Jun 062016
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Victor Cruz, New York Giants (June 6, 2016)

Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Giants held their seventh voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Monday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The three remaining OTA practices will be held this week on June 7 and June 9-10. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 14-16.

As previously reported, safety Cooper Taylor had surgery in May repair a sports hernia injury and will be out until training camp begins on July 28. Continuing to work on the side were wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) and running back Orleans Darkwa (leg).

Not in attendance at the voluntary practice were wide receiver Dwayne Harris, defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive end Kerry Wynn, and defensive tackle Damon Harrison.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Wide receiver Sterling Shepard received first-team reps in the slot. Odell Beckham, Jr. and Geremy Davis started at wide receiver outside. Shepard made an impressive finger-tip catch.
  • Wide receiver Myles White caught a deep pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib.
  • Tight end Matt LaCosse continues to receive some first-team reps.
  • Owamagbe Odighizuwa received first-team reps at defensive end.
  • First-team secondary included cornerback Eli Apple and free safety Darian Thompson. Thompson intercepted a quarterback Eli Manning slant pass off of the finger tips of Beckham.
  • Cornerback Trevin Wade continues to see first-team reps as the slot corner.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon intercepted a tipped pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib and returned the pick for a touchdown.
  • Safety Nat Berhe broke up a pass.

The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:


Jun 012016
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Darian Thompson, New York Giants (May 6, 2016)

Darian Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Giants held their fourth voluntary organized team activity (OTA) practice on Wednesday. No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The six remaining OTA practices will be held June 2-3, June 6-7, and June 9-10. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 14-16.

The New York Giants have signed safety Darian Thompson, their 3rd round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Linebacker B.J. Goodson – the team’s 4th round pick – remains the only unsigned draft pick.

As previously reported, safety Cooper Taylor had surgery in May repair a sports hernia injury and will be out until training camp begins on July 28.

Continuing to work on the side were wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) and running back Orleans Darkwa (leg). Defensive tackle Montori Hughes (unknown) did not practice.

“(Cruz is) progressing, but he’s still in a holding pattern,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We’re looking forward to getting him back to training camp.”

“(Darkwa is) working through it,” said McAdoo. “He’s making progress. He’s not back yet, but hopefully we have a chance to see him at training camp.”

Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul did not attend the voluntary practice on Wednesday.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team wide receivers were Geremy Davis and Myles White. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard also worked some with the first-team offense.
  • The starting offensive line remains Ereck Flowers at left tackle, Justin Pugh at left guard, Weston Richburg at center, John Jerry at right guard, and Marshall Newhouse at right tackle.
  • Adam Gettis was the center and Bobby Hart the right tackle with the second unit.
  • Center Shane McDermott received first-team reps at right tackle, right guard, center, left guard, and left tackle during walk-through team drills.
  • Tight end Matt LaCosse saw some first-team reps and made some plays.
  • The first-team defensive ends were Owamagbe Odighizuwa (left) and Olivier Vernon (right).
  • The starting linebackers were Jasper Brinkley (middle), Jonathan Casillas, and Devon Kennard.
  • Cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie all worked with the first-team defense. Trevin Wade received reps as slot corner with the first team.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon made a couple of nice plays in team drills.
  • Landon Collins, Darian Thompson, and Nat Berhe saw time with the first unit at safety.
  • Linebacker B.J. Goodson made a juggling, diving interception.

Sterling Shepard makes plenty of plays | Giants OTA observations by Jordan Raanan for NJ.com

The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

Meet Giants’ Sterling Shepard: Self scouting report, NY wonder, unflinching mom by Steve Serby of The New York Post


May 232016
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (May 6, 2016)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Phase Three (Weeks 6-9) of the New York Giants voluntary nine-week offseason program started on Monday. During Phase Three of offseason programs, NFL teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activities, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The OTA practices will be held May 23-24, May 26, June 1-3, June 6-7, and June 9-10. The Giants will hold a mandatory, full-team mini-camp on June 14-16.

Safety Cooper Taylor had surgery last week to repair a sports hernia injury and will be out until training camp begins on July 28.

Working on the side were wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf), running back Orleans Darkwa (leg), offensive tackle Byron Stingily (unknown), and defensive end Romeo Okwara (unknown).

“Right now, we’re looking for (Cruz) to get back here and he’s working to get back to training camp,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “Small steps.”

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was a no-show for the voluntary OTA. “DRC wasn’t able to make it today,” said McAdoo. “We look forward to getting him back here as soon as we can…It’s a voluntary opportunity, OTA’s. If he’s here, we’ll coach him. If he’s not, we wish him nothing but the best…We want all of our guys here. We feel it’s important to developing the team and building fundamentals and working on communication and we can’t wait to get DRC back.”

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The first-team safeties were Landon Collins and Nat Berhe. The second-team safeties were Bennett Jackson and Darian Thompson.
  • The first-team wide receivers were Odell Beckham, Jr. and Geremy Davis outside, with Dwayne Harris playing in the slot.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple received time with the first unit and did a nice job against receivers such as Geremy Davis and Dwayne Harris. He worked both outside and in the slot.
  • Offensive lineman Bobby Hart appeared to work exclusively at right tackle, even receiving some first-team reps.
  • Nikita Whitlock lined up at fullback with second team in drills. Will Johnson appeared to work with the second team at H-Back.
  • Adam Gettis was working with the second-team offensive line at center.
  • Brad Bars appears to have been shifted from defensive end to linebacker.
  • Cornerback Janoris Jenkins had a nice pass breakup of a deep pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Wide receiver Geremy Davis made a diving catch of a deep ball from quarterback Eli Manning.
  • Wide receiver Roger Lewis beat cornerback Tramain Jacobs on a deep pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib.

The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:


May 102016
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New York Giants 2016 NFL Draft Review

Draft Pick Scouting Reports
Rookie Free Agent Scouting Reports
Eric’s Take on the 2016 Draft

Round Pick in Round Overall Selection Player Selected Video
1 10 10 CB Eli Apple (Video)
2 9 40 WR Sterling Shepard (Video)
3 8 71 S Darian Thompson (Video)
4 11 109 LB B.J. Goodson (Video)
5 10 149 RB Paul Perkins (Video)
6 9 184 TE Jerell Adams (Video)

2016 Draft Pick Scouting Reports

1st Round – CB Eli Apple, 6’1”, 199lbs, 4.40, Ohio State University
Eli Apple, New York Giants (April 28, 2016)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SCOUTING REPORT: Third-year sophomore who turns 21 in August. Apple started 27-of-28 games for the Buckeyes. Apple combines good size with excellent overall athletic ability, speed, and quickness. He has the physical tools and plays a physical game. He demonstrates very good aggressive man coverage skills and makes plays on the football (22 pass defenses the past two seasons). However, Apple needs to improve his overall coverage technique and reading routes. Apple makes a lot contact with receivers in coverage, drawing flags. He has a big upside.


Reese: Eli Apple, cornerback, Ohio State. A really good, young player. Height, weight, speed. Big school. Only 20 years old. Has all the tools. He holds all the tools to be a starter. He was the highest graded player on our board, beyond the guys with issues.

Q: Were you concerned going in that the Titans and Bears might do what they did?

A: You never know what people are going to do during the draft. We knew there were going to be nine picks in front of us. People say they knew or thought something was going to happen in front of us, you don’t know that, nobody knows until the name is turned in. We’re very happy to have this player, this is a good player. He’s a terrific young player, and it’s a need pick. It’s a value pick where we had him ranked, and it’s absolutely a need pick. Look out there and see our corner depth, you guys can see that.

Q: You mentioned big school…does that upgrade a prospect?

A: You like to get kids who’ve played in big time programs. It’s not the end all, but kids that come from big programs are usually more ready to jump in and play at this level.

Q: Can he play in the slot? Is that something you envision?

A: I think he can play all over. He is big, he’s over six foot. He’s a 200 pounder, ran 4.4. He can play somewhere back there for us.

Q: Do you envision him starting immediately?

A: Everybody has to come in and earn their spot for the New York Giants, but we think he has starter caliber tools.

Q: Do you look at him as only a cornerback or do you think he’s a guy who can play safety?

A: No, he’s a corner.

Q: Because Vernon Hargreaves plays the same position and went one pick later, can you explain to us from a scouting perspective the difference in the two players?

A: We thought (Eli) was a better player, that’s all you need to know. We thought he was a better player. We had him ranked higher, we thought he was a better player. We think Hargreaves is a good player, we thought this guy was a better player.

Q: Prospect-wise, how would this guy compare with Prince Amukamara when Prince came out?

A: Yeah, that’s been so long ago…I’ve looked at hundreds of guys since Prince came out. I don’t know if it’s fair to try to couple him with Prince. We just know that he’s a terrific young player with a huge upside, highest guy on our board, and a need pick. We’re very excited to have him.

Q: No disappointment at all when the Bears jumped ahead of you and took Floyd?

A: No, you don’t get disappointed up here. You just stay with your board and when they come off, they come off. Nobody’s crying in there when somebody gets picked. You know, “Okay, who’s the next best guy available?” We think we got a really good player.

Q: You talked about a need…most of the time there’s only two cornerbacks on the field. Are one of the other two corners possibly a safety—DRC or Jenkins?

A: No. When you have two corners in this league, you’re short one because the offensive teams throw the ball so much and you’ve got to have three quality corners to really get out there and function at a high level, I think. This guy gives us three quality guys that we think we can play with anybody around the league with these three kind of guys.

Q: Eli Apple was talked about recently in the last 24-48 hours and referred to by an anonymous scout questioning his life skills. Is that anything that you guys worried about?

A: You hear everything. It’s all people talk about, the draft, it’s a phenomenon now. Half the stuff people we’re talking about, they don’t know what they’re talking about. There’s stuff spewed all over the place. We listen to our scouts, we do the work. Hey, this guy is a good player, he’s clean. We don’t have any issues with him.

Q: Do you care about his cooking?

A: I don’t care about his cooking.

Q: Can you clear up the perception about whether you could have gotten him further down in the round?

A: You can always say that and you’ll say, “We’ll be cute and we’ll move back,” and the next pick is the guy you want. You can always speculate on about where you could have got him. People might say, “Well, they could have moved back later and got him.” Nobody knows that…nobody knows that.

Q: Eli has some great experience on college football’s biggest stage. He was the MVP of the 2016 Fiesta Bowl, he has a Big Ten championship, he has a college football national championship. How much did that play into your decision?

A: All that’s part of the equation, but what he does on the field, how he played, he’s a big time player, big time program. He’s 20, he’s got a huge upside, he was the highest player on our board, it’s a need pick. We’re very happy to have Eli Apple on the New York Giants football team.


Q: What was it about Eli Apple that stuck out to you guys?

A: We like Eli just because he’s the number one corner on our board. The guy is big. He’s fast. He’s athletic. He’s clean off the field. He’s got tremendous upside. He played at a high level on a quality defense with a lot of other playmakers and guys that were going to be drafted. We just felt this guy would come in, and with the cornerback group we have, fit in right away and give you some versatility. It was a need position. It was value and need and it worked out good for us.

Q: When did Eli first catch your eye?

A: In the fall, when you go to Ohio State, you know you’re coming there for some seniors, but you’re coming for this star-studded class of juniors that they have there that are coming off the board and more to come. You’ve got your eye on them, and then obviously once he declares, then you hit it hard. We’ve got three area guys going to Ohio State. I’ve been there for the Pro Day, Combine, and the whole deal. He’s been vetted thoroughly.

Q: Was there a specific game when you were there that stuck out to you at all?

A: No. Practice was my first exposure to him.

Q: Is Eli a guy that can play in the slot right away or is he an outside guy?

A: No. He can do both. The guy can bend. He’s very flexible. However Spags wants to use those guys, it’s up to him. But I think all three of those guys can give you a little something different. I’m talking about the two starters we have and now Eli. We’ve got some big, athletic, fast guys.

Q: With the way the league is throwing the ball, is it almost a necessity to have three guys who can play corner?

A: For sure. What is it up to, 60% now, that teams are in three wide or more? So your third corner is essentially a starter now and that’s the way you’ve got to look at it. A guy like Eli, with size, is almost more than a third corner. You can use him in different ways.

Q: What do you think when you hear the cooking comment about Eli?

A: It’s ridiculous. You look at players and you scout them for the qualities that are important. Somebody asking about cooking is ridiculous.

Q: You said you’d use him in different ways. Do you see him at the line of scrimmage?

A: Spags was excited. Our corners coach was excited because he’s got a really good feel for the game. I’m sure in different packages we can move those guys around. This guy, although he’s only played two years, has a really good feel. He’s not raw in terms of his football mind. His film study is excellent as far as analyzing the game on the tape. He studies tons of film. He’s got a smart football mind.

Q: He didn’t have a high interception number the past year. Does that bother you at all and how does that factor in?

A: No. Sometimes stats lie. There’s true stats and when you watch the film, there’s production. So stat production and then real production. If you watch this guy, he can lock people down and they don’t even throw his way. Whereas you have some corners where balls just fall on them and they could be standing there and balls fall on them. The guy that set an NCAA record in interceptions last year went undrafted. We think (Eli’s) production was more so shutting people down as opposed to getting interceptions.

Q: How were his ball skills when you saw him at the combine?

A: Really good.

Q: Was he destined to be here as the other Eli?

A: We’ll see. Hopefully he makes a name for himself. He’s got the perfect name for New York and here.

Q: Was that a factor in picking him?

A: Of course. Just like the cooking was and ironing and laundry.

Q: You joke about that, but how much of a concern is it when you draft a kid who is that young?

A: This guy came from a good family, went to college and we’re asking about cooking. We’re talking about practice… Come on. The guy plays football. He shows up to practice. He goes to class. He’s got great parents and we’re talking about cooking? It’s not a factor at all. It’s that he does things that are football related that work out.


McAdoo: Hope you are all doing well tonight. [It is an] exciting time for us.  [We] drafted a young man, Eli Apple, have a chance to bring him home, exciting time, young player, 20 won’t be 21 until, I think, August 9th. [He is a] combative, physical corner who interviewed great. [He] tackled well on tape. We like his size, we like his length, good ball skills — that showed up, which is something that he is working on, and we are excited to get him in here.

Q: What was the experience like for you watching everything happen in the nine picks before you?

A: That was exciting. I mean it is like anything else, you go through the process, trust your board, you see how things come off and you hope you have somebody sitting up there you like when it comes time to pick, and we obviously did and we are excited we have Eli.

Q: It did not look from an outside perspective that things went according to plan. Is this a scenario you planned for?

A: We planned to pick the highest guy on the board and Eli is a guy who is an outstanding young man, high character, good football player, his best days are ahead of him as a player and we are excited to have him.

Q: When you have a young guy, do you give him a little bit of a longer leash when you coach them up because they may not be as developed as a 22 or 23 year old?

A: He is young but he is mature. He showed that in the interview where he could — he did a great job communicating with us about football, about things that weren’t about football, about his personal life. He did a great job when the film was on. He can jump on the board and communicate that way, so he is a mature young man who comes from an outstanding program that has a lot of great players and he shined there.

Q: His interception total went down this year. Were people staying away from him or what?

A: That is a good question. I think he has some things that he needs to work on. I think he shows that he has the ball skills to do it. It is tough when you are playing press man coverage to intercept the ball if you are playing a man not with vision. When you play with vision, it is a lot easier to intercept the ball than it is when you are playing press man. That is where we like him. When he learns to catch the flash of the ball a little bit better, which he will and he showed he improved on, he will have more opportunities for picks, for sure.

Q: Do you see his skills as somebody who can play in the slot?

A: He can play in a variety of roles for us. We will take a look at him everywhere and we are not going to pencil him into any role right now. We are going to get him in here, get a feel for his skill set — he will be in here for two weeks in phase two after this week. We will get him in the rookie minicamp and he will have an opportunity to get out there versus Frank Air in phase two and work on his skills that way, without anyone across from him, and then we will get a chance to look at him there.

Q: Is he similar to DRC in any way?

A: I think they are a little bit different of a player. He may like to press a little bit more but I think he is a — I’m not going to compare him to anybody at this point but I think he is a young, combative, physical guy. He likes to tackle, he can make plays pressuring off the backside edge to the boundary. He is aggressive in the run game and again, it is hard to find guys of that size, that young, that have his skill set.

Q: You mentioned a few times how well he interviewed. The one anonymous scout stated that his life skills weren’t great. Are you telling us that that was not your experience with him?

A: As far as the life skills, I am not sure what you are referring to. I just know from the interview, I thought he did an outstanding job at the interview. He was very well read, he knew football, he got ball and that was important to us, and he seemed like a high character young man and I’m sure he is and we look forward to getting him in here.

Q: Was there any temptation from you to maybe roll the dice based on how crazy those first nine picks were?

A: No, I think you trust your board and we got exactly what we wanted, where we wanted.

Q: What was your interaction with him during the process? Where did you meet him, where did you talk to him and did you send someone to go work him out at Ohio State?

A: Yeah, we have had plenty of opportunities to look at him. We viewed him in a bunch of different situations and at a bunch of different locations and he made a great impression on us.

Q: You personally met with him multiple times?

A: We had a variety of looks at him at a variety of different locations and he made a great impression.


Q: Did you think the Giants at number 10 could be a possibility?

A: Not really, honestly.  They talked to me one time at the combine, but that was about it. It’s kind of crazy to see myself on the screen (at) like number 10 and all that stuff, but I’m excited.

Q: You’re going to have a chance to work with a great coaching staff here in New York. Who have you talked to so far and how confident are you that you can contribute immediately to this team?

A: I’m very confident. I talked to the defensive coordinator and a couple of the other guys as well on the phone. They’re just very excited to have me come, and I am as well.

Q: How does it feel to be part of something that’s absolutely historic right now going on at Ohio State? So many guys being picked in the first round here…

A: It’s the greatest feeling. Those are guys that you battle with, guys that have just been through so much. So to see us succeed right now and go through all this good stuff is a great celebration.

Q: I know it’s 90 minutes or so from where you grew up, but you’re kind of coming home.

A: I know.

Q: Did you think about that at all?

A: Yeah, that was like the first thing I thought about. When I saw them calling me and it was a New Jersey number, it looked kind of familiar. I didn’t know if I had to pick it up. I was like, “Oh my goodness, this is probably one my friends trying to prank call me.” My mom was like, “Yeah, don’t pick it up.” My coach was like, “What you mean? Pick it up.” So I pick it up and it was one of the Giants coaches and I was very happy.

Q: When you picked it up first were you worried it could still be a prank?

A: Yeah, I was just a little guarded like, “Okay, this better be a coach or something.” I didn’t know who it was, but then it was the dude from the Giants, so I was very happy.

Q: Who was it? Do you remember who it was?

A: I believe it was the head coach, McAdoo.

Q: You said you were surprised…did you ever think you’d go this high?

A: I didn’t know where I was going to go, honestly, you hear a lot of things. My sister was telling my all the different stuff, my parents were telling me all this different stuff…you never know. I was just playing it by ear, just expecting everything.

Q: How do you see yourself fitting in right away with this team and this defense? Have you given yourself an opportunity to look over the depth chart, look at the names, see the guys who are here?

A: Yeah, I got it. It’s DRC, it’s going to be Janoris Jenkins. I’m excited to get with those guys and really get to work and try to build a great secondary and be legendary, that’s the goal.

Q: You had a couple of sort of weird controversial things come up in your pre-draft process back at the Combine and then again yesterday. What was it like to go through that and be at the center of those couple of things?

A: It’s all good. That’s the part of the process, I knew it was going to be crazy. I didn’t think it was going to be like this crazy, but now that it’s over, I’m happy. I can’t wait to start playing football and do something I actually love to do, so I’m excited.

Q: What’d you think of the cooking comment when you first saw it?

A: I just laughed at it…it was something very funny. You don’t think too much of it, it’s just something funny, I guess. It’s whatever.

Q: Do you know where that came from? Did you mention that to anybody in an interview or something?

A: No, I never talked about it. I never talked about it. It’s weird.

Q: You’re from Voorhees…were you an Eagles fan?

A: I was not an Eagles fan, I was kind of a fan of a lot of players. My dad was an Eagles fan, he still is a little bit, but he’s not going to be for too long. I wasn’t really a fan of anybody.

Q: Have you talked to Urban Meyer at all since the selection?

A: Of course. He was showing me good love, he told me he loved me and everything after I got selected. So yeah, he talked to me.

Q: Have you ever played in the slot. If so, how much and when and where?

A: Only when I was tracking the number one receiver. So I played it a couple times, and that’s something I can be comfortable in. As long as I’m out there on the field playing man or playing anything—just playing corner, playing football—I’m cool.

Q: They joked about your name a little bit as being suited for being here, obviously with Eli Manning but also the Big Apple. What are your thoughts about that? I would imagine it would make for some attractive headlines.

A: Yeah, of course. I guess it fit. Changing my name coming out of high school and now being drafted by the New York Giants, going to the Big Apple, it’s definitely going to mean a lot.

Q: The NFC East has a lot of elite receivers—you’ve got Dez Bryant, you’ve got Jason Witten, you’ve got Pierre Garcon, you’ve got Jordan Reed, you’ve got Jordan Matthews. How do you think playing in the Big Ten against some pretty good offenses prepared you for that?

A: That definitely will prepare me a lot, just going against great guys, especially in practice as well, like Michael Thomas. A lot of the guys in the Big Ten, they’re physical and that’s how the receivers in the NFC East are. I think I’ll be ready.

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2nd Round – WR Sterling Shepard, 5’10, 194lbs, 4.43, University of Oklahoma
Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma Sooners (November 21, 2015)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SCOUTING REPORT: The 5’10”, 194-pound Shepard may lack ideal size, but he was arguably the best slot wide receiver available in the draft. Shepard is a very strong, extremely quick, and super-productive receiver with good speed. He plays bigger than his size due to his strength and excellent leaping ability. Shepard is an excellent route runner who knows how to get open. Sudden and creates separation. He is tough, fearless, and super-competitive. He attacks the football and has excellent hands. Runs well after the catch. Shepard has an outstanding work ethic and plays with a chip on his shoulder. He has experience returning punts.


Reese: Sterling Shepard, wide receiver, Oklahoma. Slot receiver. Has some return specialist to him. Terrific competitor. Just everything you want in a slot wide receiver. Our coaches believe he can play on the outside as well. The highest player on our board. I know you guys think I’m kidding when I say that, but highest player on our board, and an easy pick for us. Had a couple more names around that we liked as well, but it was too much value for us to pass this guy up. We think he’s going to come in and he’s NFL-ready —ready to play right now. He’ll be right in our receiver corps, and get a lot of competition in there, we hope. Any questions?

Q: Is he a little bit like a young Victor Cruz?

A: Yeah, some of scouts—that name came up when our scout group talked about him. That’s one of the names that came up, a young Victor Cruz. Very similar in some ways, body type. The one thing about this kid is he’s 5’10 and some change, but his strike zone—what we call a strike zone—is bigger than that. He’s got a 41-inch vertical jump, he’s got big hands…he’s a tenacious slot receiver, run after the catch. Get the ball to him quick and he does some nice things after that catch as well. Yeah, Victor Cruz was one of the names that came up.

Q: Does that worry you at all? Is that anything you guys even think about? Obviously Victor is a smaller guy, Odell plays bigger but under six foot, now a third guy under six foot.

A: You’d like to have all of them 6’5 that run 4.4 and all that, but it’s just not the way it is all the time. I think that there’s a lot of tall receivers in the Hall of Fame that probably never even played in a Super Bowl, if you look at that history. We think he’s plenty tall enough, and we think he’s a terrific young receiver.

Q: You said he’s NFL-ready…what are some of the things he has picked up to be able to play?

A: He plays in the slot…he’s just crafty and knows how to get open in his routes. He has the quickness, the explosion in his route, the run after the catch, and the toughness to go over the middle, those kinds of things. Good bloodline, too; he’s been around football all his life.


Q: What did you like about Sterling Shepard as a player that drew you to him?

A: He’s a guy that you go to Oklahoma, especially over the last few years – you go to certain schools and there are young guys, and you think ‘Who is that guy?’ He’s been that guy at Oklahoma because he’s always made plays. He’s quick, athletic, competitive and savvy. He’s has been a playmaker for them since the time he stepped on campus.

Q: Does his height matter to you and how much do you take that into consideration?

A: You like 6’5”, 200 pounds and run a 4.4 and all that, but this guy overcomes his lack of height with his other skills. He’s got a 41-inch vertical. He’s competitive to the ball. His catch radius is bigger – he plays bigger than his actual size. His catch radius is where he can go up and get the ball. So short receivers who play small are our concern. Short receivers who play big are not a concern.

Q: On tape he looks very tough, like he could break a tackle. Do you see that as well?

A: He’s very tough. That’s the knock on the little guys. They’re tough, but can they play big? He does both. He is very tough. He’ll go inside with no fear, catch the ball, take the hit, make guys miss and keep going.

Q: Do you think his lack of height kept him out of the first round?

A: Maybe, it might have been a factor.

Q: He’s not a skinny guy, right?

A: He’s rocked up. He’s not a frail, short guy. He’s thick and muscled up.

Q: Is he the type of guy to run the entire route tree?

A: Yes, he runs it all. The offense they run at Oklahoma, he runs all the routes, unlike some other college systems where they run up the field and turn around. This guy runs an NFL route tree.

Q: Everyone is saying he’s a young Victor Cruz, who wasn’t drafted. Do you see that?

A: It’s been thrown around. It’s been in our meetings. The comparison has come up. The stature, the quickness, the toughs, the ‘make you miss’ – those things are very similar. But I never like to say guys are the next somebody or compare them like that. But I can definitely see why the comparisons are made.

Q: You said that Shepard was the one you wanted. Were the first eight who went ahead of him not as important to you as he was?

A: All of the players are important. We stacked the board the way we like the guys and the way we think they’re going to fall. Obviously the first round is kind of predictable. The second round is predictable. But once you start getting into the third round, it just goes all over the place. But we stack our guys and say: first round, we like this group of guys, second round we like this guy. But coming into today, this was a guy we really liked to get.

Q: What does it say about how the league has changed, when your first two picks are nickel corner back and slot receiver?

A: It’s basketball on grass. Guys throw the ball. You need athletes getting in space. You still need to block. You’ve got to protect. But the more athletes you have out there, the better. It’s not ground and pound anymore. We throw the ball and a lot of teams do that.

Q: Was Shepard the top-rated receiver you had on your board since the start of the draft?

A: Probably not.

Q: Was this a guy you had your eye on prior to this year’s draft process?

A: Yes. He’s a senior, which is rare. You never see a top player stay for all four years. He had a nice body of work, as opposed to a junior who does one year and comes out of nowhere. This guy has done it for a few years. So when you go to Oklahoma, you always hear about Sterling Shepard – the guy who makes plays.

Q: Do you wait for positioning as you move along in the draft to get a specific position player?

A: We always try to match the need and the value, so hopefully we have a group of guys of equal value and need. We’ll take those guys.

Q: Did someone from the scouting department see all of Oklahoma’s games last season? Either in person or on film?

A: Yes, throughout our process, we had three scouts that go there. We break it down to early, middle and late, where our scouts go in and watch film that particular time of year. I immerse myself in the tape; Jerry, the receivers coach, as well.  We’ve pretty much seen anything this guy has done.

Q: Was there any particular game that made him pop out?

A: The Tennessee game. That’s a quintessential game if you want to see what he’s all about. They were down and he’s making big touchdowns at the end to win the game.

Q: How instrumental was Ben McAdoo in the process given he’s an offensive coach?

A: No more than any other one. He was instrumental in that he liked him, which makes it good.

Q: Do you see Shepard augmenting or helping a guy like Odell Beckham Jr. go to another level?

A: I hope so. The more playmakers you have around a guy like Odell, the better. You want to double Odell, this guy will kill you. If he’s healthy, that’s a nice scenario for us.

Q: Is the goal of the draft to find a guy to complement Odell?

A: We definitely had our eye on the receiver position.

Q: Does it concern you that a guy you had your eye on has a big Senior Bowl week?

A: Without a doubt. That’s happened in the past, where we think we had a guy who wasn’t as highly rated as you think he is and then he blows up at the combine or the Senior Bowl. Then everyone jumps on him.

Q: Do you hope that doesn’t happen when you have a guy you like?

A: Yes, for sure, especially the combine. You like a guy, then he blows it out and becomes a combine superstar. Then it’s over with for you.


McAdoo: Hope is everyone is well tonight. We got a great pick tonight, Sterling Shepard, tremendous young man, high character, plays the game the right way, plays the game the way it should be played, feisty player, can separate both inside and outside, strong hands, he’ll block you and we’re fortunate to have him, fortunate that he was on the board when he was.

Q: Is there a little Victor Cruz in him?

A: There are times when you see him make some moves inside where you see that strength and that explosiveness that Victor has, yes, but they are different players.

Q: Is he a classic example of a player who plays bigger than his size?

A: Absolutely. He has a bigger catch radius than someone who is 5’10. He has big hands, so he is not afraid to reach out and pluck it away from his body and he is very confident after the catch.

Q: Does he remind you of anyone who has played or currently plays in the NFL?

A: There are some similarities between he and Victor [Cruz]. There are some similarities that I have seen with some of the guys I have coached in the past in Green Bay. He is a high character guy and when you take a look, there may be a little Randall Cobb in him, you see that. He will reach back and pluck the ball the way James Jones did a little bit in Green Bay in the past, so he has that in him; strong, confident hands as far as being a hands catcher but there are some guys out there that he reminds you of.

Q: Is he mostly a slot guy?

A: No, he is like the rest of the guys we have. You look at Odell, he can play inside and outside and Victor can play inside and outside, as well, and Sterling is no different that way. He has been productive in the past on the outside, this year he played more on the inside but they need to be flexible that way and they are definitely bright enough to do that and he certainly fits that role for us.

Q: Is it mandatory for him to contribute as a rookie being a 2nd round pick?

A: Well, he is going to get an opportunity to compete just like everybody else and the cream will rise to the top there.

Q: You obviously mentioned Cruz and Odell. Can you see those three on the field at the same time?

A: Yeah, absolutely. We play a lot of receivers and we like to use a lot of different guys there. Dwayne Harris factors there as well. He had a nice year. Geremy Davis is coming along, Myles [White] has done some good things for us and there are a lot of guys who are in the mix as far as that goes and the more the merrier, the better the competition.

Q: Does it make it harder for teams to match up when you have three guys who can play all of the positions?

A: It gives you more flexibility. Obviously, Odell is a difference-maker and Odell is a guy that is going to play inside and outside, he is going to be on the single side, he is going to be to the three-receiver side, he is going to be in the backfield, he is going to be a little bit of everywhere, so the other positions have to have flexibility.

Q: How important was it for you to get a compliment to Odell in this draft?

A: We had the minicamp last week. We have confidence in the guys that are already in the locker room and we expect that they will continue to push each other. They are certainly not going to make it easy on Sterling and that is how we want it, we want competition in that room.

Q: You would have been alright going at it with what you had if the draft had unfolded that way?

A: Absolutely.

Q: What do you find are some of the toughest things receivers have to pick up and learn as they come into the NFL?

A: Well, I think the offenses are different from where they are coming from. He has been maybe in a little bit more of a pro style type offense than some that we see. There will certainly be a little bit of a learning curve for him so that is probably the number one adjustment. We are a little bit different than maybe most because we will spend a lot of time in the no-huddle, so that may help him with the learning curve a little bit. The defenses that he is going to see. He is going to see a lot of big, physical, gifted athletes playing the corner spot. That will be a big adjustment for any receiver coming into the league.

Q: Sterling had some experience at Oklahoma on punt return. Do you envision him fulfilling that role in New York?

A: We will certainly add him to the mix there. He will be a guy that is going to get some opportunities there, yes.

Q: You said the no-huddle with help him a little bit?

A: Yeah, I think it streamlines things as far as the information that they get and how they get it. It is a little more visual than it is verbal and some guys learn a little easier that way.

Q: He made a big jump between 2014 and 2015. Is there anything that you saw on film with that? Maybe a better quarterback?

A: I think the natural maturation of a young player and their quarterback play was better this year. That is a good point.

Q: How is he as a blocker?

A: He gets after you. I like that. He is a complete player. He is not a finesse guy by any stretch of the imagination.


Q: When you found out you were drafted by the Giants, how much did you think about playing with Odell Beckham Jr?

A: I mean that’s one of the guys I look at. I look at (Beckham’s) game every week and I try to pattern my game after him. I was excited to be able to get drafted by the New York Giants and be able to play alongside him, as well as Victor Cruz—another guy that I look at, too. I’m excited.

Q: Odell Beckham recently tweeted out that the Giants got themselves a good receiver or something like that. How does that make you feel to get the Odell Beckham Jr seal of approval?

A: That’s always good. He’s now a teammate so I’m excited to be alongside of him, like I said. To have his approval is great, it’s a great feeling.

Q: How much contact did you have with the New York Giants coming into tonight? Did they talk to you at all at the Combine at all? Did you interview with them?

A: No, that’s the funny part. I hadn’t talked to them very much at all. I went to the Combine, I went to the Senior Bowl and I hadn’t talked to them at all. I think I may have filled out a questionnaire, but that was about it.

Q: You had some good times over at Oklahoma…you had one of college football’s best coaches, Bob Stoops, helping you out down there. How did it feel to play at such an elite program, a program that was nationally recognized and made the college football playoff? How did the experience at Oklahoma prepare you for the NFL?

A: It’s a huge program, and it comes along with a lot of history. A lot of the guys that came before you that made a name for that program, so it was an honor to play there. I got to play after my father and wear the same number as him. It was an honor to put that jersey on every week and go out and give them my all. I loved it, I loved my experience at Oklahoma.

Q: A lot of people here with the Giants know Victor Cruz very well and say you remind them a lot of him. Do you see some of that?

A: Yeah. Like I said, that’s one of the guys that I look at a lot. Victor Cruz is a great receiver…we’re kind of the same size, same stature. I definitely look up to that guy. I can see some similarities.

Q: Do you consider yourself a slot receiver or do you think you’re a guy who can play on the outside? What would you call yourself?

A: Honestly, I play so big, I don’t limit myself to just the inside. A lot of people think that that’s all I can do is play inside just because of my size, but I think guys like Odell and Victor have proven that that’s not the case. I’m definitely one of those guys that can be bounced around and move all around.

Q: Is that something that motivates you — that people look at your size and pigeon hole you as just a slot receiver?

A: Yeah, man. I listen to it and I take it in and move on because I know what I can do. Just gives me a little bit more fire.

Q: Do you know Odell? Do you have any relationship with him? Have you ever met him?

A: No…I mean we have some mutual friends—Kenny Stills—those guys know each other. But no, I’ve never met him or anything like that.

Q: What do you anticipate with that when you do get to meet him?

A: It’s going to be like we’re going straight to work. Everybody is ready to work. I feel like we’ll click when I get there.

Q: In what ways do you feel like you benefitted from going all the way through your senior year as a player and a student-athlete?

A: One, I got my degree…that’s one of the things I’ve always wanted to accomplish since I was a little kid, is graduating from Oklahoma, so I was able to accomplish that. Then I got to mature just as a young man. I got to accomplish those two things. As a player, I got to get bigger and stronger and faster. Coach Smitty does a great job with the weight program and the conditioning, so I just developed.

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3rd Round – S Darian Thompson, 6’2”, 208lbs, 4.65, Boise State University
Darian Thompson, Boise State Broncos (January 30, 2016)

Darian Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SCOUTING REPORT: The 6’2”, 208-pound Thompson is a big, physical safety who lacks ideal overall athleticism and speed. Big hitter and aggressive in run support. He is an intelligent, disciplined, instinctive center-fielder against the pass who makes plays on the football (19 career interceptions). Plays faster than he times – smooth with no wasted motion. Hard working and competitive. Team leader.


Reese: Darian Thompson, free safety, Boise State. Big kid, center fielder, checks a lot of boxes for us. We really like how he makes plays on the football. We think he’s a solid tackler back there. Makes the calls. Captain. High test score. A lot of things to like about him. Any questions?

Q: Was Darian once again at the top of your board?

A: There were a couple of guys we talked about right here with this pick…a couple guys.

Q: Did you like him because how he would team up with Landon Collins?

A: Well, we think he’s a free safety. He makes the calls back there for his team, he’s a ball hawk back there. We think he’s going to create a lot of competition in the secondary at that safety position. Looking forward to getting him in here.

Q: Does he free up Landon though to come down to the box?

A: Well, that’s up to the coaches…that’s up to Ben (McAdoo) and Steve (Spagnuolo), whatever they want to do with him. I think his skillset is a free safety skillset. I do think he’s a tough tackler, can come down in the box. I think he’s interchangeable. I think he’s one of those safeties that can do both.

Q: You don’t seem like you have a lot of guys on the roster with that kind of productivity as far as the interceptions, the guy gets the ball. Do you see that translating to the next level?

A: Well, we sure hope so. Never translate until you get them out there and they have to do it. But we sure think he has a skillset to do that. Again, he checks a lot of boxes for us.

Q: You said there were a couple guys in this one…what was it about him that sort of pushed him over the top?

A: It was just the guys we have there…we thought where we are right now and the skillset we’re looking for, we thought he had the best skillset at this point.


Q: Did you see Darian Thompson in person?

A: I saw him in practice in the Senior Bowl and in the Combine.

Q: What makes him different from the other guys you have that are going to compete for that free safety spot.

A: We have a nice mix of guys who all have something different. Nat’s a box guy and real competitive. Mykkele’s a free range guy. This guy’s a free safety who can also play strong. He plays that way there. He has good ball skills, feel for the game, competitiveness and size. So they all give you something different.

Q: Do you project how he will play and how he will play off of Landon?

A: Sure. What we like is that this guy has played strong safety and the linebacker position, so they move him all around. His versatility definitely was intriguing.

Q: When it comes down to final two guys at the end, for you, what was the determining factor?

A: When you talk them through, you try to highlight the positives. And it comes down to who has the most positives in their profile on and off the field.

Q: I’m not sure of the history of all the other safeties, but this guy has more interceptions than any of them.

A: Yes, he has a ton of them, more than a lot of guys who have played.

Q: You talked yesterday about interceptions being a random statistic. What makes this guy different?

A: This guy’s a ball hawk. His instincts are what separates. He can anticipate where a route is, where a ball is going and he jumps on it. And that’s what distinguishes him with making interceptions.

Q: How is he in coverage in general?

A: You don’t want him covering quick slot guys. He’s better in zone using the field. He’s got some range, so that’s the optimal way to use him.

Q: Is it hard to rate him because she’s not a big conference guy?

A: Boise State is a big time program. They’re a different mid-major. They’re big time, so they’ve had players, first round picks, the whole deal. They’re up there with all of the other upper echelon teams.

Q: He was used as a linebacker in college?

A: Well, not a real linebacker, but nowadays because so many teams play spread, they’ll put their safeties down in maybe a rover or a spur – every team calls it something different, so they used him in that kind of role. It’s not a true linebacker position. It’s just a hybrid safety/linebacker role.

Q: Can you see him doing that in the NFL?

A: Sure.


McAdoo: Darian Thompson, another good, smart player from a winning program, fortunate to have him, excited for him to get here.

Q: When you see 19 career interceptions, that must make your eyes light up a little?

A: Yeah, he is very instinctive. He has tremendous ball skills, but the instincts and the twitch make it happen for him.

Q: Is there a flip side to that? Sometimes a ball-hawking safety can be a gambling safety. Does he gamble sometimes?

A: I think it is more of instincts. He may have a little bit of a gambler in him, but I think it is more off of instincts.

Q: What is your role here with guys in the middle rounds? How much have you conversed with them?

A: It is more off of film study with Darian. I studied Darian on a couple different occasions with some film off of a point of attack tape and off of game film and he is someone that jumped out at me. High character guy, good ball skills, he can tackle in the open field and he plays in a variety of roles. He can play back in the post, he can play back in split safety looks and he can play down in the slot — he did that a lot in their fire zones.

Q: Jerry talked about there being a couple guys there with this pick. What differentiated Darian from those other picks?

A: Well, we had a cluster of guys there we were looking at. To me, the instincts, the twitch, very smart player, high character guy, fits what we are looking for that way and the ability to get the ball back to the offense and change the game that way. The game is about the ball and he can get the offense the ball.

Q: Are you hoping that if his skillset translates quickly enough that you can move Landon Collins more to strong safety?

A: We need to get them both in here and look at them. I think Landon had a nice camp this week. [He] did some nice things back deep and we feel that he is growing and doing a nice job there improving and I don’t think you can say always and never in this business.

Q: Is this any type of statement about the other guys you have at safety?

A: Oh, we have a lot of young guys in the safety mix and quite frankly, we haven’t seen them. They have been nicked up. They basically had a medical redshirt type year last year and it is good to get them back out there, they are working to get back out and get back out 100% so we are chomping at the bit to look at those guys and Darian is a guy we are going to throw into the mix and let them all compete.

Q: When you say he has a twitch, what do you mean?

A: He can stick his foot in the ground and go zero to sixty real quick.

Q: We saw Mykkele Thompson playing in the slot the other day. How much of that is planned for him and how much of that is because you guys are short on corners?

A: Probably a combination of both. We are going to look at guys in a variety of different roles. Mykklele is a guy who has played corner and has played safety and it is always nice to have some flexibility and versatility there.

Q: Is Darian as big as you are going to want him?

A: I think he is a pretty good size right now but I think that when they get here and they obviously have training table where they are coming from at Boise, but when they have a chance to get a little bit of money in their pocket and eat properly, their body composition usually changes a little bit.

Q: Can you use him perhaps as a surprise pass rusher?

A: We are going look at him in a variety of roles right there. I am not going to give you the keys to the kingdom as far as how he is going to show up on game day, but yeah, he is a versatile guy.


Q: Darian, congratulations.

A: I appreciate that, thank you very much. I’m extremely blessed and excited to get out there and get to work.

Q: Are you at home right now?

A: I am, I’m in California—a little ways away, but I’m ready…I’m ready to make that trip.

Q: Where were you when you found out that you had been selected?

A: I’m back at home in Lancaster, California in the backyard at my girlfriend’s just wondering when the phone call was going to come through, and it happened. It’s truly a blessing and I’m extremely excited about it.

Q: How often did you meet with the Giants prior to tonight?

A: A couple of times, not too often. Not too often, but a couple of times. When I did, it went well. I’m excited that they pulled the trigger on me. I’m sure that they’re excited as well.

Q: If you had to summarize your skillset, what makes you unique from other candidates?

A: First of all, I’m an extremely smart football player. I know how to study film and diagnose plays and put myself in the right spot in order to make plays and make turnovers. I think that’s what I do best. I have a knack for the football, and I feel like an interception is just as much as a touchdown, so that’s what I’m going after.

Q: They used you in a lot of different ways when you were in college. Did you have a specific niche, if you will, out of all the things they asked you to do that you really liked?

A: No, not specific things that I liked. I honestly just like being out there on the field, being able to compete and have fun with the game that I love. So there’s no one thing that I liked over another, just being out there is perfectly fine with me.

Q: A lot of times when somebody gets picked, there’s maybe a veteran starter or somebody who’s already entrenched in that job. It seems like at this point it’s pretty wide open for you. What are your thoughts coming into this season and into camp once you get here?

A: Like I said, I’m extremely blessed to be there. When I get in there, have my best foot forward and just continue to work. I believe I have a great work ethic and nothing’s going to change from that, so whatever happens when I get there, it just happens. I’m excited; I’m going to give it all I have and see what happens when I get out there.

Q: Was that depth chart something that you noticed when the Giants called or when you were thinking about one of 32 landing spots?

A: It kind of didn’t really matter…because I know the type of player that I am. I know that I’m going to come in there and I’m going to work, regardless of whether there’s a veteran in front of me or not. I know I’ll be able to contribute to the team in multiple ways, so I was happy with that.

Q: Have you had a chance to watch the Giants in recent years?

A: I have had a chance to watch the Giants, and they’re always a good football team. To be able to get out there and play with some of those guys that we see all the time on TV and commercials and things like that, and to be a part of the team and to help them achieve their goal of winning the Super Bowl, is just awesome to me.

Q: You were at what is arguably the most renowned mid-major team in the country at Boise State. Can you talk about what it was like being with that team with the national spotlight on you guys? Can you talk about what is probably the biggest lesson you learned in your years with the Broncos?

A: Yeah, Boise State is a great program. Everybody on that team has a chip on their shoulder because they weren’t picked or chosen to go to a bigger school, so everybody has an attitude and everybody has a chip on their shoulder like I was talking about. I still have that chip. Regardless of where I would have gone tonight, or tomorrow, or whenever it would have been, I would have that chip. I’m just excited to bring it to New York. I’m excited to bring it to the Giants and to see what happens from there.

Q: How surprised were you that this ended up being the landing spot?

A: I was pretty surprised. Pretty surprised…and I’m happy. This is the one place I thought before the draft that I could end up, and I’m happy that it happened to be there.

Q: Why’d you think that?

A: Just agent talk and things of that sort. They say, “Maybe this, maybe that.” Nothing’s ever set in stone, and as we see, the draft can go in all different types of ways. I’m happy where I am now, I couldn’t be more excited. Like I said earlier, I’m just ready to get to work.

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4th Round – LB B.J. Goodson, 6’1”, 242lbs, 4.66, Clemson University
B.J. Goodson, Clemson Tigers (December 31, 2015)

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SCOUTING REPORT: The 6’1”, 242-pound Goodson has a nice combination of size and strength with just enough overall athleticism. Goodson is a stout, physical run defender who can stack and shed at the point-of-attack. He is also adept at avoiding blockers and getting to the ball carrier. Goodson will hit you and is a strong, reliable tackler. He lacks ideal range, recovery quickness, and closing burst. Though not a strong suite, Goodson is better in coverage than advertised, showing good awareness. He also flashes as a blitzer. Goodson is a smart, tough, consistent player and team leader. Versatile, Goodson can play all three linebacker spots.


Reese: B.J. Goodson. Middle linebacker from Clemson. He can actually play all three positions. The thing we like about him is that he’s a football player. He’s a tackling machine, lots of tackles. I think he had 5.5 sacks and a couple of interceptions. He was a really productive player. I think he’ll create some competition in the linebacker level.


Ross: B.J. (Goodson) is, I am sure you heard, competitive, tough guy, plays the game the right way, has played multiple positions there, probably best as a middle backer going forward for us. You know, thick, strong body. [He has a special] teams temperament. We had him in on a visit and he did an excellent job. He handled himself very well and just a pro there at Clemson.

Q: With B.J. Goodson, does he remind you of anybody? Maybe a Jon Goff?

A: Goff wouldn’t have come to mind, but not really, no, not really.

Q: When you are talking about him, he really only started one year. Is he a guy that you think can come in and play immediately?

A: Well, it is interesting at Clemson. Shaq Lawson was a one-year starter; Kevin Dodd was a one-year starter, Vic Beasley. For some reason, even their better players only start one year. Some guys are late developers, so what he did this year, the production, the leadership on and off the field, he has the mindset and the temperament to come in here and compete. The guy wants it and so is he going to start? I don’t know, but he is going to push people and he is going to work his butt off to get on to the field.

Q: You don’t think the gap of being NFL-ready is large for him?

A: No. Temperament, mindset, football intelligence, competitiveness, he is NFL-ready in those aspects. He is not raw by any stretch of the imagination. The guy plays the game the right way and knows how to play the game.

Q: The thing that was missing last year seemed to be the ability to cover underneath in passing routes. With what you took, did you address that?

A: Well, you can’t answer every problem with one pick or two picks. So is he that guy? He has the smarts. Do we have other people that can do that? Sure. Do we have other additions that can help out? Yeah. We will see how Spags draws it up and see what players he puts on the field and we will go from there.


McAdoo: B.J. Goodson. Talented linebacker. Made a move from outside to inside, he can play all three spots if you need him to. Very productive, sound football player.

Q: What’s Goodson’s ideal position in your mind? What’s his ideal role?

A: I think middle of the three.

Q: What is it about him that makes him a middle linebacker to you?

A: I think he’s smart, I think he has good instincts, good wrap tackler, can be physical between the tackles.


Q: Where were you when you learned the news that you were going to be a New York Giant?

A: I’m home right in Lamar, South Carolina. I’m just excited, man…excited and ready to go to work.

Q: You visited the Giants—pre-draft visit, correct?

A: Yes sir, yes sir.

Q: What was your takeaway, your feeling after you left the facility?

A: Definitely wanted to be there. Definitely a legendary place…a place where football is very, very important. They talk about the New York Football Giants, man, and finding out how much that means to the city and the community…it’s really, really big.

Q: You talk about going to a place where a city is beloved…you come from a college where football is almost like a religion down there. What was it like playing at Clemson? What was it like helping Clemson rise on the national stage and getting them eventually to the national title game?

A: It was destined to happen. It was empowering, as far as my leadership and helping those guys win all of the games that we won and having the phenomenal year that we had. Definitely just a blessing. I really, really enjoyed the ride. I’m ready to see where this journey will take me in New York. I’m ready.

Q: The draft list had you listed as an outside linebacker. Is that what you would classify yourself as or you think you’re a guy who can play inside as well?

A: Inside as well, can play inside as well. Great help on special teams. I’m ready to get with the veterans and get up under their wings and learn as much as I can and get ready to help that team get ready to win another Super Bowl.

Q: When you visited, did the Giants mention to you what they kind of envisioned you as?

A: Definitely a great linebacker. They saw me helping out on special teams. The special teams coach really likes me a lot. I really, really enjoyed the relationship with the linebackers coach. I really, really just fell in love with everything on my visit.

Q: Can you cover in the pass?

A: Yes sir, definitely. At Clemson I played as a three-down linebacker. It’s normal, it’s natural to me. To me, it’s not a question, just something I want to work on every day and just something to get better at, perfecting my craft. You can never be too satisfied or never not be hungry, there’s always room for improvement.

Q: What was behind the move to MIKE linebacker? Was that because there was an opening there? Is that where they thought you were a better fit for this past year?

A: No sir, that was home for me. I actually moved out to outside linebacker my junior year because Coach saw a fit. He saw how dedicated I was, he saw the talent in me, and he wanted to get me on the field. With having Stephone and Tony Steward, having those guys out there, just being able to get me out there with those guys. So I learned the SAM linebacker position, and then once Stephone left, I went back home to the MIKE position and it played out from there.

Q: What was it like working with a personality like Dabo Swinney?

A: Oh man, brings great, great energy. Fun, fun, fun coach to play for. That guy, he’s phenomenal, he’s about the right things. I don’t have nothing but great things to say about Coach Swinney. He’s a great guy off the field, I love Coach Swinney.

Q: What does B.J. stand for?

A: B.J. is a name that was given to me from my mother. My first name is Billy, my middle name is Javaris. My mother, she just wanted to call me B.J. It was something that just stuck with me from a kid.

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5th Round – RB Paul Perkins, 5’10”, 208lbs, 4.53, UCLA
Paul Perkins, UCLA Bruins (September 12, 2015)

Paul Perkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SCOUTING REPORT: Fourth-year junior. The 5’10”, 208-pound Perkins lacks ideal size and speed but he is a super-productive and competitive play-maker with excellent vision, balance, patience, and instincts. He can make something out of nothing in tight quarters and bursts through the hole. Perkins is very quick and elusive with superb change-of-direction ability. Perkins is a tough runner who plays bigger than his size, but he lacks power. Perkins is also very productive catching the ball out of the backfield. Team leader.


Reese: Running back Paul Perkins from UCLA. All-around player. He can run it. He can catch it. He can block. He’ll play on all of the core teams, just like Goodson will, as well. Solid football player. People say he doesn’t have homerun speed, but I saw him on an 82-yard touchdown against Colorado. Really good, solid football player. I like him a lot. He’s a three-down player.

Q: Where do you stand at running back?

A: We have some good players in there, there’s some good competition and we’ll see where that goes.

Q: Some have likened Paul Perkins to a poor man’s Tiki Barber.

A: I’m not sure about that. We just think he’s a really good football player. We like that he’s going to create some competition in the running back room. That’s a big key on your roster when you can create competition and he’ll help do that.


Ross: Paul Perkins, another guy [who is] productive, obviously great pedigree football player, hardest working guy on the team, really good skill set as far as catching the ball out of the backfield. He blocks, makes big plays for them and just another good football player.

Q: On that topic, you have a lot of running backs. What does [Perkins] bring, trait-wise, that you didn’t think you already had?

A: I don’t think it is anything different. I don’t want to say that, but his qualities are: he is a complete back, he has great vision, he has got one-cut quickness, excellent hands, competitive in the blocking game and outstanding off the field, so those were his traits we were attracted by.

Q: It seemed like this was a deep running back draft. How much did that factor into that decision today?

A: It definitely was a deep draft. Maybe not at the top but then later rounds and a lot of successful backs in the league, as you guys know, have been later round picks and he just was there at the time. We felt comfortable taking a guy, the highest rated guy at the time, we felt could help us.


McAdoo: Paul Perkins, running back from UCLA. He’s a complete back—can carry it, can protect the quarterback and can protect ball, and is good in the passing game.

Q: You talked about the different skills and the different traits your running backs have now. You describe Perkins as a complete back…is that something you felt like you needed to bring in, somebody who can do all the jobs?

A: The two most important things for a running back: number one, protect the ball; number two, protect the quarterback. He certainly fits that role.

Q: You have a crowded group there now. What’s the plan going forward there?

A: We have a lot of competition in the room. We like all those guys, they all have distinct things they do well, and there will be a lot of competition. It will be exciting to watch and see how it unfolds.

Q: Is the running back more of a classic third down back or do you see him as an every down back?

A: No, he can play first, second and third down.


Perkins: I’m just honored to be here and going to New York. This is awesome. I can’t even put this into words right now.

Q: Did you have any sense it would be the Giants and it would be now?

A: I had no idea. I can’t even really put this into words right now. Sorry if I’m speechless.

Q: What do you think you bring to an NFL team?

A: I think I can bring it all. I can definitely come in there with hard work and definitely come in there with the mentality to improve the team.

Q: How has UCLA head coach Jim Mora Jr. prepared you for the NFL?

A: Our whole coaching staff was NFL-ready and they prepared us very well. All the way from coach Mora to the running backs coach to our (graduate assistants), they all did a tremendous job. I’m thankful for them.

Q: What has your interaction been with the Giants during this process?

A: I only talked to them one time. I think it was last week and they were just checking if this was the right number.

Q: Was that sort of the norm?

A: It was the norm. I was getting a lot of calls from a lot of teams with the same type of questioning. I’m glad I got this one. This is the best one so far.

Q: Someone compared you to a poor man’s Tiki Barber.

A: Tiki Barber is not a bad person to get compared to. He’s been a great running back for a long time. I idolized him growing up and to be compared in the same breath as him is an honor.

Q: Do you see the skill set similarities?

A: We’re similar. I’m not sure how tall or big he was, but I feel like we’re about the same height and we have the same type of abilities.

Q: How much did UCLA use you catching the ball out of the backfield and how much is that a part of your game?

A: I think I can be utilized in the passing game. I just need a team to utilize me like that and I feel like the Giants will use me to my full capabilities.

Q: Are you going to give Owa Odighizuwa a call after you’re done with us?

A: I was actually talking to Owa not too long ago. I FaceTimed him. Now I just can’t wait to go up there.

Q: Did he tell you anything about the Giants?

A: No. He said he would call me back because he had to do something. He’s going to call me back in a little while after I get off the phone with you guys. We’ll chat it up.

Q: You FaceTimed him after you got picked here?

A: I did, right afterwards.

Q: I assume you’re pretty close with him?

A: All of the NFL players do a good job of coming back and talking to the younger players and Owa just happened to be one of the players that helped me and mentored me.

Q: How does it feel to be selected immediately after one of the guys who blocked for you in Caleb Benenoch?

A: It was awesome. I’m honestly speechless right now. I’m feeling great right now.

Q: Do you think you can be an every down, between the tackles runner, as well?

A: Yes sir. I think I can do it all. There’s a lot of great running backs. I feel like I can do it all.

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6th Round – TE Jerell Adams, 6’5”, 247lbs, 4.64, University of South Carolina
Jerell Adams, South Carolina Gamecocks (November 21, 2015)

Jerell Adams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

SCOUTING REPORT: The 6’5”, 247-pound Adams is a tall tight end with long arms who needs to add more strength and bulk. Adams has the tools and temperament to develop into a good blocker. He plays with toughness and works to finish his blocks. Adams has good speed for the position and can threaten a defense down the field. He adjusts well to the football, has good hands, and runs well after the catch. Adams is a bit of a developmental project as he does need to work on his route running and overall technique. His work ethic has been questioned. Big upside.


Reese: Tight end Jerell Adams from South Carolina. Big kid. Really good down the seam. He can stretch the seam; can stretch the defense down the seam. He’s a better blocker right now than a receiver, but our coaches really liked him. Our scouts liked him. They think he has a nice upside and can work in that tight end group.


Ross: Jerell Adams, big, tall, long guy. Fastest tight end in the draft. [It is] rare to see a guy that gives block effort like this guy. You don’t see these guys actually give effort. He does it, he uses his length to get on people, fast down the seam, a little raw on his route running and hands but in the sixth round of the draft a big, fast, competitive guy who is a good person off the field, we thought, was worth a chance.


McAdoo: Jerell Adams. Explosive in-line type tight end. Can run down the middle of the field and stress the defense out in that matter, and can block in-line.

Q: The tight ends’ blocking was an issue after Daniel Fells went down last season. Do you think Jerell is someone who can hit the ground running as a blocker?

A: There’s always a learning curve coming into this league. Hitting the ground running, that’s tough to say at this point. But getting him in the building next week will obviously help—see where he is and see how he can handle the terminology that we’re going to throw at him. But we certainly feel that he has traits that we can develop into a good in-line player. He also has good speed down the middle of the field, he’s a big target. He has a unique skillset for the position that we like.


Q: Did you meet with the Giants at the Senior Bowl or was it later in the process?

A: The last time I met with the Giants was at the combine.

Q: Did you have a good amount of contact with them?

A: I had a formal interview with them and it went great and they said they liked me and they drafted me.

Q: Do you consider yourself an all-around tight end or more of a pass catcher?

A: I feel like I am more of an all-around tight end. I feel like I can block very well and catch very well.

Q: What was your expectation coming into the draft and what was it like having to sit there and wait until this point today?

A: My expectations coming into the draft were just to get drafted. I was blessed to go through the process and I am just happy to have gone through it and to get drafted by the Giants.

Q: Where were you when you found out you were going to become a New York Giant?

A: I was at home, at my mama’s house.

Q: What was the raw feeling you felt when you picked up that phone?

A: It was the best feeling ever. It was a phone call I was waiting for forever. It was a dream come true.

Q: When you look on the surface at your numbers, people don’t see huge numbers. What do you attribute that to?

A: Honestly, I didn’t have the progress yet that I wanted at South Carolina because of the quarterback situation but I felt like I made the best out of it and did what I could do.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a player?

A: I feel like I can block very well and catch very well. My weakness, I would say is me coming out of my breaks out of my routes. I can use some improvement on that but there is always work to be done, no matter how good you may think you are.

Q: You really did well at the combine athletically. Was that one of your goals for this process? To kind of show that your numbers were not indicative of your ability.

A: Yes, sir, that was my goal for the Senior Bowl and the combine, to just show how athletic and how good I felt I was. At the Senior Bowl and combine, I just felt like I had a chance to show them how good I am.

Q: Do you feel like you accomplished what you had to get done?

A: Yes, sir. I felt like I accomplished everything I needed to.

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Rookie Free Agent Scouting Reports

QB Josh Woodrum, 6’3”, 231lbs, 4.78, Liberty University (Video) (Since Waived)
Woodrum combines excellent size with good arm strength. Smart, tough, and competitive. Developmental type who did not play in an NFL-style offense and will need a lot of work reading defenses and improving his accuracy. He has decent mobility for his size.

RB Marshaun Coprich, 5’8”, 207lbs, 4.46, Illinois State University (Video)
Coprich lacks ideal size but he is a tough, well-built, instinctive running back with good vision, balance, acceleration, and elusiveness. He lacks power and won’t run through many tackles. Coprich has had some drug issues.

WR K.J. Maye, 5’8”, 191lbs, 4.50, University of Minnesota (Video)
Maye is a very short, but well-built receiver who is more quick than fast. Maye is a good route runner, adjusts well to the football, and has excellent hands. Fearless and very competitive.

WR Roger Lewis, 6’0”, 196lbs, 4.51, Bowling Green State University (Video)
Lewis combines decent size and overall athletic ability. Lewis lacks ideal speed, quickness, and strength, but he makes big plays. Competitive, passionate, productive receiver who adjusts well to the football and has good hands. Film junkie.

WR Darius Powe, 6’3”, 220lbs, 4.49, University of California (Video)
Powe combines excellent size and speed. He caught 47 passes for 560 yards and eight touchdowns his senior season.

TE Ryan Malleck, 6’4”, 249lbs, 4.75, Virginia Tech
Malleck is a tall but thin H-Back type. Malleck is a tough, smart overachiever who plays hard, but lacks bulk strength to be an effective blocker. He is a limited athlete in the passing game, but is a heady receiver with very good hands.

TE Cedrick Lang, 6’7”, 269lbs, 4.95, UTEP (Since Waived)
Former basketball player who only recently switched to football. Superb size but extremely raw. Only played one year of college football, starting one game and finishing the year with only 11 catches for 72 yards and one touchdown. Mainly used as a blocker. Lang could project to offensive tackle.

DE Romeo Okwara, 6’5”, 265lbs, 4.87, University of Notre Dame (Video)
Okwara has excellent size and arm length. He is a good athlete with fine first-step quickness. He looks the part and plays hard. Okwara is physical and an aggressive tackler. He flashes as both a run defender and pass rusher but needs more development. Okwara plays too high and gets hung up on blocks too frequently. He doesn’t appear overly instinctive.

DE Mike Rose, 6’2”, 261lbs, 4.66, North Carolina State University (Video)
Rose lacks ideal height, but he is well-built, strong, and a better athlete than advertised. Rose can set the edge in run defense and really flashes as a pass rusher. Instinctive and plays hard.

DE/LB Ishaq Williams, 6’4”, 253lbs, 4.92, University of Notre Dame
Other than a January all-star game, Williams last played football in 2013 after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal at Notre Dame. A good athlete, Williams played both defensive end and linebacker in college.

DT Melvin Lewis, 6’2”, 343lbs, 5.43, University of Kentucky
Mammouth nose tackle who missed half the 2015 season with a broken leg. Team leader and a hard worker.

DT Greg Milhouse, 6’1”, 295lbs, 4.91, Campbell University (Video)
Milhouse is an active, undersized, athletic defensive tackle. He disrupts with a nice combination of quickness and power. Milhouse plays with natural leverage and flashes on the pass rush.

CB Michael Hunter, 6’0”, 186lbs, 4.40, Oklahoma State University
Hunter has a nice combination of size and speed. He is a physical, press corner.

CB Donte Deayon, 5’9”, 158lbs, 4.48, Boise State University (Video)
Deayon is a fluid, dimunitive corner with very good quickness and leaping ability. Tough, confident play-maker. He has experience returning punts.

CB Matt Smalley, 5’10”, 195lbs, 4.40, Lafayette College (Video)
Smalley lacks ideal size but he has good quickness and speed. Smalley has experience returning punts and kickoffs.

S Andrew Adams, 5’11”, 202lbs, 4.54, University of Connecticut (Video)
Adams lacks ideal height and speed but he is a well-built, athletic safety with good quickness. He is a good hitter and tackler. Adams has an instinctive feel for coverage, but needs to be more aggressive in run defense. Active and productive.

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Eric’s Take on the 2016 Draft

To me, in judging this draft, there are two distinct areas of analysis: (1) what transpired in the 1st round and (2) what transpired after that.

When a team drafts in the top 10, the expectation and hope are that the team will acquire an “impact” player, that is, a true difference-maker who is likely to become one of the game’s best at his position. Did the Giants get that type of player in cornerback Eli Apple? Most pundits don’t think so. Many don’t even think he was the best player available at the cornerback position. Only time will tell, but it’s critically important for the future of the Giants that Apple turns out to be a stellar selection.

Let’s breakdown how the Giants came to draft Apple. First of all, the Giants were badly affected by some unfortunate circumstances. The two most-talented linebackers in the draft – Myles Jack and Jaylon Smith – had major injury question marks. In addition, one of the perceived sure-fire top-5 players – Laremy Tunsil – slipped due to some on-field and off-field concerns. And he became a public relations problem with the draft-day release of his drug use.

It is widely assumed that the Giants’ #1 target in the draft was linebacker Leonard Floyd. That had been the word for weeks from sportswriters who cover the team and rumors from those supposedly in the know. The Giants have not since denied those reports and rumors. If he was indeed their target, the telegraphing of the pick came back to haunt them as the Chicago Bears traded ahead of the Giants to take Floyd. There are also conflicting reports if the Giants had any true interest in offensive tackle Jack Conklin, who the Titans traded up to take before the Giants.

My biggest problem with the Giants in this draft? Not keeping their mouths shut. The word was out in 2015 that they wanted Ereck Flowers and the word was out this year that they wanted Floyd. This time it hurt them. Now some may argue that teams would have been able to figure this out on their own. I don’t agree with that. In fact, you can present false narratives to hide or confuse your real intent. Regardless, I think the Giants made the correct decision not to give up another one of their six draft picks to take Floyd – an intriguing pass rusher and cover linebacker, but not a very physical player. It will be interesting to see what kind of pro career Floyd has, however.

So what were the options for the Giants at #10? With Floyd and Conklin gone, the prevailing opinion among pundits and fans was that the Giants would consider Tunsil, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, or possibly even wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. Many fans were probably looking for a trade down.

Going into the draft, I felt the Giants could have used help at every single position other than quarterback and kickers. But I believed the two biggest need areas on the team were wide receiver and cornerback. A quick look at the depth chart would tell you that. Outside of Odell Beckham and a nice 3rd/4th receiver in Dwayne Harris, the Giants had nothing but question marks or “just guys” at wide receiver. And I’ve argued for years that the third cornerback on any team is a de facto starter. That fact is more true in 2016 than ever. In addition, depth at the cornerback position was woefully inadequate with only Trevin Wade, Tramain Jacobs, and Leon McFadden behind the top two corners.

So when the Giants were on the clock, my gut told me they were going to go Hargreaves or Treadwell. Right or wrong (probably wrong), the Giants simply don’t trade down. I didn’t think they would take Tunsil.

Hargreaves was considered by most to be the best cornerback in the draft. But the Giants shocked many by taking Apple, who likely would have gone off of the board fairly quickly after the Giants picked. It’s important to emphasize two things here: (1) the Giants obviously felt Apple was the best cornerback in the draft, and (2) their interest in Apple was not advertised; his name was never connected with the Giants. Indeed, Apple himself said he was shocked the Giants picked him. So while I condemn the Giants for having loose lips with Floyd, I applaud them for keeping their interest in Apple unknown.

Apple is bigger and faster than Hargreaves. Because of that, he has a bigger upside and he matches up better with bigger receivers. Apple is a great kid, an exceptionally hard worker, and a very pesky coverman. The concerns are his grabbiness (he makes a lot of downfield contact), his lack of interceptions, and his lack of physicality as a run defender and tackler. To be frank, I’m not sold on the pick yet. He will forever be judged against Hargreaves, who was taken one pick later, and Tunsil, who was taken three picks later.

It is very hard to complain about the rest of the Giants’ draft. Did they address all of their needs, such as the offensive and defensive lines? No. But the Giants only had five more picks and a ton of needs. The Giants absolutely had to get at least one QUALITY cornerback in this draft and that was likely only to have happened in rounds 1-3. Had the Giants not drafted Apple or Hargreaves in round one, they would have had to look at that position in rounds 2-3 or have a mammoth area of concern at that position.

Getting Sterling Shepard in round two was huge. Not only is he a perfect fit for this offense, but it took off another primary area of need off of the board. Shepard should thrive in McAdoo’s offense and I would not be shocked if years from now people say he was the best wide receiver taken in this draft.

The next two picks were defensive players at clear-cut need positions: safety and linebacker. Both were under-the-radar types who will add play-makers, physicality, and leadership to a defense that desperately needs all three qualities. Darian Thompson is a better-than-advertised athlete and center-fielding free safety who will allow Landon Collins to move back to his more natural strong safety position. Linebacker B.J. Goodman is a throwback linebacker. You don’t see many guys coming out of college anymore who can stack-and-shed at the point-of-attack like he can. When he hits you, you know it. The Giants have lacked that at the position for years.

The final two picks on offense were absolute steals where the Giants got them. It’s often unfair or inaccurate to make comparisons to other great players, but I have to admit there are similarities with running back Paul Perkins to Tiki Barber (minus the fumbling). Both are undersized running backs with great vision, patience, balance, and elusiveness. Both can catch the ball. Both can break the big play. Jerrell Adams was the fastest tight end in the draft. The Giants have said they also think he was the best blocking tight end in the draft. In watching highlights, you see a big man who can get down the seam, adjust well to the football, and do damage after the catch. If his head is screwed on right, Adams could be a major addition to the team.

Most teams only can really hope to get 2-4 eventual starters out of a draft class. Many – if not most – of the picks end up being role players or back-ups. When looking at the Giants’ 2016 draft class, it really is not out of the realm of possibility that all six picks could be eventual starters – and good ones at that. To me, the key is Apple. Will he be “just a guy” – a Will Allen or Prince Amukamara type – or will he become one of the game’s best corners? As for the other picks, something tells me that Shepard, Perkins, and Adams are going to be significant offensive contributors for years to come.

The Giants were not able to address the offensive line and the defensive line so there are no new big men for the trenches. That’s a bit troubling. But had the Giants taken Floyd or Conklin in round one, cornerback would not have been addressed and/or there would have been a domino effect on the rest of the draft. The Giants are still rebuilding and the additional building blocks will have to come in 2017. This is what happens when you have a string of bad drafts in a row like the Giants have had. They are now paying the price.

Lastly, the Giants brought in a huge undrafted rookie free agent class. There are a number of very interesting players who have a legitimate shot at making the roster at wide receiver, defensive line, and in the secondary.

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May 062016
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2016 New York Giants Draft Class (May 6, 2016)

2016 New York Giants Draft Class – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The first day of the New York Giants 2-day rookie mini-camp was held on Friday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Seventy-four (74) players – draft picks, signed rookie free agents, first-year players who have not completed a season of credited service, and street and rookie free agent tryout players – were in attendance.

A sights and sounds video of the players arriving on Thursday is available at Giants.com.


2016 NFL Draft Picks (6):

  • CB Eli Apple, Ohio State
  • WR Sterling Shepard, Oklohoma
  • S Darian Thompson, Boise State
  • LB B.J. Goodson, Clemson
  • RB Paul Perkins, UCLA
  • TE Jerell Adams, South Carolina

2016 Signed Rookie Free Agents (14):

  • QB Josh Woodrum, Liberty
  • RB Marshaun Coprich, Illinois State
  • WR K.J. Maye, Minnesota
  • WR Roger Lewis, Bowling Green State
  • WR Darius Powe, California
  • TE Ryan Malleck, Virginia Tech
  • TE Cedrick Lang, UTEP
  • DE Romeo Okwara, Notre Dame
  • DE Mike Rose, North Carolina State
  • DT Melvin Lewis, Kentucky
  • DT Greg Milhouse, Campbell
  • CB Michael Hunter, Oklahoma State
  • CB Donte Deayon, Boise State
  • S Andrew Adams, Connecticut

Contrary to previous reports, wide receiver Michael Esiobu (Lakeland College) and linebacker Graham Stewart (Connecticut) were not signed. Both are present as tryout players.

New York Giants First-Year Players (8):

  • WR Ben Edwards
  • WR Anthony Dablé
  • TE Matt Lacosse
  • OC Sean McDermott
  • OT Jake Rodgers
  • DE Brad Bars
  • LS Tyler Ott
  • PK Tom Obarski

Rookie and Veteran Tryout Players (46):

  • QB Gary Nova, Rutgers
  • QB B.J. Daniels, South Florida
  • QB Vad Lee, James Madison
  • RB Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
  • RB Donald Russell, Georgia State
  • RB Mercer Timmis, Calgary
  • RB Terry Williams, Kutztown
  • FB/TE Desroy Maxwell, Northern Illinois
  • WR Donte Foster, Ohio
  • WR Kadron Boone, LSU
  • WR Quintavius Burdette, Mississippi
  • WR Miles Shuler, Northwestern
  • WR Michael Esiobu, Lakeland
  • WR Doug Corby, Queen’s
  • WR Brett Blaszko, Calgary
  • TE Jake Murphy, Utah
  • OL Dylan Intemann, Wake Forest
  • OL Alex Huettel, Bowling Green
  • OL Jacob Richards, Ball State
  • OL Angelo Mangiro, Penn State
  • OL Brandon Revenberg, Grand Valley
  • OL Charles Vaillancourt, Laval
  • OL Philippe Gagnon, Laval
  • DE Lawrence Sidbury, Richmond
  • DE Ishaq Williams, Notre Dame
  • DT Derrick Lott, Tennessee Chattanooga
  • DT Kamal Johnson, Temple
  • LB Xzavier Dickson, Alabama
  • LB Graham Stewart, Connecticut
  • LB Evan McKelvey, Marshall
  • LB Kassan Messiah, Massachusetts
  • LB Schnayder Termidor, Ithaca
  • LB Brian Brikowski, Monmouth
  • LB Terrell Davis, British Columbia
  • LB D.J. Lalama, Manitoba
  • CB Kevin White, TCU
  • CB Demarr Aultman, Maine
  • CB Matt Smalley, Lafayette
  • CB Darius Knight, Nicholls State
  • CB Lamar Edmonds, New Hampshire
  • S Keenan Lambert, Norfolk State
  • S Hakim Jones, North Carolina State
  • S Xavier Walker, Middle Tennessee State
  • S Quay Watt, Middle Tennessee State
  • S Taylor Loeffler, British Columbia
  • P/K Quinn Van Gylswyk, British Columbia

The New York Giants have announced they have signed the following four of their 2016 NFL Draft class:

  • CB Eli Apple – 1st round
  • WR Sterling Shepard – 2nd round
  • RB Paul Perkins – 5th round
  • TE Jerell Adams – 6th round

The only remaining draft picks unsigned are safety Darian Thompson (3rd round) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (4th round).

The New York Giants have promoted Chris Watts from BLESTO scout, a role that he has served in for eight years, to scout. To replace Watts, the Giants have promoted Marquis Pendleton to the position. Pendleton had served as an intern in the team’s pro personnel department.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:


May 032016
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Paul Perkins, UCLA Bruins (September 12, 2015)

Paul Perkins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants 2015 NFL Draft Analysis

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

For those that don’t know, every year I make picks for NYG based on their current roster in real time. No going back and seeing who was available when. Make a pick for NYG at that time, and compare them years down the road. Keep in mind this is something to do for fun, and nothing more. This isn’t an attempt at bashing Reese nor am I touting myself as a “better evaluator” than who NYG employs. It’s simply a different spin on evaluating draft classes. For the record this is one of the best draft classes I think we’ve seen since Reese has been the GM, but only time will tell.


Third year sophomore entry. Former top tier high school recruit started 27 of 28 games for the Buckeyes. Apple has the tools and has shown enough performance to make coaches believe he can be a top tier cover corner in the NFL. The height and length in combination with his loose hips and quick feet make him a threat against any kind of wide receiver. He showed the ability to make plays on the ball and has the aggression to consistently get involved in the action. Apple needs to clean up certain man coverage technique issues in addition to more understanding of pre-snap reads. Teams will take a gamble on his upside but all signs point towards him being a very productive corner in time.

*I had a high grade on Apple. He was a top 11 overall player on my board and one spot behind Vernon Hargreaves on the CB board. This pick was not a reach by any means. Lets get that out there. Apple would have likely been a top 15 pick no matter what after what I’ve heard. And it doesn’t look like anyone made a legit offer to NYG for a trade down, so there cannot be any bashing there. What is NYG getting here with Apple?

Apple has the prototypical triangle numbers for today’s CB position. He is tall, long, and really fast. He shows great movement in all facets and you have to think he has some of the highest upside among all the CBs in this class. He shows a nice feel for man coverage and can easily change direction. He is probably the best turn and run CB in the class. I wouldn’t call him a project, but there is a small sense of raw-ness to him. Apple is not a smooth play-on-the-ball guy. There are some technique issues that can be cleaned up, but he also doesn’t have that quick eye to hand coordination in comparison to a Hargreaves. He struggles to find the ball sometimes. In addition, I think Apple needs to get stronger. You can get by in the NFL by not being an overly physical CB, yes. And he does have an aggressive nature about him but it doesn’t take long to notice he has no physical presence. He isn’t a good tackler and he gets pushed around too easily. If he could really commit to getting stronger and improve his press presence and technique, you could have something special here. I expect Apple to be their nickel CB week 1. They will move Jenkins inside and put Apple on the outside in this situations, I think. Down the road, he could replace Cromartie when they release him, which could be this time next year. Very good pick here by Reese and company.



Junior entry. Consensus All American and three year starter. It’s hard to find holes in Hargreaves’ game. His ability to move, make plays on the football, and anticipate the action are all top notch. He has elite body control and agility. The combination of skills and talent make him a top tier cover corner prospect. His lack of physical presence shows up on tape often, however. He doesn’t carry his pads very well and will need to prove he can jam bigger receivers at the point of attack and also handle the contact in jump ball situations. Hargreaves has elite potential and may be the safest among the top defenders in this class.

*I said before the draft that I expected Hargreaves to fall out of the top 9. He was sitting right there for NYG and even though I really wanted him, I’m not surprised they passed, as he simply isn’t the triangle-number corner that Reese usually wants. Ironically, just as Aaron Donald did 2014, Hargreaves ended up going right after NYG picked. Tampa Bay selected him at #11 overall.

The reason I wanted Hargreaves was a little short-term based. While I think he will be a good CB in the league for a long time, I thought his skill set fit in perfectly with what NYG really needed in their defensive backfield over the next two years at least. Hargreaves is made for the slot CB position. And as we all know, teams have 3 corners on the field more often than they do not in today’s NFL. Hargreaves isn’t that tall, he isn’t long, and his deep speed is pretty average. What I like, however, is the ability to react and change direction. Hargreaves can stick to anyone’s hip pocket and even better, he makes plays on the ball with ease. He has elite level ball skills and understands how to twist and turn his body without getting flagged often. Down the road I will say that if Hargreaves reaches his ceiling and Apple reaches his, Hargreaves ends up on the lesser side of the comparison. These guys are different players with different tools but in terms of immediate help and a higher floor, I think Hargreaves would have been the better pick. But by no means was the margin anything noteworthy.


Four year senior and three year starter. Has elite slot receiver potential. Shephard has all the movement ability to run himself open underneath but also the strength and toughness to factor in traffic. He has made plenty of receptions in traffic and shows no hesitation doing so. He has very good concentration and ball skills. Shepard will surprise defenses with his ability to run deep routes and make catches on the vertical move. His work ethic is second to none and the attention to detail is what makes receivers get to the next level in terms of production and consistency. Shepard may be limited to slot duty in the NFL, but it’s a role that almost every team is using more and more each year. He has a bright future.

*There are a few angles to this pick. I think the first one is a hedge to what happens with the comeback of Victor Cruz. When week 1 comes around this season, it will be almost 2 full years since Cruz last played an NFL game. Even if he does comeback strong, there is certainly room for the two of these guys to get their looks beyond Beckham. Just as important, the NYG passing attack appears to be short and quick in it’s ideal state. Having multiple slot receiver types is never a bad thing in that kind of scheme. And third, NYG needs players that can make things happen on their own. Shepard is the ideal pickup for this offense.

I think the impact that Shepard will make is going to immediate. If he stays healthy I think we are talking about a guy that gets on the field right away in three-receivers sets. His ideal role will be in the slot, where his elite-level change of direction and burst can be used a lot in this offense. He will be a tough guy to cover. Shepard is more than a quick-footed small guy though. He actually ran some tough routes in the Oklahoma scheme. It wasn’t just one cut-slants and hitches. He has experience running double and triple routes at a high level. Oklahoma actually put him outside quite a bit and that’s why I think he can work in this offense even if Cruz comes back strong and takes some snaps from the slot himself. That’s why I see some Doug Baldwin and even a little Steve Smith (BAL) in him. This kid competes hard down the field and will come down with a lot of catches in traffic. Now he is limited by size and he isn’t very strong either. There will be things he can’t do and NYG will know that. But this kid is a threat to get open on every single play and I bet he ends up being used by Manning often when 5-8 yards are needed. He is also very savvy when plays break down. The kid finds holes and creases to run through when his QB is scrambling but still looking to throw. The icing on the cake is what he offers after the catch with his ability to make guys miss. He will also provide NYG with an extra solid punt returner. Good chance Shepard leads the 2016 rookie WRs in receptions this season.




Four year starter. Leaves school as the Mountain West Conference’s all time leader in career interceptions with 19. He is equally comfortable and effective in space and approaching the line of scrimmage. His smooth movement and decisive actions constantly put him where he needed to be against both the run and pass. He lacks a big physical presence and he isn’t a top tier athlete, but he gets the most out of what he does have. There are legit ball skills here. The numbers are supported with his play.

*After watching what transpired over the first half of Friday night, knowing the current NYG roster situation and what Reese likes to do in the draft, I had a strong feeling NYG would go safety. Vonn Bell was selected towards the end of round 2 and even though I think NYG really wanted him, they were pleased to get the ballhawk Thompson. They have a lot of mediocrity at the position now and I think the hope is these guys are gonna compete hard for the starting spot next to Landon Collins and one of them will really rise to the top.

Speaking of competing hard, I think that’s what NYG is getting out of Thompson more than anything. This kid attacks the ball carrier downhill as hard as anyone. I wouldn’t call him an elite run defender or power presence, but he gets the job done. He will make the open field tackle and he will send a jolt to a running back with a head of steam. Some will look at his size and interception numbers and immediately fall in love. Thompson deserves credit for making plays, absolutely. He has good ball skills and will often be in the right place at the right time, not by sheer luck like some defensive backs. I didn’t have a low grade on Thompson at all, but there are holes in his game that concern me. Thompson is almost too aggressive. He spends a lot of time moving in the wrong direction, meaning he is easily fooled by play action and double routes. Being aggressive got him places and you don’t want to completely turn it off. But Thompson will need to prove that he can, at times, show a more conservative approach or else the deep end of this defense is going to get burned. Thompson doesn’t have the makeup speed to chase down NFL WRs from behind, so he will have to really be careful if he wants the coaches to trust him as a starter.



Fourth year senior and two year starter. Has experience at safety and cornerback. 2nd Team All ACC in 2015 led the Eagles with 5 interceptions while racking up 67 tackles. Versatile skill set that allows him to be an every down force no matter the situation. Explosive from a standstill and will close that ten yard window as fast as anyone. Finishes plays off with force and reliable wrap up tackling. Has cornerback-caliber coverage ability when me mans a receiver up. Shows good instincts and reactions as a zone defender. Will need to add some bulk to his wiry frame if he sustains his style of play in the physical-ness of the NFL. Needs to simply add more body control to his coverage movement. High upside prospect.

*Simmons is a guy I didn’t dive too deeply until late in the process. I didn’t scout his game tapes until late January, right before the combine. I jotted down a bunch of notes applauding his change of direction and short area explosion. Then, in Indianapolis, he tore it up. This kid is a bit of a freak athlete with really high upside. He ended up being picked #98 overall and I thought it was one of the better value grabs of day 2.

What I like about Simmons in comparison to Thompson mainly has to do with his decision making and overall awareness of whats going on around him. It can take awhile to see this in a safety because of the amount of games you need to watch, but Simmons can change his style of play on a whim based on game situations. You really don’t see that often enough and its something I look for when scouting safeties. Simmons also has ideal triangle numbers for the position. He is tall and pretty long with elite-level agility and explosion. He is a good decision maker and proved to be a guy that can cover in multiple roles and make plays on the ball. I think Simmons’ has the kind of ceiling that could make him one of the top safeties in the game. We aren’t talking about a huge project, either. He could use a little more strength and bulk over time, but Simmons would be good enough to start right away for NYG. He is smart and works hard on and off the field. I’ll follow his career closely.


Fifth year senior. Was a backup and special teamer for 2-plus years, with only one and half season of starting experience. Goodson is an interior enforcer that can play equally tough against blockers and ball carriers. His stoutness and short area power make him a tough assignment for any blocker and his ability to finish plays can be an asset to a defense looking for run defending help. Goodson lacks the ideal athleticism for every down duty, but he has shown to be at least competent in zone coverage and has enough range to play at least two downs in the NFL. Not a fit for every scheme and/or role, but he can be a core special teamer and run defender.

*As the rounds go on, it is always less and less likely I will want the same player as NYG. Goodson was a name I talked about pretty much from round 3 on and even further than that, I’ve been talking about wanting this guy for the past 4 months. Goodson is a player fans will absolutely love to watch, especially as I expect him to be a special teams guy early on in his career. If you have been around here for awhile, you know I’ve been begging for new talent at LB for years here. It is a position I think still has a ton of value and I also believe their lack of talent there has been a huge reason why their defense has been torched in recent years.

Goodson could project at any of the three LB spots in this scheme. I think he is best suited for weak side because he works in space better than he does in traffic. Goodson is really fast in pursuit. I mean, really fast. He can reach the opposite sideline with ease and he could thrive as a back side pursuer. Goodson is a consistent finisher as well, meaning the kid doesn’t miss tackles. If he gets his hands on the ball carrier, it’s over. He doesn’t drag or trip up, he drives himself through the chest of his target. Good, form tackling has become a lost art in the NFL and I truly believe it plays a role in the increase in scoring among other variables. Will Goodson start right away? I doubt it. But I think he will be the fourth LB that backs all three spots up if he can pick up the playbook. By season’s end, I think he’ll be starting whether the injuries pile up or not (to the starters). That said, I’m not sure he is a sure-thing to be a 3 down guy. He moves well in coverage but he really isn’t someone that will stop a Jordan Reed or Jason Witten-type. He is a read and react guy, not so much someone you want moving backwards trying to anticipate throwing lanes. He will offer something as a blitzer, however. Overall probably my favorite pick of the draft here and I think he will be a 100+ tackle guy year in, year out once he gets the starting job.




Fourth year junior. Team’s leading rusher in 2014 and 2015 seasons respectively despite battling a nagging knee injury this past fall. Perkins may not have the body or running style to be an every down back, but his ability to make something out of nothing cannot go overlooked. He has the rare, hard to find ability to stop completely change direction while moving at full speed at anytime. His top end speed and lack of size may limit his touches week in week out, however he is a prime candidate for a committee approach. If he can find an offense that needs someone to offset a between the tackles, chain moving bruiser, Perkins will excel.

*Another pump of the fist as the selection was announced and to be quite honest, I was surprised. Not by the grade and value of the pick, but I wasn’t so sure Reese would look at RB in this draft. He has put a lot of resources in the position over the past few years and all those guys are still on the roster. I think this means Andre Williams or Orleans Darkwa will be pushed off the team at some point in August because in all honesty, I think Perkins immediately becomes the best RB on this team. He just won’t be an every down guy, at least not right away.

What stands out the most with Perkins is the ability to change direction while moving at full speed. I’m talking near 180 degrees in the middle of his stride. If Perkins were playing two hand touch football, he’s excel because it gets to a point where tacklers literally can’t even get their hands on him at times. He has extremely light feet and excellent vision. Perkins doesn’t need a lot of room to create something out of nothing and if there is one gripe I had about the NYG RBs as a whole before the weekend, it was exactly that. They all struggled to create. Perkins likely starts off the year at the bottom of depth chart but at the end of the day, McAdoo will have a hard time keeping him off the field for long. We aren’t talking about just a scat back, either. Perkins is an effective, tough, hard nosed blocker. There are countless notes where I have “++” marks next to the blocking and toughness portions of the grading sheets. Perkins also has really good hands and catches the ball on the move seamlessly. Lastly, Perkins doesn’t fumble. There really isn’t much not to like here other than the fact that he won’t be a big time tackle-breaker. He would benefit from a real dedication to NFL weight training because he is too easily altered by defenders. Perkins may not start, but he is a guy you want on the field as much as possible.



Fifth year senior and four year starter. Two time All American with 48 career starts for the Bears. Drango may be best suited for guard in the NFL when considering how he moves and his lack of ideal length. He is a power blocker that shows consistent technique and strength. His game is NFL-ready and the versatility will only help his outlook. Drango may lack some of the ideal lower body agility, but he is a smart and savvy player with tremendous strength. He is a starter in the NFL right away that should have a long career as long as he can adjust to playing in a three point stance more often.

*One of the bigger draft weekend surprises for me was watching how far Drango fell on day 3. I thought he had a good shot at being a 3rd rounder, but I was way wrong. He ended up going #168 overall (5th round) to Cleveland. I went in to the weekend thinking NYG could have really used another blocker to add to the mix, especially on the right side. At this point in the draft, however, you have to know that you are looking for depth, not a starter. It’s not the smartest approach to enter round 5 of a draft looking for a starting offensive lineman. I think that is partially why NYG overlooked the position group and opted for playmakers with high ceilings. You really can’t knock that approach because an argument can easily be made that there are available veteran FAs that will fill the need along the OL much more so than a 5th round rookie.

*That being said, I believe Drango would have been exactly what the doctor ordered for the NYG offensive line. He wouldn’t come in and start, I know that. But what I like here is that he could project to be a backup to multiple spots in this scheme. His main issue, however, is that he played in an offensive scheme where more often than not, he was not asked to hold on to his blocks and he didn’t play much out of a three point stance. Blocking in the NFL would have been a completely different process from the start for Drango, thus its possible he wouldn’t even be an option to step on the field in 2016. But man, this guy started 48 games and early in his career everyone was calling him a future first rounder. He didn’t progress the way many of us thought he would but there is no denying that he can play. Size? Check. Power? Check. Strength? Check. Lateral movement? Check. Drango will need time to adjust to the pro blocking style and he could use some more body control work. But his main issues I think are null if he is moved inside. Drango will be a starter in the NFL within 2 years, I’m confident with that. The debate might be where he ends up but in the mean time I think he is a valuable 6th lineman that every team wants.


Fourth year senior. Has a freakish frame and shows flashes of being an absolute terror to cover. Size and speed are there. Looks like he is easily adding the needed bulk to his frame. Adams is still considered a raw prospect that is long on talent and tools, but short on skills. He still shows awkward movement in short space at times. Adams is a high effort player that can get up the seam in a blink and easily catches the ball with his hands. He doesn’t make a big impact as a blocker but he gets after his man hard. He bends well and he knows how to use his long arms. Adams has the upside to be an all around tight end if he can continue to add weight and refine his route running. There is an upside here that very few tight ends possess.

*I want to say something about this pick really quick. Prior to the draft and after the selection I noted there were some red flags with him. People in his own camp were down on him during the pre-draft process but there was nothing legal-related there. I have zero interest in being a loser-media guy that gets off on reporting false news just so I can get attention. Rappaport, Miller, Myers….go ahead and have fun with that stuff. I am simply relaying information that was given to me that could perhaps give color on why such a talented kid could drop despite one of the weakest TE classes in years. There is nothing earth shattering here information-wise. Adams is a good kid by all accounts, but I was told he didn’t work hard off the field and he made the same mental mistakes repeatedly. Maybe his position coach sucked? Maybe someone had an axe to grind? Maybe he is a slow learner? Whatever. But I think there is legit reasoning why he dropped but none of it has to do with his ability or legal issues.

Back to the fun stuff, NYG got a major steal here in round 6. I really was ready to give him the #2 TE spot on my board at one point. He is that good and he not as developmental as some people will tell you. He is the fastest TE in this draft on the field by a pretty good margin and he has almost 35 inch arms on a 6’5 frame. That is just a freakish combination. This kid has the potential to be a matchup nightmare for linebackers and defensive backs. He can really get up the seam in a hurry and he knows how to use his body to shield defenders from the ball. He has legit make-you-miss ability with the ball in his hands after catch as well so this is yet another weapon added to the offense that can make something out of nothing. What I like the most about Adams is the level of effort he shows on game day week after week. This kid plays hard. He hustles and is constantly looking for more whether he ‘s blocking or running with the ball. Combine that with the gifts we talked about earlier and you could easily make the argument that the right surroundings can mold this kid in to star. He is a guy to be really excited about. Adams will need to bulk up a little and he has the frame to do so. If they can keep his work-light on, Adams will be a starting caliber, every down threat within 2 years. I’m not sure he will see the field much in 2016 but I wouldn’t immediately toss the idea out the window. I think he will have more impact than Jared Cook has had on the league and McAdoo might see a pre-injury Jermichael Finley here.



Five year senior. Came to Clemson as a top tier high school recruit but failed to break in to the consistent rotation in Clemson’s consistently star studded wide receiver groups. Peake finally got his every down opportunity in 2015 and thrived, finishing second on the team in both catches and yards. Peake has tremendous body control and ball skills. He is the kind of receiver that does not need to be open in order to be thrown to. He can beat most defensive backs in 50/50 situations.

*I think I had a similar train of thought here as Reese and Ross. Sure, you could have added a body for depth along the trenches but at this point, is there really someone out there that is better than what you already have? And better than what is available on the market? I’m not so sure. I think tbe better decision was to add a potential playmaker to an offense that, at the end of the day, really only has one guy on offense that scares people. On a team full of small-ish receivers, Peake stood out to me as a guy that has the tools this position group lacks. Height, length, speed and strong hands. A combination that this team has always looked to obtain.

I’ve been pretty vocal about Peake and his upside. I was very surprised to see him drop towards the middle of round 7 to the cross town rival Jets. He checks off a lot of boxes when trying to narrow down a list of WRs worth going after. He is tall and fast. He plucks the ball out of the air with strong hands and runs crisp routes. He changes direction well and will make tough catches in traffic. He had a couple knee injuries earlier in his career and it really made it hard for him to break in to the WR rotation at Clemson. If you take a step back and look at the talent that school has had at that position during Peake’s career, one can understand why it was hard to get the looks he may have gotten at a school like North Carolina, Boston College, Auburn….etc. Peake is going to have a much better pro career than what we saw in college, I’m confident in saying that. His tools are there and the skill set is more developed than a lot of WRs coming out. I think Manning misses having a big, long target to loft the ball to near the end zone. It’s a pass he’s had plenty of success with in the past but there simply isn’t a guy on this roster that can get up after it. They have tried with Donnell in the past with some success but I’m not sure he will be the guy Manning trusts. Perhaps Adams can turn in to that guy but I think Peake would have been a great fit for this team.

NYG Draft Class

1 – Eli Apple – CB/Ohio State
2 – Sterling Shepard – WR/Oklahoma
3 – Darian Thompson – S/Boise State
4 – BJ Goodson – LB/Clemson
5 – Paul Perkins – RB/UCLA
6 – Jerell Adams – TE/South Carolina

Sy’56 Draft Class

1 – Vernon Hargreaves – CB/Florida
2 – Sterling Shepard – WR/Oklahoma
3 – Justin Simmons – S/Boston College
4 – BJ Goodson – LB/Clemson
5 – Spencer Drango – OT/Baylor
6 – Charone Peake – WR/Clemson

Apr 272016
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Owamagbe Odighizuwa, New York Giants (June 16, 2015)

Owamagbe Odighizuwa – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The second day of the New York Giants 3-day, voluntary mini-camp was held on Wednesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. There will be no media access on the third and final day of the mini-camp on Thursday.

On-field workouts allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. Players will wear helmets, but no shoulder pads.

“Second day back on the field, had a chance to work on the fundamentals a little bit, do some team periods, get a little offense and defensive action and we have a lot of work to do, but we are excited for the process,” said Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

Wide receiver Ben Edwards was carted off of the field after reportedly suffering an injury to his left knee. He appeared to be in a lot of pain. No word yet on the severity of the injury.

Several players are still recovering from injuries suffered last year and are slowly being brought along. Wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) was kept out of drills and spent time with the trainers.

“We threw routes the past couple of weeks and he seemed good,” said quarterback Eli Manning of Cruz. “He was running routes. He seemed sharp and he was able to come out of breaks. He looked the same. Hopefully he can get back out here soon.”

Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (pectoral), linebacker Devon Kennard (foot) and safety Bennett Jackson (knee) were spotted working on the sidelines.

NJ.com reports that running back Orleans Darkwa (leg) has a small fracture in his tibia and is expected to be held out of football activities for about a month.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • NJ.com reports that once again, John Jerry was the starting right guard and Marshall Newhouse the starting right tackle. Bobby Hart was at right tackle and Sean McDermott at center with the second unit. Brett Jones was the third-team center.
  • In a three-wide receiver set, Odell Beckham and Myles White started outside with Dwayne Harris in the slot.
  • Trevin Wade lined up at slot cornerback.
  • Newsday reports that wide receiver Anthony Dablé looked more comfortable today and that his skill set is obvious.
  • Wide receiver Myles White beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins on a dig route.
  • Wide receiver Geremy Davis made a long, jumping touchdown catch on a pass from Ryan Nassib.
  • Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked off a pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib, but Rodgers-Cromartie was then beat for a touchdown by wide receiver Odell Beckham on a stop-and-go route.

The New York Giants have picked up the fifth-year option on the contract for offensive guard Justin Pugh. The base salary in his fifth year is expected to be $8.821 million.

The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Wednesday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:


Apr 262016
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Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham, New York Giants (July 31, 2015)

Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants opened a 3-day, voluntary mini-camp on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On-field workouts allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. Players will wear helmets, but no shoulder pads.

“It’s good to get back out here on the field,” said new Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “Third week of the offseason program, so we really just got out here and knocked the rust off a little bit, getting the guys orientated to the way we’re going to go about the business and we’ll build on it each day. We’ll do a little bit more tomorrow, a little bit more on Thursday and off we go.

“The building has been buzzing here for a few weeks, and the guys are excited to get back and get going. I think you felt that out here a little bit today. It was a good first day. We didn’t do much out here other than train the fundamentals. We didn’t do any offense or any defense, but the guys were into it.”

Video of practice highlights is available at Giants.com.

Several players are still recovering from injuries suffered last year and are slowly being brought along. Wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) was kept out of drills and spent time with the trainers.

“(Cruz) looks good,” said McAdoo. “He’s moving around. He’s doing a lot of things. He’s certainly ready to go if we needed him to go today, but he’s going to go when we deem him ready to go…Victor has come a long way and we’re going to take small steps with him. It’s the third week of the offseason program. We don’t want to rush into anything there. We want to take our time and when he’s ready to go, we’ll put him back out there when we deem him ready to go…He’s running routes. He’s working hard. He feels he’s 100 percent, but we’re going to take it slow and we’re going to take small steps with him. When we deem him ready, we’ll put him on the field.”

Linebacker Devon Kennard (foot) and safety Bennett Jackson (knee) were limited; they participated in some drills. Running back Orleans Darkwa (unknown) and place kicker Josh Brown (personal business) did not participate.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Newsday reports that defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa looked quick, wide receiver Geremy Davis looked bigger, and safety Mykkele Thompson looked agile.
  • NJ.com reports that Jason Pierre-Paul lined up with the first unit at left defensive end and Olivier Vernon at right defensive end.
  • John Jerry lined up with the first team at right guard and Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. Bobby Hart saw reps with the second-team unit at both right tackle and right guard.
  • Jasper Brinkley was with the first team at middle linebacker.
  • NJ.com reports that Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor started at safety with the first unit and that Nat Berhe and Bennett Jackson were with the second unit.

Good sign for #Giants: Safeties Nat Berhe and Mykkele Thompson back working with team after missing all of 2015

A video posted by Jordan Raanan (@jraanan) on

The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Tuesday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:


Apr 222016
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Jalen Ramsey, Florida State Seminoles (November 14, 2015)

Jalen Ramsey – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants 2016 NFL Draft Preview: Safeties

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

*These rankings and grades are based somewhat on NYG schemes and perspective.


Similar to LB, NYG has really struggled to find the right mix of talent and experience in the middle of their secondary for quite some time now. They’ve made several efforts to piece together their duo via middle of the road free agents and quite a few draft picks. Last year they traded up for Landon Collins and after an up and down rookie year, there are questions about his ability to be the guy that is going to make a real difference. Next to him there is an open competition between Bennett Jackson, Mykelle Thompson, Nat Berhe, and Cooper Taylor. The first three of those names all missed 2015 with injuries and offer minimal experience. Taylor appears to be a special teamer-only. This team needs a cover-first guy in the middle sorely.


1 – JALEN RAMSEY – 6’1/209 – FLORIDA STATE: 88

Junior entry. Has been a starter in the defensive backfield since the day he arrived at Florida State. Also ran track for the Seminoles, winning the ACC indoor and outdoor Long Jump Championship. Ramsey is as athletically gifted as anyone in this draft class. His experience as a an All American caliber safety and cornerback make him a candidate for being the top overall grade. Ramsey is an ultra aggressive, talented, and smart defender that can do it all. If he can clean up some technique flaws, his future as a shutdown cornerback will arrive very soon. Some teams could however see him as a safety where his versatility can be more widely uses. Either way, he has special written all over him if he can simply mature.

*Ramsey appears destined for the top 5 and most people are thinking he’ll get a shot at CB before S. I don’t look down on that decision at all, as I think he could be a Richard Sherman type if he cleans up technique. But I will say this, Ramsey was much more impressive in 2014 than he was in 2015. He is a missile from the safety spot that can be a terror in the box but also shows range to own a deep half with ease. As a CB, Ramsey has a lot of sloppy mechanics and he is so high-hipped, quicker route runners can give him trouble. That issue doesn’t show up at safety nearly as much. If this kid wants to come in to the league and work, he immediately becomes one of the best safeties in the game.

Upside Pro Comparison: Eric Berry/KC

2 – VONN BELL – 5’11/205 – OHIO STATE: 82

Junior entry. Former top tier high school recruit that took awhile to really earn his playing time for the Buckeyes. Quickly became an All American safety mainly for his knack for the big plays when the biggest games were on the line. Bell can be a major factor in any kind of coverage role. He can move as well as some corners in man coverage but also shows the instincts and reaction ability to play in a deep zone. He is physical enough but lacks impact when moving downhill. He is best suited in space and away from traffic. Bell has the upside of a very good free safety that will, however, always have limits to his run defending impact.

*It took me a little bit of time to come around and put the 1st round grade on Bell. At first glance I wasn’t as impressed. He isn’t big and he didn’t make any plays in my first few games of his. But as the tapes came in I noticed how consistent and reliable this kid is on the back end. He might be the best tackler of the group and NYG has had an issue with that out of their safeties for far too long now. Bell is not a big time difference maker in the box but he shows such good instincts and anticipation that he constantly gets near the action. Bell saves his best for when the team needs it most. He’s shown the knack for making the savvy-big plays. He would be the perfect compliment to Landon Collins. Top 10? No. But round 2 or somehow a late round 1 target? Absolutely.

Upside Pro Comparison: Devin McCourty/NE

3 – SEAN DAVIS – 6’1/201 – MARYLAND: 81

Three year starter that has split time between cornerback and safety. Has consistently been one of the top tacklers on the Terrapins defense all three seasons. Davis excels at taking down ball carriers in space. He ranks among the all time leaders in Maryland history in solo tackles. It’s a trait that is very hard to find in this era of football. Davis may be viewed as a cornerback for some teams because of his ability to easily flip his hips in coverage and stick to a receiver’s back pocket. Davis’ glaring weakness is a lack of top end ball skills. He is often in position to make plays but he didn’t get his hands on a lot of balls in college. His versatility and consistency could land him an important role within an NFL defense very early on.

*Again depending on who you ask and what defensive scheme we are talking about, Davis is equally viewed as a S and CB. I picked S because of his skill set but he played a very good CB in 2014 against NFL-caliber competition. Davis is a competitor. He will come downhill hard and make tough tackles with no hesitation. He has really good ball skills and will be fully capable of running with anyone downfield. I think there are some zone coverage techniques that he needs work on and he could use some extra bulk for his style of play, but he has a really high ceiling. Davis can be a major weapon in the NYG secondary and probably has more CB ability than Ramsey. I really like this kid and his performance at the Senior Bowl was among the best down there. He can shine in the right role.

Upside Pro Comparison: Malcolm Jenkins/PHI

4 – KARL JOSEPH – 5’10/205 – WEST VIRGINIA: 80

Fourth year senior that has been starting since the day he stepped on campus and has been a stand out performer. Tore his ACL in a non-contact practice drill in the beginning of October. At the time Joseph was leading the nation in interceptions with 5 after just 4 games. His ability to impact the running game via physical nature and relentless pursuit can be used as a vital weapon to any defense in the league. If he can learn to temper his aggression enough to not miss tackles in space and be toyed with on double moves, he can be a high impact defensive back. Joseph may miss some time leading up to the 2016 season, but he is expected to be on the field at some point.

*If it weren’t for the injury, Joseph would be ahead of Bell and Davis. So if a team doctor is completely sure he is going to make a full recovery, I have no issues with this kid being on the top 15 of an overall board. Joseph has superstar potential. He excels at playing the roaming playmaker role. Put him 7-8 yards off the ball and tell him to chase, and I bet he turns over 100 tackles with multiple game changing plays year in, year out. Joseph’s knock was he wasn’t very good in coverage prior to 2015. He took it personal, worked his butt off on the practice field and in the film room, and ended up with a nation leading 5 interceptions through 4 games before he tore the ACL. Joseph probably won’t play until midseason and for rookies, that often leads to sitting out the whole year. Risky pick here but this kid has star written all over him.

Upside Pro Comparison: Troy Polamalu/RET

5 – JUSTIN SIMMONS – 6’2/203 – BOSTON COLLEGE: 80[/b[

Fourth year senior and two year starter. Has experience at safety and cornerback. 2nd Team All ACC in 2015 led the Eagles with 5 interceptions while racking up 67 tackles. Versatile skill set that allows him to be an every down force no matter the situation. Explosive from a standstill and will close that ten yard window as dast as anyone. Finishes plays off with force and reliable wrap up tackling. Has cornerback-caliber coverage ability when me mans a receiver up. Shows good instincts and reactions as a zone defender. Will need to add some bulk to his wory frame if he can sustain his style of play in the physical NFL. Needs to simply add more body control to his coverage movement. High upside prospect.

*There isn’t much to dislike here with Simmons. He tackles exceptionally well whether he is the last line of defense in space or on the move laterally. In coverage Simmons reacts well to the ball if he is manning someone up or sitting back in zone. He is still a bit raw when it comes to body control and locating the ball on the move, but I think he earned a 1st round grade here. Simmons is smart and productive across the board and would be an ideal fit net to Collins. He is in the discussion for a 2nd round pick.

Upside Pro Comparison: Will Hill/BAL

[b]6 – TYVIS POWELL – 6’3/211 – OHIO STATE: 77

Fourth year junior entry. Two year starter that works best in the box. The further Powell gets in to deep coverage, the more exposed he can be. His ability to roam the ten yard window within the line if scrimmage can be used effectively, however. He reads the quarterback well and is consistently moving towards the action. His upside is limited but this savvy defender with natural leadership qualities can find his way on to a roster and stick as a backup.

*My initial report on Powell was a very average one. But like Bell, the more tapes that came in the more I saw an NFL-caliber safety that could make a contribution early on. Powell struggles a bit in space and I don’t think he is the guy you want roaming CF next to Collins, but he has a tool set and good reaction skills that make me think he can be a very good contributor. Again,, reliable tackler with constant positive movement towards the action. He has a high ceiling.

Upside Pro Comparison: George Iloka/CIN


Four year starter. Leaves school as the Mountain West Conference’s all time leader in career interceptions with 19. He is equally comfortable and effective in space and approaching the line of scrimmage. His smooth movement and decisive actions constantly put him where he needed to be against both the run and pass. He lacks a big physical presence and he isn’t a top tier athlete, but he gets the most out of what he does have. There are legit ball skills here. The numbers are supported with his play.

*Thompson is well-liked by a lot of people. I think the draw here is that he can play multiple roles in the secondary on command without hesitation. He doesn’t have a specialty. So for the teams that like to interchange guys up and down will look at Thompson and see that he can do everything at a high level. I question his ability to make the same impact on the NFL as he did the MWC however. I’m hesitant to put a starter label on him unless you know he can bulk a little and hang with pro receivers downfield. At the very least he can be a very good backup.

Upside Pro Comparison: Dwight Lowery/SD

8 – KEANU NEAL – 6’0/211 – FLORIDA: 75

Junior entry and two year starter. Wiry frame capable of the missle role to support the run and easy hip movement in deep coverage. Can wear multiple hats and will always be near the action. Has a nose for the ball. Will show plenty of range to the sidelines whether he is pursuing the run or defending the pass. Needs to work on coverage techniques and mechanics but showed a lot of improvement in 2015 alone. Will give a coach the option where he wants to put him because of his versatility and ability to learn quickly.

*Neal has the upside of almost everyone above him on this list. He really turned it on at times in 2015 and stole the show while I watched Hargreaves tape. He is all over the place every week. You win with guys that are constantly flying around, swarming towards the action. His question is how good he can be in coverage? I would have like to see him move backwards a little better. Still a very solid prospect here.

Upside Pro Comparison: Reshad Jones/MIA

9 – JEREMY CASH – 6’0/212 – DUKE: 75

Fifth year senior that started off at Ohio State. Lasted only a year there and at out 2012 due to the transfer rules. Three year starter for the Blue Devils. ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 in a conference loaded with talent. Played a hybrid LB/S role for Duke and may need to do the same in the NFL. Sort of similar to what we see in ARI with Deone Bucanon. He can do everything really well against the run. Makes a ton of tackles. He wasn’t used much in deep coverage and WRs were able to separate from him. Cash needs a specific role in the NFL. If you don’t overload him with coverage responsibilities he can thrive. But put too much on his plate and he is likely going to struggle.

*Cash is a 1st rounder according to some. Personally I don’t see it. He is a lesser version of Landon Collins with not as much upside. He can be a very good fit on a team that wants a hybrid LB/S, but he wouldn’t fit in wit NYG unless they wanted to move him or Collins to full time LB. He can be a stud or dud that is very much dependent on the scheme and role he is put in to.

Upside Pro Comparison: Da’Norris Searcy/TEN

10 – KJ DILLON – 6’0/203 – WEST VIRGINIA: 74

Year and a half starter. Late bloomer type that helped his own stock as much as anyone via 2015 performance. He stood out to me early in the year when scouting Joseph with his versatile skill set that is actually similar to what Joseph brings to the table. Shows easy hips and light feet with good instincts and reaction. Has a physical side to him. Really stepped up after Joseph went down and took on the leadership role in their secondary. He can fill multiple roles back there. We are talking potential starter or package player.

*Dillon was impressive on tape. He looks slight at first but the more you watch, the more you see him fire down from the secondary and fill lanes hard. It’s always a good thing when you have to re-check the jersey number to make sure it’s not Joseph you are watching when he is on the field. He may not be a high ceiling talent but he can play a dependable role in the secondary as a primary backup and package guy.

Upside Pro Comparison: Tashaun Gipson/JAC

11 – JORDAN LUCAS – 6’0/201 – PENN STATE: 73

Fourth year senior. 2015 was cut short due to a shoulder injury that should be fully healed before training camp. Has experience at CB and S. Very productive player that got his hands on a lot of balls. Quick and efficient mover that reacts well to the ball in the air. Can alter his weight when moving hard after the ball with ease. Very smart and instinctive. Lacks the ideal size for the position and won’t make the physical impact in the box that you want out of a safety. Cover 2 defenses can still see him as a corner.

*Lucas doesn’t get a lot of attention. We aren’t talking star here but he is attractive to me as an early day 3 guy because of the position versatility. I view him as a safety that is fully capable of switching to a CB role in certain packages. He will be a a solid special teamer as well.

Upside Pro Comparison: Corey Graham/BUF


Fourth year senior that started all four years. Was a highly decorated FCS player that ended his career as a Consensus All American and Colonial Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Really versatile guy that loves to chase down the action and will tackle anyone in space. Delivers a violent pop to ball carriers and shows tremendous range to the sidelines. Smooth and easy mover in coverage. Finds a way to make an impact on almost every player. A blue collar hustler that will work his way in to a lineup. Needs to show more production as a pass defender and may have a hard time adjusting to NFL speed.

*Houston-Carson is on a lot of sleeper lists. His lower level of competition will make it a tough transition to the league but his style of play is what a lot of us want to see out of a safety. He can support the run very well but he also shows the movement in coverage. Guys that were close to that level of college football say he is the best safety to come out of there in over a decade. There may be something here with this kid if you can be patient.

Upside Pro Comparison: Kenny Vaccaro/NO

13 – DEON BUSH – 6’0/199 – MIAMI: 73

Fourth year senior that has been making an impact on that defense from the beginning. Named the team’s newcomer of the year in 2012 and hopes were high. He made a lot of highlight reel plays early on but as his career went on, he never quite took the next step. He fought through some nagging injuries throughout his career and had some off field family issues. A lot went against this kid and nobody can deny his upside. He can be a player. He is very inconsistent on tape with poor tackling in the open field and stiff hips in man coverage. He doesn’t have the feel in deep coverage either. He needs a specific role but there is promise.

*Bush is a guy that someone is going to take a chance on. What we saw out of him early in his career and this past season is enough for some to think he is a top 100 guy. He has good triangle numbers, enforces the middle of the field, and shows the off field intangibles you want out of a defensive leader. Bush doesn’t have the ideal ability or skill set that I look for, especially for what NYG needs at the moment, though.

Upside Pro Comparison: Morgan Burnett/GB


Four year starter. 1st Team All American at the FCS level in 2015. Physical bruiser type that makes his presence known consistently. You hear a different sound when he hits someone on the move. He can really bring it. Explosive from a standstill and will close gaps in pursuit very fast with power. Will make the effort to wrap up and tackle with proper mechanics. Stiff in deep coverage and won’t run with receivers downfield. Shows promise as an underneath cover man though. Will be making a big jump in competition and some teams still see him as a linebacker despite a strong combine.

*Killebrew is a fun defender to watch. He lays the lumber week in and week out and you pretty much know what you are getting there. He will be a fourth linebacker essentially but I am unsure of his ability to cover NFL WRs and TEs. He performed well at the combine but his feet looked heavy at the Senior Bowl. He isn’t as instinctive when defending the pass. Maybe not the fit NYG needs unless they want a backup for Collins.

Upside Pro Comparison: Bernard Pollard/UFA


Fourth year senior and three year starter. 2nd Team All MAC. Freight train type strong safety that defends the run like a linebacker. Some teams may view him as an undersized but speedy WILL prospect. Has good straight line speed and reaction. Explosive downhill guy that will fill lanes and cover tight ends. Has tight hips and unsure feet in coverage. He won’t excel in deep coverage and he probably can’t stick with receivers in space.

*Frazier looks like a special teams stud that could evolve in to a box threat on defense. A guy that you have approaching the line of scrimmage consistently and providing extra support against the run. I wouldn’t feel confident with giving him major responsibilities in coverage though. He lacks the feel and quick hips to change direction and stick to a receiver. There are guys that really like him though. He could sneak in to the top 100 overall.

Upside Pro Comparison: James Ihedigobo/DET

THE REST (16-25)

16 – JAMES BRADBERRY – 6’1/211 – SAMFORD: 70
17 – TEVIN CARTER – 6’1/218 – UTAH: 70
18 – ELIJAH SHUMATE – 6’0/216 – NOTRE DAME: 70
19 – TJ GREEN – 6’2/209 – CLEMSON: 70
20 – DERRICK KINDRED – 5’10/207 – TCU: 68
21 – MICHAEL CAPUTO – 6’1/205 – WISCONSIN: 68
22 – TRAE ELSTON – 5’11/195 – OLE MISS: 67
23 – AJ STAMPS – 5’11/193 – KENTUCKY: 67
24 – JAYRON KEARSE – 6’4/216 – CLEMSON: 65
25 – JORDAN LOMAX – 5’10/202 – IOWA: 65


Similar to linebacker, the safety spot has been a position of constant change. They’ve tried to piece it together cheaply with late draft picks and under the radar free agents. You only have so many picks and so much money to spend though, so your approach at a few positions needs to be that way. This would be a good year to get aggressive at the safety position in the draft. I have 1st round grades on guys that you could likely grab in round 2, possibly round 3. Landon Collins is a solid strong safety but he will be even better if there is a more reliable presence next to him. There isn’t anyone on the roster that will enter my mind when trying to decide if grabbing a safety at any point in the draft is the right move. NYG will have an opportunity day 2 to bring in a kid that can start in year one and considering how easily they get beat in the middle of the field, it may be time.

Apr 192016
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Vernon Hargreaves, Florida Gators (December 5, 2015)

Vernon Hargreaves – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants 2016 NFL Draft Preview: Cornerbacks

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

*These rankings and grades are based somewhat on NYG schemes and perspective.


There is a lot of veteran, established talent on top of the depth chart with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the newly signed Janoris Jenkins. Both are locked in to long term deals although there have been whispers that DRC won’t be in the picture beyond 2016 because of his high cap number. No matter what happens there, he’s been a very solid CB since signing with the team. Jenkins fits the Spagnuolo mold, showing ability to be left on an island against quality WRs. The depth behind them could be worse when looking at what’s out there on other teams, but there is a definite need for more talent there. Trevin Wade showed flashes when he was forced in to action last season and the team has a thing for Leon McFadden. Bennett Jackson can likely play a hybrid S/CB role but he hasn’t shown much anyway so far in his young, injury-prone career. NYG is an injury to one of their top guys away from being left searching the street for a replacement.


1 – VERNON HARGREAVES – 5’10/204 – FLORIDA: 85

Junior entry. Consensus All American and three year starter. It’s hard to find holes in Hargreaves’ game. His ability to move, make plays on the football, and anticipate the action are all top notch. He has elite body control and agility. The combination of skills and talent make him a top tier cover corner prospect. His lack of physical presence shows up on tape often, however. He doesn’t carry his pads very well and will need to prove he can jam bigger receivers at the point of attack and also handle the contact in jump ball situations. Hargreaves has elite potential and may be the safest among the top defenders in this class.

*The grade of 85 is a high one, just not the elite level that some people have him in. I think in this era of the NFL, Hargreaves can find a role as an almost-every-down slot corner because of how often three receivers are split out wide. He is made to cover the Antonio Browns and Julian Edelmans of the world. He is so quick and sure footed with elite body control and reactions. He is strong enough to support the run and hold up against more physical WRs. My main fear with him is a lack of top end speed that shows up on tape and in workouts. He gives such a big cushion when he’s left alone on the outside and that can be exploited. I also question his ability to man up WRs like Julio Jones, AJ Green, Dez Bryant…etc. Hargreaves is a guy that I can see dropping on draft day because when all is said and done, his triangle numbers are below average. I still like him enough to warrant a selection at #10 overall and I think he is exactly what the NYG CB group needs. But this guy isn’t ever going to be a Revis type.

Upside Pro Comparison: Joe Haden/CLE

2 – ELI APPLE – 6’1/199 – OHIO STATE: 84

Third year sophomore entry. Former top tier high school recruit started 27 of 28 games for the Buckeyes. Apple has the tools and has shown enough performance to make coaches believe he can be a top tier cover corner in the NFL. The height and length in combination with his loose hips and quick feet make him a threat against any kind of wide receiver. He showed the ability to make plays on the ball and has the aggression to consistently get involved in the action. Apple needs to clean up certain man coverage technique issues in addition to more understanding of pre-snap reads. Teams will take a gamble on his upside but all signs point towards him being a very productive corner in time.

*Apple is an under the radar guy when it comes to who NYG will be taking at #10 overall. I think Reese and company will like him a lot, enough to warrant that pick. Apple has more upside than any of the CBs in this class and I don’t consider him far off from Hargreaves at all. He has more size and speed with very easy lower body movement. Apple is more physical than you would think initially, too. This guy can get up at the point of attack and really alter guys with the confidence that he can catch up if initially beat. He needs technique work, however. He gets flagged a lot and got away with even more in the games I scouted. His hands are all over the receiver and I’m not sure he trusts his technique enough to rely on his lower half completely. Again, really high upside here but may not be an early contributor.

Upside Pro Comparison: Vontae Davis/IND

3 – MACKENZIE ALEXANDER – 5’10/190: 80

Third year sophomore entry. Had to redshirt in 2013 because of a groin injury. Two years of starting experience including a Freshman All American campaign in 2014. Despite paying 27 games, Alexander never intercepted a pass at Clemson. He screams talent and upside. He can move with anyone, he plays aggressive, and there are flashes of being mechanically sound. However he seems to lack the pre-snap, pre-movement reads that can put him in proper positions. He still seems a bit raw. Alexander is a top tier talent but he is a gamble considering the lack of experience and production he is coming in to the league with. He still has a lot to learn.

*There was a point during the season where I was almost sure Alexander was going to be my top CB in the class. If you catch him on the right week, he is a guy that looks like he has all the goods. Speed, quickness, strength. What stands out the most here is the confidence and aggression he plays with every play. Alexander is a high energy kid that has the look of someone that wants to be the best. There is a little diva in him, however. He doesn’t pay attention to the details and fine parts of the technique aspects to the position. But man, this kid can cover. I still think he is a potential top 10 pick because he is an easy guy to fall in love with. Again, possibly more upside than Hargreaves here.

Upside Pro Comparison: Janoris Jenkins/NYG


Spent one year in junior college prior to joining Houston in 2013. Led the nation in passes defended in 2015 with 28. Jackson has been on the steep and steady incline for the past two years. His evolvement has shown flashes of being a shut down cornerback. The blend of size and downfield speed matched with his to tier ball skills is exactly what NFL teams are constantly searching for. Jackson still has strength work to do and he may not be the most fluid mover, but the upside is hard to ignore. His tools and skills have the upside of what every team is always wishing they had, a shut down cornerback that can own an island.

*Tall and fast with WR-caliber ball skills. Jackson is going to be a favorite of teams looking for the now-popular size/speed combination at CB. He had a huge year in 2015 and may have helped himself more than any senior in this class via his performance on the field. Throw in the fact that he ran a 4.37 at the combine and we are talking an almost-sure thing for round 1 grades across the board. Jackson is raw when it comes to defending passes underneath, but his ability to turn, run, and locate the ball are ideal traits for what NYG likes to do on defense. I don’t think he has a top 10 grade anywhere but if NYG ends up in the teens or 20s somehow, he could be a target.

Upside Pro Comparison: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie/NYG

5 – ERIC MURRAY – 5’11/199 – MINNESOTA: 78

Fourth year senior and three year starter. Team’s defensive player of the year. Physical corner well versed in man coverage both up at the point of attack and off the line. Really physical guy that explodes downhill and attacks the action with no hesitation. Really tough kid that you want on the outside of your defense. His main issues have more to do with dealing with speed receivers when left alone on an island. He had issues with those guys ina few occasions but if he can be protected over the top, he’s as good as any of these guys when defending the short and intermediate routes. You could see he is a little limited but he can be a star at what he does.

*Murray has some haters and lovers. Some say he can’t stick to a receiver all over the field, especially when he has to turn and run downfield. Others will tell you the physical brand and anticipation skills can make him a factor. I think Murray would worry be left alone against a big time WR. But if the defense can protect him over the top, he can be dominant. Murray has limited upside but he would fit in nice with that NYG needs at the moment.

Upside Pro Comparison: Brandon Flowers/SD

6 – KEIVARAE RUSSELL – 5’11/192 – NOTRE DAME: 76

Fourth year senior that was forced to sit out the 2014 season because of academic dishonesty, which caused him to leave Notre Dame for a year. He was initially a running back recruit for the Fighting Irish that made a move to cornerback in the summer of 2012, where he started every game and ended up making almost every Freshman All American team. Russell has a ton of experience under his belt and showed functional tools that can be hard to find. He has all the size and speed you can ask and a developed skill set in man coverage. He didn’t make a lot of plays in college but the kid can cover big receivers with speed. He is expected to be fully healed from a broken tibia that forced him to miss the end of the 2015 season.

*The injury doesn’t factor much in to the discussion here. It was a clean break and he should be ready for rookie mini camp. Russell may be the most physical corner on this list and some teams may view him as a safety because of it. Russell can be a really good player in the NFL. He isn’t one of those top tier movers but he can make up for it with a blend of instincts and presence as a press corner. He offers a lot of scheme versatility as well and I think he is going to go earlier than some people think.

Upside Pro Comparison: Charles Tillman/CAR


Three year starter and 2015 FCS All American. Has experience at both safety and cornerback and it’s more likely he will get a shot at CB first. He plays fast when he can turn and run. Very good at tracking the ball and has some of the most freakishly long arms you will ever find. May not be a good 40 time guy but his height and length can at least somewhat make up for it. Physical, go getter even though he doesn’t have the ideal body type for his attacking style. May need some time to develop but these are tools and mindsets that coaches want to work with.

*Hall can get you excited. He looked really good at the Senior Bowl. If he can develop his technique and ball skills just a bit more, he’ll be a guy that QBs don’t want to throw near. His reach radius is rare. Hall needs to be tested at CB first because of the ceiling but he may end up being a package defender that plays a pass defending safety role. He can be a guy that a defense wants to create a role for. It would be nice to have another versatile backup in the NYG defensive backfield because there are questions everywhere.

Upside Pro Comparison: Dre Kirkpatrick/CIN


Junior entry. One of four brothers that have all played and/or currently playing in the NFL. Fuller fought through a broken wrist in 2014, having surgery after his All American campaign. He then had his 2015 cut short after a meniscus injury. Injuries aside, Fuller put together a top tier two season career for the Hokies. He proved to be a dynamic playmaker with the confidence and aggressive style of play that can change a defense. While the upside is obvious, Fuller may struggle with the quick speed of the NFL and the complexity of passing schemes. He will need to learn how to use his reaction skills more than his ability to guess. Fuller has the size and movement ability to excel as a zone corner right away and the eventual upside to be more down the road.

*If it weren’t for the name, I think general concencus on Fuller would be 3rd/4th round. He lacks ideal speed and he isn’t exactly a big, physical corner. He takes so many chances and in early 2015 he was often wrong. He plays such a high risk, high reward style that is based on guessing, not instincts. So when he’s on, everyone sees superstar. But when he is off, and it happened too much in his limited 2015 tape, he looks like a liability. I think there is a skill set worth working with for a year or two, but he isn’t a 2nd rounder in my book. I have doubts about round 3.

Upside Pro Comparison: William Gay/PIT

9 – RASHARD ROBINSON – 6’1/171 – LSU: 75

Third year junior that was repeatedly suspended by the team because of academic issues. Played in 12 games in 2013 after missing most of preseason. Was a very solid piece to a very good defense. Played in 8 games in 2014 before being suspended again and was kept away from the team in 2015 for more of the same. On the field, Robinson has an exciting skill set that every team is looking for now. He is tall, very long, and very fast. He is more than an athlete but the lack of game experience puts a big “raw” label on him. Robinson can get drafted based purely on upside but he’ll have to do well in interviews.

*So I haven’t heard anything negative about Robinson from a character perspective. No drugs. No fights. No severe legal issues. The kid simply didn’t go to class and he had no desire to get an education. If anything, he needs to be downgraded for simply not being mature enough to think long term. On the field I like Robinson a lot. The tape is limited on him but I have notes on him from when I scouted Mike Evans in 2013. Robinson absolutely shut him down, as a freshman. There is upside here and I bet someone can get him late day 3. Sit him for a year and make sure he’s all in on football now that school is out of the picture and you might have the biggest steal of the draft.

Upside Pro Comparison: Jeremy Lane/SEA

10 – ARTIE BURNS – 6’0/193 – MIAMI: 75

Junior entry and two year starter. Also an All American track athlete for Miami. Upside-based prospect that may have the best blend of tools and talent in the group. Very tall and long with the kind of speed that doesn’t come around often. Has excellent turn and chase ability and can catch up to anyone downfield. Has highlight-reel ball skills and will out reach almost everyone in the 50/50 situations. Lacks a power presence when jamming receievers and tackling. Will shy from contact and make the occasional “business decision”. Lacks the feel for the game you want out of a position that needs feel and anticipation. Will be drafted high based on what he can be if he puts things together.

*I’m not as high as some are on Burns. Some label this guy a 1st rounder because of the top tier height, speed, and length. In addition to that Burns started to really break out in 2015, hauling in 6 interceptions. I get nervous about a guy like this, however. He has almost no feel for underneath coverage and he doesn’t seem to care throughout an entire game. He has talent and he knows it. But his technique is poor and he doesn’t know it. How coachable is he? I’m not entirely sure nor am I plugged in to the Miami program but there are maturity concerns with him. He is a polarizing prospect and I don’t blame those that have a 1st round grade on him.

Upside Pro Comparison: Antonio Cromartie/UFA

11 – JONATHAN JONES – 5’9/186 – AUBURN: 75

Fourth year senior that ended his career as a 1st Team All SEC player. Lacks the size you want but he’s as tough minded as you will find. Plays with a fighter’s mentality and put himself on the radar in 2014 when he finished with 6 INTs. Shows the competitor in him weekly. Elite mover in short space with a burst that is unmatched among most CBs in this class. Has the deep speed as well and will maintain his body control when tracking the ball. He’ll be limited with the roles he can play because of the height issue, but Jones can be a player.

*I like Jones as a slot corner. He can stick to a receiver all over the field and his ability to react to quick route runners is something a lot of defenses could use. Jones will get overlooked by a lot of people because he doesn’t meet the minimum size requirements but he will find a niche somewhere. Look for this guy to out-produce several CBs drafted ahead of him.

Upside Pro Comparison: Brent Grimes/TB

12 – DARYL WORLEY – 6’1/204 – WEST VIRGINIA: 75

Third year junior entry. Came out after a breakout year in 2015 where he finished 1st Team All Big 12. May be a candidate for a move to safety. Lacks the ideal straight line speed but he shows burst and acceleration. Put that with his elite-level length and this is a guy that can play CB with 4.6-ish speed. No matter where you view him, he can be a dangerous guy. Very good in the 50/50 situations and has legit WR-caliber ball skills. Worley is a strong, tough kid as well. He’ll come up and support the run without hesitation. I think he needs a shot at CB first, but wouldn’t be surprised to see him move to S.

*The West Virginia secondary was loaded this year when everyone was healthy. Worley is a guy that kept popping up when scouting their safeties. He is all over the place and you don’t see that from a CB that often. I’ve been back and forth on his CB and S prognosis. Some will tell you he is too high and tight to stick with WRs underneath and without the necessary deep speed. If that ends up being the case, he has the legit potential to play safety tomorrow. He is worth an early day 3 look for sure.

Upside Pro Comparison: Keenan Lewis/NO

13 – LESHAUN SIMS – 6’0/203 – SOUTHERN UTAH: 74

Fifth year senior. A physical, big, nasty corner that some people think will make a move to safety at the next level. Attacks the action hard with good, violent tackling ability. Can jam guys at the point of attack with accurate punches and quick feet. Has more hip fluidity than you initially think. He can turn and run very well for a such a big and thick corner. Will need time to adjust to the jump in competition but has some unique upside. He is one of the more physical corners in the class.

*Sims intrigues me a lot. He won’t be an early contributor but I think you can create a role for this kid as a backup defensive back that comes in on certain packages. He can win most battles at the point of attack with his accurate, powerful jab but also shows the ability to turn and run. Another candidate to make a move to safety here.

Upside Pro Comparison: Perrish Cox/TEN

14 – KENNETH CRAWLEY – 6’0/187 – COLORADO: 73

Fourth year senior with a lot of production and experience. Very good mover with easy hips and light feet. Has plus height and will get his hands on a lot of balls. Can match up with WRs in several different roles. Has the body control and concentration to stick with the ball when moving at full speed downfield. May not have the physical presence you want at the point of attack but shows good tackling ability in space.

*Crawley doesn’t stand out in any area but you have to like a 6 foot corner that shows the easy movement and burst of Crawley. Very smooth guy that showed ball skills and the ability to minimize separation from quicker receivers. He has the tool set that coaches want to work with and could be a solid #3 or #4 CB down the road.

Upside Pro Comparison: Kyle Arrington/BAL

15 – XAVIEN HOWARD – 6’0/201 – BAYLOR: 73

Fourth year junior entry. All Big 12 defender that has the tools to fit in with the new demand for sizeable corners that can alter receivers at the line of scrimmage. Howard has ideal triangle numbers for teams that want more presence in the defensive backfield, particularly at cornerback. His rawness and inability to stick with receivers laterally will hold him back for at least a season, however. Howard is a developmental prospect with the upside that few day three corners have.

*Another upside guy here that some people have a top 45 grade on. I like his approach and his hustle. He is a pretty consistent, know what you are getting type cornerback. But I get nervous about him when I see him struggle to stay away from false steps. He is easily fooled and takes too long to change his weight and stick to a receivers pocket. He needs work and it may end up that he is a Cover 2 corner-only.

Upside Pro Comparison: Dontae Jonson/SF

THE REST (16-25)

16 – ANTHONY BROWN – 5’11/192: 72
17 – JALEN MILLS – 6’0/191 – LSU: 72
18 – ZACK SANCHEZ – 5’11/185 – OKLAHOMA: 72
20 – DJ WHITE – 5’11/193 – GEORGIA TECH: 72
22 – KEVON SEYMOUR – 5’11/186 – USC: 71
23 – JUSTON BURRIS – 6’0/212 – NC STATE: 70
24 – CYRUS JONES – 5’10/197 – ALABAMA: 70
25 – TAVON YOUNG – 5’9/183 – TEMPLE: 70


I really like the guys at the top of this list. And even though CB may not be at the top of the priority list for NYG, it’s a spot that should be addressed at some point. I wouldn’t say the “need” to spend a pick on (let’s remember, they only have 6 selections), but I would be nervous about the depth in this group. There are so many teams that have gotten beat up against the pass because their #3, #4, #5 CBs can’t get the job done. It’s a spot that needs a constant infusion of talent because if one injury pops up, this could be a nightmare even if the pass rush improves. The thing about this group is there are a ton of slower than normal CBs that may need a transition to safety. NYG already has a guy like that in Bennett Jackson. I think NYG could use a pure CB somewhere in the draft, even as early as #10 overall, that can be relied on early. I’m not sure one of the high ceiling but developmental guys is the way to go this year.