If Prince Amukamara wants to be the best cornerback in the NFL, staying off the cart and on the field must be a priority.
Prince Amukamara's first two seasons in the NFL have been a bit of a disappointment.
New York's 2011 first round pick has performed relatively well when he's played but staying on the field has been a struggle. He missed nine games in his rookie year due to a fractured foot he suffered in the preseason. Last season, he missed three games because of a high ankle sprain and minor hamstring injury.
While Amukamara's body has been fragile, his confidence certainly isn't hurting. He made it clear what his aspirations are as a Giant, and in the NFL, when speaking to reporters last Thursday at minicamp (courtesy of Yahoo!'s Patricia Traina):
"I really want to be the number one corner on this team and I feel like right now Corey (Webster) is, and my goal is to always just try to beat him out. I think as soon as I establish myself as the number one corner, then hopefully just become the number one corner in the whole league. I know that's going to take work, but guys that came out of my draft class are doing great: Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman, and those are the guys I compare myself to. I'm just trying to exceed all of them."
Amukamara may come off as unnecessarily boastful in this statement, but he does have a reason to feel he can be the best cornerback in the NFL. The 24-year-old is very talented, possessing good size, speed and the quick-twitch ability to easily change direction.
He still has a lot to prove though. Staying healthy is the obvious starting point, but beyond that, he also has to show an ability to cover the other team's best wideout. That job has fallen on Corey Webster's shoulders the last two seasons.
Also, Amukamara must become more of a playmaker. He was expected to be a ball hawk coming out of Nebraska, yet he only has two interceptions to his credit in the NFL.
While Amukamara's "best cornerback" proclamation is more juicy than Collins' emergence, it still won't get Giants fans talking too much. Now, if he actually goes out and plays like a shutdown corner, that will cause a stir among the Big Blue faithful.