Apr 161996
New York Giants 1996 NFL Draft Needs
  • Linebackers: The Giants need a lot of help at this position. Inside, Michael Brooks, an unrestricted free agent, signed with Detroit. Brooks wasn’t a big loss because he did not have the bulk or instincts to play middle linebacker. Regardless, his departure creates even more uncertainty at the position. If the season were to start today, the starter at MLB would be Corey Widmer. Widmer is the type of player (big and physical) that the Giants need at the position. However, he is relatively inexperienced and some question whether or not he has the instincts necessary to play MLB. One of Dan Reeves’ biggest mistakes was not to play Corey Widmer more inside. Now the Giants must go into the 1996 season not knowing whether or not Widmer can handle his new responsibilities. There is also speculation that the Giants will shift DE/DT Coleman Rudolph to MLB — such transitions rarely are successful in the NFL. Jeff Rodgers, a first-year free agent, was cut by both the Bucs and Skins — ’nuff said. Outside, on the strongside, Corey Miller is solid and does most things well, but he does not get along well with the coaching staff. Miller is a good leader, but makes too many mental mistakes. His backup, Marcus Buckley, has shown nothing since he has been in the NFL and may also be better suited to the weakside. Buckley doesn’t have the strength or instincts to be truly effective. On the weakside, ex-Bronco import Michael Croel has proven to be a bust. Weak against the run, his pass rush skills were also lacking in 1995. Croel is also an unrestricted free agent and likely won’t be invited back. Reeves should have played his back-up, Jessie Armstead, more. Armstead has great speed and makes more plays, but is also susceptible to the run. Reserve Ben Talley did not play at all in 1995 and is a total unknown.
  • Wide Receivers: The wide receiving position must vie with the linebackers for the Giants’ leading disaster area in 1995. It is fairly obvious that Mike Sherrard, an unrestricted free agent, can no longer be counted on to be the number one wide receiver. While Sherrard could still be effective in the right offense, he is over 30, has slipped too much, and makes too much money. Chris Calloway is a solid receiver, but rarely makes big plays and can disappear for too much of a game. He may be best suited as the 3rd WR. Thomas Lewis has the most ability of all the receivers on the roster, but hardly played in 1995 due to injury and Reeves’ refusal to play him more. Throughout his short career, Lewis has showed flashes of becoming a big-time receiver, but needs to prove that he can stay healthy. He also needs to run better routes. Arthur Marshall is a journeyman who shouldn’t even be playing in the NFL. He is also an unrestricted free agent and may not be invited back. Omar Douglas is speedy, but he is small and has trouble separating from defenders. Gary Harrell is also small and speedy, but he looks like a playmaker in the Stephen Baker mode. However, Harrell also seems to be in Reeves’ doghouse.
  • Offensive Line: This position is on the verge of a major transition. Jumbo Elliott was signed by the Jets. Greg Bishop, who played last year at left guard, will now move back to left tackle, where he was Elliott’s back-up in 1994. Ideally, the Giants need somebody to compete with and backup Bishop at left tackle since it is not known whether or not he will be a capable starter at that position. At guard, Scott Davis, who suffered a severe knee injury in the preseason last year, Rob Zateckha, and new-comer Ron Stone should battle for two starting spots. Davis is on the small-side, but he is a solid player and a good puller. Zatechka showed very good promise last year and should eventually start either on the left or right side. Stone, a huge power player signed away from the Cowboys, is virtually guaranteed of starting at left or right guard, and possibly even right tackle. RT Doug Riesenberg and RG Lance Smith are the current incumbents on the right side, but both are over 30, declining, and make too much money. One or both may be cut before camp starts. The Giants would like huge RT Scott Gragg to win the job outright, but if he’s not ready to handle the position, Stone may have to start at right tackle. The center position is set with Brian Williams, but the Giants must decide whether or not they want to replace backup center Adam Schreiber. OG Derek Allen and OT Jerry Reynolds provide quality depth, but neither is starting material. OG Ken Dammann is camp fodder.
  • Defensive Line: The Giants look solid outside, but still lack a true force in the middle. At defensive end, Michael Strahan had a breakout year against both the run and the pass and was the Giants most consistent player in the front seven. Ex-Viking import Rob Harris didn’t make the impact that was hoped, but he has a lot of tools and is still young. Rookie Jamal Duff was a huge surprise and looks like he may develop into a solid pass rusher. He does need to improve his play against the run, however, if he ever hopes to start. Chad Bratzke rarely played, but when he did, he showed some promise. Inside, ex-Patriot Ray Agnew played fairly well against the run, but only had one sack on the year. Keith Hamilton had another off year, but was double-teamed on most plays. Keith needs to play hard on every play. Backup DT Stacey Dillard is a journeyman run-stuffer who rarely gets near the passer. DT/DE Coleman Rudolph had four sacks, but three of them were garbage sacks — he rarely gets off of the line of scrimmage. Moreover, there is some speculation that he will be shifted to MLB. Rookie free agent Todd Yeaman, was injured in training camp, and is a total unknown.
  • Defensive Backs: The Giants are set at safety with Jesse Campbell, Vencie Glenn, Maurice Douglas, Tito Wooten, and Rodney Young. At CB, Sparks and Randolph are very solid. However, depth is an area of primary concern. Willie Beamon and Jason Sehorn are only adequate as back-ups.
  • Running Backs: Rodney Hampton remains one of the best running backs in the league. Rookie Ty Wheatley has tons of potential, but he had a disappointing season and some question his attitude and work ethic. To be fair to Wheatley, Reeves never allowed him to get into the flow of any game and Ty never developed a rapport with his blockers. Rookie fullback Charles Way was a huge surprise and looks like he may develop into an outstanding blocking back and potential pass receiver out of the backfield. Herschel Walker was a huge bust. The Giants employed Keith Elias as their 3rd down back down the final stretch, but he doesn’t have the quickness or ability to pick up the blitz that Dave Meggett had. We think the Giants would like to draft a Meggett-type back later in the draft. FB/H-Back Jeremy Burkett, a fine pass receiver, will provide good competition in camp.
  • Tight Ends: The Giants ask their TE’s to block first and catch passes second and as long as the Giants maintain this philosophy, they will start TE’s who are not great receiving threats. Howard Cross was injured for most of the season and had a terrible year. H-Back Aaron Pierce is not the blocker that Cross is, but flashes very good ability as a pass receiver. He must become more consistent, however. Brian Kozlowski and Brian Saxton both block well, but are not big receiving threats.
  • Quarterbacks: Dave Brown is an unrestricted free agent, but the organization appears committed to him and, for better or worse, he will be the quarterback for the franchise for the next few years. It’s tough to evaluate Tommy Maddox without him having been with the team in the preseason. We do like Stan White as a backup QB.
  • Special Teams: Unless the Giants resign Bryne Diehl this offseason, they must come up with a punter to challenge Mike Horan who will be 37. Brad Daluiso is solid, but missed too many big kicks down the stretch.

Summary: The Giants need at least two linebackers and two wide receivers. They could also use a top-notch left tackle and defensive tackle. Depth at cornerback is also a concern. Thus, the Giants primary needs going into the 1996 NFL Draft are:

  • Middle Linebacker
  • Outside Linebacker
  • Wide Receiver (2)
  • Left Tackle
  • Defensive Tackle
  • Cornerback

Apr 091996
New York Giants 1996 NFL Draft Preview

The following is a listing of players, including brief descriptions of strengths and weaknesses, who we like going into the draft. For your information, we have factored need into our overview (i.e., we have not listed the top RB’s because it is obvious that the Giants won’t draft one; we have focused on left tackles, rather than right tackles, etc.). We have also not included some “top” prospects because we don’t like them for one reason or another (i.e., off-the-field problems, limitations due to size or instincts, medical concerns, etc.). At the bottom of this listing, we have provided our projection on who we think the Giants will take in the first three rounds. Enjoy!


There are no QB’s in this draft who we have a good feeling about — the few “prospects” with some redeeming qualities will go earlier than the Giants will be willing to select them. At this time, the Giants feel comfortable with Brown, Maddox, and White.


Winslow Oliver, New Mexico (5-7, 181lbs, 4.42): David Meggett-type back. Small, but a playmaker with superb speed and quickness. Strong and tough for his size. Very good pass receiver. Lack of size will hurt him as a blocker, but he is the type of 3rd down back the Giants lacked last year. 3rd-4th rounder.


Dentron Smith, Texas A&M (5-10, 234lbs, 4.58): Complimentary blocking FB. Average size but he is very strong. Tough and physical. Excellent blocker and inconsistent receiver. Decent running the ball as well. Decent speed, but lacks agility. 5th-6th rounder.

Jon Witman, Penn State (6-2, 242lbs, 4.77): Complimentary blocking FB. Very good size. Good blocker and fair receiver. Tough and physical. Lacks moves. 5th-7th rounder.

Tight Ends:

Marco Battaglia, Rutgers (6-2, 250lbs, 4.74): Good pass receiver, average blocker — not a “typical” Giants’ TE prospect. Tough competitor who makes plays. Lacks size and doesn’t get much movement in his blocks, but he tries hard. Good, not great hands. Has a feel for the game and seems to get open with ease. H-Back candidate in the Giants offense. 3rd-4th rounder.

Wide Receivers:

Keyshawn Johnson, USC (6-3, 220lbs, 4.58): Clearly the best WR available in the draft and likely to be selected by the Jets or Jaguars with one of the first two picks. Great size and can get deep although he doesn’t have great speed. Will go over the middle and will break tackles. Big-time playmaker who can dominate games. Cocky and immature.

Terry Glenn, Ohio State (5-11, 184lbs, 4.38): Junior prospect. Not a factor his first two years of college, but exploded onto the scene in 1995, catching 57 passes for 1,316 yards and 17 TD’s. Deep threat. Super-fast and super-quick. Can jump and has soft hands. Needs to improve his routes and blocking and he isn’t a hard worker. New York spot light may get to his head since he is immature. Very good prospect, but he is not the next Joey Galloway. High first rounder.

Marvin Harrison, Syracuse (6-0, 180lbs, 4.40): Like Glenn, Harrison is super-fast and super-quick — a great combination. However, like Glenn, he is also on the small side. Somewhat frail. Deep threat. Great acceleration and very smooth. Good hands. Could be more aggressive and isn’t physical. Glenn has more potential, but Harrison might be a safer pick for the Giants. 1st rounder.

Eric Moulds, Mississippi State (6-1, 202lbs, 4.50): Fantastic athletic-ability. Deep threat. Tough and will go over the middle. Aggressive performer with decent hands. Great runner after the catch. Needs to improve concentration and routes. “Me first”-type player. Moulds has much better size and potential than Glenn and Harrison, but he is inconsistent and immature. 1st-2nd rounder.

Alex Van Dyke, Nevada-Reno (6-0, 200lbs, 4.50): Played at a small college, but was super-productive, catching 129 passes for 1,854 yards and 16 TD’s in 1995. Fine size and speed. Great quickness and hands. Aggressive. Not a burner. We have a good feeling about this guy. 2nd rounder.

Derrick Mayes, Notre Dame (6-1, 200lbs, 4.64): Good size and very aggressive. Playmaker with great hands and body control, but lacks speed and needs to also improve his route-running. Poor-man’s Michael Irvin. Would look good in a Giants uniform. 2nd rounder.

Eddie Kennison, LSU (5-11, 191lbs, 4.45): Junior prospect. Like Glenn, Harrison, and Moulds, Kennison is another superb athlete. Great speed and acceleration. Raw, he needs more experience and his routes need a lot of work. Lacks concentration — drops balls. Kennison is a project. 2nd rounder.

Bobby Engram, Penn State (5-10, 187lbs, 4.60): Lacks great size and speed, but is quick in his movements. Playmaker with good hands. Good blocker and runs good routes. Has a feel for the game. Sort of reminds us of Lionel Manuel, but he is tougher and more talented. Has had some off-the-field problems. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Muhsin Muhammad, Michigan State (6-2, 217lbs, 4.48): Great size and speed. Decent hands, but needs better concentration. Aggressive, he will go over the middle. Average quickness. Has had some run-ins with the law. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Amani Toomer, Michigan (6-3, 195lbs, 4.40): Great size and speed — can get deep. However, his play is very reminiscent of former-Wolverine Derrick Alexander — who so far has been a bust in the NFL. Not quick out of his cuts and can be inconsistent. Needs to improve his routes. Boom-or-bust type. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Stepfret Williams, Northeast Louisiana (6-0, 170lbs, 4.45): Explosive. Outstanding speed and quickness. Can score any time he touches the ball. Can separate. Deep threat. Limited by size. Not a physical player and not tough over the middle. Probably not a full-time player, but he should be considered as a tremendous offensive spark off of the bench. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Terrell Owens, Tennessee-Chattanooga (6-3, 213lbs, 4.60): Superb size. Not a burner, but he has good hands and agility. Will go over the middle. Needs to improve routes and concentration level. 2nd-4th rounder.

Jermaine Lewis, Maryland (5-8, 170lbs, 4.40): Small, but has great speed and quickness. Reminds us of Stephen Baker but is a better prospect. Not tough or physical. Lack of size is his biggest negative. 3rd-4th rounder.

Patrick Jeffers, Virginia (6-3, 218lbs, 4.60): Great size, but strictly a possession receiver as he lacks speed and quickness. Good hands. Intelligent. Plays unafraid and will go over the middle. Needs to improve routes. 3rd-4th rounder.

Mercury Hayes, Michigan (5-10, 198lbs, 4.57): His teammate Amani Toomer is considered by everyone to be a much better prospect, but we have a better feeling about Hayes. Runs good routes and is a top competitor. Hard worker. Good blocker and plays unafraid. Lacks great speed and sometimes has trouble separating from a defender. Hands are decent, not great. 4th-5th rounder.

Reggie Barlow, Alabama State (5-11, 185lbs, 4.53): Played at a small college, but has decent hands and good quickness. Not a burner and he needs to become more physical. Will go over the middle. 5th-6th rounder.

Chris Doering, Florida (6-4, 190lbs, 4.76): Extremely intelligent player with an excellent feel for the game. Will make the clutch grab to keep drives alive. Very good hands. Doering is not fast and has an awkward build. He would be strictly a possession receiver and a role-player — not a starter, but he’s the kind of guy good teams need on their roster. Reminds us of Ed McCaffrey — but isn’t as good as a prospect. 5th-6th rounder.

Offensive Tackles:

Jonathan Odgen, UCLA (6-8, 318, 5.05): Left tackle prospect. Great size and amazing athletic ability. Superb pass blocker. Has the ability to rapidly become one of the best who ever played. Chief concern is that he is not an overly aggressive player. Should be a better blocker for the run than he is. Top five pick.

Willie Anderson, Auburn (6-5, 324lbs, 5.24): Junior prospect who can play both tackle positions. Has the size pro teams love. Great athletic-ability. Has the tools to become one of the better run/pass blockers in the game. Like Ogden, though, he needs to play with more aggressiveness. Top ten selection.

Jermane Mayberry, Texas A&M-Kingsville (6-4, 320lbs, 5.29): Left tackle. Can play guard. Very good run blocker and demonstrates good coordination pass blocking. Little shorter than ideal, but he has a massive frame. Power player. Has trouble seeing out of his left eye. Raw — he needs a lot of technique work and more intensity. 1st-2nd round.

Ken Blackman, Illinois (6-5, 314lbs, 5.25): Left tackle, but could also play guard. Very good size. Performed extremely well at the Blue-Gray Game. Aggressive and strong. Can block for both the run and the pass. May have problem with speed rushers. We have a good feeling about Blackman. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Jon Runyan, Michigan (6-8, 310lbs, 5.22): Junior prospect. Left tackle. Outstanding size and room to grow. Aggressive power player who can dominate in the running game. Not a great athlete. At this point, he is not a very good pass blocker — needs a lot of technique work. We think he is underrated. 3rd-4th rounder.

Andre Johnson, Penn State (6-6, 308lbs, 5.30): Left tackle. Good size. Good pass blocker, but only average blocking for the run. Small base — not a power player. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Jason Odom, Florida (6-5, 290lbs, 4.98): Left tackle. Not as big as we would like. Very good pass blocker, but needs to improve in the running game. Smart. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Harry Stamps, Oklahoma (6-4, 305lbs, 5.50): Left tackle prospect but could also play guard. Shorter than ideal for tackle. Good run blocker, he needs to improve as a pass blocker. Not overly athletic. 4th-5th rounder.

Offensive Guards/Centers:

Pete Kendall, Boston College (6-5, 292lbs, 5.05): Played left tackle, but is more naturally suited as a guard because of his short arms. Tough, intelligent competitor. Very good run and pass blocker. 1st rounder.

Rod Jones, Kansas (6-4, 307lbs, 5.08): Left tackle. Good size, but not as tall as we would like. Probably best suited as a guard. Strong and quick. Good run blocker. Not as strong against the pass, but he has the tools. Needs better consistency. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Jason Layman, Tennessee (6-5, 306lbs, 5.20): Can play guard, tackle, and even center — extremely versatile. Good size. Better pass blocker than run blocker where he needs to improve. Intelligent and understands the game. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Norberto Garrido, USC (6-6, 316lbs, 5.25): Played right tackle but guard is probably a better position for him. Has the size that pro teams covet. Good run blocker. Not fluid. Raw — needs a lot of technique work and could be more aggressive. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Dusty Zeigler, Notre Dame (6-5, 300lbs, 5.33): Can play guard and center — versatile. Good size. Competitive player who plays with aggression. Decent run and pass blocker. Not a great athlete. 3rd-4th rounder.

Heath Irwin, Colorado (6-4, 295lbs, 5.20): Played left guard. Decent size. Above average run and pass blocker. Tough and aggressive. Can pull and lead. Not really a power player. 3rd-4th rounder.

John Elmore, Texas (6-3, 293lbs, 5.35): Played left tackle, but guard is his more natural position. Decent size. Tough competitor who can block for both the run and the pass. Works hard and intelligent. Agile though he is an average athlete. Needs to play stronger. 3rd-5th rounder.

Matt Soenksen, UCLA (6-4, 315lbs, 5.32): Very good size. Competitor. Decent run and pass blocker, but he is not very athletic and lacks mobility. Aggressive power player. 5th-6th rounder.

Chris Villarrial, Indiana (PA) (6-3, 302lbs, 5.28): Can play guard and center. Good size. Average pass and run blocker — but has some potential. Needs a lot of work. 5th-6th rounder.

Defensive Tackle:

Marcus Jones, North Carolina (6-5, 285lbs, 5.09): Very productive player who played hurt most of last year. Can also play DE. Fine size and great athletic-ability. Strong and quick. Can play with finesse or power. Good run defender and pass rusher. Productive but not overly instinctive. Plays hard. Still needs technique work. Daryl Gardener has more talent, but Jones is a better player. Should go in the first half of the first round.

Daryl Gardener, Baylor (6-7, 320lbs, 4.90): Played a 3-4 DE in college, but DT is his spot in the pros. Fantastic size and athletic ability. In terms of tools, he has everything that you could ask for. Power player with good agility. Has the potential to be an impact player. Thus far he has not been instinctive or productive. Not real physical or aggressive. Takes downs off. Boom-or-bust type.

Bryant Mix, Alcorn State (6-3, 300lbs, 4.95): Fine size and athletic ability. Quick and relentless. Can rush the passer and play the run, but needs to play stronger at plays directed at him. Needs a lot of technique work, but he has the potential to develop into a complete player. 1st-2nd rounder.

Shannon Brown, Alabama (6-4, 290lbs, 4.99): Decent size. Quick off the ball and a good competitor. Tenacious. Strong against the run and has pass-rush ability. Seems to be coming on. If the Giants don’t take a DT in the first round, they may take Brown in the second.

Steve Martin, Missouri (6-4, 292, 5.08): Nice size and athletic ability. Can play both the run and the pass, but needs to play with more fire and consistency. Lacks endurance. If he commits himself to the game, he could develop into a fine player. 3rd-5th rounder.

James Manley, Vanderbilt (6-3, 314lbs, 5.20): Great size and strong. Athletic for his size, but he needs to play harder and more aggressively. Needs to improve consistency, but has talent. Interesting prospect. 4th-5th rounder.

Orpheus Roye, Florida State (6-4, 294lbs, 4.90): Good size and athletic-ability. Plays hard. Inexperienced — he needs a lot technique work. Not overly instinctive. Could develop. 4th-5th rounder.

J.C. Price, Virginia Tech (6-2, 280lbs, 5.00): Lacks size but is an excellent competitor who makes a lot of plays. Athletic with fine quickness. Instinctive and can hit. Limited by size. 4th-5th rounder.

Jason Maniecki, Wisconsin (6-4, 295lbs, 5.25): Very good competitor who tries hard, but who is not overly athletic. Strong and tough. Better against the run than the pass. 4th-6th rounder.

Paul Grasmanis, Notre Dame (6-3, 295lbs, 5.10): Good size, but not very tall. Tough competitor who will give you a full 60 minutes. Tenacious. Not very athletic and not a pass rusher. 4th-6th rounder.

Defensive Ends:

Simeon Rice, Illinois, (6-5, 260lbs, 4.75): Outstanding pass rusher — superb quickness and moves. At times, he can dominant a game. Instinctive and explosive. Inconsistent and not a strong run defender. Not a physical ball player. Has the cockiness star players need, but can also be immature. Strictly a right-side DE. High 1st rounder.

Tony Brackens, Texas (6-4, 260lbs, 4.79): Junior prospect. Excellent athlete with explosive quickness. Superb pass rusher. Strong — can bull rush. Bigtime hitter. On the small side — not strong against the run. Right-side-type. High first rounder.

Regan Upshaw, California (6-4, 250lbs, 4.76): Junior prospect. Good height but lacks bulk. Outstanding right-side pass rusher — superb athlete. Competes and plays hard — goes 100 percent all the time. Not a strong run defender — right-side-type. High 1st rounder.

Cedric Jones, Oklahoma (6-4, 275lbs, 4.80): Decent size and very quick. Agile and athletic — a good pass rusher. Needs to work harder in the weight room. Needs to be more physical and play the run stronger, but has very good potential. 1st rounder.

Jevon Langford, Oklahoma State (6-3, 276lbs, 4.85): Junior prospect. Decent size but lacks height. Athletic and quick — another good right-side pass rusher. Plays the game with an attitude — likes to hit and hurt people. Inconsistent and lacks discipline. Better pass rusher than run defender. 1st rounder.

Duanne Clemons, California (6-5, 260lbs, 4.90): Junior prospect. Another very good right-side pass rushing defensive end. Excellent athlete — could even play OLB in a 3-4. Needs technique work and is not physical. Not a strong run defender. 1st rounder.

Brady Smith, Colorado State (6-5, 261lbs, 4.90): Good height — needs to add weight and become stronger. Very good pass rusher, but he needs more strength. Has a feel for the game. Works hard and competes. Athletic and quick. Not a strong run defender — right-side-type. Looked awesome in the all-star game. We like this guy a lot. 2nd rounder.

Middle Linebackers:

Doug Colman, Nebraska (6-2, 252lbs, 4.77): Not a full-time player in college. Great size and a decent athlete. Physical. Works hard and studies the game. Late-round-type.

Johnny Frost, Louisville (6-2, 255lbs, 4.71): Great size and decent speed. Has a nose for the football, but is a little stiff. Very good hitter — physical player. Competitor. Not good in coverage. Late-round-type.

Sean Moran, Colorado State (6-3, 266lbs, 4.85): Played DE in college, so moving him to LB must be considered a gamble. Aggressive, powerful, instinctive, and intelligent. Competitive and quick. May not be enough of an athlete to play LB. Late-round type the Giants may want to gamble on. If he can’t play LB, he could become a situational pass rusher at DE.

Tedy Bruschi, Arizona (6-0, 250lbs, 4.79): Played DE in college, so moving him to LB must be considered a gamble. Very quick. Tough, competitive, intense. Needs to play off of blocks better. May have problems dropping into coverage. Late-round-type the Giants may want to gamble on.

Tom Tumulty, Pittsburgh (6-3, 242lbs, 4.90): A run-stuffer who plays well between the tackles, but has some problems getting outside. Productive and a tough competitor. Has leadership qualities. Hustles. Lacks speed and quickness. Late-round type.

George Noga, Hawaii (6-2, 246lbs, 4.95): Played DT, DE, and LB in college. Switching him to MLB is a gamble. Aggressive, tough, and intense. Good size for a LB, but he may not be athletic enough for the position. Lacks speed. Late-round/free agent-type.

Dan Brandenburg, Indiana State (6-3, 254lbs, 4.55): Played on the defensive line in college, so switching him to MLB would be a gamble. Good athlete with fine size and speed for LB. Not explosive and needs to learn to play off of blocks better. Late-round/free agent-type the Giants may want to gamble on.

Vincent Landrum, McNeese State (6-1, 243lbs, 4.85): Good size and can tackle and hit. Competitive, tough, and instinctive. Not great in pass coverage and suffered a severe back injury last year which must be checked out. Late-round/free agent-type.

Outside Linebackers:

Kevin Hardy, Illinois (6-5, 245lbs, 4.77): Has the size that pro teams covet. Strong and quick — equally adept at defending the run and pass. Hard worker and top competitor. Can rush the passer and cover. Strong-side-type. Will be one of the first players taken in the draft.

Reggie Brown, Texas A&M (6-2, 241lbs, 4.45): Weakside-side prospect. Decent size and superb speed and quickness — very athletic. Tackles well and can cover, but needs to be stronger at plays run right at him. Also needs to be more decisive but he is physical. 1st rounder.

John Mobley, Kutztown (6-1, 231lbs, 4.58): Lacks much size, but he is a superb athlete. Quick, fast, and agile. Physical and a good tackler — he will hit. Smart. Has problems with plays run right at him — weakside-type. Reggie Brown has more tools, but Mobley seems to be more decisive in his play. 1st rounder.

Ray Lewis, Miami (6-0, 235lbs, 4.70): Junior prospect. Played inside in college but projects outside due to size. Lack of height is a big concern, but he is a playmaker. Fiesty, tough, and competitive. Has a feel for the game. Athletic and very quick. Instinctive and physical. Not strong at plays run right at him — weakside-type. 2nd rounder.

Randall Godfrey, Georgia (6-2, 237lbs, 4.65): Weakside player with very good athletic-ability and strength. Competitive. Has trouble with plays run right at him — needs to shed blocks better. Not a physical player. Limited by severe hamstring injury his senior season. 3rd-4th rounder.

Alan Campos, Louisville (6-3, 235lbs, 4.70): Has good height, but he really doesn’t have an ideal build for a LB — small power base. Good athlete and a playmaker. Competes and hustles. Not strong at plays run right at him — big blockers give him problems. 3rd-4th rounder.

Earl Holmes, Florida A&M (6-2, 238lbs, 4.76): Weakside defender. Lacks size but is a tough and aggressive player. Instinctive and likes to punish people. Has problems with plays run right at him. Needs work in pass coverage. 3rd-4th rounder.

Scott Galyon, Tennessee (6-2, 236lbs, 4.70): Smaller than ideal, but is a tough competitor who plays hard all the time. Athletic with good quickness and speed. Weakside-type. Needs to become a stronger run defender. Broke his arm in an all-star game — needs time to heal. 4th – 5th rounder.


Alex Molden, Oregon (5-10, 186lbs, 4.45): Decent size for a CB and a superb coverman. Athletic with excellent speed and quickness. Strong and physical. Can play man-to-man and zone. Needs to concentrate all the time and become a better tackler. 1st rounder.

Walt Harris, Mississippi State (6-0, 191lbs, 4.50): Excellent size for CB. Very good coverman with speed and quickness. Can play zone and man-to-man. Inconsistent tackler and hitter — though at times he can be physical. 1st-2nd rounder.

Ray Mickens, Texas A&M (5-8, 176lbs, 4.40): Superb coverman who lacks much height. Small but effective — similar to Thomas Randolph. Great speed and quickness. Can play man or zone. Lack of size limits his play against the run and tall WR’s could give him trouble. 2nd rounder.

Brian Dawkins, Clemson (6-0, 190lbs, 4.50): Also a prospect at safety. Excellent size and aggressiveness for a CB. Plays the game like a LB. Tough competitor who loves to hit. Good athlete but may be a little too stiff for CB. Needs to improve feel and technique for pass defense. 2nd-3rd rounder.

Dedric Mathis, Houston (5-10, 190lbs, 4.45): Good size and great speed and quickness — very good athletic ability. Not aggressive — needs to be more forceful against the run. Decent, but not great in coverage — he can be fooled. Needs technique work. 3rd-4th rounder.

Fuzzy Lee, North Carolina (6-0, 202lbs, 4.60): Excellent size for CB, but lacks great speed. Has good quickness and instincts for the game. Tough, physical player — good run defender. Needs technique work and his lack of speed hurts, but he is a player. 5th-6th round.

Rayna Stewart, Northern Arizona (5-10, 197lbs, 4.58): Also a prospect at safety. Very good size for a CB. Plays both the run and the pass aggressively. Intelligent, hard working, and competitive — a great combination. Agile but he lacks top speed and quickness. 5th-6th rounder.

Aaron Beasley, West Virginia (5-11, 194lbs, 4.62): Also a prospect at safety. Excellent size for a CB and has quickness. Lacks speed but is instinctive player who always seems to be around the ball. Not aggressive in run defense. Smart and a team leader. Size and instincts make him an interesting prospect, but he lack of speed may be too much to overcome. 5th-6th rounder.

Eric Smedley, Indiana (6-0, 204lbs, 4.60): Could also be a prospect at safety. Superb size for a CB. Not as fast or fluid as one would want at CB but he is a playmaker. Physical and aggressive. Showed well in the all-star games. 5th-6th rounder.

Matt Stevens, Appalachian State (6-0, 206lbs, 4.54): Also a prospect at safety. Was having an excellent year before he ripped up his knee — huge medical question mark. Has superb size for CB. Aggressive coverman. Intelligent. Before his injury he was a very good athlete with fine quickness and speed. Needs to play with more consistency. 6th-7th rounder.


Lawyer Milloy, Washington (6-0, 210lbs, 4.56): Junior prospect. Strong safety-type. Great size and athletic-ability. Tough competitor who loves to punish people. Superb run defender — he plays like an extra LB. Needs to improve his coverage skills — not adept at pass defense. 2nd rounder.

Reggie Tongue, Oregon State (6-0, 200lbs, 4.46): Free safety. Average size, but very good speed and quickness — athletic. Decent in coverage and he can hit and tackle — though he is not as physical as you would want at safety. 4th-6th rounder.

The New York Giants Select…

1st Round — OT Willie Anderson, Auburn: Surprise! We just can’t see the Giants drafting a smallish WR (Glenn or Harrison) with the fifth pick in the draft. There is no LB worthy of this selection. That leaves the defensive line candidates of Simeon Rice or Tony Brackens on the outside or Daryl Gardener or Marcus Jones on the inside. Rice and Brackens are superb pass rushers, but they play the same position as Michael Strahan — who is a better run defender. In the tough NFC East, a DE has to be able to defend the run first and foremost. The pressing need on the Giants is to become tougher and more physical in the middle. Gardener is a superb physical specimen, but he doesn’t play like a top player. Marcus Jones is a very interesting prospect and if the Giants don’t select Anderson, we think they will choose Jones — who doesn’t have the size and awesome athletic-ability of Gardener, but is someone who plays much better and harder and who is extremely versatile (he can play tackle or end). The question is, “Is Jones worthy of the fifth pick in the draft?” Probably not. The best players available when the Giants select will be the RB’s and the DE’s along with Wille Anderson. Willie is huge and has as much potential as Jason Ogden, if not more so. He is a superb pass blocker who could develop into a fine run blocker, giving the Giants two huge 320lbs bookends on the offensive line for years. We think Greg Bishop is a fine player, but he will never make the Pro Bowl. Anderson could dominate his position for years with the proper coaching.

2nd Round — DT Shannon Brown, Alabama: The big question here is whether or not to choose a WR or a defensive player. WR’s Derrick Mayes or Alex Van Dyke are strong considerations. Neither are blazers, but both are productive playmakers. However, the Giants realize that the good DL’s are going fast and this will be one of their last chances to nab a good one. Brown is a tenacious player with good size who can play both the run and the pass.

3rd Round — WR Amani Toomer, Michigan: Finally, a wide receiver! Toomer lasts this long because of the depth at the position and concerns about his poor route-running. Nevertheless, he has fine size and speed. He’s also a good blocker for the run and should help Ty Wheatley feel more comfortable. Muhsin Muhammad and Bobby Engram would have been considerations here too, but they have had problems with the law.