Apr 162003
 
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New York Giants 2003 NFL Draft Preview

Introduction: This will be an interesting draft to watch because the of the dramatic transformation of the Giants’ personnel department that continued after last year’s draft. With little fanfare, General Manager Ernie Accorsi has re-vamped that entire department. It will be Jerry Reese’s first draft as the Giants’ director of player personnel, a position that carries just about as much weight as Accorsi and Head Coach Jim Fassel in the Draft Room. Reese took over for Marv Sunderland after last year’s draft and is considered one of the rising stars in terms of talent evaluation around the league.

It will also be Kevin Abrams first draft as the Giants’ new assistant general manager. Over the course of the past few years, the Giants have quietly transformed their scouting staff. They have added scouts Joe Collins (2002), Steve Devine (2001), Donnie Etheridge (2001), Ryan Jones (2000), and Steve Malin (2001). That’s a lot of turnover. These five scouts join long-timers such Rosie Brown, Jeremiah Davis, and Steve Verderosa. Jerry Shay has remained the Giants’ Director of College Scouting since 1977.

Before I start with my preview of college prospects, please keep a few things in mind: I don’t watch a lot of college football. Between the time spent my real job in international trade, the time spent keeping BigBlueInteractive.com updated, and the time spent with my family and friends, I simply don’t have the time. I catch a game here or there, but not enough to form an accurate overall position of my own. Instead, I rely on my own interpretation of scouting reports prepared by Ourlads, Pro Football Weekly, and DraftInsiders.com. I take the info from these scouting reports and develop my own “draft board” – which is what you see below. This draft board reflects my own subjective biases, and because it relies on information from draft guides, it is in no way a comprehensive listing of the best players available. Instead, it should be considered more of a listing of “Eric’s favorites”. The Giants will draft and sign as rookie free agents a lot of players not listed below. That does not mean they have drafted/signed poorly. Only the test of time will tell that. I like to think that I’ve made some good predictions on who will be good or bad, but I’ve also made some awful mistakes. After the draft, I will provide a more detailed overview of everyone the Giants have drafted and signed as rookie free agents.

Defensive End: In my opinion, the Giants need to come out of this draft with a stud weakside defensive end. This guy will back-up and rotate with Kenny Holmes and eventually replace him as early as next season as the new starter. This player must be a top pass rusher. It wouldn’t hurt to find a developmental prospect for the strongside either. The good news for the Giants is that there are some really good defensive ends in this draft.

  • Terrell Suggs, Arizona State, 6-4, 260lbs, 4.75
  • Michael Haynes, Penn State, 6-4, 280lbs, 4.88
  • Jerome McDougle, Miami, 6-2, 265lbs, 4.70
  • Chris Kelsay, Nebraska, 6-4, 273lbs, 4.73
  • Kenny Peterson, Ohio State, 6-3, 295lbs, 4.80
  • Dewayne White, Louisville, 6-2, 273lbs, 4.73
  • Cory Redding, Texas, 6-4, 280lbs, 4.88
  • Antwan Peek, Cincinnati, 6-3, 247lbs, 4.63
  • Alonzo Jackson, Florida State, 6-4, 265lbs, 4.85
  • Calvin Pace, Wake Forest, 6-4, 270lbs, 4.75
  • Jamaal Green, Miami, 6-2, 270lbs, 4.75
  • Andrew Williams, Miami, 6-2, 262lbs, 4.64

Terrell Suggs is still expected to go high in the first round despite a simply awful personal workout for scouts after the Combine. Strictly a weakside end, he’s an explosive pass rusher who needs to improve his play against the run. A 20-year old junior, he plays with outstanding quickness and plays faster than he times. Michael Haynes combines fine size and athleticism. Can play both left and right end. Very quick, but he needs to get stronger. Good pass rusher who picked up 15 sacks last season. Jerome McDougle lacks ideal height, but he is a quality weakside pass rushing end. Very athletic and quick. Plays with good leverage. Not bad against the run. Chris Kelsay was a team captain for Nebraska. Tough and intense. Combines good size and athleticism. Not a top outside rusher, but he has a good combination of speed, quickness, and power. Kenny Peterson has experience at both end and tackle. Has excellent size and is a fine athlete. Quick, intense, and strong. Flashes big-time talent, but a bit inconsistent. More of a power pass rusher, but his explosive initial quickness gives opposing linemen problems. Dewayne White is a junior who accrued 10.5 sacks last year despite playing with a high ankle sprain. Lacks ideal height, but his a very good athlete with excellent quickness and fine strength. Better pass rusher than run defender…needs to play with better leverage and overall technique. Needs to work harder, but has very good potential as he has just scratched the surface of his potential. Cory Redding is a very tough and intense player. Played on the strongside in college. Quick and strong. Lacks ideal speed and athleticism – not a top edge rusher. Antwan Peek lacks size and some teams see him as a prospect at linebacker. Hardworking, tough, and competitive. Very good athlete who can rush the passer due to his natural quickness and explosiveness. Strictly a weakside end who would have to start off as a situational pass rusher. Alonzo Jackson is an improving edge pass rusher who needs to get a lot stronger and play the run better. His combination of athleticism, quickness, and long arms aids on the pass rush. Calvin Pace has a nice combination of size, quickness, and power. Has long arms and plays with leverage. Not really an edge rusher, but he is a decent pass rusher who fights hard and works well to the inside. Has a burst. Physical and a decent run defender. Team leader. Jamal Green and Andrew Williams platooned at right defensive end for Miami. These are two guys to look at in latter rounds as they have that University of Miami swagger. Both lack ideal height. Green is a good edge rusher with fine initial quickness. Athletic and has long arms – the latter helping to compensate for his lack of height. Needs to improve his run defense. Williams is agile and athletic. Plays with good leverage. Makes plays, but somewhat inconsistent. Has an upside as a pass rusher.

Defensive Tackle: This is also a good year for defensive tackles. That’s good because the Giants need one, perhaps two. I suspect that the Giants will draft an end and a tackle in the first three rounds. Again, a premium will be placed on those who can rush the passer…but the ability to defend the run is also important for a tackle.

  • Jimmy Kennedy, Penn State, 6-4, 320lbs, 5.10
  • Dewayne Robertson, Kentucky, 6-2, 315lbs, 5.10
  • Kevin Williams, Oklahoma State, 6-5, 305lbs, 4.82
  • William Joseph, Miami, 6-5, 308lbs, 5.02
  • Ty Warren, Texas A&M, 6-5, 305lbs, 5.15
  • Johnathan Sullivan, Georgia, 6-3, 313lbs, 5.03
  • Rien Long, Washington State, 6-6, 300lbs, 5.05
  • Nick Eason, Clemson, 6-3, 300lbs, 5.11
  • Jarret Johnson, Alabama, 6-3, 285lbs, 5.06

Forget Jimmy Kennedy and Dewayne Robertson – they will be long gone by the time the Giants pick, even if the Giants trade up. Kevin Williams is tall with long arms. Athletic with good quickness and speed for a tackle. Penetrates and make plays. Needs to play with better leverage and improve his strength, but he is a solid run defender. Good pass rusher with a fine combination of quickness and power. Williams Joseph combines good size and athleticism. Quick, powerful, and instinctive. Has long arms. Can dominate, but needs to play with greater consistency and effort. Ty Warren played a 3-4 end in college, but projects to a 4-3 tackle. Has good height and long arms. Athletic, quick, and powerful. A bit inconsistent, but flashes big-time potential. Good run defender, improving pass rusher. Johnathan Sullivan is another player who combines good size with athleticism. A junior. Strong, quick, and instinctive. Plays hard and flashes big-time ability. Good run defender and improving pass rusher. Rien Long is a tall, athletic tackle with very good quickness. Tough and competitive. Needs to add strength and bulk. Plays too tall at times. Needs to play with better leverage, shed better, and develop more moves. Flashes as a pass rusher with a fine power/quickness combination. Nick Eason has a decent combination of size and athleticism. Strong and competitive. Above average run defender and pass rusher who needs to play with better leverage, shed better, and keep driving when his first move doesn’t work. Jarret Johnson lacks size, but he is a quick, athletic tackle who is tough, competitive, and instinctive. Plays hard. Can be disruptive with his ability to penetrate quickly, but he can also get mauled at times due to his lack of size. Needs to add strength. Above average pass rusher with some moves and a decent closing burst.

Outside Linebacker: Unless the Giants have a chance to draft someone clearly better than what they have, I don’t see them drafting a linebacker high. In the Giants’ 4-3 system, the linebackers don’t blitz much so more of a premium is placed on run defense and the ability to cover the pass. Accorsi wants guys who can run. This isn’t a very good year for outside linebackers.

  • Boss Bailey, Georgia, 6-3, 233lbs, 4.48
  • Eddie Moore, Tennessee, 6-0, 236lbs, 4.61
  • Nick Barnett, Oregon State, 6-2, 235lbs, 4.66
  • Angelo Crowell, Virginia, 6-0, 235lbs, 4.72

Boss Bailey is a super-athlete with a somewhat worrisome injury background…has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in both knees. Weakside prospect. Very fast and quick…makes plays sideline-to-sideline because of his great range. Stands out in pass coverage and is a good blitzer. Not as strong against the run where he needs to shed blocks better and tackle in a more consistent manner. Needs to get stronger, but has a big upside if can become more aggressive against the run. Eddie Moore lacks size, but he’s a very good athlete who can run. Played on the strongside in college, but probably projects to the weakside in the pros given his stature. Quick, active linebacker who makes plays against the run and the pass. Instinctive and competitive. Excellent special teams player. Nick Barnett is a former safety who was moved to linebacker. Strictly a weakside prospect. Lacks ideal size, but he is strong, athletic player who excels in pass coverage. Quick and fast. Hardworking, tough, and intense. Needs to improve his play against the run…needs to shed better. Good blitzer and special teams player. Angelo Crowell played inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense but projects outside in a 4-3 defense. Lacks ideal size and speed, but Crowell plays bigger and faster than his measurables. He is a tough, competitive, instinctive, hardworking player. Good athlete with fine quickness. Makes plays against both the run and the pass. Good blitzer. Needs to improve in pass coverage.

Middle Linebacker: There are three middle linebackers who really interest me. The Giants could draft someone to eventually compete with Nick Greisen for Mike Barrow’s spot in a year or two, but the odds are their defensive line needs will supercede any interest here unless someone slips.

  • E.J. Henderson, Maryland, 6-1, 245lbs, 4.85
  • Terry Pierce, Kansas State, 6-2, 251lbs, 4.79
  • Gerald Hayes, Pittsburgh, 6-1, 236lbs, 4.75

E.J. Henderson lacks ideal speed, but he is a big, tough, aggressive, physical, instinctive linebacker who makes plays. An athlete who plays faster than he times. Relentless, powerful, and strong. Can stuff the run and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Good hitter and tackler. Decent in coverage and can blitz. Terry Pierce is another big, strong linebacker who lacks ideal speed. Physical and instinctive. Stuffs the inside running game with authority. Good hitter and tackler. Can blitz, but needs work in coverage. Gerald Hayes lacks ideal size, but he is a hardworking, tough, physical, intense, instinctive player who can run and hit. A defensive leader. Strong for his size and agile. Needs to disengage better in a more consistent fashion – better chasing and working through traffic than taking on big blocks (similar to Mike Barrow). Can blitz, but needs to improve in coverage. Good special teams player.

Cornerback: Depending on how sound the Giants feel about Kato Serwanga, Ralph Brown, and Ray Green, the Giants could take a corner fairly high or wait. It will be interesting to see what they do.

  • Terence Newman, Kansas State, 5-11, 185lbs, 4.38
  • Marcus Trufant, Washington State, 5-11, 195lbs, 4.41
  • Julian Battle, Tennessee, 6-2, 205lbs, 4.52
  • Eugene Wilson, Illinois, 5-11, 191lbs, 4.44
  • Andre Woolfolk, Oklahoma, 6-2, 196lbs, 4.45
  • Kevin Garrett, SMU, 5-10, 194lbs, 4.30
  • Sammy Davis, Texas A&M, 6-0, 185lbs, 4.45
  • DeJuan Groce, Nebraska, 5-10, 192lbs, 4.51

Terence Newman and Marcus Trufant will be long gone by the time the Giants pick. Julian Battle is a tall corner who also has experience at safety. Athletic with quick feet and decent speed. Fluid. Matches up well with big receivers. Does well in man and zone coverage. Needs to tackle better and work harder off the field. Eugene Wilson combines decent size with very good athleticism. Competitive and physical. Good man-to-man coverage corner. Makes plays on the ball. Good tackler, but needs to work harder off the field. Andre Woolfolk is a raw corner who needs a lot of technique work, but he has a ton of tools to work with. Combines excellent size with superb athleticism. Quick and agile. Somewhat inconsistent in coverage, but flashes great ability. Needs to add strength and become more aggressive in run defense. Kevin Garrett lacks ideal height, but he is a very fast, athletic corner with excellent quickness. Smart and confident. Flashes excellent ability in coverage but needs to work on his technique and a better feel for pass defense. Better in man coverage than zone. Needs to get stronger and become a more physical run defender. Sammy Davis is a good athlete. Has good strength for his size. Smart and instinctive. Makes plays on the ball. Solid, but not special in coverage. Better in zone coverage than man-to-man. Good tackler but could be more physical in run defense. DeJuan Groce lacks ideal size and speed, but he is a fluid athlete who makes plays. Quick and agile. Physical in press coverage and reacts well in zone coverage. Decent in run support. His lack of great speed is his biggest negative.

Safety: Ideally the Giants want to find a free safety to groom behind Omar Stoutmire. Giants could use another body to compete at back-up strong safety, but it is more likely the Giants will use a late round pick for such a purpose. My focus here will be on the free safeties.

  • Bryan Scott, Penn State, 6-1, 219lbs, 4.58
  • Colin Branch, Stanford, 6-0, 203lbs, 4.40
  • Todd Johnson, Florida, 6-1, 205lbs, 4.58
  • Derek Pagel, Iowa, 6-1, 208lbs, 4.52

Bryan Scott played corner in college but projects to safety in the pros. Has good size and good athleticism for a safety. Hardworking, smart, competitive, tough, and physical. Lacks great closing speed, but shows good reactions in zone coverage and can play some press coverage. Colin Branch lacks ideal size, but he is an athletic player with very good speed. Has good strength for his size. A little stiff, but he is quick and fluid for a safety. Can play man-to-man. Smart. Needs to become a more physical and consistent tackler. Todd Johnson combines decent size with athleticism. Smart and instinctive. Lacks ideal speed, but has decent range. Better in zone coverage than man. Needs to improve his consistency in run support. Good special teams player. Derek Pagel has decent size and is an instinctive, hardworking, smart player. Strong. Much better in zone coverage than man. Decent athlete, but a bit stiff in coverage. Decent run defender and good special teams player.

Offensive Tackle: With Luke Petitgout entrenched at left tackle and now being paid left tackle money, don’t look for the Giants to draft a left tackle high…especially with Jeff Hatch supposedly recovering well. The focus will be on finding more competition at right tackle. Because of this, I won’t list the prominent left tackles below. Keep in mind that the Giants have shown a tendency the last couple of years to rely on little-known offensive line prospects. Sometimes this has worked out (i.e., Chris Bober, Rich Seubert, Jason Whittle) and other times it has not (Ryan Deterding, Terence Wagner). The jury is still out on others (Omar Smith, Sean O’Connor, Vincent Sandoval, Pat Crummey). Offensive Line Coach Jim McNally likes smart players with good athleticism. It will be interesting to see how much of a tradeoff between power and athleticism the Giants are willing to make in their next right tackle.

  • Kwame Harris, Stanford, 6-7, 310lbs, 5.20
  • George Foster, Georgia, 6-6, 336lbs, 5.26
  • Derrick Dockery, Texas, 6-6, 346lbs, 5.50
  • Tony Pashos, Illinois, 6-6, 338lbs, 5.23
  • Will Ofenheusle, Tennessee, 6-7, 309lbs, 5.36

If the Giants draft an offensive linemen in the first round, it is likely to be Kwame Harris. He’s a tall, athletic tackle with the frame to add a lot more weight. A junior, only 20 years old with a big upside. Played right tackle at Stanford, but has the tools to play on the left side as well. Has long arms and plays with leverage. Mobile and agile. Can pull and block at the second level. Needs to add strength and bulk and become a more physical run blocker. Very good pass blocker. Smart. George Foster is a huge, athletic tackle who was hampered last season with a big cast due to a dislocated right wrist suffered in a car accident. Raw, but has a big upside. Needs a lot of technique work. Has long arms and quick feet which add him in pass protection. May be able to play left tackle due to his athleticism. Creates movement as a run blocker…powerful. Can pull and block on the second level. Needs to become a more dedicated worker and play harder all of the time. Derrick Dockery is a huge right tackle who protected Chris Simms’ blindside in college. Huge and strong…can maul people in the running game. Needs to become more consistently explosive and sustain his run blocks better. Not that mobile, but he can get out and block people at the second level. Stout pass protector…can’t be bull-rushed. Needs to use his hands better in pass protection. Tony Pashos is a huge right tackle who lacks ideal athleticism. Good run blocker who can create movement. Sustains well. Competitive and plays with a nasty attitude. Can block on the second level, but he is not agile when pulling. On the stiff side. Can handle the bull rush, but outside speed sometimes cause him problems in pass protection. Will Ofenheusle is another big right tackle who lacks ideal athleticism. Hardworking, smart, and a leader. Can create movement in the running game and plays with some nastiness. Works to sustain his blocks. Not real good at blocking on the second level or pulling. Has long arms which add him in pass protection, but he lacks quick feet. Can handle the bull rush, but outside speed can cause him some problems.

Offensive Guard: Rich Seubert is set on the left side of the line, but there are questions at right guard where the likes of Tam Hopkins and Barrett Brooks will compete for the starting job with Jason Whittle now in Tampa Bay.

  • Eric Steinbach, Iowa, 6-6, 296lbs, 4.94
  • Torrin Tucker, Southern Mississippi, 6-6, 328lbs, 5.35
  • Taylor Whitley, Texas A&M, 6-4, 320lbs, 5.20
  • Montrae Holland, Florida State, 6-2, 332lbs, 5.26
  • Scott Tercero, California, 6-4, 302lbs, 5.23
  • Marico Portis, Alabama, 6-2, 315lbs, 5.36

Eric Steinbach is considered the clear cut best guard in the draft…could possibly be a factor at right tackle. Lacks long arms and that’s why he may be best suited inside. Tall player with excellent athleticism for his size. Not a blaster as a run blocker, but he does a good job of getting into his man quickly and sealing him off. Works to sustain. Mobile player who is a very good blocker at the second level, when pulling, and on screens. Good pass protector. Needs to get stronger. Torrin Tucker is a huge guard with decent athleticism for his size. Tough and physical player who gets movement in his run blocks. Has some nastiness in his game. Can pull and get out on the second level. Has long arms and anchors well in pass protection, but can sometimes have problems with lateral quickness. Somewhat inconsistent, but has a big upside. Taylor Whitley is a big, strong guard with decent athleticism. Smart. Not an explosive blocker at the point-of-attack, but he works hard to create movement. A little stiff, but he can block at the second level and pull. Solid pass blocker, has some trouble with quickness. Montrae Holland’s lack of height is a big disconcerting, but he is a good football player. Short, but bulky, power player with good athleticism. Very good run blocker at the point-of-attack. Can pull and block at the second level. Decent pass blocker who sometimes has problems with lateral quickness. Needs to improve his technique and work better to sustain his blocks. Scott Tercero has good height and the frame to carry a lot more weight. Good athlete who plays with leverage. Smart and plays hard. Needs to add strength and bulk. Doesn’t get a lot of movement at the point-of-attack and can be bull rushed. Good blocking at the second level and when pulling. Can handle quickness in pass protection. Promising prospect if he can add strength. Marico Portis is another short guard who has good bulk and strength. Hardworking, intense, and has a little nastiness in him. Good run blocker at the point-of-attack. Good athlete who can block at the second level and pull. Needs work in pass protection, but he has good feet.

Center: It looks like the Giants want Chris Bober to be their long-term pivot man, but what if Bober gets hurt? Jason Whittle was the back-up center last season and now he’s gone. Dusty Zeigler is expected to be cut. The Giants need more competition for Omar Smith just in case he doesn’t work out. There are a few interesting centers and then, as usual, a bunch of blue collar, lunch pail-types who lack ideal size, power, and athleticism. These kind of guys you can usually draft late or sign as rookie free agents. Also, keep in mind that the Giants have a history of converting guards to center. Don’t expect the Giants to use a premium pick for a back-up player. That’s why I don’t see them drafting top prospects such as Jeff Faine of Notre Dame, Al Johnson of Wisconsin, Vince Manuwai of Hawaii (guard projected to center), or Bruce Nelson of Iowa. Of course, one of these players could slip, and if the Giants do draft one of these prospects, I’ll give you the scoop in my draft review. I think it is more likely we’ll see one of those guard conversions or a guy like Brett Romberg of Miami drafted late. He’s one of those scrappy, blue collar-types who has problems with big tackles right over his head and doesn’t get much movement in his run blocks, but works out well otherwise. There are a few guys like that in this draft such as Dan Koppen of Boston College, Wayne Lucier of Colorado, and Austin King of Northwestern.

Tight End: The need here is to find a solid blocking tight end who will replace Dan Campbell on the roster. Thus, I won’t focus much on the receiving-types unless they can block too.

  • Jason Witten, Tennessee, 6-6, 265lbs, 4.72
  • Bennie Joppru, Michigan, 6-4, 271lbs, 4.82
  • Robert Johnson, Auburn, 6-6, 276lbs, 4.91
  • Mike Seidman, UCLA, 6-5, 263lbs, 4.86
  • Aaron Golliday, Nebraska, 6-4, 286lbs, 5.05
  • James Hugo, Arizona, 6-5, 265lbs, 4.90

Jason Witten is a solid, but unspectacular two-way tight end who can catch and block. Junior who is only 20 years old. Strong and athletic. Not real fast, but he has good hands and is a good receiver for a big tight end. Good blocker who can create movement. A little stiff in space and needs to sustain his blocks better. Bennie Joppru is a big tight end who lacks speed, but he’s a good athlete and receiver for his size. Fluid. Has excellent hands. Decent, but not great blocker. Needs to get stronger in order to create more movement. Blocks well in space. Smart, but needs to play a more physical game as an in-line blocker. Robert Johnson is a big tight end who has the size and long arms to develop into a good blocker. Junior. Needs to get stronger in order to become a more effective in-line blocker. Needs a lot of technique work. Decent underneath receiver for his size. Uses his size and can catch. Flashes some run-after-the-catch ability. Mike Seidman is a solid, but unspectacular two-way tight end. Tough, competitive, and hardworking. Better blocking in space than in-line…more of a position blocker who blocks well at the second level. Not an overly athletic player. Can adjust to the ball and catch, but lacks quickness and speed. Can run after the catch. Aaron Golliday and James Hugo are both latter round blocking tight ends who aren’t real threats as receivers. Golliday was rarely used as a receiver at Nebraska. He’s a big, blocking tight end that resembles an offensive lineman. Can handle a defensive end and get out on a linebacker. Decent athlete for his size with some potential as a receiver. However, he is slow and very raw as a receiver. Hugo is a very good in-line blocker who can also get out on linebackers. Works hard to sustain his blocks and can handle some defensive ends. Lacks speed and has so-so hands for the passing attack.

Wide Receiver: It’s pretty apparent that if the Giants do go after a wide receiver, they are principally interested in speed guys. The Giants are pretty set at this position with Amani Toomer, Ike Hilliard, Ron Dixon, and Tim Carter. However, they could always add another flier.

  • Andre Johnson, Miami, 6-2, 230lbs, 4.35
  • Charles Rogers, Michigan State, 6-3, 202lbs, 4.40
  • Kelley Washington, Tennessee, 6-3, 223lbs, 4.45
  • Taylor Jacobs, Florida, 6-0, 205lbs, 4.42
  • Kevin Curtis, Utah State, 5-11, 187lbs, 4.44
  • Shaun McDonald, Arizona State, 5-9, 170lbs, 4.45

Andre Johnson and Charles Rogers will be long gone by the time the Giants pick. Kelley Washington has great tools to work with – he’s big, fast, and quick. However, he suffered a serious neck injury last season that needs to be checked out. Has been somewhat injury-prone. Junior. Raw around the edges, he needs a lot of technique work as a route runner. Can beat press coverage and his size and speed combination presents a lot of problems for defensive backs. Gets deep and will run over the middle. Has a huge upside if he checks out medically. Taylor Jacobs combines decent size with good speed and quickness. Smart and competitive. Can get deep. Runs good routes. Adjusts well to the ball and has good hands. Runs well after the catch. Kevin Curtis lacks ideal size, but he is an athletic player with good speed and quickness. Intelligent. Quick off the line and runs good routes. Gets open, adjusts well to the ball, and can catch. Can get deep and will go over the middle. Has some problems with press coverage. Shaun McDonald is a very small receiver, but he is an athlete who makes plays both as a receiver and special teams player. Tough for his size and a leader. Very quick and agile. Has a deep burst. Runs good routes and has good hands. Runs well after the catch. Size limits him against press coverage and as a blocker. Excellent returner.

Fullbacks: Veteran free agent Jim Finn will compete with Charles Stackhouse. I could see the Giants adding one more player to the competition with a latter draft pick or rookie free agent signing. The Giants will only look at fullbacks who can block and catch. Running the football is not important in their system.

  • Ovie Mughelli, Wake Forest, 6-1, 255lbs, 4.75
  • Casey Moore, Stanford, 6-2, 240lbs, 4.64
  • J.P. Comella, Boston College, 6-0, 240lbs, 4.92

Ovie Mughelli is big, physical fullback who is a good lead blocker. Can adjust and creates movement in his blocks. Does well picking up the blitz too. So-so hands as a receiver.
Casey Moore is a good blocker, but he needs to be more consistent. Gets into position, but he needs to sustain better. Picks up the blitz well. Smart and unselfish. Good receiver and a decent runner. Tough to bring down. J.P. Comella is the younger brother of former Giant Greg Comella. Decent blocker and receiver. Less athletic than Greg, but probably a more physical blocker.

Halfback: Pretty much depends on what they want to do with Dayne. At most, the Giants can carry four halfbacks. Tiki Barber, Dorsey Levens, and Brian Mitchell are locks. Does Dayne get traded (not much of a market) or released? Or do the Giants keep him as cheap insurance in case Barber gets hurt? It’s not a great draft for running backs so it’s pretty sad if they can find no takers for Dayne.

  • Willis McGahee, Miami, 6-1, 223lbs, 4.45
  • Lee Suggs, Virginia Tech, 6-0, 202lbs, 4.51
  • Justin Fargas, USC, 6-1, 219lbs, 4.38
  • Musa Smith, Georgia, 6-1, 232lbs, 4.55
  • Artose Pinner, Kentucky, 5-10, 229lbs, 4.60
  • Quentin Griffin, Oklahoma, 5-7, 195lbs, 4.45

Willis McGahee is a gamble-on-greatness type-of-pick. 3rd year sophomore. He was a sure-fire very high number one pick before tearing multiple ligaments in his left knee in January during the Championship Game. Before his injury, he was a big-time back who could beat you with speed or power. Instinctive with good vision and patience. Good moves. Hardworking. Good receiver, but needs to improve his blitz pick-ups. Said to be recovering well from the injury, but the big questions are (1) can he or should he contribute in 2003? and (2) will he be close to the same back after the knee injury? If he somehow lasted until the Giants’ second round pick, it would be tough to pass on him. Lee Suggs is another player with a serious knee injury in his background. Tore his left anterior ligament and medial meniscus during the 2001 season. Came back to play last season and was very effective, rushing for 1,255 yards on 238 carries and scoring 20 touchdowns. Hardworking athlete with fine speed and quickness. Instintive and has good vision and patience. Runs with good pad level. Good short-yardage and goalline runner. Aggressive. Breaks tackles. Better inside runner than outside guy. Has good hands, but was used little in the passing game in college so he needs a lot of work there. Justin Fargas is yet another back with some injury concerns (broke his right leg in 1998 and required four subsequent surgeries because of it). Superb combination of size and athleticism. Great speed for a halfback and quick. Strong, but not an overly tough runner. Has good vision and moves. Can get outside. Runs hard, but he isn’t overly powerful. Decent receiver but needs to improve as a blocker. Musa Smith is a big back who does most of his damage between the tackles. Physical runner who breaks tackles. Not real elusive, but he is a patient runner with good vision. Good goalline and short-yardage back. Has good hands, but needs work as a blocker. Artose Pinner is a big, strong between-the-tackles back who runs with very good power. Breaks tackles. Has good vision. Not elusive and isn’t really a threat running outside as he is not overly fast. OK receiver who needs to improve his blocking. Needs to become a harder worker. Quentin Griffin lacks ideal size, but he is a very quick running back with excellent instincts, vision, and elusiveness. Has explosiveness. Thickly built for his height – has a low center of gravity which helps him as a runner. Can and will run hard between the tackles. Has a knack for scoring on the goalline, but he isn’t a powerful runner and won’t break a lot of tackles. Not as field fast as he times, but he is a good outside runner. Hardworking. Decent receiver and blocker.

Quarterback: With it pretty much written in stone that Kerry Collins, Jesse Palmer, and Jason Garrett will be the three quarterbacks on the roster in 2003, I simply can’t see the Giants drafting a quarterback. The only interesting ones will go high this year and the Giants simply aren’t going to draft a quarterback with their first or second round pick. Wait until next year for the quarterback to be selected.

Kickers: The Giants already have their punter (Jeff Feagels) and placekicker (Mike Hollis), but they may want to bring in a better kick-off man than Matt Bryant and Owen Pochman. Todd Sievers of Miami is a possibility as he has a very strong leg. Aspen Asparuhov of Fresno State is another kicker with good leg strength.


And the New York Giants Select…

1st Round – DT William Joseph, Miami: My gut tells me this pick will be a defensive tackle. The problem I have is picking which one. If it is Joseph, Accorsi will probably have to trade up to select him and the Giants may have to give up their 3rd round draft pick to do so. The other obvious choices are DT Kevin Williams (Oklahoma State), DT Johnathan Sullivan (Georgia), and DT Ty Warren (Texas A&M). Some teams love DT Rien Long (Washington State), some don’t. If the Giants draft a defensive end, look for a trade up for Michael Haynes (Penn State) or Jerome McDougle (Miami). The Giants could sit tight and look at Chris Kelsay (Nebraska), Kenny Peterson (Ohio State), or even Dewayne White (Louisville). All would help. My surprise pick? MLB E.J. Henderson…great football player.

2nd Round – DE Antwan Peek, Cincinnati: Got the tackle in round one, need the pass-rushing end in round two. If Peek were bigger, he’d be a sure-fire #1 pick. Undersized pass rusher who is a lot like Rosevelt Colvin. Might trade up here for Peek too using a 5th rounder and a 6th or 7th rounder.

3rd Round – None: Traded away in trade up for the defensive tackle.

4th Round – OG Torrin Tucker, Southern Mississippi: Just have a feeling that the offensive line will be addressed next, though the Giants could also look at corner or tight end here.

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Eric Kennedy

Founder and owner of BigBlueInteractive.com, which is now entering its 20th season. Follow Eric on Twitter @BigBlueInteract.

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