Eli Apple
refer to caption
Apple with the New York Giants in 2016
No. 25 – New Orleans Saints
Personal information
Born: (1995-08-09) August 9, 1995 (age 25)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:201 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:Eastern Regional
(Voorhees Township, New Jersey)
College:Ohio State
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10
Career history
* New York Giants ( 2016 2018)
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
* Fiesta Bowl Champion (2016)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:172
Pass deflections:29
Fumble recoveries:4
Forced fumbles:2
Player stats at NFL.com

Eli Apple (born August 9, 1995), formerly known as Eli Woodard,[1][2] is an American football cornerback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Ohio State, and was selected by the New York Giants with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

High school career

Apple attended Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, New Jersey and played under head coach Dan Spittal and was teammates with Tennessee Titans nickelback Logan Ryan. Apple was rated the top prospect in New Jersey in Rival's 2013 class and was ranked the 28th best prospect nationally. He received about twenty scholarship offers from Alabama, California, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Purdue, Miami, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan, Ole Miss, Nebraska, North Carolina, NC State, and Clemson and ranked his top three schools as Rutgers, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.[3] On February 12, 2012, he announced his verbal commitment to Ohio State after Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[4]

College career

Apple enrolled at Ohio State in January 2013 as a five-star prospect (ESPN 150) and rated as high as the No. 11 prospect nationally on the ESPN 150. He was also rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in New Jersey and No. 6 cornerback prospect nationally by 247sports.[5] He redshirted as a true freshman and went on to play in 2014 as a redshirt freshman.[6][7][8] He played in the 2015 Sugar Bowl and the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship.[9][10][11] In his second season with the Buckeyes, he was the Defensive MVP.

Professional career

30px External video
16px Eli Apple’s NFL Combine Workout
16px Eli Apple runs the 40-yard dash
16px Eli Apple makes one-handed grab at combine

On January 4, 2016, Apple announced his decision to forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the 2016 NFL Draft.[12] Apple attended the NFL Scouting Combine and completed the majority of combine drills before suffering cramps.[13] He finished with the tenth fastest time in the 40-yard dash among all participating players at the NFL Combine.[14]

On March 11, 2016, Apple attended Ohio State’s pro day, but opted to stand on his combine numbers and only performed the short shuttle, three-cone drill, and positional drills. Apple had pre-draft visits with multiple teams, including the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, and Tennessee Titans.[15][16] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Apple was projected to be an early to mid first round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts. He was ranked the third best cornerback prospect in the draft by DraftScout.com, was ranked the fourth best cornerback by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and was ranked the sixth best defensive back by Sports Illustrated.[17][18][19]

30px External video
16px Giants draft Eli Apple 10th overall
16px NFL Draft Profile: Eli Apple
Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 0⅝ in 199 lb 4.40 s 1.53 s 2.59 s 4.08 s 7.00 s 13 rep 21[20]

New York Giants

The New York Giants selected Apple in the first round (10th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. Apple was the second cornerback drafted in 2016, after Jalen Ramsey (5th overall).[22] It was reported that the New York Giants has initially planned to draft linebacker Leonard Floyd or offensive tackle Jack Conklin. However, circumstances changed after Laremy Tunsil unexpectedly fell out of the top ten. The Tennessee Titans traded ahead of the Giants to draft Jack Conklin (8th overall) and the Chicago Bears traded ahead of the Giants to select Leonard Floyd (9th overall). New York Giants’ General Manager Jerry Reese opted to keep the tenth overall pick and selected Apple who was their highest graded player available on their draft board without any issues or injuries.[23] Draft analysts and fans criticized the selection of Apple as many deemed it to be a reach.[24][25]


On May 6, 2016, the New York Giants signed Apple to a fully guaranteed four year, $15.15 million that includes a signing bonus of $9.21 million.[26][27]

Apple entered training camp slated as the third cornerback on the depth chart behind veterans Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Head coach Ben McAdoo named Apple the third cornerback on the depth chart to begin the regular season and first-team nickelback.

He made his professional regular season debut in the New York Giants’ season-opener at the Dallas Cowboys and recorded four solo tackles during their 20–19 victory. On September 25, 2016, Apple earned his first career start and recorded one solo tackle in a 29–27 loss to the Washington Redskins, but left the game in the second quarter after suffering hamstring injury. Apple was inactive for the Giants’ Week 4 loss at the Minnesota Vikings with a hamstring injury. He was also sidelined for their Week 6 win against the Baltimore Ravens due to a groin injury.[28][29] On November 7, 2016, he started his second game in a row and made four solo tackles against the Philadelphia Eagles but was benched in favor of Trevin Wade as the Giants won 28–23.[30] On November 14, 2016, Apple started his first game at outside corner, with Rodgers-Cromartie covering the slot and made one solo tackle in a 21–20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.[31] In Week 11, Apple collected a season-high nine combined tackles in a 22–16 victory over the Chicago Bears. On December 4, 2016, Apple recorded five combined tackles, broke up two passes, recovered a fumble, and made his first career interception in the Giants’ 24–14 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13. Apple intercepted a pass attempt by Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, that was originally intended for wide receiver Eli Rogers, during the third quarter.[32] Apple started the last ten games of the season and finished his rookie season in 2016 with 51 combined tackles (41 solo), seven pass deflections, one interception, and a forced fumble in 14 games and 11 starts.[33]


Apple entered training camp slated as a starting outside cornerback. Head coach Ben McAdoo named Apple and Janoris Jenkins the starting outside cornerbacks to begin the regular season with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as the starting slot cornerback.[34]

He started the Giant's season-opening 19–3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys and made seven combined tackles and a pass deflection. Apple was benched for the majority of the Giants’ Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers due to disciplinary reasons. On October 15, 2017, Apple recorded five solo tackles and a career-high three pass deflections, helping the Giants gain their first victory of the season over the Denver Broncos. Apple was heavily criticized by the New York Giants’ coaching staff for his performance during their Week 10 loss at the San Francisco 49ers. As a result of his performance, Apple was benched as a healthy scratch for the next four games (Weeks 11–14). On December 4, 2017, the New York Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo after they fell to a 2–10 record. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was named the interim head coach for the last four games.[35] In Week 14, Apple was disciplined after posting on Twitter while on the sidelines of the Giants’ Week 14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He also aggravated teammates by posting a comment after the game which stated former Ohio State teammate and Dallas Cowboys’ fullback Rod Smith “iced the New York Giants” after scoring two touchdowns during the fourth quarter.[36] In Week 15, he returned as a backup cornerback and collected a season-high nine combined tackles during a 34–29 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.[33]

On December 20, 2017, it was reported that tensions between Apple, and his teammates had reached an all-time high, with Giants’ safety Landon Collins saying Apple was a "cancer" and should not be on the team in 2018.[37] On December 27, 2017, Apple was suspended by the team for the 2017 season finale after reportedly getting into an argument with coaching staff about being asked to practice with the scout team and for a "pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team".[38] Apple finished the 2017 NFL season with 49 combined tackles (41 solo) and eight pass deflections in 11 games and seven starts.[33]


The Giant's new coach, Pat Shurmur, said about Apple that he "believe[d] in a clean slate".[39] Apple was to be a starting cornerback alongside safeties Landon Collins and Curtis Riley.[40]

On September 16, 2018, Apple recorded one tackle before exiting in the third quarter of the Giants’ 20–13 loss at the Dallas Cowboys due to a groin injury.[41] His injury sidelined him for the next two games (Weeks 3–4).[42] In Week 6, he collected eight combined tackles and recorded a season-high three pass deflections during a 34–13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

New Orleans Saints

On October 23, 2018, the New York Giants traded Apple to the New Orleans Saints for a fourth round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and a seventh round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.[43] The New Orleans Saints traded for Apple in order to add him to their depleted secondary. Cornerback Patrick Robinson was placed on injured reserve after breaking his ankle in Week 3 and cornerback Ken Crawley sustained an injury to his oblique the day before the trade.[44] Head coach Sean Payton immediately named Apple a starting cornerback, reuniting him with former Ohio State secondary teammates Marshon Lattimore and Vonn Bell.[45]

On October 28, 2018, Apple made his New Orleans Saints’ debut and collected nine solo tackles in a 30–20 win at the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8.[46] On November 11, 2018, Apple recorded his first interception with the Saints in a 51-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.[47]

On May 1, 2019, the Saints declined the fifth-year option on Apple's contract, making him a free agent in 2020.[48]

Personal life

Apple was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was raised by his mother Annie Apple and stepfather Tim Apple in Voorhees Township, New Jersey,[49] and in 2012 Apple changed his name from Eli Woodard to Eli Apple.[50] He is the nephew of comedian Michael Blackson. During his true freshman year at Ohio State, issues with an iron deficiency limited Apple's play.[21]


  1. "College football recruiting 2013: Ohio State picks up top 2013 recruit in Eli Woodard". Sporting News. May 15, 2012. http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2012-02-16/ohio-state-buckeyes-recruiting-eli-woodard-urban-meyer.
  2. "Eastern football star Eli Woodard picks Ohio State over Rutgers". NJ.com. February 16, 2012. http://www.nj.com/hssports/blog/football/index.ssf/2012/02/eastern_football_star_eli_woodard_picks_ohio_state_over_rutgers.html.
  3. "Rivals.com: Eli Apple".
  4. "Eastern football star, Eli Woodard, picks Ohio State over Rutgers".
  5. "Eli Apple Profile". Ohio State University. Archived from the original on March 25, 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20150325193022/http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/eli_apple_838099.html. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  6. "Ohio State football CB Eli Apple's transformation could stop Michigan from repeat passing success". The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. November 25, 2014. http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2014/11/ohio_state_indiana_eli_apple_b.html.
  7. "Eli Apple making strides for Ohio State football". The Lantern. October 17, 2014. http://thelantern.com/2014/10/eli-apple-making-strides-for-ohio-state-football/.
  8. "Ohio State football: Now healthy, Apple makes big impact at Nickelback". The Columbus Dispatch. November 19, 2014. http://buckeyextra.dispatch.com/content/stories/2014/11/19/ohio-state-football-apple-11-19.html.
  9. "Eastern’s Eli Apple now a national champion with Ohio State Buckeyes". Voorhees Sun. January 15, 2015. http://www.voorheessun.com/2015/01/15/easterns-eli-apple-now-national-champion-ohio-state-buckeyes/.
  10. "South Jersey's Eli Apple has a hand in Ohio State's Big Ten Championship shutout". NJ.com. December 7, 2014. http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2014/12/south_jerseys_eli_apple_has_a_hand_in_ohio_states_big_ten_championship_shutout.html.
  11. "Eastern High's Apple is 'fantastic' in Ohio State's victory". Philadelphia Inquirer. January 15, 2015. http://articles.philly.com/2015-01-15/sports/58071036_1_marcus-mariota-oregon-coach-mark-helfrich-urban-meyer.
  12. "NFL: Eastern grad Eli Apple declares for draft". January 4, 2016. https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/sports/nfl/2016/01/04/nfl-eastern-grad-eli-apple-declares-draft/78279316/. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  13. Reuter, Chad (March 1, 2016). "Combine confirmations: 11 prospects deserving of draft status". http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000640478/article/combine-confirmations-11-prospects-deserving-of-draft-status. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  14. "NFL Events: Combine Top Performers". http://www.nfl.com/combine/top-performers#year=2016&workout=FORTY_YARD_DASH&position=QB-RB-WR-TE-S-DL-LB-CB-OL-SPEC.
  15. Fucillo, David (April 26, 2016). "49ers pre-draft visits tracker 2016: Who is on the radar?". https://www.ninersnation.com/2016/3/6/11162320/49ers-draft-visits-tracker-2016-workouts-combine-senior-bowl-shrine-game. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  16. Lambert, Terry (April 4, 2016). "2016 NFL Draft: Tennessee Titans Draft Connections Tracker". https://www.musiccitymiracles.com/2016/4/4/11355248/2016-nfl-draft-tennessee-titans-draft-connections-tracker. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  17. "*Eli Apple, DS #3 CB, Ohio State: 2016 NFL Draft".
  18. Burke, Chris (April 12, 2016). "2016 NFL Draft Position Rankings". https://www.si.com/nfl/2016/04/12/nfl-draft-2016-position-rankings-players-prospects. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  19. Mike Mayock (April 27, 2016). "Mike Mayock's 2016 NFL Draft position rankings 5.0". http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000656285/article/mike-mayocks-2016-nfl-draft-position-rankings-50. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  20. Torres, Aaron (April 27, 2016). "Eli Apple's mom responds after anonymous NFL scout disses her son". FoxSports.com. http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/eli-apple-ohio-state-anonymous-scout-042716. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles – Eli Apple". NFL.com. http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profiles/eli-apple?id=2555277.
  22. Salomone, Dan (April 29, 2016). "New York Giants Draft Ohio State CB Eli Apple in first round". http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs/article-1/New-York-Giants-Draft-Ohio-State-CB-Eli-Apple-in-first-round/2cd6e721-1696-42e9-8b29-ca363dc2c72d. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  23. "The bizarre circumstances that led to the Giants drafting Eli Apple". December 27, 2017. https://www.sny.tv/giants/news/the-bizarre-circumstances-that-led-to-the-giants-drafting-eli-apple/264057636. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  24. Patra, Kevin (May 3, 2016). "Giants GM blasts draft critics bashing Eli Apple pick". http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000659672/article/giants-gm-blasts-draft-critics-bashing-eli-apple-pick. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  25. Graziano, Dan (April 3, 2016). "Giants select Ohio State CB Eli Apple in first round". http://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-giants/post/_/id/46512/giants-select-ohio-state-cb-eli-apple-in-first-round. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  26. Eisen, Michael (May 6, 2016). "Giants sign four draft picks & 14 undrafted free agents". http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs/article-1/Giants-sign-four-draft-picks--14-undrafted-free-agents/bce88848-ed81-4d6a-8e99-26f19049be9d. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  27. "Over the cap.com:Eli Apple contract".
  28. Dan Duggan (September 30, 2016). "Giants may be with Eli Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at Vikings".
  29. "Giant's CB Eli Apple won't play against Ravens-Inactives analysis".
  30. Dan Schneider (November 13, 2016). "Steve Spagnuolo: We haven't lost confidence in Eli Apple".
  31. Dan Duggan (December 2, 2016). "Why is Giant's rookie CB Eli Apple playing over Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie".
  32. "New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers - December 4th, 2016". https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201612040pit.htm. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 "NFL Player Profile: Eli Apple".
  34. "Ourlads.com: New York Giant's depth chart: 10/01/2017".
  35. Patra, Kevin (December 4, 2017). "New York Giants fire coach Ben McAdoo after 2-10 start". http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000887801/article/new-york-giants-fire-coach-ben-mcadoo-after-210-start. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  36. "Giants’ Landon Collins apologizes for blasting teammate Eli Apple as ‘a cancer’". December 27, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/12/26/giants-landon-collins-blasts-teammate-eli-apple-as-a-cancer/. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  37. "Landon Collins claps back at Eli Apple: 'He has to grow up'". http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2017/12/giants_landon_collins_claps_back_at_eli_apple_he_h.html. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  38. Eisen, Michael (December 27, 2017). "Giants suspend CB Eli Apple". http://www.giants.com/news-and-blogs/article-1/Giants-suspend-CB-Eli-Apple/e34bc0b0-f6cc-4a73-9798-074a75a489b3.
  39. "Eli Apple has ‘clean slate’ with Pat Shurmur, Giants’ new regime". May 21, 2018. https://www.newsday.com/sports/football/giants/giants-eli-apple-1.18661717. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  40. Valentine, Ed (September 6, 2018). "New York Giants depth chart: What the depth chart looks like after roster makeover". https://www.bigblueview.com/2018/9/6/17826844/new-york-giants-depth-chart-what-the-depth-chart-looks-like-after-roster-makeover. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  41. Raanan, Jordan (September 16, 2018). "New York Giants C Jon Halapio, CB Eli Apple injured vs. Dallas Cowboys". http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/24706374/new-york-giants-c-jon-halapio-cb-eli-apple-injured-vs-dallas-cowboys. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  42. "Giants injury report: Facing Saints without Eli Apple, Olivier Vernon". September 28, 2018. https://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2018/09/giants_injury_report_facing_saints_without_eli_app.html. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  43. Patra, Kevin (October 23, 2018). "Giants trade former first-round CB Eli Apple to Saints". http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000977696/article/giants-trading-cornerback-eli-apple-to-saints.
  44. "Saints' Ken Crawley: Will sit out Sunday". October 28, 2018. https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/football/news/saints-ken-crawley-will-sit-out-sunday/. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  45. Sigler, John (October 23, 2018). "Instant analysis of Eli Apple trade: What it means, what it doesn't". https://saintswire.usatoday.com/2018/10/23/new-orleans-saints-new-york-giants-eli-apple-ken-crawley/. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  46. "NFL Player stats: Eli Apple (2018)". http://www.nfl.com/player/eliapple/2555277/gamelogs?season=2018. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  47. Duncan, Jeff. "8 takeaways from the Saints' 51-14 win against the Bengals" (in en-US). NOLA.com. https://www.nola.com/expo/sports/erry-2018/11/83f59a580b5519/8-takeaways-from-the-saints-51.html.
  48. Teope, Herbie (May 1, 2019). "Saints declining CB Eli Apple's fifth-season option". http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001029290/article/saints-declining-cb-eli-apples-fifthseason-option.
  49. Erin McCarthey. "Penn State game special for Ohio State's Eli Apple". http://mobile.philly.com/sports/?wss=/philly/sports/colleges/penn_state/&id=333077491&. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  50. Brad Bournival (December 21, 2012). "Eli Woodard changes his name to Eli Apple".

External links

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