New York Giants 2000 NFL Draft Preview
INTRODUCTION: The following is a list of collegiate prospects available in the 2000 who caught my attention for one reason or another. This list is by no means all-inclusive. There are many lesser-known prospects who intrigue me who will be taken near the end of the draft or signed in rookie free agency. This is a quick-and-dirty overview of the better players coming out. 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. A full review of who the Giants select and sign will be provided in my post-draft review.
The Giants have one only one halfback on the roster who looks like he can shoulder the full load – Joe Montgomery – and he has yet to prove that he can stay healthy. Tiki Barber is a 3rd down back. Sean Bennett could come on, but he looks like a situational player at this point as well. A truly special running back would not only help Kerry Collins a great deal, but make the Giants’ offense much more dynamic. Most draft “experts” seem to think that Thomas Jones is the cream of the crop. Depending on the source, Ron Dayne, Jamal Lewis, or Shaun Alexander is the next best runner.
Thomas Jones, 5-10, 215lbs, 4.45, Virginia: Short, but stocky and muscular – has a low center of gravity. Fast and quick. Gets to the hole quickly and hits it hard. Shows good elusiveness, balance, and toughness. Has a burst and the speed to break big runs. Not powerful, but he can break tackles. Has fine instincts and vision. Very productive. Smart and works hard. So-so hands.
Shaun Alexander, 6-0, 218lbs, 4.55, Alabama: Reminds me of Rodney Hampton when he came out of Georgia. Big, instinctive running back who runs with fine balance. A decisive and very efficient runner…picks his spot and then goes for it. Runs with his pad level down. Hits the hole quickly and shows some elusiveness. Fine vision and a good cutback runner. Very productive. Good receiver and makes big plays in the passing game. Not very fast. Quality person.
Ron Dayne, 5-11, 255lbs, 4.60, Wisconsin: Similar to Jerome Bettis. Huge, powerful man with surprising athletic-ability. Once he gets underway, he is very tough to bring down – punishes defenders. Runs with his pad level down and has quick feet for his size. Follows blocks well. Has good vision. Patient and instinctive. Very productive. However, he’s not a quick starter and will need solid blocking up front to be truly effective. More of a grinder than a big play guy – though he broke a lot of big runs in college. Primarily an I-Back runner in college, he’ll need to get adjusted to the different pro sets and the receiving game. Needs to watch his weight.
Jamal Lewis, 6-0, 235lbs, 4.45, Tennessee: Junior entry. Lewis suffered a serious knee injury his sophomore season and shoulder and ankle problems his junior season – these need to be checked out. Didn’t look like the same player last year…the question is was this a temporary setback from the ankle woes or a permanent problem from the knee? If completely healthy, he probably is the best back in the draft. Combines very good size and athletic-ability for his size. Has fine balance and toughness. Before the knee injury, he was an instinctive and explosive runner who could beat you with power or speed. Last season, he ran into a lot of tackles and didn’t break as many of them as he did in the past. Mostly, it depends on the knee. He probably has the biggest boom/bust ratio in the draft.
J.R. Redmond, 6-0, 210lbs, 4.50, Arizona State: Decent-sized runner who makes a lot of big plays in both the rushing and receiving games. J.R. has good speed and is very elusive. Quick and instinctive. He’s not a power runner, but he cut backs well and he can break tackles. Runs with his pad level down. Has a burst. Also dangerous on punt and kick returns. Team player. Durability is a question mark.
Shyrone Stith, 5-8, 210lbs, 4.60, Virginia Tech: Junior entry. Lacks ideal height and speed, but he is powerful and has a burst. Built low to the ground and this helps him to maintain his balance and power past some people (like Joe Morris). Primarily a north-south runner, but he has a few moves. Quick-footed. Decisive and keeps his pads down. Plays hard. Not a real good receiver.
Travis Prentice, 6-0, 225lbs, 4.50, Miami (Ohio): Big, strong, north-south runner who does most of his damage between the tackles. Has decent speed. Lacks elusiveness and quickness. Instinctive and has good vision. Needs work as a blocker and receiver. Works hard.
Frank Moreau, 6-1, 225lbs, 4.60, Louisville: Big, strong back with decent athleticism and speed. Instinctive and he follows his blockers well. Lacks elusiveness and he needs to play with his pads lower. Powerful – finishes runs strong. Has good hands. Improving.
Sammy Morris, 6-0, 220lbs, 4.60, Texas Tech: Big, strong back who has experience at both halfback and fullback. Athletic for his size. Lacks great speed and quickness, but he runs with fine power and quickness. Good receiver. Competitive.
Reuben Droughns, 5-11, 215lbs, 4.65, Oregon: Big back who lacks great speed. A slasher with quick feet. Has a burst. Has good vision and will cutback. Has good hands in the receiving department. Needs to do a better job of holding onto the ball. Suffered a broken leg and some ligament damage in 1998 and this needs to be checked out.
Curtis Keaton, 5-10, 210lbs, 4.45, James Madison: Good size and a superb athlete. Tests better than he plays. Has very good speed and quick feet. Runs with fine balance and can make big plays. Somewhat slow out of the gate. Somewhat indecisive at times and he isn’t real elusive. Needs to play tougher and break more tackles.
If Charles Way comes back 100 percent healthy, as expected, then the Giants look set with him and FB Greg Comella at fullback. This looks like a poor year for fullbacks in the draft.
Terrelle Smith, 6-0, 250lbs, 4.80, Arizona State: Big fullback who lacks speed and run skills. The strength of his game is his blocking. Will stick his nose in there and blow people out of the hole. Tough and physical. Decent receiver. Somewhat inexperienced – will need some work. Improving player with underrated athleticism.
Aaron Shea, 6-4, 253lbs, 4.80, Michigan: May be a prospect at tight end or H-Back. Very good size for a fullback. Tough and he can break tackles. Lacks elusiveness and run instincts. Better receiver than runner. Catches the ball well – adjusts and has soft hands. Good runner after the catch. Needs to improve his blocking technique, but shows promise in that department. Somewhat stiff when blocking in space.
Matt Keller, 5-11, 235lbs, 4.65, Ohio State: Lacks ideal size, but he is an overachiever who does a decent job blocking and receiving. Doesn’t blow people away, but he isn’t afraid to mix it up and generally keeps his man out of the play. Competitor who works hard. Better ball carrier than most fullbacks.
With Roman Oben, Scott Gragg, and Toby Myles gone, the Giants would be well-advised to add another body or two here. Lomas Brown and Glenn Parker will probably be able to hold down the fort for one more year – perhaps two. The good news is that Luke Petitgout, who will most likely start at right tackle this year, should be able to handle the left tackle job when Brown departs. This gives the Giants some flexibility in determining on whether to draft a right tackle or a left tackle. There are a number of interesting tackles in this draft, but their ranks thin out quickly after the first few rounds.
Chris Samuels, 6-6, 320lbs, 5.00, Alabama: Left tackle. Maybe the best left tackle to come along since Jonathan Ogden in 1996. Superb athlete. Top pass protector with excellent feet. Quick off the ball. Not a blaster, but he does a good job run blocking. Very good pulling and engaging linebackers in space. Aggressive. Will go very high in the first round. Has some injury concerns.
Stockar McDougal, 6-5, 355lbs, 5.50, Oklahoma: Right tackle. Strong, massive player who reminds some scouts of Erik Williams. Can overpower as a run blocker – gets movement when he plays with leverage and proper technique. Good athlete for his size. Sometimes gets beat by quickness on the pass rush, but generally stymies his opponent. Plays with an attitude. Needs to play with greater urgency and focus and he must watch his weight. Somewhat raw, but he has a huge upside. Though right tackles generally are not drafted high in the first round, he has to be a tempting guy for the Giants.
Chris McIntosh, 6-7, 315lbs, 5.43, Wisconsin: Played left tackle in college, but may be better suited for the right tackle spot or guard. Reminds me a bit of Jumbo Elliott. Huge player with good athletic-ability for his size. Has long arms which help him in pass protection. Plays with balance and uses his hands well. Not as strong as a run blocker as his reputation indicates (needs to play with better leverage – his height may be a factor there), but he can get some movement and works to sustain. Needs to play with better leverage. More of a technician than a mauler. Plays with an attitude – very aggressive. Smart.
Marvel Smith, 6-5, 320lbs, 5.35, Arizona State: Junior entry. Left tackle. Combines excellent size with fine athletic-ability. Better pass blocker than run blocker. Has long arms and quick feet. Needs to add strength and become more physical blocking for the run. Smith has a big upside.
Travis Claridge, 6-5, 310lbs, 5.20, USC: Right tackle – is also a prospect at guard. Good size and he plays hard. Tough and mean. Strong. Has long arms. Gets a push on his run blocks and works to sustain. Solid pass protector, but he is a tad stiff – lacks ideal athleticism.
Todd Wade, 6-8, 325lbs, 5.20, Mississippi: Right tackle. Very tall player who needs to still fill out. Because he is so tall, he doesn’t always play with good leverage. Athletic and strong. Can get movement on his run blocks. Has long arms which helps him in pass protection, though he can look a tad stiff there. Plays hard – competitive.
Adrian Klemm, 6-4, 305lbs, 5.05, Hawaii: Left tackle. Lacks ideal size, but he is an athletic talent with quick feet and long arms who can pass block. Tough and works hard. Not as strong a run blocker, but he’s not bad. Works to sustain and he is good at hitting moving targets when pulling. Needs to play with better leverage. Needs to add strength.
Joey Chustz, 6-7, 305lbs, 5.10, Louisiana Tech: Left tackle; could be prospect at right tackle or guard. Tall with long arms. Needs to add weight and bulk. Has some pop in his run blocks, but he needs to play with better leverage and sustain more often. Seems to have the athletic-ability to be a solid pass blocker, but he needs a lot of technique work in that department.
The Giants seem to like Ron Stone at right guard, but Mike Rosenthal is still relatively untested on the left side. He shows promise, but he also had his rough moments last year. Glenn Parker could be a factor here if he isn’t needed at tackle. Jason Whittle is still on the roster. Depth and competition is needed.
Cosey Coleman, 6-4, 322lbs, 5.40, Tennessee: Junior entry. Big mauler who lacks top athleticism – he’s a tad on the stiff side. Has the potential to be very good, but he didn’t have a great junior year. Powerful player who can get movement on his run blocks. Needs to sustain better. Not real agile on the pull, but does his job. Anchors well in pass, but he can sometimes be exposed by quickness. Aggressive and tough. Plays hard.
Kaulana Noa, 6-4, 320lbs, 5.30, Hawaii: Could be a factor at tackle, where he played in college. A big player with good athleticism. Has long arms. Better run blocker than pass blocker. Gets movement in his run blocks and works to sustain. Physical, strong, and tough. Needs to play with better leverage more consistently. Decent pass protector, but quickness sometimes gives him problems – he’s a tad on the stiff side.
Richard Mercier, 6-3, 295lbs, 5.35, Miami: Lacks ideal size and athleticism, but he’s a hardworking, competitor who gives it everything he has. Tough and aggressive – looks to hurt people. Has a good feel for the game. Not a blaster in the ground game, but he is strong and generally keeps his man out of the play. Engages linebackers at the second level well and can pull. Good pass protector.
Michael Moore, 6-3, 320lbs, 5.35, Troy State: Played tackle, but has experience at guard and projects there. Big, strong, physical, and aggressive. Plays with an attitude. Plays with leverage and gets movement on his run blocks. Needs a lot of technique work in pass protection, but shows promise in that department – he is a good athlete. Raw – will take some time, but he has a big upside. Has some medical concerns.
Damion McIntosh, 6-4, 310lbs, 5.30, Kansas State: Played left tackle in college after being moved over from the defense his senior year; I project him to guard, but he could be a factor at tackle. Inexperienced, but he has good tools. Big and athletic. Has good quickness. Needs to play with better leverage and technique in his run blocks. Has some pop in his run blocks and can generate movement. Needs better footwork when pass blocking, but he has the feet to improve. Plays with an attitude – likes to punish defenders. Has a big upside.
Leander Jordan, 6-4, 330lbs, 5.40, Indiana (PA): Could be a factor at right tackle. Huge, strong player with decent athletic-ability. Has long arms. Plays with an attitude. Can generate movement on his run blocks – but he needs to play lower, sustain, and finish better. Has the tools to be a standout pass blocking, but he is inconsistent. Raw due to his small school background. Has an upside.
Mark Baniewicz, 6-6, 305lbs, 5.35, Syracuse: Played left tackle in college, but projects to guard. Very competitive and hardworking. Tall player who lacks athleticism for tackle. Has decent quickness. Needs to add bulk and strength. Can play with leverage, but he needs to do so more consistently.
Jon Carmen, 6-8, 335lbs, 5.50, Georgia Tech: Played right tackle in college, but projects to guard. Huge, strong player, but lacks the athleticism to play tackle in the pros. Has quick feet. Plays with good leverage despite his size. Anchors very well in pass protection and won’t be exposed by quickness inside the tackles. Needs to lose weight – at his current weight, he has problems pulling.
Bobby Williams, 6-4, 330lbs, 5.30, Arkansas: Could be a prospect at tackle, where he played in college. Big man with good athleticism and long arms. Very good run blocker who gets movement. Sustains. Has quick feet, but he’s inconsistent as a pass blocker. Underachieved in college and has had some weight problems. Needs to work harder and improve his concentration. Could be special, but has to want it.
Mark Tauscher, 6-4, 320lbs, 5.40, Wisconsin: Played tackle in college, but projects to guard. Has good size, but lacks athleticism. Physical and aggressive. Gets movement on his run blocks. Decent in pass protection – can anchor, but quickness can give him problems. Smart and hard working.
Dusty Zeigler will be the starting center, but the depth situation is very questionable. There aren’t many centers in the draft.
John St. Clair, 6-5, 305lbs, 5.25, Virginia: Combines good size with fine strength and athletic-ability. Taller than most centers, but he plays with leverage. Good run blocker. Gets some movement and is quick enough to get out on linebackers. Has long arms and quick feet – good pass blocker. Needs to play with better focus and consistency. Has been compared to Tony Mayberry.
Brad Meester, 6-3, 300lbs, 5.15, Northern Iowa: Combines decent size with very good athleticism. Needs to get stronger. Not a powerful player, but he does play with fine technique. Has good quickness and works to sustain his run blocks. Mobile enough to engage linebackers. Has short arms, but is a decent pass blocker. Intelligent.
Tuten Reyes, 6-4, 295lbs, 5.35, Mississippi: Played tackle in college – could even project to guard. Decent size and good athleticism. Needs to bulk up and add strength. Lacks power as a run blocker, but he works at it. Mobile enough to engage linebackers. Athletic pass protector – more finesse than strength. Intelligent, but he needs to play with greater focus and consistency.
Blane Saipaia, 6-3, 315lbs, 5.30, Colorado State: Played tackle in college, but projects to center. Coming off of knee surgery in January and this needs to be checked out. Good size. Decent run blocker, but he needs to play with better leverage. Works to sustain. Good pass blocker – he’s a decent athlete with quick feet. Needs to play with more focus.
Pete Mitchell was a big addition as a receiving-type tight. He lacks the bulk/natural power to ever be considered a good two-way tight end however. Dan Campbell may pan out in that roll, but 1999 was a learning experience for him. Howard Cross is nearing the end. Adding a prospect who could compete for his roster spot would be ideal.
Daniel Franks, 6-6, 260lbs, 4.90, Miami: Junior entry. A very well-regarded prospect who combines excellent size and athleticism. Good blocker and receiver. Has the ability to make difficult receptions look easy, but also drops some easy ones. Very fluid and agile. Runs well after the catch. Can be a great one if he increases his focus and concentration.
Anthony Becht, 6-5, 265lbs, 4.82, West Virginia: A complete tight end who can catch and block. Becht combines excellent size with good strength and speed. Athletic with fine hands. A clutch player. Intelligent. Competitive and tough.
Erron Kinney, 6-6, 275lbs, 4.85, Florida: Has excellent size and decent athletic-ability. Decent blocker, but he needs to play with better leverage and more aggression. Fluid receiver. Good hands and tough to tackle after the catch. Has not seen the ball a lot in college due to the nature of his team’s offense – will take some time (i.e., Dan Campbell). Could be tougher.
Terrence McCaskey, 6-5, 275lbs, 5.00, Mississippi State: Big tight end who missed much of his senior season with a broken wrist. Has fine tools. Athletic for his size with fine quickness and agility. Has the frame to put on even more weight. Flashes as a blocker and receiver, but he is raw at this point. Needs to stay in shape. Could be a diamond in the rough.
Jay Tant, 6-3, 255lbs, 4.75, Northwestern: Lacks ideal size, but he is a good athlete who does a credible job in both the blocking and receiving departments. Competitive – plays hard. Needs to play with better leverage on his run blocks. Though a tad on the stiff side, he combines fine quickness with decent hands. Good route-runner and adjusts to the ball well. Has a great attitude.
The Giants still could use some true deep speed that will stretch the field. This looks like a fairly strong group of receivers in the draft, but because I’m looking for speedsters, I won’t list many “slower,” but excellent, prospect targets here. Burress, Morris, Taylor, Porter, and White are all grouped together in the same value-range – don’t read too much into my pecking order there.
Peter Warrick, 5-11, 196lbs, 4.48, Florida State: Has decent size and superb athletic ability. Fast, quick, and explosive. Has good hands and makes big plays both as a receiver, runner, and even thrower. Very quick in his routes and accelerates nicely. Decent, but not great, hands. Great field vision – does a lot of damage after the catch and on reverses. Dangerous return man. Some character questions – was arrested for shoplifting. Very high selection.
Plaxico Burress, 6-6, 230lbs, 4.55, Michigan State: Junior entry. Combines outstanding size and strength with fine athleticism and speed. Can simply dominate games – creates big match-up problems for opposing defenses. However, he is very immature and isn’t a hard worker. Very competitive on the field and very confident in his ability. Physical. Needs to run crisper routes. Can make incredible catches, but also drops some that he shouldn’t. Could be special if he works hard enough. Resembles Herman Moore in his play.
Sylvester Morris, 6-3, 215lbs, 4.55, Jackson State: Combines excellent size and athletic-ability. Plays faster than he times. Fast and smooth – but more of a long-strider than quick. Can get deep and he has good hands. Tough – he catches over the middle and runs well after the catch. Needs to run crisper routes. Has impact potential, but will need some seasoning.
Jerry Porter, 6-2, 220lbs, 4.52, West Virginia: Combines tremendous athleticism with very good size and speed. Plays faster and bigger than his numbers indicate. Very raw – was switched to wide receiver from defensive back – but he demonstrates tremendous potential. Makes big plays. Can beat the bump-and-run and has a burst out of his cuts. Physical – he’s not afraid to run over the middle. Has good hands and runs well after the catch. Needs work on his routes – will need some seasoning. Has some character questions. An exciting player.
Travis Taylor, 6-1, 200lbs, 4.50, Florida: Junior entry. Hampered somewhat last year with a bum ankle. Good size and speed. Very athletic and makes a lot of big plays. Runs good routes and can get deep. Has good quickness and is agile. Generally shows good hands. Tough running across the middle. Will need some seasoning and needs to play more consistently.
Dez White, 6-2, 218lbs, 4.50, Georgia Tech: Junior entry. Has an excellent combination of size and athleticism. Built like a halfback. Very explosive receiver – fast and quick. Makes big plays – accelerates and gets deep. Needs to improve his routes and he has so-so hands. Runs well after the catch.
Ron Dugans, 6-2, 205lbs, 4.52, Florida State: Combines good size with good speed. Has very good hands and makes tough catches. Polished – runs routes well and accelerates out of his cuts. Not really a big play guy despite his speed, but he makes a lot of clutch plays and can get deep on occasion. Runs well after the catch.
Todd Pinkston, 6-2, 175lbs, 4.45, Southern Mississippi: Has excellent height, speed and quickness; but lacks bulk – very, very thin. Might have problems with the jam. Can get deep and make big plays. Tough and has good hands. Decent route runner.
Dennis Northcutt, 5-10, 175lbs, 4.42, Arizona: Smallish receiver who makes big plays. Has explosive initial quickness and can get deep. Wants it – tough, competitive, and confident. Fast, quick, and elusive. Lack of size gives him problems with the jam – would be better in the slot. Runs well after the catch and is dangerous returning the ball. Has decent hands and runs decent routes.
Danny Farmer, 6-3, 215lbs, 4.60, UCLA: A big target who doesn’t run fast, but has a knack for getting deep and making big plays. Smooth and agile for his size. Tough with very good hands. Runs good routes. Very competitive. Not a deep threat – he’s a possession-receiver, but a good one.
Darrell Jackson, 6-0, 195lbs, 4.55, Florida: Has decent size and good athleticism. Avoids the jam and runs good routes. Agile and quick – adjusts to the ball well. Tough – will go over the middle. Clutch player with good hands. Gets separation, but lacks big time speed to get deep consistently. Not a strong runner after the catch.
Laveranues Coles, 6-0, 190lbs, 4.40, ex-Florida State: Very talented, explosive receiver who has faced quite a bit of off-the-field problems in college. He would go much higher in the draft if it wasn’t for these problems. Was kicked off of the team for shoplifting; has had other run-ins with the law. Very fast, but also very raw. Superb athlete who can get deep and make big plays. Has a burst. Tough guy who will run over the middle. Needs to improve his routes. So-so hands. Dangerous runner and returner. Good on special teams coverage units too. His personality will probably scare the Giants.
R. Jay Soward, 5-10, 175lbs, 4.37, USC: Lacks ideal size, but he is a burner. Makes big plays receiving, running, and returning. Deep threat who can break a game wide open. Quick and elusive. Lacks good hands, toughness, and needs to improve his route-running. Will have problems with the jam and is probably best suited for the slot. May not be very coach-able and is probably not the kind of guy in terms of personality the Giants are looking at right now (he has a Tyrone Wheatley-like personality).
While it is very unlikely, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Giants select a quarterback high – even in the first round. General Manager Ernie Accorsi has often said that he likes to collect quarterbacks because a team is not likely to win a championship without a great one. Still, Accorsi is a fan of both Collins and Mike Cherry – plus the Giants are set with their immediate back-up with Jason Garrett. This is not a strong year for quarterbacks.
Chad Pennington, 6-4, 230lbs, 4.85, Marshall: I think Pennington will be a very good quarterback in a West Coast system. However, since he lacks a strong arm, I question a bit if he is particularly well-suited for the windy Meadowlands. Good size. Poised – he makes big plays in key situations. Spreads the ball around well. Very accurate on short- and medium-distanced passes. Quick release. Not a strong deep passer. Decent mobility. Smart. Fine leader and he works hard.
Chris Redmond, 6-3, 225lbs, 5.30, Louisville: Combines decent size with a good arm. Fairly accurate passer who stands strong in the pocket. Can be a bit streaky. Tough and reacts well to pressure. Throws the deep ball well. Has a quick release. Bird-dogs a bit too much and sometimes holds onto the ball too long. Pocket passer – not very mobile. Confident, tough, and competitive. Needs to be more of a leader. Has some injury problems that need to be checked out.
Marc Bulger, 6-2, 206lbs, 4.90, West Virginia: Lacks ideal size. Has a good arm and reads coverages well. Has a quick release. Demonstrates good accuracy. Better intermediate passer than deep one. Can move around a bit. Best attributes are his intangibles. Competitive and smart. Poised. A leader.
Tee Martin, 6-2, 225lbs, 4.60, Tennessee: Lacks ideal height, but he has good bulk. Has a good arm and is very mobile. Tough and smart. Hard worker and a leader. Competitive. Good athlete, but not a good passer at this point. Not very accurate and can be indecisive. Bird-dogs too much. Could come on with the right quarterback coach. Will take time.
Giovanni Carmazzi, 6-3, 222lbs, 4.72, Hofstra: Good sized and athletic. Has good arm strength. Throws the short- and medium-range passes well. Lacks a quick delivery and is not overly accurate at this point. Not a strong deep passer. Can scramble. Raw – has trouble reading coverages. Tough and smart. Has an upside, but he will take time.
Todd Husak, 6-3, 215lbs, 5.10, Stanford: Has good size, but limited mobility – a pocket passer. Smart and hard working. A leader. Reads defenses well and has experience in a pro-style offense. Needs work on his mechanics. Has better arm strength than given credit for when he uses the proper technique.
Tom Brady, 6-5, 215lbs, 5.25, Michigan: Has good height, but needs to add more strength and bulk. Smart, poised, and tough. A leader. Doesn’t have a real strong arm, but he is relatively accurate. Not mobile – a pocket passer.
Phil Stambaugh, 6-3, 220lbs, 5.05, Lehigh: Pocket passer who lacks mobility. Decent size, but he needs to get stronger. Tough. Has a good arm. Raw – he will need a lot of work, but he has an intriguing upside.
Spergon Wynn, 6-4, 230lbs, 4.85, Southwest Texas: Has excellent size and arm strength. Smart, tough, and competitive. A leader. An improving player who is very raw. Needs to improve his technique, ability to read defenses, and accuracy. Has an upside, but he is no sure thing and at the very least he will take a lot of time.
The Giants have a big need for another two-way defensive tackle who can play the run and rush the passer. They have one in Keith Hamilton, but Christian Peter looked strictly one-dimensional as a run stuffer last year. Back-ups George Williams and Ryan Hale don’t inspire a lot of confidence at this point.
Corey Simon, 6-2, 295lbs, 4.85, Florida State: Lacks ideal height, but his a super-athletic tackle who moves like a linebacker. A disruptive player who needs to be accounted for. Quick, fast, and agile for his size. Plays with strength and leverage. Instinctive. Equally adept at playing the run or rushing the passer. Works hard. Has some medical concerns with his shoulders that need to be checked out.
Chris Hovan, 6-3, 305lbs 5.00, Boston College: Has experience at both tackle and end could project to the latter. More of a self-made player than great natural athlete; lacks a big frame and growth potential. Plays with an attitude physical, competitive, tough, and relentless. Strong, stout, and instinctive. Plays with fine quickness and can be disruptive. Needs to disengage quicker.
Darwin Walker, 6-3, 295lbs, 4.90, Tennessee: Lacks ideal size, but he’s a hard-working player with good athleticism and strength. Quick and agile, but like Hovan, he’s more of a self-made athlete than a natural one. Quick off the ball, shows good power, and can be disruptive.
Cornelius Griffin, 6-3, 295lbs, 4.85, Alabama: Could project to defensive end. Combines good size and athleticism. Improving player and instinctive. Shows good short-area quickness for his size. Agile. Needs to get stronger and play with better leverage not stout at the point of attack; but he is active. Demonstrates fine ability to rush the passer. Inconsistent motor.
Steve Warren, 6-1, 305lbs, 5.10, Nebraska: Lacks height, but he’s an athletic talent who plays stout at the point of attack. Plays with decent quickness and agility. Strong and can play with leverage, but he needs to do so on a more consistent basis. Can play the run and rush the passer. Lack of height and short arms limit him somewhat.
Mao Tosi, 6-6, 310lbs, 5.20, Idaho: Raw player from a small school, but he has a great combination of size and athleticism. Improving as he gains experience. Plays and works hard. Doesn’t have a great feel for the game at this point if he develops one, he has a huge upside. Needs to get stronger and play with better technique and leverage.
Leonardo Carson, 6-2, 280lbs, 5.00, Auburn: Undersized, but quick lineman who has experience at tackle and end could project outside. Very active and disruptive in the John Randle-mold. Lack of height and short arms limit him, but he plays with leverage. Not a stout player. Good pass rusher is instinctive and has a burst. Fine competitor who plays hard. Has some character question marks.
Kendrick Clancy, 6-1, 280lbs, 5.25, Mississippi: Undersized tackle who makes plays with quickness and effort. Disruptive. Not stout at the point of attack. Again, he’s in the John Randle-mold of defensive tackles. Good pass rusher.
Junior Ioane, 6-4, 325lbs, 5.10, Arizona State: Big tackle who suffered a serious knee injury last October which needs to be checked out. The knee may limit him in 2000, but a patient team could be rewarded in 2001 if he bounces back to his old form. Power player with fine quickness for his size. Better run defender than pass rusher. Plays with leverage and he is agile. Can be disruptive. Needs better moves on the pass rush.
Jerry Johnson, 6-0, 295lbs, 5.05, Florida State: Short, quick tackle who was overshadowed by Corey Simon. Athletic and agile. Can penetrate and cause problems due to his quickness. Plays with leverage against the run. Not a stout player more of a finesse guy. OK pass rusher.
The Giants could use more depth and competition at defensive end, especially by players who can rush the passer.
Courtney Brown, 6-4, 270lbs, 4.60, Penn State: An extremely athletic lineman with decent size and an outstanding work ethic. Has the frame to get bigger. Quick, agile, and fast – moves like a linebacker. Has long arms. Better pass rusher than run defender. Needs to play stronger and tougher at the point of attack. Makes big plays. Competitive and intelligent.
Shaun Ellis, 6-5, 280lbs, 4.85, Tennessee: Combines good size and athleticism. Has the size and strength to play on the strongside. Good all-around player who does well playing the run and rushing the passer. Physical. Needs to play with more consistency. Reminds me of Michael Strahan.
Darren Howard, 6-4, 280lbs, 5.05, Kansas State: Combines good size and athleticism. Quick and agile for his size. Plays with leverage. Good all-around player who does well playing the run and rushing the passer. Needs to be more physical at the point of attack. Inconsistent motor needs to play hard all the time.
Adalius Thomas, 6-3, 270lbs, 4.55, Southern Mississippi: Lacks ideal size, but he is an incredible athlete. Has the ability to dominate with his quickness and speed, but he is a very inconsistent player. Lacks a top motor takes plays off. Quick, agile, and fast looks like a linebacker out there. Strong and plays with leverage. Has long arms. Not real stout at the point of attack. Could be special if he wants it.
John Engelberger, 6-5 260lbs, 4.70, Virginia Tech: A tall, relatively thin lineman who has experience at end and tackle. Similar to Chad Bratzke in that he makes plays on hustle, instincts, and quickness. Decent athlete with good speed, but a tad on the stiff side. Not stout at the point of attack lacks a strong base. Needs to get stronger. Plays with an attitude. Good special teams player.
Byron Frisch, 6-5, 280lbs, 4.75, BYU: Combines good size and athleticism. Improving player with good quickness, agility, and speed. Strong, but he lacks a strong base and can have problems at the point of attack. Needs to play with better leverage. Competes and plays hard.
Erik Flowers, 6-4, 270lbs, 4.75, Arizona State: Lacks a big frame (which limits his growth potential), but he is an improving player who plays hard. Competitive with a fine motor. Athletic with good speed and quickness moves like a linebacker (could project there). Strong for his size. Better pass rusher than run defender not stout at the point of attack.
John Frank, 6-4, 280lbs, 4.75, Utah: Older will turn 26 as a rookie. Combines good size with decent athleticism. Decent quickness and speed for his size. Tough, competitive, and a hard worker. A decent player both in terms of defending the run and rushing the passer. Improving but he needs to disengage better from blocks. Not a flashy player, but a guy who looks like a solid strongside end.
Brian Young, 6-3, 275lbs, 4.90, Texas-El Paso: Lacks ideal size and growth potential. The strength of his game is his all-out hustle and competitiveness. Works and plays very hard. Has good athletic-ability with good quickness and agility. Plays with leverage and strength, but he lacks a strong base and probably will have problems at the point of attack in the NFL. Smart and tough.
Much depends on where the Giants really want Michael Barrow to play. If they don’t want him inside, the Giants may not draft an outside guy high. However, they do need to add some quality bodies for depth at the very least – especially with Marcus Buckley and Scott Galyon gone.
LaVar Arrington, 6-4, 250lbs, 4.55, Penn State: Junior entry. Combines superb size and athletic-ability. Fast, quick, and agile. Runs like a defensive back. Top play-maker instinctive and disruptive. Intense and mean. Can play the run, blitz, and cover though he is relatively inexperienced in the latter. Can have some problems with big blockers at the point of attack. Lacks discipline and can lose his temper. Has impact potential.
Brian Urlacher, 6-4, 258lbs, 4.60, New Mexico: Played safety his senior year, but has experience at linebacker and projects there (weakside, middle, or even strongside). Awesome combination of size and athleticism. Such a great athlete that he has played safety, linebacker, tight end, fullback, slot receiver, punt returner, and kick returner. Inexperience at linebacker and level of competition are primary concerns projection picks are always inherently risky. Will have to adjust to playing closer to the line of scrimmage and he needs to shed better as a linebacker. But he makes a lot of plays tough, physical, and instinctive. Very competitive and he is a hard hitter. If he can master a pro linebacking position, he has a huge upside as a 3-down linebacker. Has been compared to Brad Van Pelt. Very good special teams player.
Julian Peterson, 6-3, 235lbs, 4.70, Michigan State: Strongside linebacker. Lacks classic strongside size, but he has the frame to add more bulk and muscle. Athletic player with very good quickness and fine speed. Instinctive play-maker. Takes on and sheds blocks relatively well, but could improve a bit in that area. Very good pass rusher even has experience playing as a rush end on passing downs. Somewhat inexperienced in coverage, but shows well in that department with fine agility. Not the brightest guy in the world.
Keith Bulluck, 6-3, 245lbs, 4.55, Syracuse: Combines very good size and athleticism has even played defensive back. Has experience in the middle and on the weakside. Has long arms. Fast and quick for a linebacker. Fills holes aggressively and shows decent strength at the point of attack, but he doesn’t shed quickly enough. Needs to become a more consistent player. Very good in coverage. Has a big upside if he wants it badly enough.
John Abraham, 6-4, 250lbs, 4.50, South Carolina: Strongside linebacker has experience at defensive end and some project him there. Excellent size and athletic-ability for a linebacker. Has long arms. Fast and quick. Hard worker with a good attitude. Needs to fill more aggressively and employ better technique to shed quicker. Good pass rusher, but needs to employ more moves. Relatively inexperienced in coverage, but he shows well in that area with fine agility. Still developing a feel for the linebacking spot, but he has a big upside if he can master the position.
Barrett Green, 6-0, 235lbs, 4.55, West Virginia: Weakside-type, but I wouldn’t discount him at the other linebacking spots. Lacks ideal size, but he is an athletic warrior who makes plays. Fast and quick moves like a defensive back and has experience there. Must beat bigger blockers with his speed and quickness; size limits him in his ability to fill and shed. However, he plays low is very aggressive and physical in attacking his opponent. Active and disruptive. Good in coverage. Intense, competitive, and relentless. Plays hard all the time and plays with an attitude likes to punish his opponent. Should be a special teams demon.
Corey Moore, 5-11, 225lbs, 4.60, Virginia Tech: Played strongside defensive end in college, but projects to linebacker (ideally suited for a 3-4 defense). Best defensive player in college who I saw last year. A superb athlete with incredible initial quickness sometimes runs by blockers like they are standing in cement. The strength of his game is rushing the passer despite his size, I would use him as a down end in pass-rush situations. Plays stronger than his size and plays with good leverage, but he needs to shed blockers better against the run. Has the agility to do well in coverage, but is very raw in that area. Tough, super-intense, competitor who hates to lose. Should excel on special teams.
Marcus Washington, 6-4, 250lbs,. 4.65, Auburn: Played defensive end in college, but projects to strongside linebacker. Saw some action there in the post-season and looked pretty good. Good size for a linebacker. Athletic with good agility, quickness, and speed. Plays off of blocks well. Needs work in coverage. Competitive. Improving player, but projection picks are always inherently risky.
Raynoch Thompson, 6-3, 235lbs, 4.60, Tennessee: Recently weighed in at 220lbs, but he lost weight after a hernia operation – normally weighs in the 235lbs-range. Weakside-type, but I wouldn’t discount him at other linebacking spots. Very good athlete quick, fast, and agile. Has a burst. Active, disruptive, and instinctive. Needs to play lower, take on blocks stronger, and shed quicker. Needs to add bulk and get stronger. Aggressive, physical, and instinctive. Good pass rusher. Has the agility to do well in coverage, but needs to improve in that department. Durability and consistency are a bit of a concern.
Again, much depends on where Barrow plays. But depth, at the very least, is a primary concern.
Rob Morris, 6-2, 250lbs, 4.80, BYU: Over-aged will turn 25 as a rookie. Throwback plays the game with an attitude. Smart, tough, intense, competitive, aggressive, and physical. Instinctive and makes plays. Has good size and athleticism. Quick and has a burst. Very strong run defender. A tad on the stiff side lacks top end agility. This hurts him a little bit when tackling in the open field and in coverage. Has had some shoulder problems which need to be checked out. A leader.
Brandon Short, 6-3, 255lbs, 4.80, Penn State: Big, physical linebacker who lacks top athleticism and instincts. Has decent speed and movement skills. Good run defender and tackler. He can fill the hole, but he needs to shed better. Has long arms which should enable him to play off of blocks better. Needs to improve in coverage. A leader. Intelligent.
Nate Webster, 5-11, 225lbs, 4.65, Miami: Junior entry. An undersized, but extremely athletic and active middle backer who makes a lot of plays when big blockers are kept off of him. Tough, physical, and aggressive for his size. Instinctive. Plays with an attitude. Needs to play with greater leverage and learn to play off of blocks in a better fashion. Shows well in coverage. A leader. Would give the Giants an all-University of Miami linebacking corps.
Matt Beck, 6-3, 235lbs, 4.65, California: Could project outside. Missed most of 1999 with a foot injury and has had shoulder problems both need to be checked out. When healthy, he is an instinctive, athletic linebacker who plays and works hard. Plays the game with an attitude likes to punish his opponent. Good run defender, but he needs to shed blocks more consistently. Agile – shows well in coverage. Has not proven to be very durable. Smart.
Marcus Bell, 6-2, 238lbs, 4.80, Arizona: Undersized, but he is tough, athletic, and active. Plays hard and he is instinctive. Not a stout player better if big blockers are kept off of him. A tad on the stiff side and he needs to break down better when tackling but he’s generally a good tackler. Good special teams player.
Mark Simoneau, 6-0, 237lbs, 4.60, Kansas State: Undersized, but instinctive and athletic player. Could project outside. Aggressive and intense. Quick and fast. Plays with an attitude. Strong and plays with leverage, but he can have problems with shedding big blockers. He’s a tad on the stiff side and he needs to break down better when tackling, but generally tackles well. Smart.
Jeff Ulbrich, 6-0, 250lbs, 4.65, Hawaii: Lacks height and athleticism, but he has good bulk and speed. Tough, instinctive, physical, and aggressive. Has a feel for the game. Smart. Plays the run well takes on blocks well but occasionally has problems shedding. A tad on the stiff side and he isn’t real agile in coverage. Has an old knee injury that needs to be checked out. Good on special teams.
T.J. Slaughter, 6-0, 247lbs, 4.85, Southern Mississippi: Could project outside. Lacks height and athleticism, but he has good bulk and strength. Has good quickness, but he lacks high-end speed. Physical player who hits hard. Tough. Fills well at the point of attack, but he needs to shed better and improve his coverage skills.
Very good defenses need very good corners – and they need three of them. There are some question marks surrounding Jason Sehorn and Conrad Hamilton as well as their back-ups.
Ahmed Plummer, 5-11, 190lbs, 4.50, Ohio State: Decent size and a good athleticism. Has quick feet and can accelerate. Employs fine technique and he is a smart, heady, instinctive player. Jams well at the line of scrimmage. Hard worker. Decent run defender who tackles well.
Ike Charlton, 5-11, 205lbs, 4.50, Virginia Tech: Junior entry. Good combination of size and athleticism. Has quick feet. Plays a physical game. Likes to challenge receivers and knock them off their routes. Instinctive. A tad on the stiff side lacks ideal agility. Good run defender who tackles well.
Rashard Anderson, 6-3, 205lbs, 4.55, Jackson State: Tall corner with very good athleticism for his size. Plays faster than he times and has a burst. Best suited to play a physical game where he jams the receiver at the line. Smooth with good foot quickness for his size, but like most big corners, he a tad on the stiff side. Solid tackler. Competitive. Benefited from playing against Sylvester Morris in practice.
Deltha O’Neal, 5-11, 185lbs, 4.40, California: Converted running back. Lacks great size, but he is a very good athlete. Confident, improving player. Fast, quick, and agile. He’s a cover corner with fine instincts. Makes plays on the ball. Needs to be more physical in coverage and he needs to play tougher against the run and tackle better. Somewhat raw, but he has a big upside. Very good kick returner.
Lewis Sanders, 6-0, 200lbs, 4.55, Maryland: Combines good size and athleticism. Instinctive player who has a feel for the game. Physical likes to challenge receivers best suited to bump-and-run coverage. Hard working. Good tackler. Good kick returner.
Mario Edwards, 6-0, 190lbs, 4.48, Florida State: Has decent size and very good athleticism. Has good quickness and speed. Best suited to play a physical game where he jams receivers at the line. Strong, confident, and aggressive. Solid tackler. Had a disappointing senior season needs to play with more discipline; took too many risks. Has some character question marks.
Dwayne Goodrich, 5-11, 195lbs, 4.55, Tennessee: Combines good size and athleticism. Did not play as well as expected his senior year. Very inconsistent has the talent to excel, but looks ordinary too often. Needs to make more plays on the ball and not bite on fakes as much as he does. Has good speed and quickness. Jams well at the line of scrimmage. Aggressive, but he needs to me a more physical tackler.
Hank Poteat, 5-10, 190lbs, 4.55, Pittsburgh: Lacks ideal height, but he has decent bulk. Fluid athlete with quick feet. Agile, but lacks top end speed. Can play the bump-and-run or play off. Aggressive in run support, but he needs to tackle better. Needs to improve his toughness, focus, and consistency.
Mark Roman, 5-11, 185lbs, 4.50, Louisiana State: Has some experience at safety. Lacks classic size, but he is a good athlete with fine speed and quickness. Fluid and agile. Competitive and instinctive. Needs better technique and polish. Somewhat raw as a corner, but has an upside.
Jason Webster, 5-9, 180lbs, 4.50, Texas A&M: Lacks size, but he is a good athlete who plays with fine instincts, competitiveness, and toughness. Hard worker great team attitude. Solid in coverage. Quick, agile, and speedy. Plays the run fairly well despite his size.
David Macklin, 5-9, 195lbs, 4.55,Penn State: Lacks height and great speed, but he has good bulk and athleticism. Fluid and agile. Tough, physical guy who competes. Has a great attitude. Only OK against the run.
Ben Kelly, 5-9, 185lbs, 4.45, Colorado: Junior entry. Lacks ideal size, but he’s an athlete with good speed and quickness. Solid cover guy who plays an aggressive, physical game despite his size. Makes plays, but gambles a bit too much. Needs greater consistency and focus. Not a good run defender. Good special teams player dangerous return man. Has some off-the-field concerns.
Depth is a big concern at safety with Lyle West and Tre Thomas the principal back-ups. This looks like a very weak area in the draft. My guess is that the Giants will look at some lesser-known prospects later in the draft or rookie free agency who have good size and athleticism – guys like Myron Guyton, Sam Garnes, and Lamar McGriggs.
Deon Grant, 6-2, 210lbs, 4.55, Tennessee: Junior entry. Free safety could even project to corner. Has an excellent combination of size and athleticism. Very good cover safety makes plays on the ball. Instinctive. Quick, fast, and agile. Needs to break down and tackle better.
A’Jani Sanders, 5-10, 195lbs, 4.50, Notre Dame: Lacks ideal size, but he is a player. Plays with an attitude likes to punish opponents. Tough and physical. Has good athleticism for a safety with fine speed. Instinctive. Improving.
Mike Brown, 5-10, 205lbs, 4.55, Nebraska: Strong safety. Lacks height, but he is a smart, tough, instinctive player. Always seems to be around the ball. Lacks athleticism he’s not real fluid, fast, or quick. Aggressive and physical in run support hits and tackles well.
Aric Morris, 5-10, 210lbs, 4.52, Michigan State: Strong safety. Lacks ideal height, but he has good bulk. Strong run support safety physical, aggressive hitter and tackler. Not as strong against the pass lacks agility. Instinctive. Very competitive player.
Rogers Beckett, 6-2, 208lbs, 4.60, Marshall: Free safety. Has good size and decent athleticism. Has long arms. Lacks top speed and agility. Can help out on the deep pass and seems to have a feel for coverage. At times he plays a physical and aggressive game and hits and tackles very well needs to do so on a more consistent basis. Has an upside.
Gary Berry, 5-11, 200lbs, 4.50, Ohio State: Free safety. Lacks ideal size, but he is a good athlete. Fast and quick for a safety. Very inconsistent against the pass and run, but flashes very good ability. Boom-or-bust-type.
Tyrone Carter, 5-8, 190lbs, 4.48, Minnesota: Could project to cornerback. Very short; if he were taller, he’d be a higher pick. Very athletic for a safety fast, quick, and agile. Flashes ability defending the run and the pass. Needs to tackle better and his lack of height hurts him in pass defense. Tough, competitive, aggressive, and physical. Has a great attitude.
And the New York Giants Select…
1st Round – HB Shaun Alexander, Alabama: The feeling here is that Jim Fassel and Ernie Accorsi need an immediate impact from their first rounder or their jobs are in jeopardy. A running back not only fills a need, but is most likely to make a visible impact on the playing field. Ron Dayne certainly could be the choice here as he brings an intriguing size/speed package, but Alexander is the more complete back right now and the most ready to play given his greater experience as a pass blocker and receiver, not to mentioned the more diversified offense that he played in at Alabama. It is not out of the realm of possibility that WR Plaxico Burress or HB Thomas Jones slip and either one would be an enticing selection. Of course the whole Alexander/Dayne scenario could be smoke. In that case, watch out for HB Jamal Lewis (if he gets by the Ravens), LB Julian Peterson, LB Brian Urlacher, TE Daniel Franks, RT Stockar McDougal, LT Chris McIntosh, WR Sylvester Morris, WR Travis Taylor, WR Dez White, DT Chris Hovan, and DE Shaun Ellis.
2nd Round – DT Darwin Walker, Tennessee: If the Giants go running back in round one, it will be a defensive lineman, linebacker, or defensive back in round two. Ideally, we’d like to see a guy like LB Keith Bulluck slip, but it most likely will not happen. Others to watch include linebackers Brandon Short, Raynoch Thompson, Barrett Green, Corey Moore, and Nate Webster; cornerbacks Ike Charlton, Rashard Anderson, and Lewis Sanders; and defensive linemen Cornelius Griffin and Mao Tosi.
3rd Round – LB Nate Webster, Miami: Webster will give the Giants an all-University of Miami linebacking corps. Others to watch out for here include linebackers Matt Beck, Marcus Bell, Mark Simoneau, Marcus Washington; cornerbacks Mario Edwards, Dwayne Goodrich, Hank Poteat, and Mark Roman; and defensive linemen Leonardo Carson, Kendrick Clancy, Jerry Johnson, Erik Flowers, John Frank, and Brian Young.
4th Round – CB David Macklin, Penn State: Just a guess.(grin)