Just a couple of days after signing safety Bobby McClain, the New York Giants continued to add to their defensive back depth by agreeing to a deal with cornerback Amani Oruwariye on a one-year deal.
In 53 career games, Oruwariye has recorded 173 tackles, four tackles for a loss, two fumble recoveries, 24 passes defended, and nine interceptions.
Oruwariye was thought to be a steal as a fifth-round pick of the Detroit Lions in the 2019 NFL Draft, and almost immediately showed flashes of being a starter-level player. He actually won the starting job by his second season in Detroit and was a full-time starter for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
He had his best season in 2021, where he tallied six interceptions, 11 pass breakups, and a total of 57 tackles—including two tackles for loss in 14 games. He was actually leading the NFL in interceptions before suffering a thumb injury that cost him the final two games of the season.
However, last season was a step back for Oruwariye. He began the year as a starter but didn’t perform up to his earlier level and was benched after five weeks, playing only 137 snaps over the final 12 games.
In 2022, Oruwariye earned a Pro Football Focus grade of just 30.0, which was the worst of his career, but the Giants are clearly banking on getting him back to the level he showed in 2020 and 2021 prior to his thumb injury.
In fact, he was listed by Pro Football Focus as one of Five Players Who Could Breakout heading into the 2020 season. They said, “When forced into action toward the end of last season, Oruwariye showed those kinds of high-end flashes” and also mentioned that his defensive coordinator said he “looks like a seasoned veteran in everything that he’s doing.”
The Penn State product was actually the 36th overall player on their Big Board prior to the 2019 NFL Draft.
While it’s unlikely that Oruwariye will immediately come in as a starter for the Giants, he gives them more depth and starter experience, which is vital in the modern NFL. Additionally, he is a bigger corner at 6’2″ and 205 pounds, which was a favorite of the Bills’ scouting department when Giants general manager Joe Schoen was in Buffalo and looks to be something he will continue to search for in his new gig.
It may not be the eye-popping move some Giants fans want, but these are the type of under-the-radar signings that help build a deep, contending team.
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