Terrell Thomas: Prince a fresh addition

May, 23, 2011
5/23/11
12:53
PM ET
Some veteran cornerbacks might not like it when their team drafts a corner in the first round.

Terrell Thomas, though, whole-heartedly welcomes the addition of Prince Amukamara.

When Amukamara, who was considered to be a top-10 draft pick by many draft gurus, fell to the Giants at 19, Thomas felt the Giants secondary got stronger.

“I think it was a good move,” Thomas said at Shaun O’Hara’s charity golf outing last week at Trump National Golf Course. “When you look at our depth, the last couple of years, it has been kind of inconsistent.”

“He gives us a lot more depth,” Thomas continued. “When you play in the NFC East, you are going against three wide receivers. Go look at Dallas, look at the Eagles, they have all three wide receivers.”

The Giants can use the depth. After Corey Webster and Thomas, Aaron Ross is the third corner. He played 15 games last season but just four the season before due to injuries.

Amukamara’s arrival not only gives the Giants more depth but the talent level in the secondary is high. Webster was drafted in the second round in 2006, Ross was taken in the first round in 2007 and Thomas was picked in the second round in 2008.

“When you get a top-10 pick that falls to 19, I think it is a great pick,” Thomas said. “The Giants draft on talent, that is why I am here. People thought, what the hell are they drafting a corner in the second round when they got Aaron last year, won the Super Bowl and have five corners already. They know what they are doing and a lot of players trust them, the front office, so we are happy with our draft picks.”

Thomas thinks Amukamara’s arrival will push him to become a better player and might allow him to play more to his strengths as well in defensive coordinator Perry Fewell’s defense.

“It actually helps me out, because now hopefully I can move back into the slot and I’ll be able to be utilized a little bit different back to my rookie and sophomore year,” said Thomas, who led the Giants with 101 tackles and five interceptions last year. “I love playing in the slot.”

“I don’t mind playing outside but in the slot you are around the ball a lot more and Perry’s defense is really based on instincts and using your eyes and that is one of my strengths. To be able to get in the slot and use that and be a bigger body in there will definitely benefit me a lot more.”

In the meantime, Thomas will continue to work out mostly in Los Angeles where he resides during the offseason.

While Eli Manning has gathered a few receivers for passing drills at Hoboken High School (N.J.), the Giants defensive players have largely worked out on their own in different cities while also avoiding the risk of injury.

“A lot more injuries can happen with us and at the same time we need an offense to go against to really work on our timing,” Thomas said. “It is not worth it. With the insurance that we have, it doesn’t cover us (if an injury occurs during lockout). It can be beneficial for some but for me, a veteran guy, I am just trying to stay in shape. Honestly, I’m benefitting from healthy legs right now, not doing all that running from OTAs and minicamp.”

Thomas is eager to get back on the field and see how good the Giants defense will be with its newest first-round draft pick.

“Prince will give us a lot more depth, Aaron having another healthy year, getting Bruce Johnson back, Michael Coe came on very strong,” Thomas said. “I think we are going to be a pretty good defense.”
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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