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Covering all the bases

Giants trade up to grab much-needed cornerback

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Posted: Saturday April 21, 2001 9:07 PM
Updated: Saturday April 21, 2001 10:11 PM

  Will Allen The Giants finalized the trade that netted them Will Allen (left) after Buffalo drafted CB Nate Clements from Ohio State. AP

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Saying there are never enough good cornerbacks, the NFC champion New York Giants drafted two on Saturday after making trades in the first and second rounds.

The Giants traded up in the first round and took Will Allen of Syracuse and then traded down in the second and grabbed Will Peterson, a Western Illinois product who was kicked off Michigan's team late in the 1998 season.

Allen was one of two can't miss cornerbacks in the draft, although general manager Ernie Accorsi said that the Giants think Peterson is a first-round talent.

The Giants gave the Indianapolis Colts their first-round pick (30th overall) plus their third and sixth-round draft choices for the right to jump eight places and take the speedy Allen with the 22nd pick overall.

When it came time for the Giants to make the next-to-last pick in the second round, they traded it to Detroit for a third-round pick and a fourth rounder.

"It was pick Peterson or make the trade," Accorsi said, who made the deal and still got Peterson with the Lions' third-round pick.

Allen and Nate Clements of Ohio State were the only cornerbacks that the Giants considered taking in the first round, Accorsi said.

Clements was the first to go, being taken by the Buffalo Bills with the 21st pick overall.

Giants' First-Round Draft Picks
Year  Player  Pos.  College 
2001  Will Allen  CB  Syracuse 
2000  Ron Dayne  RB  Wisconsin 
1999  Luke Petitgout  OT  Notre Dame 
1998  Shaun Williams  UCLA 
1997  Ike Hilliard  WR  Florida 
1996  Cedric Jones  DE  Oklahoma 
1995  Tyrone Wheatley  RB  Michigan 
1994  Thomas Lewis  WR  Indiana 
1993  Dave Brown  QB  Duke 
1992  Derek Brown  TE  Notre Dame 
1991  Jarrod Bunch  RB  Michigan 
1990  Rodney Hampton  RB  Georgia 
1989  Brian Williams  Minnesota 
1988  Eric Moore  OT  Indiana 
1987  Mark Ingram  WR  Michigan State 
1986  Eric Dorsey  DE  Notre Dame 
1985  George Adams  RB  Kentucky 
1884  Carl Banks  LB  Michigan State 
   William Roberts  OT  Ohio State  
1983  Terry Kinard  Clemson 
1982  Butch Woolfolk  RB  Michigan 
1981  Lawrence Taylor  LB  North Carolina 
1980  Mark Haynes  CB  Colorado 
1979  Phil Simms  QB  Morehead State 
1978  Gordon King  OT  Stanford 
1977  Gary Jeter  DT  Southern California 
1976  Troy Archer  DE  Colorado 
1975  NO PICK       
1974  John Hicks  Ohio State 
1973  NO PICK       
1972  NO PICK       
   Eldridge Small  DB  Texas A&I  
1971  Rocky Thompson  WR  West Texas State 
1970  Jim Files  LB  Oklahoma 
1969  Fred Dryer  DE  San Diego State 
1968  NO PICK       
1967  NO PICK       
1966  Francis Peay  Missouri 
1965  Tucker Frederickson  FB  Auburn 
1964  Joe Don Looney  RB  Oklahoma 
1963  NO PICK       
1962  Jerry Hillebrand  LB  Colorado 
1961  NO PICK       
1960  Lou Cordileone  Clemson 
1959  Lee Grosscup  QB  Utah 
1958  Phil King  FB  Vanderbilt 
1957  NO PICK       
1956  Henry Moore  FB  Arkansas 
1955  Joe Heap  HB  Notre Dame 
1954  NO PICK       
1953  Bobby Marlow  HB  Alabama 
1952  Frank Gifford  HB  Southern California 
1951  Kyle Rote  HB  Southern Methodist 
1950  Travis Tidwell  QB  Auburn 
1949  Paul Page  HB  Southern Methodist 
1948  Tony Minisi  HB  Pennsylvania 
1947  Vic Schwall  HB  Northwestern 
1946  George Connor  Notre Dame 
1945  Wesley Barbour  HB  Wake Forest 
1944  Billy Hillenbrand  HB  Indiana 
1943  Steve Filpowicz  FB  Fordham 
1942  Merle Hapes  HB  Mississippi 
1941  George Franck  HB  Minnesota 
1940  Grenny Lansdell  HB  Southern California 
1939  Walt Nielson  FB  Arizona 
1938  George Karamatic  HB  Gonzaga 
1937  Ed Widseth  Minnesota 
1936  Art Lewis  Ohio University 

With Indianapolis drafting next, the Giants and Colts agreed to finalize a trade they had discussed in the past 10 days.

"We were concerned about what we were going to be able to pick," Accorsi said. "He [Allen] was a very highly rated player in a position of need. We just couldn't afford to wait. You have to have cover corners. People are playing too many receivers."

Besides being smart, athletic and a hard worker, Giants player personnel director Marv Sunderland said Allen has the type of speed that's hard to find.

"He's an in-your-face, physical-type corner," coach Jim Fassel added. "He'll come up and hit you and tackle you. He's done kickoff returns, which shows you his toughness and ability, a solid person without issues. He is from New York. He's a merit guy with a kid. He's what we are looking for."

It is expected that Allen will compete for left cornerback job with returning starter Dave Thomas, who will turn 33 in August.

"Whenever you get drafted in the first round you have to expect that those guys want you to play," Allen said by phone from his home in Syracuse, N.Y. "They won't be paying you money like that to sit on the bench.

"I mean you have to come in here expecting to do something, whether it be nickel back, special teams, starter or whatever."

Allen moved into the starting lineup for the Orangemen as a sophomore, starting 28 in his last three seasons. He had 142 career tackles, four interceptions and 39 passes defended. He also averaged 22.7 yards on kickoff returns.

Peterson left Western Illinois after one season to enter the draft. A somewhat cocky big hitter, he had five interceptions, 46 tackles and 12 passes defended this past season.

However, the concern about him relates to his final season at Michigan in 1998, his sophomore year.

Peterson was dismissed from the team after allegedly stealing $46 from a stripper's purse in December, 1998. He was charged four months later with possession of marijuana.

Peterson pleaded guilty to the possession charge and received a year's probation and drug counseling. The charge was later dropped and removed from his record. The theft charge was dismissed, Peterson said in a telephone interview.

"I look at it as making bad decisions," said Peterson, who said he doesn't have a criminal record.

Fassel considers the incidents over.

"Some issues with some guys can be immaturity and bad judgment at the time," said Fassel, adding the team doesn't feel Peterson is going to cause any problems.

If the left cornerback job is open, Peterson thinks he has as good a chance of starting as Allen.

"I'm surprised I went as low as I did," Peterson said. "I have just as much talent as any corner in the draft."

The first-round deal was the first one the Giants made to move up.

The last time the Giants traded their first-round pick was in 1975. They acquired quarterback Craig Morton from Dallas for the second pick overall.

The Cowboys used the selection to take Hall of Fame defensive tackle Randy White.

The Colts used the 30th pick that they got from the Giants on Saturday to take receiver Reggie Wayne of Miami.

New York also acquired a first-round pick (OT William Roberts) from Washington in 1984, but the Giants didn't have to give up their first-round pick to get it.

The Giants also announced that defensive tackle Christian Peter, who started much of the past two seasons, had signed with Indianapolis as a free agent.

Related information
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