GIANTS CUT JEROME CUNNINGHAM AND G.J. KINNE…
The New York Giants have waived tight end Jerome Cunningham and quarterback/safety G.J. Kinne.
The Giants signed Kinne to the Practice Squad in September 2015. Kinne was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New York Jets after the 2012 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Jets (2012), UFL – Omaha Nighthawks (2012), AFL – Antonio Talons (2013), and Philadelphia Eagles (2013-15). After spending two years on Philadelphia’s Practice Squad in 2013-14, the Eagles converted him from quarterback to wide receiver and running back. The Giants used him at safety in practice at times in 2015.
Cunningham spent the first five weeks of the 2015 season on the 53-man roster, was waived and signed to the Practice Squad in October, and then re-signed to the 53-man roster in early November. In all, Cunningham played in nine games with three starts, catching eight passes for 59 yards. Cunningham played college football at Southern Connecticut State University from 2009-2012, but remained unsigned until the Giants signed him in August 2014.
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.
ROUND 1 – ELI APPLE – CB/OHIO STATE – 6’1/199
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.
**WHO I WOULD HAVE PICKED**
VERNON HARGREAVES – CB/FLORIDA – 5’10/204
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.
**WHO I WOULD HAVE PICKED**
JUSTIN SIMMONS – S/BOSTON COLLEGE – 6’2/202
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.
ROUND 4 – BJ GOODSON – LB/CLEMSON – 6’1/242
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.
**WHO I WOULD HAVE PICKED**
BJ GOODSON – LB/CLEMSON – 6’1/242
ROUND 5 – PAUL PERKINS – RB/UCLA – 5’10/208
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.
**WHO I WOULD HAVE PICKED**
SPENCER DRANGO – OT/BAYLOR – 6’6/315
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.
**WHO I WOULD HAVE PICKED**
CHARONE PEAKE – WR/CLEMSON – 6’2/209
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
On the third and final day of the 2016 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected linebacker B.J. Goodson (Clemson University) in the 4th round, running back Paul Perkins (UCLA) in the 5th round, and tight end Jerell Adams (University of South Carolina) in the 6th round.
LINEBACKER B.J. GOODSON 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.
RUNNING BACK PAUL PERKINS 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.
TIGHT END JERELL ADAMS 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.
MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)
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.
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.
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.
Q: Did you accomplish everything you wanted to do in this draft?
A: We got the best six players that we could get. We accomplished that.
Q: Does it change anything for you moving forward that you didn’t get any offensive linemen?
A: We’re always trying to upgrade our roster every day.
Q: This is the first time in Giants history that you didn’t add a lineman. If I told you that three days ago, would you say that’s interesting?
A: I’m saying that now. Hmm. Interesting. We drafted the best players available for us. We have some offensive linemen and we have some defensive linemen. We’ll continue to try to improve everywhere on the roster, including the offensive and defensive line.
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.
Q: There are rumors floating around that Anthony Davis may be on the horizon for the Giants. Is there any truth to that?
A: I’m not talking about anybody else’s player.
Q: Do you feel you have to add an offensive lineman in your mind at some point?
A: We’re going to continue to upgrade our roster every day. Everyday we’ll continue to upgrade every position – offensive line, defensive line, defensive backs to receiver. Every position.
Q: You have a lot of roster spots. What’s realistic in terms of undrafted free agents and how many guys you’ll add?
A: We’re in the room and we’re working on that right now. We don’t have as many as some teams, but we’ve got enough to try to fill the roster with different positions and we’ll do that.
Q: It doesn’t appear that any of these players have injury or character issues. Was that a goal going into the draft?
A: We always try to do that. We don’t go out and say, ‘let’s draft some hurt guys or some guys with some character issues.’ We try to get clean guys all of the time. It’s been like that ever since I’ve been with the New York Giants. That’s nothing new.
Q: The three positions you addressed are positions where you seem to have volume, but not necessarily all set starters. Is that a coincidence?
A: We’re just looking to add good players on the roster and we thought those three players were three good players that create some competition and we think those guys will do that.
Q: All of the players you selected were from major programs, major conferences. Was that intentional?
A: No. We try to get the best players up there. They could have been from Tennessee-Martin or they could have been from UCLA. We just tried to get the best player available.
Q: Anybody from Tennessee-Martin come off the board yet?
A: Not yet. We’re still working on it.
MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS: (Video)
Q: Can we get a summary of each guy?
A: 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. 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. 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.
Q: Were you surprised an offensive or defensive lineman didn’t fall your way?
A: Yeah, not surprised. You are never surprised by anything. We weren’t going to force anything. You always want big bodies, but you want the right big bodies. You can’t just go into it saying we want an offensive lineman and they throw somebody up there or we want a D-lineman. We spent a lot in the offseason on the D-line. We’ve got some high draft picks on the O-line, so we have some good players there right now and we weren’t going to force the issue at either one of those positions.
Q: Did you get close at any point or did the board just not fall your way?
A: There were discussions here and there, but nobody who was at the time the highest ranked on the board or close to that, but we discussed some guys.
Q: It is the first time in franchise history that the team did not draft a lineman.
A: Alright, historic.
Q: What did you think of the draft overall?
A: It was good. It was good. [We are] really excited about the type of players we got, on and off the field. Some playmakers, some football players as far as hard working guys who are going to come in here and be what we are all about here with the Giants.
Q: I don’t know if you want to characterize it this way but you took a lot of guys who played at big schools, who played a lot and were productive. Was that an effort that went into this year?
A: No, we never have a theme going into a draft or the scouting season. It materializes itself through our draft process and meetings and then especially when you get to draft day where we talk about our players and where we stack them. It just so happened that all these guys sort of have the same qualities. Like you said, big school guys that have been productive and have played a lot.
Q: When the draft ends and you are trying to get these undrafted free agents, do you still focus on your board or is it just a mad dash?
A: Well, we kind of set it now. It is funny you said that because we set it all now where we target people, but of course, “Well, this guy just got drafted, so let’s re-shuffle.” We still try to move the high priority players into position for free agents but it is such chaos between now and the next few hours that it is tough to. Draft day is calm and easy almost, but this free agent process is very hectic.
Q: At that point there when a guy comes down to a certain position, do you kind of look at a guy at that position to try and fill out your roster?
A: Yeah, this is the time where you prioritize the positions you think have to be filled in, positions of need and higher priority type players.
Q: Do you have a long list of free agents you would like to sign now?
A: Yeah, sure. Stack them up and our scouts and coaches go at them.
Q: You have a good amount of roster spots. What is a realistic number of undrafted free agents you bring in?
A: Probably like 12 or 15. Somewhere around there.
Q: Is that a big number for you?
A: Yeah, the last few years have been 10 or under so this has been the highest in the last few years.
Q: Will some of those just be invited to the rookie mini camp next week?
A: We will hit it hard tonight with priority guys and then kind of the guys that fall through the cracks and we have to fill it out for camp, we will call those guys the next couple of days but tonight, we will go after the guys we really want.
Q: But it is possible that if you do get all the guys you want with the 12 or 15, you may have to make some roster adjustments?
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.
Q: When you are going through the process, you get some positions like safety and running back where there is a crowd on the roster. Is there ever a hesitancy where you look at it as we see this guy on the top of our board but there is too much of a crowd?
A: Yeah, that comes into play certain times where we have five receivers and we don’t need a sixth but, again, if the player is just too good to pass up at that moment, you don’t want to give up a good player because you think you have depth. We have thought we’ve had depth certain times at other positions throughout the years and number one guy gets hurt, number two guy gets hurt and the number three guy gets hurt, and where is your depth? It is gone, so you always want to just keep putting good players on your football team.
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.
Q: Did you guys look at that because it’s a position where more successful guys are available in later rounds?
A: Yeah, once you start talking about it, that is it but then also it is what players are available. If you have a stud in the first round and he is available and part of the conversation, you take him there, but it just so happened that where we were picking and the players that were available, this is where we like him and where we took him.
Q: Does not having a 7th rounder help you with the undrafted guys?
A: I hope so. I hope so. Usually you are just focusing on drafting, but now we can just focus on the free agents and get the plan going even quicker.
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. 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. 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: 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: 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: Are you surprised the board fell is such a way that you didn’t get an offensive lineman or a defensive lineman?
A: That’s probably pretty unique. The last thing you want to do is reach down and reach for a guy. That’s how it went this year.
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: 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.
Q: This was your first draft in the role of head coach. Overall, what’d you think of it? How’d you think it went for you?
A: A lot of work went into it. I think we did a nice job of not having any kneejerk reactions and just trusting the board and trusting the work that everyone puts into it. The scouts put a ton of work into it, the coaches evaluate a lot of players, and you put all the input up, get it on the board and just trust the process.
Q: For you personally, in these three days, how much more were you involved and did you do maybe more than as the offensive coordinator?
A: I was in the room the whole time. Had a chance to bounce some things off of Jerry, but at the end of the day, we both sat there and trusted the board and trusted the whole body of work. It’s been a long time coming when you get to this process and you just have to trust everything that you put into it.
Q: As the offensive coordinator, you’re not in the room the whole time?
A: As the offensive coordinator, I was a major part of the process, yes.
Q: When you look at this draft, the first round you got a defensive back that will probably be on the field maybe 60 percent of the time; second round, maybe a slot player. Did you make your team deeper, because it doesn’t seem like there’s one guy you got who is a superstar? It just seems like you got six guys who can help.
A: Well, we may have zero starters out of the mix, we may have six starters in the mix…no one knows at this point, it’s too early to tell. But we know we have high character guys, good football players who play the game the way we want them to play the game. And depth is just as important as anything else in this league, and we feel like we have six good players to work with.
Q: Are you okay with the right side of your offensive line as it is right now or are you going to look to upgrade with a free agent or something like that?
A: The right side of the offensive line, the story is yet to be written on the right side of the offensive line. We’re just starting the 2016 offseason. We’re going to look at every possible combination, give guys a chance to compete, and see where it goes from there. It’s still early.
Q: Would you like to add somebody though to that right side to even add more competition to it? Do you feel like you need to?
A: If the right somebody shows up.
Q: During the course of the draft, did things happen elsewhere that really surprised you? A player you thought wouldn’t be that high or a player you thought would and he slipped down?
A: I guess when it comes to the draft, all it takes is one team or one general manager, one head coach, to fall in love with a guy. They don’t want to lose that guy or miss out on the player, so I guess that doesn’t surprise me.
Q: Are you guilty of that?
Q: Just looking ahead to the minicamp, do you have a set of objectives that you want to see, want to accomplish with these guys as well as the undrafted free agents?
A: The rookie minicamp? Yeah, the rookie minicamp is more of an orientation. We want to bring them in, introduce them to the first install with normal down and distance install, teach them how we’re going to practice, let them know where the restrooms are, and just get their feet wet a little bit. We’re not going to be out there for three hours practicing, we’re just going to introduce them to things. It’s more of an orientation than anything…to see the building for the first time so when they get a chance to come in here with the vets and mix it up with the older guys, there’s not much young bull going on and they at least know where they’re going.
Q: Just going to be looking at retention of information? I imagine you’re probably going to throw a lot at them as far as the install and the playbook?
A: Absolutely. Their hair will be fire once they hit the building until they leave. A lot of the vets have had the installs for a couple seasons…defense, for one year now. They’ve gone through a couple installs already with the minicamp and with the phase one work, so we are going to throw a lot at them and we’ll see how fast they can catch up. But we’ll have a chance to spend more time—you can spend more time in the afternoons with these rookies when the vets are out of here. That’s really their time to grow and digest the information.
Q: You’ve gone through the two big phases where you add players to this team in free agency and the draft. Do you like what you have so far?
A: You certainly would rather add them than take them away, that’s the worst part of the job. But absolutely, the free agency process and the draft process have been fairly clean and straight forward. You have a plan in place and you trust the plan, you stick with the plan, and have no knee-jerk reactions to anything…stay the course and that’s what we’ve done.
Q: It doesn’t appear that any of the players you took have character red flags or injury red flags. We talked to you a couple days ago about a couple of high profile guys you passed on early maybe because of that. Was it important for you to have clean players where you didn’t have to necessarily sweat out a doctor’s report or other issues?
A: The medical question and the character question, I think, are two different questions. I think it’s important that when you bring in young players, you bring young players who can be potential pros, not just potential NFL players. I think we did that with all six of these guys.
Q: Will there be any overlap with the veterans and the rookies coming in for the minicamp this week or is that not going to be until the following week?
A: They may run into each other a little bit on Thursday afternoon, but we’ll get the vets out of here and then bring the rookies—have everything be a little bit separate, but nothing formal.
Q: Once the rookies get here, they’re here?
A: The following Monday, they’ll be intermixed, yes.
MEDIA Q&A WITH LINEBACKER B.J. GOODSON:
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.
MEDIA Q&A WITH RUNNING BACK PAUL PERKINS:
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.
MEDIA Q&A WITH TIGHT END JERELL ADAMS:
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.