May 022015
 
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Mykkele Thompson, Texas Longhorns (October 27, 2012)

Mykkele Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

On the third and final day of the 2015 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected safety/corner Mykkele Thompson (University of Texas) in the 5th round, wide receiver Geremy Davis (University of Connecticut) in the 6th round, and offensive guard Bobby Hart (Florida State University) in the 7th round.

S MYKKELE THOMPSON SCOUTING REPORT: Mykkele Thompson is a former quarterback and wide receiver converted to cornerback and then safety. Thompson is a  bit of a corner-safety ‘tweener. He is tall (6’2”) but thin (191 pounds) with good speed (sub-4.5) but not ideal quickness for corner. Thompson is raw and still learning the safety position, but he really improved as a player his senior season. Versatile, he can play safety, corner, and nickel corner. Thompson is a decent tackler, but he is not a physical player. He has good range, but does not make many plays on the football and has given up some big pass plays at the collegiate level. Thompson is smart with very good intangibles. He is a good special teams player who blocked three punts in college.

WR GEREMY DAVIS SCOUTING REPORT: Davis is a big (6’2”, 216 pounds) wideout with excellent hands. Davis is well-built with long arms and very strong. While Davis has decent timed speed (sub-4.5), he’s more of a possession-type receiver than deep threat. Lacks ideal quickness and agility and may have problems separating from defensive backs at the NFL level. Davis has a good catch radius, adjusts well to the football, and will make the contested catch. He lacks run-after-the-catch creativity. Team leader.

OG BOBBY HART SCOUTING REPORT: Hart played right tackle at Florida State but projects to guard at the pro level. He is very young – will turn 21 in August. Hart has excellent size (6’5”, 329 pounds) and good strength, but he lacks ideal overall athleticism and feet. Hart needs to play with better technique and leverage, but he is able to muscle and maul in the run game.

MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)

Opening Statement: Our last three picks… Mykkele Thompson, safety from Texas. They used him in a lot of ways. They used him as a free safety. They used him as a nickel and they used him as a corner. We like the versatility about him. We project him more as a free safety because he can really run. He has range on the back end. Another thing that stuck out for me about this kid is that he’s a good tackler. He’s not really a smash-mouth hitter like Landon Collins, but he’s calm. You see some guys get in space and they miss tackles. This guy was a guy who got people down to give you another chance to play defense. I liked that about him.

Our sixth round pick… Geremy Davis, wide receiver from Connecticut. He’s a big, possession-type of receiver. He actually ran fast. He’s a height, weight, speed guy. He ran fast, but he doesn’t play to that time speed as much. We think he’s more of a possession receiver, first down-friendly-to-the-quarterback kind of player. He plays inside. He plays outside. He’s a big kid. He has the right attitude to play on special teams. The guy can use his body to post people up, jump balls, good route runner. We like him like that.

Our seventh round pick… Bobby Hart, guard from Florida State. Actually he played tackle a lot, but we project him as a guard up here for us. He has played a lot of football. I think he’s only 20 years old. I don’t want to say really long arms, but his arms are 33 inches. He has good arm length. He’s played a lot of ball at a high level of competition for Florida State. I see guys like that with his skill set. We see them every Sunday playing in the National Football League. But we do think he’s a guard and not a tackle.

Q: Overall, what did you think about your draft?

A: We think we picked good players. Obviously, you don’t know until you get them out there and you let them play, but we feel good about this draft class. There are some talented football players. I think we have some tough players. We’ve got some athletes and talent. We like it.

Q: You filled some needs for your football team through the draft. Do you feel good about that?

A: Yeah. We tried to tie that together. We were all about the best player available, but we tried to tie in need with value as well. We were definitely cognizant of that and we tried to do that.

Q: How much do you think Geremy Davis’ injury affected his numbers last year?

A: That may have had something to do with it, but we’re kind of looking at him in how he played this past season. He’s a good football player. He kind of reminds you of Jason Avant. I think that was a name somebody brought up in our meeting. One of those kind of guys that could be your fourth, fifth receiver, play on special teams, has size, can block, good route runner, and catch the ball nice.

Q: Why is there a disparity from Geremy Davis’ combine speed and game speed?

A: He ran a fast time. I think he ran a 4.51, but we think he’s probably more like a 4.55, 4.56; those kind of guys. But you look at the time and this guy has got really good speed. He doesn’t quite play that fast for us, but he ran it and it’s on his card.

Q: Could Davis be a potential gunner?

A: He could be a gunner. We definitely think he’s a core special teams player. These kind of guys get jerseys because they play on special teams on Sunday.

Q: There’s a story on Mykkele Thompson and his contact lenses, which led to a drop in his production last year. Have you heard about it?

A: No.

Q: What makes you think Thompson can play free safety as opposed to playing closer to the box?

A: Because he’s not a guy that goes down in the box like Landon Collins does. He’s more of a coverage safety. He can really run. He’s played corner. He plays in the slot sometimes as a nickel. He plays in the back end. We project him as a free safety. Those are the kind of guys that you play on the back end and he’s about as heavy as Collins as well.

Q: Thompson said he almost expected to be an undrafted free agent. When you have a guy like that, do you contemplate taking a risk and waiting until later in the draft even if he’s at the top of your board?

A: It was a position that we talked about. He was in the group of players we were talking about with the skill set we were looking for. It fit what we wanted and we drafted him.

Q: It doesn’t sound like he’s going to come in with a chip on his shoulder.

A: Maybe not. You never know. If he talks to you guys, he’ll have a chip on his shoulder pretty quickly.

Q: You have two spots on the roster now.

A: We have some guys that we might swap out, when free agency starts. We’re going to look at it right now if there are some guys on the board that we like better than some guys we have on the roster. There could be swap outs.

Q: How many people do you anticipate bringing into the rookie camp?

A: Probably between 60-65.

Q: Do you think you made a concerted effort to get bigger, faster and stronger?

A: We always want that. Everybody wants big, strong, fast, tough football players.

Q: You picked a lot of really young players. Is that by design?

A: We don’t think that’s a negative. They’re developing and you can teach them as they go, grow and mature. That’s not a negative for us. I think Michael Strahan was 20.

Q: It’s a positive?

A: We think that’s a positive. If a guy is 25, that’s more of a negative than a 20-year old.

Q: If you draft someone older, is it harder to have him adapt to what you’re doing scheme wise?

A: Not necessarily, but if you’re 25, you’re almost out of the league. When you’re 25, you’re almost gone.

Q: So it’s lower upside?

A: Yeah. It doesn’t fit everything quite that nice, like you said it, but we would rather have a 20-year old than a 25-year old.

MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS:

Q: How do you look at the totality of the draft from your perspective?

A: It was good. We had a good time up there. We had a good process, good conversations and we came out with some players that we really like.

Q: Did the draft fall the way you expected or hoped it would?

A: Definitely the earlier rounds we had a good idea and then this year was probably the most unpredictable draft in years with guys just going from all over. It thinned out really quick, so guys were coming from everywhere.

Q: What did you see in Mykkele Thompson that nobody else saw?

A: We told him when he was here that we were going to draft him. I guess he wasn’t paying attention. Just jokes. We did have him in here on a visit and he was really smart on the board. Playing-wise, he is a competitor, he is really smart and they played him in a bunch of different positions. He was in the slot, free and strong [safety spots]. He can handle that in game. He can run. The kid can run. He is not your classic corner, not your classic safety, but we think he can provide versatility. More of a free safety for us.

Q: Does that scare you off from a player if no one else shows interest in him?

A: Not at all. We trust our scouts. We trust our coaches. We trust our process and what the media writes or what other teams do [in regards to], if they like him or don’t like him, has very little to no bearing on what we do.

Q: Is that something you even know if other teams have interest?

A: Yeah, when we bring him in and talk to him and our scouts call guys during the week and ask what visits have you had and who has brought you in and who has worked you out. We keep a tab total of guys and the teams who may be interested. Our pro [personnel] guys do a great job of trying to track media things in the different cities and the players. We have a good idea.

Q: Did you think you could wait for someone like him or because he was on the top of your board…?

A: At times we think we can get him as a free agent, but if everybody feels strongly about the player at a certain time, then we just take him.

Q: When you picked Bobby Hart, did you consider La’el Collins at all?

A: We thought about La’el the whole draft because he is sitting up there, but we were going to pass on that.

Q: Would you have noticed a player like Bobby Hart if he had not come from such a prestigious school?

A: Yeah, I think so because the guy is 6-6 and 330 pounds. Those guys just don’t walk down the street and you don’t notice them. We would have noticed him. He is a big, competitive kid. He is smart. He is very young. He started as a freshman at Florida State, and he is still only 20-21 years old. He has played a lot of football for a young player at a high level, obviously for a winning program, so those are the things you have to think that he is not going to come here and be intimidated by anything. He is going to come here and come to work.

Q: What makes you view him as an inside prospect?

A: He’s more of a box-area athlete. He is not a nifty mover. He is a big, massive, mauling guard type of profile as opposed to a tackle with movement. He has excellent length and strength for an inside player.

Q: Did he play any inside?

A: Maybe when he was younger, but he has been a right tackle the last couple of years.

Q: Do you think of [Geremy Davis] as someone who could fill a role like David Tyree did here?

A: You mean catch balls off his helmet? This guy is a big guy who is strong, competitive and more of a possession type receiver, even though he ran really fast at his pro day. He is more of a possession type. He catches the ball. A big guy like that is going to make it as your fourth receiver and special teams player if you want to say the Tyree role. Preston Parker did it for us last year. You need those utility backup guys to help you win. Be ready. Be prepared. If you get in the game, make a catch and play on all the core special teams. Every team needs has to have those kinds of guys to win and that is what we think this guy can do.

Q: Do you like the [Jason] Avant comparison with Davis?

A: Yeah, one of our scouts, Ryan Jones, compared him to Avant. That was a good one. Hopefully he can be an ‘Avant.’

Q: Going after undrafted rookies?

A: We are in the process of doing that right now. We target a few guys and we like to go after those and if we don’t get them, then the roster fluctuates by what we are going to do. That is what we are in the process of doing right now. Preparing for that.

MEDIA Q&A WITH HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN: (Video)

Opening Statement: I think you can see what the intent was going into the draft, not only had a need, but we were also able to put ourselves in a position to help ourselves out from a standpoint of the quality of the player. We have talked about the first three rounds so I will just jump right into the afternoon.

We felt like in [Mykkele] Thompson we had a guy that actually will go very well with Landon Collins. Thompson has played corner, as you know, the majority of his collegiate career. He is a good cover guy and he is fast. He can play in the centerfield position. There is no way around it, you are going to have to bring him down to the line of scrimmage on occasion. As we go forward, if we could create it, we would create it the other way around. It also has been said that Thompson can play some nickel. We do have some guys that can play over the slot. We will just have to play that out as we work.

In Geremy Davis, we took a big wide receiver that also is going to be a contributor on special teams. You had a guy whose projection isn’t the greatest. I am not going to – you guys know more about the collegiate numbers than I do and the different teams. Davis is a big, fast wide receiver who catches the ball well. I don’t know if he is going to separate the way some of people that we have would, but he is going to contribute on special teams as well.

In Bobby Hart we took a guy that has played four straight years for a team that won a national championship. Truly a football university that has been outstanding in collegiate football for long, long time. A hard-nosed outfit. This guy has played a lot of football. There are some things we will have to do to shape exactly how that works with him, in terms the guard or tackle position. He has shown the ability to play both. We’ll establish that when we get him in here.

Overall, we made the maneuver. We traded up to be in position where we would take a player that we really felt would help us. In doing that there were a couple opportunities for choices that were subtracted. Overall that is the price you have to pay sometimes to get the player that you want in the program.

The draft, with the exception of the free agent part of it, which we do have some numbers that we are going to have to jump on right at the conclusion of the draft in free agency. Hopefully we will do well there because, to be honest with you, there are always opportunities for people to make your team that come out of that collegiate free agency. We will approach that as soon as the draft ends and put together, not only our 90 roster, but what we are going to do with our rookie mini-camp, which some of the players that are currently on our roster are eligible to be involved in that, which is a good thing. The rest will be a tryout camp as well.

Q: Was need more of a focus in this year’s past?

A: No. This is a franchise that in all the years that I have been around — you may have some legitimate battles of things of this nature, but the best player is going to get taken. Sometimes it looks as if we already have people at that spot, but over the years that has been proven the way to go. This organization does not change from that policy.

Q: In the beginning it looks like with the first three picks….?

A: If you can match them (value and need) up, that is what you want to do.

Q: That is the dream scenario?

A: It is. When you have needs and you have to fill them, but sometimes as you sit there and the players come off the board, it doesn’t work that way. We put ourselves in position with the number two spot to accomplish both and also the number three spot worked out very well for us in that regard.

Q: Would you be okay with two rookies starting at safety?

A: Let’s see how that plays out. We are glad to have those young men here and competing for that very situation, but let’s let it play out.

Q: How much do you think you guys improved or where do you see the biggest improvement this offseason?

A: Take a look down the line right here. Offensive line.

Q: Combining this and free agency?

A: There have been some changes, not quite as many as there was a year ago, but there have been changes. There always are. There is a certain percentage of your roster that you know is going to change throughout the course of free agency and the draft, so we are excited about those that we have here from a free agent standpoint and we are anxious to get them on the field and out of the meeting rooms. That will take place this week for us and the rookies will be here so we can take a look at them this weekend and put them right in the program the following week.

Q: Is there a specific area where you think you are better at?

A: I am not going to say that now. I hope we are better at all of them. We should be better in all the spots. That is the purpose of going out in free agency and bringing in players that you hope can help you. Not only on offense and defense, but certainly with [Dwayne] Harris on special teams.

Q: Do you think in the last three days your team got bigger and stronger and tougher?

A: That was one of the intents. And faster, too. Certainly younger. The roster will end up being younger.

Q: Can you realistically get all 12 receivers you have on the roster snaps?

A: It won’t stay that way. You have a number that you have in mind for camp. You are going to work with that number. If that number happens to be, whatever the position might be, over, then you are going to have to adjust.

Q: Will the rookies jump in right away with the veterans before the mini-camp?

A: No, they can’t. They don’t get here until Thursday. Once the rookies are here, the veterans are out the door. They cannot be here, other than the guys that are presently here eligible. We do have a few.

Q: You didn’t have a rookie camp last year. Do you like having the minicamp to introduce the rookies?

A: We have done mini-camps forever, so that is probably I would prefer it. Sometimes it doesn’t fall that way. Sometimes where you are with your team, they just roll right in anyways, regardless. This gives a chance to introduce the fundamental concepts, the terminology etc. on a little bit lesser scale in terms of the intensity of it. Then take them on the field and I think that will help some of these guys be introduced to where we are.

MEDIA Q&A WITH THOMPSON:

Q: Did this catch you by surprise getting drafted by the Giants in the fifth round?

A: It was a surprise to me. I don’t even know how to explain it right now.

Q: What’s surprising to you about it?

A: Just the place. It sounds right. This was the only team I took a visit up to. I’m just glad they believed in my ability and picked me up.

Q: What was the visit like? Who did you meet with and what was the impression you came away with?

A: I met with everybody. Of course, I was mainly with the defensive coaches and the defensive back coaches. It’s just a great vibe around there. They all really care and they want to win. I got a positive vibe from every one of them.

Q: Is this where you expected to go in the draft or did you have a different feeling heading into this process?

A: Honestly, I had no idea where I was going to go. Obviously, free agency was a possibility. Me thinking that I didn’t put that good of numbers up this past season, I thought free agency was going to be the main goal probably.

Q: Was there a reason for the numbers you put up this season?

A: There was no reason for it. I didn’t have too much action this past season.

Q: What do you bring to the NFL?

A: Honestly, I’ll play wherever they want me to. In college I played every defensive back position, so wherever they want me to go, that’s where I’ll play, and, of course, special teams is really big.

Q:  Is it your versatility or something else that you might say is your best quality?

A: My versatility, of course, and, of course, my length and my speed for my size.

Q: Do you know anything about the Giants’ second round pick, Landon Collins from Alabama?

A: I have seen a couple of games on him and of course I have seen his stats and everything.

Q: What were you doing today? Were you preparing for the possibility of being drafted or just taking it as it goes?

A: Of course, that is what I wanted to happen, but I was just here with my family. Nothing too big. We are just relaxing on the couch. I had no clue when or if my name would get picked, so I was just waiting by the phone.

Q: What was the reaction when the phone rang?

A: At first I just thought I was getting a text message. My phone has been blowing up. When I saw the New York area code, I was shocked, and I looked up at the TV and saw that [the Giants] had the next pick. I don’t even know how to explain it right now.

Q: Did you live in Italy very long as a kid?

A: My dad was in the Air Force. I lived in Italy for a couple years, but nothing that I can remember.

Q: When you started wearing contact lenses did that help you when playing football?

A: Yes.

Q: When did that start and how much of a difference did that make?

A: That started probably towards the beginning of this past season. Of course seeing better is always a one-up in your game. With my performance, it seemed like it helped.

MEDIA Q&A WITH DAVIS:

Q:  Did you think the Giants might be interested?

A: I know they are close to Connecticut, but I never really heard from them. During this whole process, you never know how teams work this thing out or if they show interest or they might be interested. There is so much that goes on.  I am just happy to see my name and do the best work I can for the Giants.

Q: What do you think you can bring to this team?

A: From a receiving standpoint, I am a big, physical guy. I am not afraid to open up big blocks for running backs and other receivers. I am not afraid to go across the middle. I have great hands. From a special teams standpoint, I can use my physicality on the front line for kickoff returns or blocking for the punt, running down on the kickoff and making a tackle. I am just going to give my all.

Q: You went from over 1,000 yards [receiving] as a junior to 700 yards this past year… What was the reason for that?

A: I missed two games with a high ankle sprain [on my left leg]. Then when I hurt my ankle, it was in the beginning of the ECU game so I pretty much missed three games. Prior to that, I was on pace for another year like I had, but unfortunately I had the injuries. I came back strong at the pro day, Combine and all-star games. I am happy that the Giants realized it.

Q: Can you make a catch like the one Odell Beckham Jr. made?

A: I always practice those muscle memory catches on the JUGS machine. [Beckham Jr.] is a great talent and I am happy to be working with him and a lot of the other guys like Victor Cruz and [Rueben] Randle. I just hope I can get under those guys’ wings and contribute on special teams and eventually at the wide receiver position.

Q: What do you think you can do on special teams?

A: I am a pretty big guy. Six-two, 215 [pounds]. I am a physical receiver. I am going to run down there and make tackles. I can be an in man on punt protecting for the punt. Front line on kickoff return. I am going to use all those traits that I have as a receiver on special teams.

MEDIA Q&A WITH HART:

Q: The Giants project you playing guard at this level. When was the last time you played the position?

A: I played guard my sophomore year and then in practice a little bit this year. Guard is fine with me. Whatever they need me to play, that’s what I’m willing to play.

Q: What are the differences you find between the two positions? Was it an easy transition when you moved from tackle to guard?

A: Pretty easy. With any new position there are new challenges, but I’m up for all of the challenges ahead.

Q: How much did you talk to the Giants prior to the draft? Did you have any idea you would land with the Giants?

A: I had no idea I’d be landing here. I talked to them in Indianapolis briefly. It was definitely a shock, but I’m definitely happy to be here.

Q: What about all the big games you’ve played in at Florida State helps prepare you for the NFL?

A: It definitely has helped. We’re definitely battle-tested there. We’ve been through a lot. Just keeping my composure in those games we had.

Q: What are your thoughts on Jameis Winston?

A: Jameis is a great guy. I’m pretty sure he’d be successful wherever he went just by the time he puts into the game and his passion for it. Wherever he went, whether it was first or wherever, I know he’ll be successful.

Q: Do you know Ereck Flowers?

A: Not personally. Just playing against him and talking to him after the game. Nothing personal.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a player?

A: A very smart player. Tough player. Just a player that’s going to get the job done.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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