular season begins. His play will help the Giants improve on the 35 sacks they recorded in 2016.

3. FS Darian Thompson

Thompson impressed coaches and teammates with his assertiveness and how vocal he was on the field during training camp last season. He was immediately named the starting free safety and was expected to be a key contributor to the Giants defense. But he suffered a Lisfranc injury in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints and was lost for the season.

Fully healed, he played the entire first half in the team’s preseason opener. Thompson was known as a ball hawk at Boise State University, where he had 19 interceptions. Look for him to be a threat to pick one off anytime an opposing quarterback throws in his direction.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.