Giants sign former first-rounder Deone Bucannon to fill linebacker hole

Yet another former Cardinals player has joined the Giants, and this one is a former first-round draft pick.

The newest Giants linebacker is Deone Bucannon, who becomes the fifth player added who previously worked under Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher when he was in Arizona. Bucannon was the 27th overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Washington State, and at 6-foot-1 and 211 pounds is the sort of run and cover linebacker the Giants are continually searching to find.

To make room on the roster, linebacker Tuzar Skipper was waived. Skipper played six games for the Giants after he was signed off waivers from the Steelers in early September.

Bucannon, 27, played in 70 games for the Cardinals in five seasons, starting 56 and registering 83, 112, 91 and 82 tackles his first four years. He has two career interceptions, seven forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. Bucannon played five games (no starts) this season for the Buccaneers before he was released Oct. 9.

Filling gaps and holes on the depth chart at linebacker has been a chore for the Giants this season, with Alec Ogletree the only mainstay, although Ogletree missed two games with a strained hamstring.

Clearly, the Giants trust how Bettcher evaluates his former players, as Bucannon joins former Cardinals Markus Golden, Antoine Bethea, Olsen Pierre and Kareem Martin on the Giants defense.

 LB Devante Downs was signed off the practice squad and TE Garrett Dickerson was waived.  Downs was a 2018 seventh-round draft pick of the Vikings out of the University of California.

For more on the Giants’ Week 7 loss to the Cardinals, listen to this episode of the Giants podcast, “Blue Rush”:

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