The Redskins should look into signing Eli Apple at cornerback, in order to add youth and starting experience at the cornerback position.
A few years back, I remember watching Eli Apple in a Giants uniform and thinking, “this player looked awful.” Apple has displayed many growing pains so far in his career.
This past season, Apple looked better, finding the starting lineup on a good New Orleans Saints team. Apple had a productive season. With a potential upside, the Washington Redskins should gamble on this fast, athletic former first-round pick.
For knowledge’s sake, Apple posted a 4.40 40-yard dash time out of college. He has speed, length, and has played in 55 games already (48 starts) at the still relatively young age of 24.
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Apple has yet to hit his prime. I am hoping that former teammates like Landon Collins will get the get-go to recruit Eli Apple to the Redskins if needed to sign him. I feel with Fuller as the one proven commodity coming into next season, Apple would be a perfect addition.
As it stands currently, unproven youngsters Jimmy Moreland and Fabian Moreau both are competing with Ronald Darby for the starting cornerback position. The Redskins have other options at cornerback, but no other players on the roster are experienced starters at this position.
A Darby-Apple-Fuller starting cornerback group is intriguing if Apple can continue to improve and Darby continue to heal from his tear. Needing both depth and veteran experience, Apple would be the perfect addition.
Furthermore, even though Apple did have growing pains in New York during his stay there, when Apple played with Collins in 2016-2017, that secondary was incredible. That Giants team was near the top of all defensive categories, contributing to a 11-5 record.
According to this article by Dan Schneier of 247 Sports, “the Giants dominated key defensive stats and rankings in 2016.” Dan Schneider writes that “the Giants allowed just 35 percent of third downs to be converted, ranking 2nd in the NFL.”
If we know one thing about the Redskins defense’s ability to get off the field on third downs this past decade, that in itself is a reason to gamble on Apple. If Apple just brings an A-game to third downs, he justifies his signing.