New York Giants 1999 NFL Draft Preview
INTRODUCTION: The following is a list of collegiate prospects available in the 1999 who I like. If you notice a number of high profile names missing from my listing, it is because I have removed many players from consideration because of off-the-field problems, concerns over their work ethic, compatibility with the Giants’ offensive or defensive systems, or I think their ability is overvalued.
Much depends on how serious the Giants are about moving Scott Gragg to guard. With Jerry Reynolds gone, depth is a concern too though there are high hopes for second-year man Toby Myles (who also could be a factor at guard). Many of the players mentioned below could also easily play guard.
Aaron Gibson, 6-6, 380lbs, 5.35, Wisconsin: Right tackle. Massive player with decent feet for his size. Awesome strength. Athletic…has even played TE. Has long arms which he uses well along with his hands. May be on of the best run blockers ever to come along. Has a mean streak. Engulfs defenders once he locks on. Can’t be bullrushed. Can get lazy with his technique at times, especially his feet in pass protection against quick outside rushers. Shoves rushers outside their intended path with his incredible strength, but this won’t in the pros. Needs to move his feet better. May end up at guard in the pros because of this. The man is just naturally huge, but weight is still somewhat of a concern. Can dominate. Sky is the limit if he works at it. Seems like a natural fit for the Giants if he lasts to #19.
John Tait, 6-6, 315lbs, 5.25, BYU: Junior entry. Left tackle. Good size and athletic. Intense and determined. Plays with an attitude. Hustles. Lacks long arms, but he is a quality pass protector. Quick and agile. More experience pass blocking than run blocking given the nature of BYU’s offense, but shows toughness in the ground game. Works to sustain. Needs to get stronger. Left tackles come at a premium and he will go high.
L.J. Shelton, 6-5, 330lbs, 5.45, Eastern Michigan: Left tackle. Big, powerful player with very good feet for his size. Has long arms. Gets movement in his run blocks and has the agility to be a very good pass protector. Plays with leverage. Needs technique work. Smart. Showed very well at the Senior Bowl. Has demonstrated an inconsistent work ethic and technique in the past. Needs better stamina. Also needs to sustain better and play with more of an attitude. If he works at it, he could be the best OL coming out.
Solomon Page, 6-4, 310lbs, 5.20, West Virginia: Junior entry. Left tackle. Good size. Very good athletic ability. Quick and agile — can pull and trap. Fine pass protector. Plays with good leverage and shows some power in the running game. Needs to play with more urgency and better technique. More of a finesse player. Will be an excellent pro if he is willing to work hard.
Floyd Wedderburn, 6-5, 330lbs, 5.50, Penn State: Right tackle, but has experience on the left side as well. Could even be a better prospect at guard. Big, strong player who plays with a nasty attitude. Hits with a pop in the ground game. Attacks defenders. Decent feet and balance. Improved dramatically in 1998 after a so-so earlier career. Somewhat raw. Needs better pass protection technique — especially against outside rushers. Some question about his dedication to the game as he almost quit before his senior season — but this no longer appears to be an issue.
Luke Petitgout, 6-6, 315lbs, 5.20, Notre Dame: Left tackle…maybe better suited for the right side or guard. Big lineman with decent athletic-ability — has fine quickness. Aggressive and tough. Can be nasty. Works hard. Can pull. Run and pass blocks pretty well. Understands the game and gets into his man well at the snap of the ball. Plays with leverage, but needs to do so on a consistent basis.
Jon Jansen, 6-6, 310lbs, 5.25, Michigan: Right tackle. Tall lineman who plays with smarts. Aggressive, intense, tough, and hardworking. Technically sound and consistent. Not real explosive or athletic, but he has decent agility for a right tackle. Needs to get bigger and stronger. Better run blocker than pass blocker…a mauler. Plays with leverage and works to sustain. A leader. Should develop into a fine pro.
Matt Stinchcomb, 6-6, 305lbs, 5.10, Georgia: Left tackle. Versatile — can play guard and right tackle too. Good height, but needs to add a lot more strength and bulk. Decent feet and agility. Can pull and trap. Knows how to play the position — uses good technique. Plays with leverage. Smart and intense. Tough and hard-working. A leader. Better pass blocker than run blocker. Will never be naturally powerful. Stinchcomb should also develop into a fine pro. He’s the type of lineman that Denver and the 49ers crave. His ability to add strength and play with more power will be the key.
Kris Farris, 6-8, 315lbs, 5.10, UCLA: Junior entry. Left tackle…might be a better right tackle or at guard. Very tall player who needs to add a lot more strength and bulk. Very long arms. Not overly athletic, but shows decent feet. Has good speed — can pull and trap. Good, but not great pass protector. Understands the game. Plays with an attitude. Doesn’t play with great leverage or strength — may be at least partially due to his height. Thus, he’s not a real strong run blocker. Physically, he is somewhat similar to Scott Gragg.
Chris Terry, 6-5, 290lbs, 5.10, Georgia: Right tackle, but could play on the left side. Aggressive, physical, intense, hard-working player with excellent athletic-ability and feet. Long arms. Raw — needs a lot of technique work. Not a power player — he needs to play with better leverage in order to effective in the pros. Needs to add a lot more strength and bulk. Has very good potential due to his athleticism and work ethic, but he will take time.
Rex Tucker, 6-5, 300lbs, 5.20, Texas A&M: Left tackle…might end up at guard or possibly center because he lacks long arms. Has good size potential and is a fine athlete. Quick and agile. Works hard. Has some natural explosiveness in his play, but needs to add a lot more strength and bulk. Raw — will need time develop. Not a very physical player at this point.
Derek Smith, 6-6, 310lbs, 5.40, Virginia Tech: Left tackle…could be better at guard or right tackle. Good size. Has long arms. Better pass blocker than run blocker. Not terribly athletic or agile — average feet and a little stiff. Uses good technique. Not explosive against the run, but works to sustain. Needs to add strength.
Todd Frohbieter, 6-6, 325lbs, 5.20, Arkansas State: Left tackle. Sat out his senior year due to shoulder problems which need to be check out. Very good size and athletic-ability for his size. Good pass protector — has good feet. Must improve his run blocking technique…not very explosive. Needs to add a lot more strength. More of a finesse player.
Jason Mills, 6-5, 315lbs, 5.50, Tulsa: Right tackle. Might be a better prospect at guard. Good size, but a limited athlete. Strong. Competitive and intense. Lacks great feet, but does an OK job in pass protection.
Ryan Young, 6-5, 335lbs, 5.55, Kansas State: Right tackle. Might be a better prospect at guard. Huge player with limited athletic-ability. So-so feet — could have problems with outside pass rushers. Not a good puller. Can maul, but lacks explosiveness in his run blocking. Team leader.
Aaron Dalan, 6-7, 330lbs, 5.30, Washington: Right tackle. Might be a better prospect at guard. Huge, physical lineman. Smart. Tough to disengage from once he locks on. Can get movement in his run blocks. Not real athletic…lacks good feet. Doesn’t play with good leverage or lateral agility. A long-shot, but he has some tools to work with.
Greg Bishop is gone. Still a question of where Scott Gragg will play. Depth is a concern too. Giants need to add AT LEAST one quality lineman who can play guard.
Doug Brzezinski, 6-4, 305lbs, 5.35, Boston College: Strong, physical, aggressive lineman who plays with a nasty attitude. Plays with good balance and knee bend. Employs fine technique and can pass and run block. Strong. Sustains and finishes well. Can pull and trap, but not overly athletic. Giants are probably looking long and hard at him.
Cameron Spikes, 6-3, 315lbs, 5.10, Texas A&M: Has played tackle and guard, but guard is his more natural position. Agile and athletic — he can pull and trap. Strong and has a good base. Has some explosiveness in his play; gets leverage. Good run blocker. Competitive. Needs better technique work in pass protection, but has the athleticism to succeed there.
David Loverne, 6-3, 300lbs, 5.20, San Jose State: OK size for a guard and good strength and quickness. Athletic and quick. Can pull and trap. Knows how to position himself. Plays with leverage. Intense. A hard worker. Better pass blocker than run blocker at this point, but shows aggressiveness in the run game. Has a pectoral muscle injury that needs to be checked out.
Anthony Cesario, 6-6, 315lbs, 5.30, Colorado State: Intense, competitive, hardworking player. Tough blue collar-type. Gets movement in his run blocks and finishes well. Average athlete, but shows decent feet and can pull. A little stiff and not real fluid. Good pass blocker at the college level, but his lack of top athleticism could cause him some problems at the pro level. A team leader. Needs to add more strength and bulk.
Brandon Burlsworth, 6-4, 310lbs, 5.05, Arkansas: Strong, aggressive run blocker. Plays with power and leverage. Sustains contact and can pull. Needs some work in his pass protection. Not overly athletic — a little stiff, but he has decent mobility. Hard working and plays with an attitude. Blue collar tough guy. Smart.
Derrick Fletcher, 6-6, 370lbs, 5.25, Baylor: Also a prospect at right tackle. Doesn’t have a lot of experience on the offensive line — moved over from defense his junior year. Immense player with excellent athleticism for his size. Long arms. Powerful. Needs a lot of technique work. Quick rushers can give him problems, but he has the agility necessary to become a good pass protector. Has the potential to be an amazing player, but is not known as a hard worker. Has not proven to be an overly tough player either. It’s all up to him.
Zach Piller, 6-5, 330lbs, 5.35, Florida: Played left tackle in college, but will probably play guard in the pros. Huge player. Very strong and has natural power. Plays a physical game. More experience pass blocking in college than run blocking, but lacks great lateral agility and quickness. Quick outside rushers can give him problems. Needs to improve his technique. Will take time to develop, but has good potential.
Yusuf Scott, 6-2, 325lbs, 5.60, Arizona: Junior entry. Very strong power player with good size but below-average height. Plays with strength, aggressiveness, and toughness. Not terribly athletic, but he gets the job done. Can pull even though he has a slow 40-yard time. Not real strong in pass protection…lacks the feet to ever excel there.
Randy Thomas, 6-4, 305lbs, 5.05, Mississippi State: OK size and very good athletic ability. Can pull and trap. Intense and hard-working. Not a good finisher. Needs to get stronger and needs a lot of technique work. Will take time to develop.
DeMarcus Curry, 6-4, 320lbs, 5.45, Auburn: Improving player with fine size. A decent athlete, but he’s not terribly agile or powerful. Needs better conditioning and strength. Has good enough feet to be solid in pass protection, but needs better technique. Has proven to be an inconsistent player but showed well in the postseason.
It would be nice to bring in a young center to groom behind OC Brian Williams.
Damien Woody, 6-3, 325lbs, 5.20, Boston College: Junior entry. Good size and athleticism for a center. Agile and quick. Strong and smart. Has long arms. Good run and pass blocker. Plays with leverage when he is on top of his game and is explosive. Could play guard too. Needs to play with more urgency and hustle on the football field at all times. Sometimes lazy with his technique. So talented that he hasn’t had to work hard to date, but he will have to do so in the pros if he is to excel. Should be a tempting option for the Giants.
Grey Ruegamer, 6-4, 315lbs, 5.30, Arizona State: Versatile — he can play other offensive line spots including tackle. Better inside because of his limited athleticism. Not real explosive. Works to sustain and finish. Has decent feet for a center and plays with leverage. Not that agile. Intense and has a mean streak. Very competitive and he hustles — loves the game. Good size and strong. Solid work ethic and smart. A leader. Can long snap.
Lennie Friedman, 6-3, 300lbs, 5.40, Duke: Plays guard, but center looks like his more natural position. Decent size and athletic-ability for a center. Plays with leverage — uses good technique. Quick. Plays and works hard and he’s smart. Competitive. Has some power, but he’s not real explosive. Needs to get stronger. Has a feel for the game.
Jamar Nesbit, 6-4, 335lbs, 5.60, South Carolina: Versatile — has played both guard and tackle — could end up at guard. Excellent size and shows some power at times. Solid run blocker, so-so in pass protection. Bends his knees well. Decent feet for an inside player, but not overly athletic. Has a feel for the game, but needs to work harder. Smart.
Mike Newell, 6-4, 290lbs, 5.25, Colorado State: Tough, aggressive player with OK size. Good quickness and agility. Can pull. Plays with an attitude. Smart and competitive. Works hard. Needs to get stronger…can’t move big people by himself at this point. Has had knee and back problems which need to be checked out.
Phillip Armour, 6-3, 315lbs, 5.50, North Texas: Good size and quickness. An intense fighter with a touch of nastiness. Smart and he understands the position. Decent run blocker. So-so pass blocker, but has good feet and agility. Has a neck injury that needs to be checked.
Todd McClure, 6-1, 300lbs, 5.20, LSU: Lacks height, but he has good bulk. Quick. Tough, competitive, and smart. Better run blocker than pass blocker. Not real explosive and needs to get stronger. Sustains well. Has short arms.
Giants need at least one tight end to groom behind Howard Cross and represents more of a pass-receiving threat.
Jim Kleinsasser, 6-3, 270lbs, 4.72, North Dakota: Small college prospect. Not tall, but has excellent size and he is strong. Athletic — runs well and has good hands. Gets open. Good runner after the catch. Tough and plays with an attitude. Not a top blocker, but a good, willing, and physical one. Strong. Quick into his blocks and plays with leverage.
Reggie Kelly, 6-4, 255lbs, 4.83, Mississippi State: Athletic tight end. Good blocker and likes to block, but needs more strength. Works hard and hustles. Not used much as a receiver in college due to the nature of his team’s offense, but showed very good receiving skills in the postseason. Lacks deep speed, but gets open. Not real natural catching the ball but he is improving.
Rufus French, 6-3, 255lbs, 4.75, Mississippi: Junior entry. Athletic, pass-receiving tight end. Adjusts well and has good hands. Gets deep. Runs good routes. Sometimes looks like a big receiver out there. Good in the clutch. Not a good blocker and needs a ton of technique work in the blocking department. Needs to add a lot more strength. Not real physical.
Jerame Tuman, 6-4, 245lbs, 4.83, Michigan: Better receiver than blocker. Has a feel for getting open and has sure hands. Runs good routes. Adjusts to the ball and runs well after the catch. Clutch player. Works hard. Willing blocker, but doesn’t get much movement. Doesn’t have the base to ever be a good blocker. Tough. Average athlete, but he makes plays. Needs to get stronger. Reminds me of Wesley Walls.
Sheldon Jackson, 6-3, 240lbs, 4.75, Nebraska: Ordinary size, but an extremely athletic, pass-receiving tight end. Plays fast and can get deep. Good hands. Works hard at his blocking, but doesn’t get much movement. Lacks strength and bulk. Needs to play with better leverage. Good work ethic. May end up being more of a role player due to his size.
Larry Brown, 6-5, 280lbs, 4.85, Georgia: Very good size and athletic. More of a receiver than a blocker despite his size. Runs good routes and gets open. Catches well and can run after the catch. Lacks deep speed. Gives an effort when blocking, but doesn’t get much movement. Not real physical in this aspect of the game. Needs to sustain better. Competitive. Needs to concentrate better at all times as well as add strength and lose some weight.
Dan Campbell, 6-5, 265lbs, 4.85, Texas A&M: Very good size and decent athleticism. Strong and tough. Better blocker than receiver. Sustains well as a blocker. A little stiff as a receiver. Lacks great hands. Works hard.
Justin Swift, 6-3, 250lbs, 4.80, Kansas State: Pass receiving-type tight end. Athletic and has good hands. Clutch player. Catches well in a crowd and a good runner after the catch. Improving as a blocker, but doesn’t get much movement. Needs more bulk and strength. Plays hard. Smart.
Steve Heiden, 6-5, 260lbs, 4.80, South Dakota State: Good size. Strong. Decent athlete who can get down the field. Fluid. Has OK hands. Runs well after the catch. Clutch player. Decent blocker. Works to sustain.
Bobby Collins, 6-5, 250lbs, 4.60, North Alabama: Good height, but needs more strength and bulk. Excellent athlete with very good speed for a tight end. Much better receiver than blocker. Raw — will take some time to develop.
Mike Grieb, 6-4, 250lbs, 4.90, UCLA: Tough, physical, and competitive. Good hands and has a feel for getting open. Runs good routes. Very good in the red zone. Lacks speed and doesn’t run real well after the catch. Works hard at his blocking, but he needs to improve in this department.
For now, Gary Brown is the starter. He’s a big, bruising back who can get you tough yards between the tackles and occasionally hurt you outside. After him, their is suspect depth in terms of a full-time starter in Tiki Barber and LeShon Johnson. The Giants would like to groom a back behind Brown as well as add some more explosiveness to the position. Some competition for Tiki Barber in the third down back role wouldn’t hurt either.
Ricky Williams, 5-11, 235lbs, 4.50, Texas: Big, strong runner. Can run inside or outside, over or around you. Picks up yardage after contact. Has good moves, quick feet, and speed for a power back. Has good vision and makes people miss. Instinctive, productive, durable. Very good balance. Tough. Can catch. Will fumble. Doesn’t have dynamic explosiveness. A leader. Top pick.
Edgerrin James, 6-1, 220lbs, 4.50, Miami: Junior entry. Very good size and power. Good speed and acceleration for his size — can be explosive. Strong, athletic, instinctive, and tough. Quick feet. Has good vision and has a few moves. Makes yards after contact. Can catch and pick up the blitz. Needs to be more a more aggressive runner. Will fumble. Still improving. Top pick.
Cecil Collins, 5-9, 210lbs, 4.45, McNeese State: Junior entry. Big-time ability, small-time judgement. Tremendous talent who has all kinds of off-the-field trouble. May end up in jail soon. Got in trouble at both LSU (sexual assault) and McNeese State (drugs). Still awaiting trial and may end up in jail. Good size and excellent speed. Runs low. Instinctive and has good vision. Quick feet. Explosive — has a burst and can run through people. Makes big plays and breaks games open. Holds onto the ball well. Hasn’t played much football. Doubtful the Giants look at him with all of his problems.
Amos Zereoue, 5-7, 203lbs, 4.50, West Virginia: Junior entry. Lacks height, but has good bulk. His style is very similar to Barry Sanders. Very strong with a low center of gravity. Very quick and has good speed. Explosive in his play — has a burst. Has good vision. Changes directions well and has very good balance…shifty. Very good on the cutback. Runs well outside the tackles. Makes people miss. Good work ethic. Not a real powerful runner. This is the kind of running back Jim Fassel may be looking for to complement Gary Brown. Don’t be surprised if the Giants take him round one or two.
Kevin Faulk, 5-8, 205lbs, 4.54, LSU: Lacks height, but he has good bulk. Productive and instinctive player. A play-maker who makes big plays. Has very good vision. Can run and catch. Very quick and has good acceleration, but not a real speedster. Very elusive. Changes speeds well. Doesn’t run with much power, but he can break tackles. Dangerous on punt returns and has returned kicks. Will fumble. Needs to work on his blocking. Would be a real weapon on third down if he can pick up the blitz. Hasn’t proven to be very tough with respect to injuries and hasn’t always had a great attitude. This is another guy who the Giants will take a long, hard look at. He would bring the same diversity to the Giants’ offense that Zereoue does — plus he’s excellent on special teams.
Sedrick Irvin, 5-11, 225lbs, 4.65, Michigan State: Junior entry. Good size. Athletic. Quick feet and gets into the hole quickly. Makes people miss. Has good vision and is instinctive. Productive. Can cutback. Very versatile — one of the best pass receiving backs in the draft. Decent blocker. His lack of speed is his biggest negative. Not a top tackle-breaker, but he does run with some power. Very good work ethic. Very competitive. A team leader.
James Johnson, 6-1, 230lbs, 4.70: Big, strong back who lacks great speed. Runs a bit upright, but lowers his shoulder upon contact and has good power. Breaks tackles. Takes a hit and keeps moving. Runs hard and punishes defenders. Fluid. Good vision and instinctive. Doesn’t have a lot of moves and is only average on the cutback. Steady, not explosive. Shows good hands.
DeMond Parker, 6-0, 190lbs, 4.45, Oklahoma: Junior entry. Lacks great size, but is athletic. Very quick and fast. Elusive and instinctive. Cuts well. Makes big plays. Catches the ball well. Lacks power due to his size. Not a big tackle-breaker. Better outside the tackles than inside. Somewhat injury-prone and will fumble. Very high upside if he’s willing to pay the price.
Stacy Mack, 6-1, 235lbs, 4.65, Temple: Big, power back. Strong and tough. Has good vision. Not that elusive, but has some moves. Can catch and block. Needs to run with his pads lower. Very solid, but doesn’t excite. Similar to Gary Brown.
Autry Denson, 5-9, 195lbs, 4.65, Notre Dame: Lacks size and speed, but a productive player. Has good vision and plays with a low center of gravity. Instinctive and competitive. Quick to the hole and makes tacklers miss. Can cutback. Doesn’t break many tackles. Can catch. Returns punts. Tangibles don’t grab you, but he makes big plays and has a good work ethic. Needs to improve blocking.
Sirr Parker, 5-10, 185lbs, 4.45, Texas A&M: Lacks size and will have to be a situational player in the pros. Athletic with superb speed. Quick and elusive. Can catch. Very explosive. Not a real strong runner inside due to his size — lacks power. Needs to improve his blocking if he is to contribute on third down. Very good kick return man.
John Humphrey, 5-9, 195lbs, 4.50, Texas A&M/Kingsville: Lacks size, but he is strong. Will have to be a situational player. Very elusive and quick. Has good, but not great speed. Instinctive. Not much experience in the passing game, but he can catch. Makes big plays. Dangerous punt and kick returner.
Anthony Gray, 6-1, 235lbs, 4.63, Western New Mexico: Big, strong back who runs with good power. Tough. Instinctive and has good vision. Has a little burst, but lacks top speed. Can catch. Raw…needs some work. Will turn 25 in 1999.
Terry Jackson, 5-11, 220lbs, 4.70, Florida: Decent size, but lacks speed. Plays hard. A leader with a great attitude. Runs with some power, balance, and vision. Tough. More of a straight-line runner. Doesn’t have a lot of moves. Can catch and block. Good special teams performer. Steady — does a lot of things well, but does little to excite. Probably more of a back-up-type like Lewis Tillman used to be.
Damon Washington, 5-10, 195lbs, 4.55, Colorado State: Smaller than ideal, but strong. Athletic with decent speed. A slashing-type running back who shows good vision and instincts. OK receiver and blocker. Not really that elusive.
Jaime Kimbrough, 5-8, 195lbs, 4.65, Fresno State: Lacks size and great speed. Runs with a low center of gravity. Strong for his size — can break tackles. Has good vision and can cutback. Very good pass receiver and a good blocker. Should be a solid role player.
For the first time in a long, long time, wide receiver is not a big need for the Giants. They may not draft any. However, if one of the big-time players slips, it would not be unlike the Giants to draft him. Much depends on how the Giants truly feel about Ike Hilliard, Amani Toomer, Joe Jurevicius, and Brian Alford.
Tory Holt, 6-0, 190lbs, 4.50, North Carolina State: Decent size with good speed and quickness. Smooth. Runs good routes. Accelerates out of his cuts. Quick. Has a burst — can get deep. Not a physical player, but he will go over the middle. Adjusts to the ball well and has sure hands. Does damage after the catch. Returns punts and kicks. Great attitude and work ethic. Competitive. A leader. Hurt his knee in the postseason, but is supposedly fine now.
Troy Edwards, 5-10, 190lbs, 4.55, Louisiana Tech: Lacks some height and not a burner, but this guy is a player. Very quick and strong. Runs good routes. Can surprise with a deep burst. Gets deep despite not having a great 40-time. Makes game-changing plays. Good hands. Aggressive. Runs well after the catch. Returns kicks and punts. Confident player who plays with an attitude. Super-productive.
David Boston, 6-1, 215lbs, 4.50, Ohio State: Junior entry. Good size and speed. Physical receiver with good body control. Strong. Doesn’t have great hands, but will make some fantastic catches. Comes through in the clutch. Has a burst and can separate, but really isn’t a consistent deep threat. Gets off the line well — very good first step quickness. Needs to improve routes. Will catch over the middle. Runs well after the catch. Has been compared favorably to Chris Carter. Returns punts.
Peerless Price, 5-11, 180lbs, 4.45, Tennessee: Average size and good speed. Has a burst and knack for getting deep. Quick — can be explosive. Smooth. Accelerates out of his cuts. Tough guy and big play-maker. OK hands — sometimes loses concentration. Runs well after the catch. Very confident. Somewhat injury-prone and not very tough. Can return punts.
Dwayne Bates, 6-2, 215lbs, 4.60, Northwestern: Excellent size and decent speed for his size. Athletic. Good hands. Physical…will fight for the ball. Catches over the middle. Runs well after the catch. Not really a consistent deep threat, but he does get deep on occasion. Not real quick — partially due to his size. Some injury concerns with his foot that need to be checked out.
Kevin Johnson, 5-11, 190lbs, 4.40, Syracuse: Decent size and very fast. Gets deep. Accelerates out of his cuts and can separate at times. Doesn’t really change gears that well. Quick and elusive. Good hands — sometimes loses concentration. Needs to run better routes. Runs well after the catch. Somewhat raw…still developing. Excellent kick returner.
Na Brown, 6-1, 185lbs, 4.55, North Carolina: Decent size and OK speed. Good body control and adjusts well. Quick. Gets open. Sure-handed and will catch over the middle. Clutch player. Not really a consistent deep threat…more of a possession-type.
Dameane Douglas, 6-0, 200lbs, 4.60, California: Good size and OK speed. Tough, physical, and competitive. Gets off the line well. Runs good routes and runs well after the catch. Adjusts to the ball, has good hands, and will catch over the middle. Clutch player. Can get deep at times, but really isn’t a consistent deep threat. Doesn’t get much separation.
Darnell McDonald, 6-3, 200lbs, 4.65, Kansas State: Good size, average speed. Athletic and fluid with good body control. Quick. Runs good routes. Accelerates out of his cuts. Not afraid of going over the middle and has good hands. Makes yards after the catch. Elusive. Not really a consistent deep threat. Very confident. Must work harder and improve concentration. Can return punts.
Larry Parker, 6-1, 200lbs, 4.45, USC: Good size and a very good athlete. Has the tangibles — is big and fast. Can get off the line and get deep. So-so hands. Runs well after the catch. Inconsistent work ethic. Can be real good if he wants it. Boom-or-bust.
Travis McGriff, 5-8, 185lbs, 4.50, Florida: Short receiver with good speed. Can get deep. Very quick. Has nice moves and hands. Clutch player. Play-maker. Tough, will go across the middle. Runs well after the catch. Competitive. Can return punts and kicks.
Craig Yeast, 5-8, 165lbs, 4.45, Kentucky: Diminutive receiver, but plays with great speed and quickness. Can be explosive. Gets deep. Inconsistent but generally favorable hands. Vulnerable to the jam due to his size. Dangerous after the catch. Elusive. Can return punts too. Situational player — but a dangerous one.
Eddie Conti, 5-8, 170lbs, 4.45, Delaware: Small receiver with very good speed. Quick and elusive. Has a burst. Good hands and body control. Does damage after the catch. Can return punts and kicks.
L.C. Stevens, 6-4, 215lbs, 4.60, North Carolina: Huge target with decent speed for his size. Gets off the line. Not real quick due to his size and doesn’t get much separation, but he can fight off smaller defensive backs and make tough catches. Physical. Adjusts and has above average hands. Not really a deep threat. Needs to improve his routes.
Shawn Foreman, 6-1, 212lbs, 4.70, West Virginia: Good size, but lacks speed. Smooth target with decent hands. More of a possession-type receiver. Will go over the middle and catch in traffic. Has trouble separating. Good on special teams as a cover guy. Competitive. A leader.
Donnie Hart, 6-0, 190lbs, 4.55, Texas Tech: Decent size and speed. Runs good routes and runs tough across the middle. Accelerates out of his cuts. Makes plays. Not really a consistent deep threat. Very competitive.
Marty Booker, 6-0, 215lbs, 4.60, NE Louisiana: Big receiver with OK hands and speed. Not really a consistent deep threat — more of a possession-type receiver, but he can get deep at times. Smooth and athletic. Physical and aggressive. Not real quick, but he will go over the middle. Needs to work harder. Has good potential, but will take some time.
Brandon Stokley, 6-0, 195lbs, 4.50, SW Louisiana: Decent size and speed. Above average hands. Although he has a good 40-time, he’s more of a possession receiver who runs good routes. Quick and has good moves. Steady player. Works hard. Doesn’t do much after the catch.
With Kerry Collins on board and Kent Graham the starter, the Giants are not likely to draft a quarterback unless someone slips to them who they feel has future starting potential. The team is still high on Mike Cherry and the draft will be before his stint in NFL Europe begins. They have also already invested two years in him. The big four — Akili Smith, Donovan McNabb, Daunte Culpepper, and Tim Couch — will be long gone before the Giants select.
Akili Smith, 6-3, 220lbs, 4.65, Oregon: Good size and excellent speed. Very athletic. Drops back very quickly. Possesses a very strong arm and is extremely mobile. Quick release and feet. Makes plays on his own with his arm and feet. Confident. Has had some off-the-field problems, but seems to have his life in order now. Will need work reading defenses. Only has done it one year, but he is rapidly improving.
Donovan McNabb, 6-2, 225lbs, 4.65, Syracuse: Good size and excellent speed. Very athletic. Very dangerous on the run — can break a game wide-open with his feet. Very strong arm with improving accuracy and touch. Sets up quickly but has an average release. Improvises very well — often kills the opposition when a play breaks down. At the same token, he must do it more often when the play doesn’t break down and he stays in the pocket. A leader who is well-liked by his teammates. Confident. Will take some time to develop because of the offense he played in college and the fact that he needs a lot of technique work, but he responded very well to pro coaching at the Senior Bowl. His ability to develop his pocket passing will be the key.
Daunte Culpepper, 6-4, 250lbs, 4.70, Central Florida: Big fish in a small pond. Huge player with very good athleticism and strength. Very strong arm and possesses good mobility. Average release. More of a pocket passer than scrambler. Has a good pocket sense. Tough, mature leader. More accurate on his short-range stuff. Needs to improve decision-making and ability to read defenses. Will force some throws. Some question whether or not he is a product of his system, but he has fine tools to work with. Needs to show more fire.
Tim Couch, 6-4, 225lbs, 4.85, Kentucky: Junior entry. Big, strong quarterback with good, but not great, arm strength. Has a quick release and very good accuracy/touch on his short/intermediate throws. Not as mobile as some of the others, but can move around the pocket and scramble. Sees the field. Some concerns about whether he is a product of his system. Works hard.
Cade McKnown, 6-1, 215lbs, 4.80, UCLA: One of the mysteries of the draft. Lacks ideal size and arm strength, but he makes plays and wins. Quick release and feet. Very competitive, confident, and poised. Has fine instincts and a feel for the game. Sees the whole field. Can buy time with his feet and scramble for yardage when necessary. Improvises well when the play breaks down. Works hard. Clutch player and a leader. Lack of arm strength limits him. Needs to become more consistently accurate, but has good touch. Not sure if he fits the northeast climate. Is he the next Jake Plummer?
Brock Huard, 6-5, 225lbs, 5.10, Washington: Junior entry. Big, strong pocket passer. Didn’t have the season expected of him, but his surrounding talent diminished greatly in 1998. A left hander with a strong arm. Has good touch and accuracy, but will force some throws. Has a quick release and has good field vision. Not that mobile. Has been somewhat injury-prone. Works hard. Needs to be tougher in the pocket. Poised, but needs to become more of a leader.
Aaron Brooks, 6-3, 200lbs, 4.60, Virginia: Tall, but lacks bulk. Very athletic and has a strong arm. Mobile — makes big plays with his feet. Needs to improve his accuracy and touch if he is to succeed in the NFL. Needs a lot of work in reading defenses. Not a very good passer from the pocket at this point, but has fine tools to work with. A project.
Oscar Davenport, 6-4, 200lbs, 4.90, North Carolina: Tall, but lacks bulk. Athletic and mobile. Has good arm strength, but needs to improve his accuracy. Will need a lot of technique work. Doesn’t read defenses very well at this point. Smart and confident. Has been somewhat injury-prone. A project…but he has the tools.
Ted White, 6-2, 230lbs, 5.15, Howard: Big fish in a small pond. Lacks some height, but has good bulk. Very strong arm, but not very mobile — though he can move around the pocket when necessary. Needs to improve his overall accuracy and touch. Also relatively inexperienced at reading sophisticated defenses. Will take some time to develop as he needs a lot of technique work. A project.
The Giants are happy with Charles Way and Greg Comella. Don’t look for them to draft a fullback.
The Giants expect Cedric Jones to take over for since-departed Chad Bratzke on the right side, but depth now becomes a concern. So does quality if Jones can’t get the job done. The Giants really need to add a least one quality body here.
Ebenezer Ekuban, 6-4, 270lbs, 4.63, North Carolina: Good size and strength. Relatively inexperienced, but rapidly improving player. Athletic with fine speed and quickness. Quick off the snap. Shows the ability to take on and shed blocks. Plays hard and looks instinctive, but needs a lot of technique work. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants pick Ekuban in round one.
Jevon Kearse, 6-4, 262lbs, 4.60, Florida: Junior entry. Could end up at linebacker. Athletic with very good speed and quickness. Good outside pass rusher. Uses his speed to blow by opponents. Plays hard and makes plays. Not a real strong run defender. Has the frame to add weight.
Lamar King, 6-3, 292lbs, 4.85, Saginaw Valley: Athletic with fine size. Quick at the snap and agile, but has an average closing burst. Looks like a promising pass rusher. Strong and tough. Can stack against the run. Plays hard. Raw due to his small school background, but he has a big upside.
Patrick Kerney, 6-5, 265lbs, 4.72, Virginia: Tall player who needs more bulk, but has the frame to carry that weight. Athletic with fine movement skills. Goes full speed all the time. Quick. Has a burst and good closing speed. Smart. Lacks a powerful base — not a strong run player. Needs to be more physical and add strength.
Brad Scioli, 6-3, 275lbs, 5.00, Penn State: Lacks great size and speed, but makes plays due to his hustle and intensity. Great attitude…the kind of guy coaches love. Good athlete who has played tight end. Instinctive. Plays with leverage and technique. Fairly quick. Similar to Chad Bratzke in that while he lacks great size or a closing burst, he gets to the quarterback due to his intensity level. Old knee injury needs to be checked out.
Tom Burke, 6-2, 265lbs, 4.75, Wisconsin: Could project to outside linebacker. Lacks height and bulk. Won’t be able to get much bigger. Plays the game at full speed and makes big plays due to his desire and hustle. Very good instincts and intensity. Smart. Good pass rusher with decent strength for his size. Plays with leverage. Will probably have problems with the run in the pros. Excellent on special teams. Has limitations, but he is the kind of guy coaches love on their team.
Montae Reagor, 6-1, 260lbs, 4.80, Texas Tech: Lacks much size, especially height — but all he does is make plays. Good athlete. Plays with leverage and fine quickness. Very good pass rusher. Has a burst. Top work ethic and plays with passion. Relentless. Tough. Lack of size will be a problem against the run in the pros so he’ll have to be schemed properly. Needs to get a lot stronger.
Adrian Dingle, 6-3, 280lbs, 4.90, Clemson: Lacks ideal height, but has good bulk. Has played linebacker in the past – could still project there. Plays hard and with leverage. Can shed. Good quickness. Solid run defender and he is a decent pass rusher. Lacks a burst. Needs better technique.
Dimitrius Underwood, 6-6, 280lbs, 4.95, Michigan State: Didn’t play in 1998 due to an ankle injury. Fine size and athletic ability. Has good natural strength. Needs to play with better technique — plays too tall (without leverage) and can be neutralized. Can play with quickness and power. Has a good burst for his size. Hasn’t proven to be overly tough. Inconsistent competitor. Has fine tools — it’s all up to him. Boom-or-bust.
Robert Daniel, 6-6, 280lbs, 5.00, NW Louisiana: Very good size and athletic for his size. Quick. Shows a solid pass rush, but needs to play the run tougher. Doesn’t really read and react very well at this point. Plays hard. Has a big upside, but hasn’t put it all together yet.
Mike Rucker, 6-5, 260lbs, 4.65, Nebraska: Tall player who needs to add more muscle and bulk — which he can. Athletic with good movement skills. Can change directions well for his size and has a burst. Not overly productive at Nebraska, but he has the tools to work with. An edge rusher — better against the pass than the run. Needs to shed and play off blocks better. Somewhat of a project. Can he develop into a solid all-around player?
Tony Bryant, 6-4, 270lbs, 4.70, Florida State: Very good athlete with average size. Had a disappointing senior season but has fine tools to work with. Better pass rusher than run defender. An edge player. Quick off the ball and can play with leverage, but he needs to do the latter on a more consistent basis. Blows by people in college with his speed, but that won’t work in the pros. Must show more moves. Needs to get stronger. Can be handled at the point of attack. Will often run himself right out of a play. Has to realize that he has to play the run as well as the pass. May come on with better technique and really shine, but he could easily end up being a bust too.
Cletidus Hunt, 6-4, 290lbs, 4.95, Kentucky State: Could project to defensive tackle. Good size and athleticism. Better athlete than player at this point. Decent quickness and speed and shows signs of being a good pass rusher. Physical and can play with leverage. Needs a lot of technique work.
Aaron Smith, 6-5, 280lbs, 5.05, Northern Colorado: Good size and athletic. Quick at the snap. Needs to shed better against the run, but makes plays because of his initial quickness. Needs to be more physical, get stronger, and play with more leverage. Has not distinguished himself as a pass rusher as of yet, but has the tools to come on.
Antonio Cochran, 6-4, 290lbs, 5.10, Georgia: Could project inside. Good size with decent movement skills. Aggressive and he shows some power. Has long arms and decent strength. Better against the run than the pass. Holds his ground. Can shed, but needs to do so on consistently quicker basis. Will never be a top pass rusher, but can get into the backfield because of his desire and hustle.
The Giants look to be in good shape with Keith Hamilton, Robert Harris, Christian Peter, and George Williams. It’s not likely the Giants will take a DT high unless some quality prospect falls into their lap.
Anthony McFarland, 6-1, 290lbs, 4.80, LSU: Short, but has good size and strength. Powerful and tough to move. Outstanding quickness for his size. Plays hard and makes plays. Good instincts. Uses good leverage. Strong against the run — sheds well. Gets into the backfield and disrupts plays. Often double-teamed. Pursues. Not a top pass rusher, but he can develop in this area due to his fine initial quickness. Similar in style to Warren Sapp.
Larry Smith, 6-4, 290lbs, 4.95, Florida State: Junior entry. Good size and athleticism. Long arms. Strong and quick. Can play the run and rush the passer. Needs to play with better leverage and play hard all the time. Has a nasty streak. Has outstanding potential.
Reggie McGrew, 6-2, 305lbs, 5.00, Florida: Junior entry. Shorter than ideal, but he has good bulk. Athletic. Strong and powerful. Very good run defender. Physical. Plays with leverage and plays stout. Has short arms. Lacks great quickness so he will probably never develop into a top pass rusher. Can push a pocket however.
Jared DeVries, 6-4, 280lbs, 4.85, Iowa: Good size and athletic. Plays with fine quickness, leverage, and intensity. Has long arms. He has good strength as well, though he needs to disengage from blocks better. Gets penetration and is disruptive. Plays hard all the time. Kind of guy coaches love to have on their team. Not naturally big or powerful and he may not be a top run defender in the NFL. Good work ethic. Might project to defensive end.
John Thorton, 6-3, 300lbs, 5.00, West Virginia: Big, tough player. Has good quickness for his size. Plays hard all the time. Good run defender…plays stout. Needs to play with better leverage and shed more quickly…better technique may help him out there. Doesn’t have a lot of moves as a pass rusher, but has power. Instincts have been questioned.
Russell Davis, 6-4, 295lbs, 4.95, North Carolina: Good size and very athletic. Was held back this year due to injury. Very good quickness and power. Flashes against the run and pass. Better prospect than player at this point. Instincts have been questioned. Intriguing potential.
Jason Wiltz, 6-3, 310lbs, 5.35, Nebraska: Good size and fine quickness for his size. Plays with power. Strong and stout. Can be disruptive. Strong against the run and a decent pass rusher. A little on the stiff side. Needs to play hard all the time. Underrated.
Marcus Spriggs, 6-5, 300lbs, 5.20, Troy State: Excellent size. Decent quickness for his size. Plays with power. Needs to play with better leverage and shed more quickly. Needs a lot of technique work. Must get stronger. Better prospect than player at this point. Didn’t dominate at a lower level.
Alton Weaver, 6-3, 300lbs, 5.00, Oklahoma State: Decent size and good athleticism. Quick and physical. Lacks experience…hasn’t played much football. Needs a ton of technique work (leverage, shedding, etc.). Needs to add strength. Works hard. Shows intriguing potential. Flashes some explosiveness.
Emarlos Leroy, 6-1, 305lbs, 5.10, Georgia: Short, but has good bulk. Combines good power with quickness. Plays hard. Plays with good leverage. Tough run defender. Not a good pass rusher — lacks agility. Needs better conditioning and technique.
Kelly Gregg, 6-0, 300lbs, 5.30, Oklahoma: Short but stocky. Better player than athlete. Tough, physical, competitive, and instinctive. Strong and plays with leverage. Lacks agility. Better run defender…not such a good pass rusher.
Gary Holmes, 6-7, 320lbs, 5.20, Washington State: Huge and athletic for his size. Can make big plays but is not consistent. Needs to play hard all the time. Better run defender than pass rusher. Needs to play with better leverage and shed better. Doesn’t play up to his ability. Doesn’t have great agility. Has been injury-prone…including persistent back problems. A gamble, but he has decent tools if healthy.
The Giants are set with starter Jessie Armstead on the weakside. Depth is a concern over there if Scott Galyon doesn’t return quickly and at full-strength. Buckley’s more natural position is the weakside too, but he has been forced to start over on the strongside due the presence of Armstead and the lack of quality on the strongside. Ryan Phillips has yet to impress enough. Look for the Giants to draft at least one outside linebacker.
Andy Katzenmoyer, 6-3, 255lbs, 4.65, Ohio State: Junior entry. Played in the middle in college, but I project him on the strongside. Excellent size and superb athletic ability. Strong and physical. Has the tangibles that every team is looking for. Can play the run, rush the passer, and cover. Didn’t have a great junior year after playing very well as a freshman and decent as a sophomore. Has very good speed and can run sideline to sideline. Hits like a truck, but needs to wrap up better. Excellent blitzer. There are some questions about his ability to take on and shed blocks despite his size as well as his overall instincts. A little stiff. Could become outstanding if he starts to study and works harder than he has to date. Has impact potential. Boom-or-bust pick.
Rahim Abdullah, 6-5, 245lbs, 4.85, Clemson: Junior entry. Strongside prospect. Tall player with good bulk. Smooth and fluid – he plays faster than his 40-time. Athletic with quick feet. Can rush the passer and cover. Plays hard. Needs to get stronger and play with better leverage when taking on blocks. Unique due to his height. Good special teams player.
Mike Peterson, 6-1, 235lbs, 4.52, Florida: Weakside linebacker. Lacks bulk, but he is very athletic with great speed and quickness. Has great range. Very tough and has good instincts. Good in coverage — used to play in the secondary. Not real strong at the point of attack due to his size, but he plays with leverage. Goes 100% and makes plays. Hits hard. Decent, but not great tackler. Blitzes well. Type of guy coaches love. Will probably shine on special teams. Similar to Jessie Armstead.
Gary Stills, 6-1, 235lbs, 4.70, West Virginia: Lacks size so he is probably more of a weakside-type, though he may be able to play on the strongside. Athletic player with great quickness and decent speed. Explosive in the pass rush – has a burst. Strong. Not real stout at the point of attack, but he plays with leverage and sheds blocks well for his size. Needs to break down better when tackling. Doesn’t have a lot of experience in coverage, but showed well in that phase in the postseason. Intense, competitive, and aggressive. Has a relentless nature. Has had some knee problems which need to be checked out.
Al Wilson, 6-0, 240lbs, 4.55, Tennessee: Played inside in college, but I project him to the outside in the pros. Lacks ideal size, but is very athletic with top intangibles. Intense, competitive, and a big time leader. Loves to play. Explosive, instinctive, and disruptive. Quick, agile, and strong. Hard hitter, but needs to break down and wrap better. Makes big plays, but needs to play with better discipline. Only so-so in coverage. Can rush the passer. Should do very well on special teams.
Johnny Rutledge, 6-2, 245lbs, 4.65, Florida: Has played both middle and outside linebacker. I project him to the strongside. Good size, strength, and speed. Athletic. Physical, tough, and aggressive. Can shed but needs to do so more quickly on a consistent basis. Plays and hits hard. Needs to break down better when tackling…sometimes too aggressive. So-so in pass coverage, but is improving in that department with more experience.
Dat Nguyen, 5-11, 235lbs, 4.70, Texas A&M: Played inside in college, but I project him to the weakside. Lacks ideal size and has OK speed, but he is an instinctive playmaker. Quick and agile. Tough, aggressive, and relentless. Works and plays hard. Plays with leverage. Not real stout at the point-of-attack due to his size – can be run on. Good in coverage. Should excel on special teams.
Keith Newman, 6-3, 245lbs, 4.60, North Carolina: Strongside linebacker. Good size and athletic ability. Had a down year in ’98. Physical and stout against the run, but needs play with better leverage and shed quicker. Lacks top instincts. So-so tackler. Decent in coverage. Can blitz. Has fine tools, but must perform better on the football field in consistent manner.
Eric Barton, 6-2, 245lbs, 4.70, Maryland: Played inside, but I project him to the strongside. Good size and athletic ability. Agile and instinctive. Good against the run. He plays with leverage, but needs to shed quicker. Good tackler. Can rush the passer and cover. Needs to add strength
Phil Glover, 6-0, 240lbs, 4.65, Utah: Lacks height, but has decent bulk. Athletic player with good strength, quickness, and speed. Can cover. Takes on blocks aggressively against the run, but needs to shed better. Plays hard. Was limited in 1998 due to an ankle injury. Should do well on special teams.
John McLaughlin, 6-3, 245lbs, 4.70, California: Defensive end who projects to strongside linebacker. Good size, speed, and quickness. Can rush the passer. Not experienced in coverage so it will take him time to learn the position. Tough, competitive, and plays hard. Superb special teams player. Needs to add strength.
Khari Samuel, 6-3, 240lbs, 4.70, Massachusetts: Has played inside and outside – I project him to the latter on the strongside. Decent size and athletic. Quick and agile. Strong. Makes a lot of plays. Hits and tackles. Not real stout at the point-of-attack. Intense. Not real experienced in coverage, but has the agility to do well there. Good special teams player.
Kendall Ogle, 6-1, 235lbs, 4.65, Maryland: Played MLB in college, but projects to the weakside. Lacks ideal size, but he is athletic with good quickness and speed. Physical and aggressive, but he has problems taking on blocks at times. Plays hard. Tackles well. Solid in coverage. Good special teams player.
Warrick Holdman, 6-1, 235lbs, 4.70, Texas A&M: Weakside linebacker. Smaller than ideal, but he’s a very good athlete. Has only decent speed, but fine quickness. Can cover, but needs more experience there. Makes big plays, but he isn’t strong at the point of attack. Better against the pass than the run. Can rush the passer. Needs a greater commitment to the game.
Hannibal Navies, 6-2, 240lbs, 4.65, Colorado: More of a weakside prospect, but he may be able to play on the strongside. Good size and speed. Athletic. Has more experience moving forward than back, but has the quickness and speed to become a good cover man. Plays with leverage, but he is not real tough taking on blocks. Good pursuit player. Hits and tackles. More of an athlete than player at this point. Needs better technique and lower body strength. Good special teams player. Boom-or-bust type.
Donnie Spragan, 6-4, 240lbs, 4.90, Stanford: Strongside linebacker. Good size and quickness. Athletic — he plays faster than he times. Agile. Plays with leverage, but he is not a strong run defender. Needs to shed quicker. Plays well in coverage. Intense. Smart. Very good special teams player.
Joe Wesley, 6-1, 230lbs, 4.75, LSU: Played inside in college but I project him on the weakside. Lacks great size and speed. Athletic with quick feet. Not real strong at the point of attack, but he is tough, aggressive, and instinctive. Makes plays and plays hard. Good in coverage. Would probably do well on specials.
Corey Widmer is set inside for now, especially after signing a new 4-year deal. However, it would be nice to find someone who can push him. Doug Colman has shown well in short yardage situations and is a good special teams player. Pete Monty has not made himself noticed in two years. The clock is ticking on him.
Chris Claiborne, 6-2, 250lbs, 4.65, USC: Junior entry. Could play outside too. Good size and an excellent athlete. Has speed and quickness. Plays hard and makes plays. Great range. Superb against both the run and pass — unusual for a MLB. Stout and sheds well. Covers well and can blitz too. Physical and intense. Needs to get stronger. Very high selection.
Barry Gardner, 6-0, 245lbs, 4.70, Northwestern: Lacks height, but has good bulk. Decent athlete. Agile and has good speed. Very tough, competitive, and intense. Plays hard all the time. Good range against the run. Strong and physical. Not real stout – he needs to shed quicker. Good tackler. Decent in coverage. Good on special teams.
Wali Rainer, 6-2, 240lbs, 4.90, Virginia: Lacks ideal size and athleticism, but the guy is a player. Good run defender. Sheds and tackles well. Not real stout due to his size. A little stiff and he lacks speed. His fine instincts make him look faster than he really is. Decent in coverage. Works and plays hard. Tough and intense. Should do well on special teams.
Sam Sword, 6-1, 245lbs, 4.90, Michigan: Lacks ideal size, athleticism, and speed. Has some quickness. Tough guy who makes plays. Instinctive. Plays the run very well, though he doesn’t have much range. Takes on blocks and sheds. Hits and tackles well. Not strong in coverage. Will be limited as a pro. A leader. Good special teams player.
Tony D’Amato, 5-11, 240lbs, 4.85, Utah State: Short but stocky. Not real athletic. Lacks speed, but plays hard. Instinctive — a play maker. Plays the run well. Not as good against the pass. Showed well on special teams in the postseason.
Orlando Ruff, 6-2, 245lbs, 4.85, Furman: Decent size and very strong. Tough, aggressive run defender who needs better technique. Stout at the point-of-attack and shows good instincts, but needs to shed quicker. Not real athletic…on the stiff side. Lacks speed and isn’t strong in coverage. Should do well on special teams.
Most teams like to carry five cornerbacks. Assuming Jason Sehorn comes back strong, the Giants have three very good ones (in addition to Phillippi Sparks and Conrad Hamilton). However, Jeremy Lincoln is nothing special and the Giants lost Carlton Gray and Kory Blackwell in the offseason. Adding at least another player who can play special teams would be nice.
Champ Bailey, 6-0, 185lbs, 4.45, Georgia: Junior entry. Looks like another Deion Sanders-type cornerback. Special athlete who has great speed, quickness, and acceleration. Close and recovers extremely well. Explosive. Tough. Great pass defender who can take any wide receiver out of the game. Cocky…plays with an attitude. Can play wide receiver too. Dangerous returner. Needs to get stronger. Top pick.
Chris McAlister, 6-1, 200lbs, 4.50, Arizona: Good size and decent speed. Plays big because he is a good leaper with long arms. Athletic with good quickness. Fine cover man. Fluid and agile. Makes plays…Instinctive. Physical player who will challenge receivers. Will hit and tackle. Returns kicks. Very high selection.
Antwan Edwards, 6-0, 210lbs, 4.50, Clemson: Has played safety too, where he is also a prospect. Very good size and decent speed. Athletic with fine quickness for his size. Strong. Plays hard and is physical. Will tackle and hit. Aggressive pass defender. Smart, instinctive, and confident. Can close. A leader who makes plays. Needs better technique. Excellent kickoff returner.
Antoine Winfield, 5-9, 176lbs, 4.45, Ohio State: Lacks height, but plays big. Is strong for his size. Instinctive pass defender. Makes plays. Changes directions well. Very fast and quick. Physical…he likes to hit and he tackles well. Tough and competitive. Works and plays hard all the time. Lack of height hurts, but this is the kind of guy you love to have on your team.
Fernando Bryant, 5-10, 180lbs, 4.48, Alabama: OK height but needs more strength and bulk. Athletic with fine quickness and speed. Agile with good body control. Very good, aggressive cover man. Confident and instinctive. So-so against the run. Can return kickoffs.
Charles Fisher, 6-0, 185lbs, 4.55, West Virginia: Good height, but needs more bulk. Aggressive, physical player…gets in the face of his opponent. Lacks top speed, but he is quick and agile. Plays fast. So-so in run support. Inexperienced, only became a starter his senior year. Good special teams player.
Daylon McCutcheon, 5-9, 185lbs, 4.50, USC: Lacks height. Athletic with very good quickness and decent speed. Changes directions well. Good pass defender. Instinctive and confident. More of a finesse player. Not real strong against the run. Smart. Can return kickoffs.
Fred Vinson, 5-11, 175lbs, 4.45, Vanderbilt: Good height, but needs more bulk. Athletic with very good quickness and speed. Fluid. Very good cover man. Lacks a burst. Not real aggressive, but he will jam wideouts at the line. Needs to react better when the ball is in the air. Not a strong run defender. Very good on special teams.
Dre’ Bly, 5-10, 185lbs, 4.55, North Carolina: Junior entry. Good size. Played better as a freshman and sophomore than he did a junior. Aggressive, instinctive player who makes big plays, but sometimes gambles too much. Lacks a top speed; average burst on the ball. Fluid and quick. Doesn’t play the run well. Confident and competitive. Good on specials.
Anthony Parker, 6-1, 200lbs, 4.45, Weber State: Excellent size and speed. Confident, aggressive player…sometimes too aggressive in pass coverage. Lacks a burst, but is solid in coverage. Quick for his size. Raw – needs a lot of technique work. Confident. Could be a real sleeper.
Jermaine Jones, 5-8, 180lbs, 4.45, Northwestern State: Lacks great size, but he is very athletic with excellent quickness and speed. Aggressive, instinctive cover corner. Tough for his size. Makes big plays. Intense. So-so run supporter. Can return kicks.
Tony Booth, 6-1, 195lbs, 4.50, James Madison: Has played corner and free safety. Good size for a cornerback. Very good athlete. Fast and agile…has a burst. Makes plays. Solid tackler. Raw – will need a lot of technique work.
Jacoby Rhinehart, 5-10, 190lbs, 4.55, SMU: Decent size and speed. Reacts well. Quick and agile. Decent in run defense. Can return kicks and punts.
Donald Mitchell, 5-10, 185lbs, 4.50, SMU: Lacks ideal size, but he is athletic with good quickness. Solid cover man, but nothing special. Tough and physical for his size.
Jason Craft, 5-10, 175lbs, 4.50, Colorado State: Lacks ideal size, but he is athletic with fine speed and quickness. Fluid and has some acceleration. Not real physical in coverage or against the run. Looks like a nickel corner.
Dee Moronkola, 5-9, 200lbs, 4.45, Washington State: Lacks ideal height, but he has good strength and bulk. Fine athlete with very good speed. Not real smooth and needs to react to the ball better. Needs to play with better technique. So-so run defender. Good kick returner.
It looks like SS Sam Garnes and FS Shaun Williams will form a solid starting duo. Depth is somewhat of a concern. Tito Wooten has proven to be inconsistent and is somewhat of a head case. Percy Ellsworth will probably be leaving after next season and is not a good special teams player. Adding a safety or two who could provide solid depth, and more importantly, become good special teams players, is important.
Tony George, 5-11, 200lbs, 4.60, Florida: Free safety. Played safety and cornerback in college. OK size. Athletic — has fine speed and quickness for a safety. Good cover man for a safety — can play man-to-man defense. Smart, competitive, and instinctive. Aggressive against the run. Hits and tackles well. Very good special teams player.
Anthony Poindexter, 6-1, 210lbs, 4.65, Virginia: Strong safety. Future somewhat clouded because of a severe knee injury he suffered in October. Good size and decent speed. Tough, physical player who hits like a truck. Tackles well. Plays the run like a linebacker. Inspires his teammates. Makes big plays in the passing game too, but not quite as strong there. Lacked great speed or range before the injury. Instinctive and smart. Very good special teams player.
Marquis Smith, 6-2, 215lbs, 4.55, California: Strong safety. Huge, strong player with good athletic-ability. Aggressive run defender who hits hard. Needs to break down better when tackling. Not as good against the pass, but improving. Lacks great range and is a little stiff.
Damon Moore, 5-11, 210lbs, 4.65, Ohio State: Strong safety. Lacks some height, but has good bulk. Aggressive and competitive. Good against the run, but he needs to break down better when tackling. Physical — hits hard. Not real fluid or athletic against the pass, but plays with good instincts. Lacks man-to man cover ability. Very good on special teams.
Ty Talton, 6-0, 205lbs, 4.50, Northern Iowa: Played cornerback in college, but projects to free safety in the pros. Athletic and has good speed, but he lacks quick feet for corner at the next level. Solid against the run. Physical. Good tackler. Instinctive against the pass. Makes plays. Very good kickoff returner. Raw – will need some time.
Scott Shields, 6-4, 225lbs, 4.55, Weber State: Strong safety. Excellent size and athletic for his size. Good speed and quickness for his dimensions. Tough and competitive. Decent run defender. A little stiff. Not a strong man-on-man defender – more of a zone player. Can serve as an emergency punter and placekicker. Raw – will need some time.
Larry Atkins, 6-3, 215lbs, 4.75, UCLA: Strong safety. Maybe a prospect at linebacker. Excellent size. Athletic with fine agility for his size. Lacks speed for a pure safety. On the stiff side and is strictly a zone-type player. Somewhat of a liability against the pass. Good run defender. Hits hard, but needs to break down better when tackling. Tough and competitive. Good special teams player. Not really what you are looking for in a starter, but he should be a good situational player.
KICKERS AND PUNTERS:
The Giants are set at both spots. Punter Brad Maynard improved quite a bit last year and should continue to do so. He has Pro Bowl ability. Placekicker Brad Daluiso is solid, especially inside the 40-yard line. The only prospect the Giants might draft if he slips is PK Martin Gramatica (5-8, 160lbs, Kansas State).
And the New York Giants Select…
1st Round — RT/OG Aaron Gibson, Wisconsin: There is a good chance that Gibson will be gone by the time the 19th pick rolls around, but I have a feeling that Gibson may last longer than he should because he is a right tackle/guard-type and those guys usually last longer than left tackles. Gibson could play either right tackle or guard for the Giants. Others to watch here include OT/OG Lonnie Shelton, OT/OG Solomon Page, RT/OG Floyd Wedderburn, OT/OG Luke Petitgout, OC/OG Damien Woody, OG Doug Brzezinski, DE Ebenzer Ekuban, and MLB/OLB Andy Katzenmoyer. There is also a possibility this year that the Giants could trade down.
2nd Round — HB Sedrick Irvin, Michigan State: If the Giants go offensive line in round one, this seems like an obvious pick for a running back. I would prefer Amos Zereoue or Kevin Faulk at this point, but I don’t think they will be there. Irvin lacks top speed, but does everything else extremely well. He would be groomed as Brown’s eventual replacement. HB James Johnson is another possibility. It is also quite possible that the Giants could go offensive line again here. Someone like OG Cameron Spikes, OG David Loverne, OG Anthony Cesario, or OC/OG Grey Ruegamer are options. LB Johnny Rutledge would also help solidify the front seven on defense.
3rd Round — OG Anthony Cesario, Colorado State: Obviously, who the Giants pick here will largely depend on who they picked in their previous two picks. If the Giants went running back in round two, then another offensive lineman could go here — with Spikes, Loverne, Cesario, and Ruegamer possibly still being in the mix in addition to OG Derrick Fletcher. I’m not sure Cesario lasts this long. Some people love his toughness, others are a little more concerned about his lack of ideal athleticism. He could go much higher than this and possibly a little lower. I’m hoping he lasts this long. This might be a good spot to pick a tight end too…especially if Jim Kleinsasser is still on the board.
4th Round — TE Rufus French, Mississippi: Assuming the Giants have already picked two offensive linemen and a halfback at this stage, this would be a good spot to draft a tight end or add to the defense. Some think TE Jim Kleinsasser might last this long, but I doubt it. I think French may be here still. He’s a very good receiver, but needs a ton of blocking technique work. TE’s Reggie Kelly, Jerame Tuman, Sheldon Jackson, or Larry Brown are possibilities. So is defense. A guy like DE Brad Scioli, DE Tom Burke, or DE Montae Reagor would provide more depth and pass rush potential.