Dec 312015
 
John Mara, New York Giants (December 20, 2015)

John Mara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]

GIANTS OWNERSHIP DIVIDED ABOUT FATE OF TOM COUGHLIN?…
The New York Daily News is reporting that there have been “several high-level discussions” within the New York Giants’ organization this week about the fate of Head Coach Tom Coughlin. The Daily News says it is not known yet if a final decision has been made, but “there are several people in the Giants’ front office who believe a change is necessary,” including team chairman/executive vice president Steve Tisch. The Daily News reports that pressure is mounting on team president/CEO John Mara to make a change and “most people inside the organization believe Mara will eventually agree.”

“Do I want to come back? I don’t know if that’s a great question right now,” said Coughlin on Thursday. “What I want to do is win a game on Sunday, that’s the bottom line for this group right now. I always have the competitive spirit. Sometimes it takes me a day or two to figure it all out when it’s over. Right now, let’s stick with the game and let’s go win a football game.”

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have placed linebacker J.T. Thomas (ankle) and long-snapper Danny Aiken (thumb) on season-ending Injured Reserve. Thomas injured his ankle in last Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, while Aiken injured his thumb in practice on Wednesday.

The Giants now have 20 players on Injured Reserve, one player who spent the season on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List (left tackle Will Beatty) and one player on Injured Reserve/Designated-to-Return (defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa).

To fill the roster 53-man roster vacancies, the Giants signed linebacker Nico Johnson from the team’s Practice Squad, and signed long-snapper Tyler Ott.

Johnson was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs waived him in August 2014 and signed him to their Practice Squad. The Bengals signed Johnson to their 53-man roster in October 2014, but waived him in August 2015. The Redskins signed Johnson to their Practice Squad in September, but terminated his contract a month later. The Giants signed Johnson to the Practice Squad in November. Johnson has played in 17 regular-season games with three starts, accruing 22 tackles. Johnson is a big linebacker (6’2”, 249lbs) who plays the run well, but isn’t as adept in pass coverage. He is a hard worker.

Ott was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He did not make the team, but spent time with the Patriots again and the St. Louis Rams before the 2015 season.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
RT Marshall Newhouse (concussion), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (ankle), LB J.T. Thomas (ankle), S Craig Dahl (concussion), and S Cooper Taylor (concussion) did not practice on Thursday. Thomas was later placed on Injured Reserve.

WR Dwayne Harris (back/shoulder) and LS Danny Aiken (thumb) practiced on a limited basis. Aiken was later placed on Injured Reserve.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Thursday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media access to the Giants on New Year’s Day. The team will hold a 45-minute, up-tempo “walk-thru” practice on Saturday that is not open to the media. The Giants play the Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday.

Dec 312015
 
Jalen Ramsey, Florida State Seminoles (November 28, 2015)

Jalen Ramsey – © USA TODAY Sports Images

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]
2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 31, 2015 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

HOUSTON

#3 CB William Jackson – 6’2/195

Fourth year senior, started off at a Community College for a year. He started showing signs of being a lockdown corner towards the end of 2014. Kind of a late bloomer, took him awhile to improve his body awareness and coordination. Still has a lot of room for growth. He can turn and run with anyone. Long strider with long arms, that’s nice to have against deep passing games. He isn’t very physical though and his ability as a press corner isn’t good. Upside prospect here that will need time to develop. 4th or 5th rounder.

#44 LB Elandon Roberts – 6’0/230

Fourth year senior that played a year at Morgan State. Pretty much a non factor until 2015. I’ve seen the Houston defense three times and Roberts is one of my top sleepers in the draft. This kid is a tackling machine. He can fill different roles. Fast and powerful with good body control. Violent intentions. He is a great mover in coverage, has the wiggle in his hips and tremendous balance. Roberts is undersized and may not be the fastest straight line athlete but what I look for in linebackers, Roberts has it all. Might be an ideal fit for the 4-3 WLB role.

#23 S Trevon Stewart – 5’9/195

One of the most productive careers you’ll find. Career started off with a bang as a freshman where he led all newcomers in the nation with 126 tackles. Showed the same ability in 2013 but also picked off four passes. Some started discussing him as a next Earl Thomas type. Not so fast there. Stewart is aggressive and feisty, yes. But he doesn’t have that kind of speed of reaction in coverage. Stewart’s lack of size is a major liability. He isn’t a guy to trust in deep coverage. Very grabby. He didn’t really take off to another level at any point. Late rounder at best that could be a great special teamer.

FLORIDA STATE

*#8 CB Jalen Ramsey – 6’1/201

Many expect him to come out. He’s likely a top 5 pick if he does. Widely considered the top defensive back in this class. He is also a track athlete. Ramsey can do several things on the field that make you say wow. I think he is better suited for safety however. He is a great tackler that wraps up and can deliver a blow. He has a nice feel for the game. With that said, as strictly a corner he is sloppy. Poor technique and lazy efforts at times. He knows he is talented and he cuts corners because of it. He can be beat by a good route runner with ease. If I draft him, I am letting him roam the field as a FS. He can be a star there.

*#44 DT DeMarcus Walker – 6’3/281

Junior that hasn’t come out. Had a huge 2015 season and many think he’ll enter the draft. Walker is a DT/DE hybrid. They move him around a lot to exploit matchups. He is too quick and elusive for interior guys, but too strong and powerful for the tackles. He would fit in nice with the hybrid NFL schemes. Very versatile kid that has a knack for finding the action. It can be hard to find DL that get in on the action so often. Walker is that kind of guy. If he comes out he is likely a top 45 guy.

#5 LB Reggie Northrup – 6’4/254

Fourth year senior. Core special teamer for a couple years and took over at MLB in 2014, leading the team in tackles with 122. Northrup was starting to look like a 1st round prospect, but tore his ACL and MCL in the Rose Bowl last January. He missed the 2015 spring but came back to start every game in 2015, again leading the team in tackles. Knowing he still has more recovering to do, I think this kid has the upside of a Pro Bowler. He owns the inside gaps as a run defender. He has the range to reach the sidelines. Effective blitzer and quick reaction guy. I don’t have much on him as a cover man. He may need to come off the field on 3rd downs but I think with another offseason of full recovery and training, he can be a starter in year one. Top 60 kind of guy.

*#27 CB Marquez White – 6’0/184

Third year junior. Also plays basketball for the Seminoles. Not sure what his plans are for this winter/spring. I haven’t spent a ton of time scouting White but I do think he is a more natural cover corner than Ramsey. More refined from a technique perspective. Has the length and quick feet to be a solid press corner. Shows a physical side. It seems to me that QBs avoid throwing his way more than Ramsey. We’ll see if he declares. Could be a 2nd round talent.

#99 DT Nile Lawrence-Stample – 6’1/323

Fifth year senior. Blue collar run defender that has some solid 3-4 NT potential. Plays low and strong. Tough as nails. Does the dirty work and probably goes overlooked by the common fan. Scouts know there is value with this kid. 4th or 5th rounder that is limited but some defenses really need this guy.

#24 LB Terrance Smith – 6’4/231

Fifth year senior that missed 2011 with a knee. Height/weight/speed guy that will do great in workouts. Interesting case here. He has some outstanding tape from early in his career. He was expected to be one of the top defenders on this team in 2015, but for whatever reason it didn’t pan out. He looked lost at times. When he isn’t in space chasing guys down, he looks very average. I wanna do more digging on him to see if there was an undisclosed injury or off field problem. 2015 is a mystery to me. He didn’t reach half the level I was expecting to see. I still think he has 4th or 5th round potential.

Other Notables:

#1 S Tyler Hunter – 5’11/205
#42 FS LaMarcus Brutus – 6’0/208

***********************************

OKLAHOMA

#3 WR Sterling Shepard – 5’10./193

If I had to choose one receiver in this class for my slot position, it’s this guy. I think Shepard has 100+ catch per season potential. He has elite stop and go ability. He’ll always be able to run himself open. Very competitive guy, loves to get after it in traffic. Doesn’t shy from contact. Strong hands and very good ability after the catch. Off the field Shepard is a tireless worker that is constantly trying to find the smallest of advantages to make himself better. If he can be put in to the right role, we are talking about a guy that will be among league leaders in receptions every year. I’ll have a 1st round grade on him.

#74 RG Nila Kasitati – 6’4/315

Fourth year senior. Doesn’t really look the part, might be a bit too soft and unathletic. Will bend poorly at times. But this guy can run block with the best of them. Very smart and savvy. Very powerful hands. When his feet are under him he can block anyone. If he can get in to better shape he has starting potential. Late rounder but one I would easily gamble on for development if he checks well off the field.

*#1 LB Dominique Alexander – 6’0/220

Third year junior that is 50/50 on declaring. Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Freshman All American in 2013. Leading tackler. Very rangy, fast, and quick. Might be an ideal 4-3 WLB prospect. He can make plays all over the field. Can be a 3 down guy for a team right away. Has some star potential in him. He’ll make plays that a lot of guys simply are unable to. If he comes out he could be a top 45 guy. 3rd rounder at worst.

#19 OLB Eric Striker – 6’0/222

Popular name here. Fourth year senior that almost came out after last season. Has big time production. Led the Sooners on TFL and sacks each of the past three seasons respectively. Striker doesn’t pass the initial eye test. He is short. Doesn’t carry a lot of weight. Doesn’t have a long reach. He can produce in the NFL though. He can cover better than you would think. He defends the run with awareness and intelligence. Very savvy and quick reaction type. Striker has made some very good OL look foolish over the years. He isn’t a fit for everyone but knowing how solid of a kid he is off the field, Striker will make it happen in the NFL one way or another. Day 2 prospect.

#91 DE Charles Tapper – 6’4/283

Fourth year senior. He won’t jump off the screen and he hasn’t had enormous production. But talk to any Big 12 coach or player and they will tell you Tapper is one of the best DEs in the country. He is blue collar. Owns the line of scrimmage, rarely gets beat by a lone blocker. Very disciplined and smart. Has the physical tools that coaches love. He is NFL ready from day one. He’ll be a very solid DE in the NFL. Safe pick. Day 2 guy.

*#15 CB Zack Sanchez – 5’11/179

Fourth year junior. I’ve been told he is coming out but haven’t seen anything for sure. Some guys really like him. 12 INTs over the past 2 years. I think those numbers are a little inflated, I don’t think he is NFL ready. He has poor technique and gets away with murder downfield. Very grabby. I do like the attitude though and he tracks the deep ball well. I just think he needs another year. 4th or 5th rounder if he comes out.

CLEMSON

*#10 MLB Ben Boulware – 6’0/235

Third year junior. Hasn’t declared yet and I am split on whether or not he will. If he comes out, he will likely be my top LB in this class. I may even have a top 15 overall grade on him. Boulware is always around the ball, run or pass. Very instinctive and quick to the action. Low center of gravity and appears slippery to blockers. He is fast and powerful. Very good tackler that delivers a violent pop to ball carriers. Emotional leader of this team and is always on fire. Boulware is a 10 year starter in the NFL.

*#2 CB Mackenzie Alexander – 5’11/190

Third year sophomore. Broke on to the scene in 2014 with a Freshman All American season. I’ve been watching him all year and he has the goods from a physical perspective. Length, strength, speed, quickness, agility….it’s all there. Alexander is a fighter, constantly mixing it up with the opponent. If I had to nitpick, I’d say he struggles to maintain his physical ability when the ball is in there air. He loses balance and traction and has a tendency to get very grabby downfield. All in all he has the talent to be a star but there are several mechanical components to his game that need to be worked on. If he comes out he can be a top 15 guy.

*#90 DE Shaq Lawson – 6’3/275

Third year junior. Hasn’t announced a decision yet. Lawson wasn’t much of a factor until this year, playing behind Vic Beasley for his first two years. He really broke out this year and put himself in to 1st round territory. Lawson leads the nation with 22.5 tackles for loss. He is a complete defensive end that excels against both the run and pass. I can’t quite make up my mind on him. He’s good, but is he top 10 good? He lacks a couple of ideal physical traits but he has a technique-savvy player with a relentless motor. That is usually a nice combination when scouting a guy with such good production. I’ll spend more time on him in the coming months but he has a legit shot at being my #1 DE. I don’t see a major difference between him and Bosa.

*#98 DE Kevin Dodd – 6’5/278

Fourth year junior. Missed 2013 with injury. Dodd doesn’t get the attention that Lawson does but some people will have a higher grade on him. He has an NFL-ready body. A true 4-3 DE here that could start early in his career. He hasn’t seen the attention from opposing OLs that Lawson has, but I don’t want to use that against him too much. Power defender that shows proper mechanics across the board. Could be another 1st rounder.

#44 LB BJ Goodson – 6’1/250

Fifth year senior. Probably won’t get the attention that Boulware does but this guy is a player. Very physical, mean linebacker. A perfect fit for what we used to see in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Might not be the elite athlete that some are looking for but some LBs have a way of using sneaky speed and that’s Goodson for you. He can change a run defense from day one.

*#1 FS Jayron Kearse – 6’4/210

This year junior with some nice bloodlines. Nephew of former DE Jevon Kearse, cousin to former CB Philip Buchanon. Very experienced. Solid triangle numbers. Some love this kid but I think he is too long for his own good. Takes a long time to react and change direction. Misses too many tackles for a safety. He just isn’t comfortable or fluid as a mover. I think he is a late rounder if he comes out, others will say top 100.

Other Notables:

#19 WR Charone Peake – 6’3/215
#78 LG Eric Mac Lain – 6’4/305
#74 RT Joe Gore – 6’5/290

***********************************

MICHIGAN STATE

#18 QB Connor Cook – 6’4/220

Fifth year senior. A career record of 34-4 over his 3 seasons as the starter. He is in the running for the first QB overall. A good game against Alabama could go a long way. Has the size and arm strength. I have seen a ton of Cook over the past two years and I won’t have a 1st round grade on him. I may not have a 2nd round grade on him. He gets flustered in the pocket under pressure. He looks afraid at times. Doesn’t seem to be confident from the pocket unless he is completely clean. Another thing I want to look in to…he isn’t a team captain. A fifth year senior that plays QB and has been the starter for 3 years isn’t a captain? There may be something there.

*#74 OT Jack Conklin – 6’6/325

Fourth year junior. Began his career as a walk on. Became the starting LT right away in 2013 and was a Freshman All American. Conklin has been one of the top LTs in the country for years now, he is one of my favorites. He’s been a little nicked up with a knee in 2015 and it has definitely slowed him down. Tonight will be the freshest he’s been in awhile, looking forward to the matchup. He is a blue collar bruiser. Very big and tough. Shows refined mechanics from head to toe. Very hard worker. He doesn’t have the elite movement and it may prevent his grade from being top 10 overall, but he’ll likely finish as a 1st rounder.

#76 RG Donovan Clark – 6’4/325

Fifth year senior. Major test for him tonight. I think he can match up well against these big time Alabama DTs. Clark is as strong and powerful as it gets. If he gets inside position with his hands, game over. He drives guys backward more than any guard in the class. Big time run blocker. He can be out-moved by faster defenders though. Little limited at the second level and as a pass blocker. Day 2 guy I think.

#66 C Jack Allen – 6’2/296

Fifth year senior. Four year starter. Two time All American. Allen is the top center in the class according to some. Missed some time this year with an ankle. Leader of the OL, responsible for a lot pre-snap. Kind of like a second quarterback. Allen gets his hands on quick and will work his tail off through the whistle. Nice test for him tonight, as the one question I have is the ability to hold his ground against elite power. He’ll see plenty of that tonight.

#16 WR Aaron Burbridge – 6’1/208

Fourth year senior. Has been a steady contributor all for years. Became a go to guy in 2015, showing more big play ability than he had in previous years. He is thick for a WR. Capable of pushing DBs around and getting to where he wants. Lacks top end speed but he is an explosive route runner underneath. He can get open. Limited upside but a guy that can be a solid #4 or #5 WR in the NFL. Day three prospect.

#89 DE Shilique Calhoun – 6’5/250

Fourth year senior. Almost came out last year, wisely chose to return for senior season. I wasn’t big on Calhoun last year but he looks a lot better right now. More quick twitch and reaction. Has the explosive first step when they let him loose to put a tackle on his heels. Calhoun has very good body control when he is moving at full speed and that is a big part of what makes him so effective. He can change his path at any second. First round grade here.

#8 DE Lawrence Thomas – 6’4/305

Fifth year senior. Incredibly versatile. I think he could fit in to any scheme and he could play inside or outside. That is rare to truly find. He’s been at LB, FB, DT, and DE for the Spartans. Thomas can get off the ball well with a lot of power and leverage. Good adjustments and post-engagement moves. Not a household name but he’ll be a productive player.

#92 DT Joel Heath – 6’6/296

Fifth year senior. Won’t jump off the stat sheet or the game tape but if you watch a lot of Michigan State, you’ll have a deep appreciation for Heath. He has a high upside. Very big and physical. Has good reach and nice frame. NFL coaches will look at him and think major potential. I don’t think he will be a star but he can be a solid rotational guy that can fill multiple roles. He has versatility. He sets the tempo inside for this tough defense. Day three guy.

#26 SS RJ Williamson – 6’0/216

Fifth year senior. Has been a steady contributor all four years. A lot of tackles and has shown a knack for the big play. He made some nice plays early in the year and I circled his name a few times. He tore his biceps in October and needed surgery. Looks like he is coming back for this game. Good for him and it will be a good test. I need to see more of him but he was having a great year prior to the injury.

Other Notables:

#45 LB Darien Harris – 6’0/220
#36 CB Arjen Colquhoun – 6’1/202

ALABAMA

*#2 RB Derrick Henry – 6’3/242

Third year junior. Heisman winner. Old school bruiser that would have been a top 10 pick a decade ago. Henry isn’t the most exciting guy to watch but he’s effective. He wears a defense down. Always pushing the pile, always delivering blows to defenders. He needs space though. If he can’t get to the open field, he isn’t as effective. He doesn’t elude defenders, he won’t miss contact in short spaces. I don’t like how upright he is and long limbed he is, it just screams injury because defenders will be diving at his knees from day one.

*#88 TE OJ Howard – 6’6/242

Hasn’t declared yet, many expect him to. Some think he is the top TE prospect in then nation. I don’t see it. He is very tools rich and could develop in to a matchup problem at the next level. He is a sub par blocker though and I don’t see anything special about his speed or quickness. Maybe he just doesn’t get the looks because of the scheme. I don’t know. Some say he is a 2nd rounder, I think more like 4th/5th.

#70 C Ryan Kelly – 6’5/297

Fifth year senior. Team leader. Three year starter. Very good interior blocker that has the size and strength to stone defensive tackles. Active feet and good flexibility. He can be a day one starter in the NFL. High upside center that I have a 2nd round grade on.

#17 RB Kenyan Drake – 6’1/210

Fourth year senior. A lot of hype surrounding this kid early on, as he’s always been a part of the RB rotation. Drake has been marred by injuries the past two years. When he’s on the field though, you are talking about elite level explosion and speed. He scares defenses every time he touches the ball. And we aren’t talking about a little guy here, he’s got some meat on those bones. If he can get the ball in space, he can outrun anyone. He won’t do much to create on his own though and he just doesn’t have the feel for finding lanes and creases. Dynamic threat but he is not a fit for every team. The injury woes may bump him down to round 5 or 6.

#76 RT Dominick Jackson – 6’6/315

Transferred from JUCO in 2014. Didn’t start until this year. Big physical guy that has interesting tools. Long and stout. Good feet in space as a run blocker. He can drive guys back consistently. Struggles against speed to the outside. Has the ability to play inside in the NFL I think. Day three guy.

*#86 DT A’Shawn Robinson – 6’4/312

Third year junior that has been dominating from day one. All American DT. Plays DE and NT in their multi front scheme. He is a major matchup problem for any lone blocker. He can beat you in several ways. He doesn’t jump off the stat sheet but that isn’t his game. You have to watch him to appreciate it. He demands a lot of attention. He doesn’t get pushed back. He shows a lot of range in pursuit, just a crazy good athlete. 1st rounder, maybe a top 10 guy.

#90 DT Jarran Reed – 6’4/315

Fourth year senior, JUCO transfer. Early in the year I said Reed was a better player than Robinson. I’m not sure I still believe that but Reed makes up for less natural talent with a relentless, overly aggressive style. This guy can help change a culture of a defense. All out kind of guy all the time. He makes a ton of tackles from the DT position. Shows tremendous hand power, always delivering a violent blow to blockers. I like Reed a lot, maybe as a top 20 guy.

*#4 FS Eddie Jackson – 6’0/194

Third year junior. Haven’t heard much about his decision to stay or go but I think 2015 proved he is one of the top safeties in the nation, if not the best. All American. Made the move to FS from CB and he has 6 INTs with an amazing 230 return yards and 2 TDs. He is a game changer. Very rangy. Very fast. Won’t shy from contact and makes a lot of difficult tackles. Everything I want in a safety, Jackson has and I think the best has yet to come. I may have a 1st round grade on him if he comes out.

#19 LB Reggie Ragland – 6’2/252

Fourth year senior. This school just continues to pump out NFL caliber inside linebackers. Ragland is the next one. He’s not the athlete that CJ Mosley was a couple years back but he is just as good of a run defender. He can own the inside running game. Great tackler. Takes on blocks. I think he has a lack of range to the outside though and he may be a two down guy only or a 3-4 only guy. Still valuable but not to every scheme. Day 2 pick.

*#93 DL Jonathan Allen – 6’3/283

Third year junior. Pass rush specialist that may have played his way in to a 2nd round selection this year. Led the team with 10.5 sacks. He’s not on the field for a large percentage of plays and in college, that bothers me a little. I need to see more of him defending the run, playing more assignment based football. Some are saying he has 1st round potential but I’ll probably have him as a day 2 guy if he comes out.

#5 CB Cyrus Jones – 5’10/196

Fourth year senior. Jones could be drafted in the top 100 overall based on his return ability alone. He is the best in the country. Very shifty and fast. Great vision. Could potentially see a move to WR down the road a la Devin Hester. As a CB, Jones has struggled with consistency. He doesn’t stick to WRs in man coverage the way you would think he can based on his workouts. I don’t see the natural feel for coverage, which is essential for the position. Not sure where to peg him. Probably a 3rd or 4th rounder..

Other Notables:

#14 QB Jake Coker – 6’5/234
#16 WR Richard Mullaney – 6’3/208
#30 LB Denzel Devall – 6’2/252
#25 LB Dillon Lee – 6’4/242
#24 S Geno Matias-Smith – 6’0/194

Dec 302015
 


[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
RT Marshall Newhouse (concussion), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (ankle), LB J.T. Thomas (ankle), S Craig Dahl (concussion), and S Cooper Taylor (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday.

Pierre-Paul said he will have additional surgery after the season on the right hand that he originally injured during a July 4th fireworks accident. Pierre-Paul lost his right index finger (amputated) and seriously damaged his right thumb and middle finger in the accident. The goal of the surgery is to improve flexibility in his middle finger so he can grip better and rid himself of his protective club.

“On film, you can see the club is preventing me from making tackles,” Pierre-Paul said. “People see it, I see it, and once I can move away from the club, I’ll be perfectly fine.”

WR Dwayne Harris (back and shoulder) practiced on a limited basis.

GIANTS SIGN TWO TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed linebacker Glenn Carson and cornerback T.J. Heath to the team’s Practice Squad.

Carson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Arizona Cardinals after the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in five games as a rookie and finished the season with 11 tackles. The Cardinals waived him in August 2015. Carson is a an instinctive, intense, blue collar player who lacks ideal athleticism.

Heath was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2011 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Jaguars (2011), Bengals (2012), Bills (2012-13), Browns (2013-14), Dolphins (2014), Panthers (2015), and Falcons (2015). Heath has only played in seven NFL games.

TRYOUT TUESDAY…
According to NJ.com, the following players worked out for the New York Giants on Tuesday: QB Pete Thomas, WR Aldrick Robinson, TE Mike McFarland, LB Glenn Carson, LB Cole Farrand, S Tyrequek Zimmerman, PK Quinn Sharp, and P Spencer Roth.

TOM COUGHLIN AND THE COORDINATORS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

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

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday and hold physical recovery cycles on Friday in advance of Sunday’s home finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Dec 302015
 
Su'a Cravens, USC Trojans (October 8, 2015)

Su’a Cravens – © USA TODAY Sports Images

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]
2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 30, 2015 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

AUBURN

#5 WR Ricardo Louis – 6’2/215

Fourth year senior that hadn’t been given much opportunity until this year. He still looks raw to me, which is typical of receivers that come from this kind of system. He has some tools to work with. Auburn gave him a lot of rushing attempts as well. He can be explosive with the ball in his hands. Best case he is a late rounder.

#8 LB Cassanova McKinzy – 6’3/253

Fourth year senior that has been moved all over the defense. Part of me thinks it has helped him appear more versatile to scouts while part of me thinks his growth as a player has been stunted by the constant movement of positions a la Mathias Kiwanuka. He’s been productive everywhere. I think McKinzy can be an elite 3-4 linebacker or an above average 4-3 linebacker. He is extremely powerful on the move. Very good blitzer and very effective in pursuit. He has the short area explosion to beat blockers to a spot and the strength to deliver violent hits. He misses too many tackles to be strictly a run defending linebacker. He could be a guy that changes to pass rusher on 3rd down. Versatile tool set here but he won’t work in every scheme. Coaches need to be careful with him. Day 2 guy.

#17 LB Kris Frost – 6’2/240

Fifth year senior. Two plus year starter. Has the triangle numbers that coaches want to work with. Second on the team in tackles. Appears to be a technician type, works hard to do things the right way. I think he lacks the natural feel for the position that I look for but he can hang around. There is untapped potential with him I think. 5th or 6th rounder that could at least be a good special teamer.

#3 CB Jonathan Jones – 5’10/181

Fourth year senior. A lot of fight in this undersized body. Jones can be beat by the bugger, more physical receivers routinely. He will be limited in the NFL when it comes to his role and position on the field. But this kid fights hard and can move with anyone. He has good body control underneath and always has another gear to catch up if need be. Very fast and agile. Jones gets his hands on a ton of balls. 23 pass breakups and 7 INTs over the past two years. Day 3 corner that could out perform several CBs drafted ahead of him.

#82 WR Melvin Ray 6’3/215
#6 DE DaVonte Lambert – 6’2/280
#24 FS Blake Countess – 5’10/185

MEMPHIS

*#12 QB Paxton Lynch – 6’7/245

Hasn’t declared yet but many expect him to be a top 5 pick if he does. He’s been a flavor of the month type. In a class that lacks the true no doubt prospect at QB, many have turned to Lynch as the guy with the highest upside. The body is there. The arm is there. The stats are there. The arm is there. He does have almost everything I want in a QB prospect. I question the accuracy though. I question his ability to read defenses quickly and efficiently from the pocket. I think he presents a much bigger risk than someone like Goff. I will say this though, Lynch is awfully similar to what we saw out of Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 when he came out of Miami (OH). If he comes out I would have a 2nd round grade on him but he would likely be a top 10 guy at worst.

#77 LT Taylor Fallin – 6’6/330

Fifth year senior. 3 plus year starter. Fallin has had a couple not so serious injuries over his career but all in all, he is a solid NFL prospect. I don’t think he projects to left tackle in the league. He looks like a guard to me. Just doesn’t keep his head up and feet moving out in space. He looks good when things are in front of him. Could be a really good run blocker but he can be beat by quality pass rushers. Day three guy but someone that could evolve in to a quality starter.

#87 WR Tevin Jones – 6’2/223

Fifth year senior. Won’t jump off the screen. Won’t stand out on the stat sheet. But Jones is one of my WR sleepers in this class. He has elite level ball skills. Built like a truck and shows precise route running ability. Jones didn’t get a ton of looks in this offense that loved to spread the ball around. He got the short end of the stick and in another offense, he could be a bigger name. Also a very good special teams defender which is important for late round WRs. I like this kid as a day three gamble.

#5 WR Mose Frazier – 5’11/190

Fifth year senior that initially walked on after playing at Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Led the team in catches each of the past two years. Slot receiver type that has dynamic speed and agility. Can be a nice underneath weapon for someone. He may run sub 4.4 at the combine and/or Pro Day. He doesn’t factor downfield too much and struggles to get the ball in traffic, but in space he can be a threat. Day three guy here.

Other Notables:

#40 TE Alan Cross – 6’1/235
#53 LB Leonard Pegues – 5’11/243

***************************************

NC STATE

#54 LT Joe Thuney – 6’5/295

Fifth year senior. Versatile guy that has seen plenty of action at RT, LG, and LT. Solid and strong presence. Can anchor against the bigger defenders and showed good footwork on the edge this year. I think he projects inside at the next level. Has starter potential down the road. 4th or 5th rounder.

#12 QB Jacoby Brissett – 6’4/231

Fifth year senior that started off at Florida. Dual threat that is still a pass first, run second kind of guy. Good decision maker from the pocket, protects the ball and avoids the head scratchers. Solid game manager type. Brissett has average arm strength but consistent accuracy. I think he can stick somewhere as a backup for a few years at the very least. You can work with a guy like this. Day three prospect.

#90 DE Mike Rose – 6’3/252

Fifth year senior. Leader of the defense. Ton of experience. Rose lost about 15 pounds prior to the 2015 season and it made a huge difference. He showed some signs of being a top tier pass rusher this season. Very refined from a technical standpoint. Strong hands, light feet. He finished 2nd in the ACC with 10.5 sacks this year. He faced off against some future NFL OL this year and he simply looked better than those guys. Rose won’t be a household name but I am confident you’ll know who he is in a couple years.

#11 CB Justin Burris – 6’0/207

Fifth year senior. Four year starter. Not a speed and quickness guy but Burris fits the mold of corners that have the size and length to alter guys at the point of attack and throw off the timing of what offenses want to do. Burris has some nice tape against his toughest competition this year. There is some sleeper potential here. Late rounder.

Other Notables:

#71 LG Alex Barr – 6’8/318
#60 C Quinton Schooley – 6’2/299
#1 SS Hakim Jones – 6’2/206

MISSISSIPPI STATE

#15 QB Dak Prescott – 6’2/230

Fifth year senior. Almost came out last year, wisely chose to return for his senior season and he did everything scouts said he needed to do. He cleaned up his mechanics. He showed better decision making from the pocket. He cut down on turnovers. Prescott is going to be a favorite among some NFL coaches. He has the talent. All American and 1st Team All SEC in 2015. Prescott changed the Miss State program in his five years there. He can handle the leadership role and all that goes with it. Top tier kid on and off the field. In a year where the QB rankings will be different all over the league, I still see Prescott as an option for being the first one taken.

*#1 WR De’Runnya Wilson – 6’5/220

Third year junior. Haven’t been told he’s coming out but he may choose to after a couple of strong years and Prescott leaving school. Wilson is a matchup problem. Very tall and long but has some bulk to him as well. I don’t think he completely understands how to use his body yet but there is an upside here that coaches will want to work with. When he attacks the ball, he can get to it before any DB. Lacks the top end speed and there is some developing coordination going on with him still so there is a risk here. Maybe a 3rd rounder.

#70 LG Justin Malone – 6’7/320

Fifth year senior. Missed 2013 season with a foot injury. Has been a 3+ year starter. Bug and physical guy with a great wingspan. Hard guy to get around. Plays with good knee for a guy this big. There is a lot to work with here. I’ve been told there may be something chronic going on with that foot so he will need some extra medical screening but he has an upside you want out of a day three pick. Already has some NFL ready traits to him.

#23 CB Taveze Calhoun – 6’1/180

Fifth year senior and 3 year starter. Long and lengthy cover man that has the quick turnaround speed to stick with speed downfield. Has always been a good ball skill guy. Can get his hands on a lot of passes. I’ve seen games where QBs don’t throw his way for an entire half. Calhoun has the ability to start in the NFL. If he was more physical he could be a 2nd rounder. As of now I have him around 100 overall type.

***************************************

TEXAS A& M

*#74 OT Germain Ifedi – 6’6/335

Fourth year junior. Not sure if he is coming out or not. Some said he would be the next 1st round caliber OL to come out. He hasn’t lived up to expectations but there is a definite upside. He has tools, namely size and natural power. He can stifle the strongest of defenders with his long arms. He has the feet of a right tackle though, not the left side. There are some legit concerns about his work ethic and desire to get better. Conditioning has been an issue since day one for him and even watching his film now, it’s easy to notice how deflated he gets late in games and drives respectively. He could be a day 2 guy if a coach sees the upside but more likely a 4th or 5th round grade.

#5 RB Tra Carson – 6’0/235

Fifth year senior that started off at Oregon and sat out 2013 after transferring. Led the Aggies in rushing the past two years respectively. Bruiser with some long speed if he can reach the open field. I think he has some interesting upside. Catches well. Blocks well. Wasn’t in the best offense for his abilities. Day three back that could easily factor early in his career at the next level.

#56 C Mike Matthews – 6’2/290

Fourth year senior. Three year starter. The next Matthews in line, this family has been in the NFL for years and it is worth something. Matthews is a tad undersized but big enough for center in the NFL. Technician with good footwork. Mechanics are always on. Smarts are always on. Excels blocking at the second level. Maybe an eventual starter once he can gain some man strength.

#1 CB De’Vante Harris – 5’11/185

Fourth year senior with a ton of experience. Solid cover man that lacks a physical side. Doesn’t track the ball well downfield, may be best with things in front of him. Day three guy.

Other Notables:

#83 DT Alonzo Williams – 6’4/305
#95 Julien Obioha – 6’4/280

LOUISVILLE

#98 DT Sheldon Rankins – 6’2/303

Fourth year senior. Broke out in his first year as a starter in 2014 with 8 sacks and 13.5 TFL. Added another 6 sacks and 12 TFL in 2015. Rankins is very stout and very active. These are the kind of DTs I really like. They are tough to block because they can play with a really low center of gravity and there is enough athletic ability to out-maneuver blockers. He is very well developed physically and mechanically. May not be a top tier prospect but I bet he contributes early in his career and out performs several DL that are drafted ahead of him.

*#25 SS Josh Harvey-Clemons – 6’5/230

Fourth year junior that played 2 years at Georgia. I need to see more of him, I’ve only seen him in passing. Someone I trust told me this kid has some Chancellor in him which is some high praise. We’ll see. I don’t have an evaluation on him yet.

*#92 DE Devonte Fields – 6’4/245

Big 12 Freshman of the Year at TCU in 2012. He wasn’t coachable and had some issues off the field, was eventually dismissed from the program. Spent a year at Community College and is now here. Had a nice year. 8.5 sacks and 19.5 TFL. Reports are he matured and there are no issues off the field and he’s been a saint with this coaching staff. Has the first step burst and bendability that coaches want. He has another year left if he wants it, but I’ve been told he has the NFL in his scope. If he checks off the field well, he can be a day two guy that fits best in the 3-4 schemes.

#13 LB James Burgess – 6’1/228

Fourth year senior and 3 plus year starter. Speed and explosion is his game. Very fast to react and will often beat blockers to a spot. Wrap up tackler that delivers violent blows. He can cover well. True three down linebacker that needs to be in space to be most effective. Won’t thrive in traffic. Top 100 guy for sure.

Other Notables:

#78 RT Aaron Epps – 6’7/288
#44 Pio Vatuvei – 6’2/296

***************************************

USC

#6 QB Cody Kessler – 6’1/215

3 year starter. Enters the bowl game with 87 TDs/18 INTs over his career. He was my favorite senior QB coming in to this season and he still is. He played in a pro-style offense with a ton of pre-snap responsibility. He’s been making NFL-caliber reads. The learning curve with him will be a lot less than some of these guys coming from the shotgun-only, spread offenses. I like Kessler under pressure. He hosts a quick release and accuracy. He’s tough in the pocket. There is a height issue and an arm power issue. He doesn’t drive the ball downfield and I don’t think even he has the confidence throwing to the far sidelines. He may be limited physically. The comparison I have always seen with him is Drew Brees. A guy that can absolutely thrive in the right system with the right coach. But he’s not a guy that succeed anywhere. 2nd or 3rd round is possible but round 4 or 5 is more likely.

*#21 LB Su’a Cravens – 6’1/225

Third year junior, third year starter. Has been a stud from day one. Safety/Linebacker hybrid that was mainly at LB in 2015. I think that is where his future is in the NFL unless someone can find a Kam Chancellor role for him. He isn’t as good though. Cravens lines up all over the field. It seems like they just tell him to attack the action. He is constantly around the ball. Very fast and decisive, consistently reaching the ball carrier before a blocker even has an opportunity to get his hands on. Cravens is more than an athlete. He is very smart and aware, very mechanical as a tackler. If he can pack just a little bit of weight on without losing speed, he could be a star in the NFL. A true 3 down linebacker that can cover, rush the passer, and defend the run at a high level respectively. I think he deserves a 1st round grade for most schemes.

#99 DT Antwuan Woods – 6’1/320

Fifth year senior. Has been a solid contributor for four seasons. Initially comes across as a one dimensional run stuffer but he has move movement ability than you think. He plays real hard. Always wins the leverage battle. Tremendous lower body strength. He can be an immediate contributor to a team that needs a run stuffer. Day three guy but one that will out perform several guys drafted ahead of him.

#52 DT Delvon Simmons – 6’5/295

Started off at Texas Tech for two years, sat out 2013 because of the transfer. I think he is a very good 3-4 DE prospect. He can overpower guys, just a country strong kind of kid. Doesn’t get moved. There is some quick twitch to him as well, he can react well and get off blocks. There is some interesting upside here. Day three guy.

Other Notables:

#23 RB Tre Madden – 6’1/223
#31 FB Soma Vainuku – 6’0/255
#56 LB Anthony Sarao – 6’0/235
#93 DE Greg Towsend – 6’3/275

WISCONSIN

#61 LT Tyler Marz – 6’7/325

Fifth year senior and three year starter. Very solid technician here. I remember watching him in 2014 thinking he would be a potential early declaration. I loved his consistent approach to defenders. Excellent body control. Easy hand power. The more I have watched however, the more holes I see. Marz may not be a good enough athlete for the left side. He doesn’t bend very well either. Good speed rushers with good leverage will eat him up. Drew Ott, DE from Iowa, absolutely dominated him this year. It was an ugly performance for Marz especially considering Ott is the kind of DE that Marz should thrive against. I am now thinking he may need a move inside. 3rd or 4th rounder.

#38 LB Joe Schobert – 6’2/236

Fourth year senior. Has had 32 TFL over past two years. Schobert isn’t your traditional Wisconsin linebacker. He excels in space and has plenty of long speed to him. He can play well against the fastest offenses in football. Very savvy as a blitzer off the edge. Takes the proper angles and will finish plays. Schobert struggles to perform in traffic. Good blockers can lock him up. He may need to be a weak side guy in a 4-3 so he can track plays from behind. Very good in pursuit but not so much when the action comes at him. 4th or 5th rounder.

#7 S Michael Caputo – 6’1/206

Fifth year senior. We are all looking for the next Jum Leohnard, some say this is the kid. He’s made a few All American teams over the past two years. Excels in space tackling, a lost art among defensive backs these days. Nice guy to have out there for that reason alone. Savvy in coverage but there is some stiffness to him. Won’t make a ton of plays in coverage. Could be a solid special teamer and backup for both safety positions. Day three guy.

Other Notables:

#86 WR Alex Erickson – 6’0/197
#2 Joel Stave – 6’5/219
#3 S/WR Tanner McEvoy – 6’6/231
#5 CB Darius Hilary – 5’11/187

Dec 292015
 
Corey Coleman, Baylor Bears (October 17, 2015)

Corey Coleman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]
2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 29, 2015 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

CALIFORNIA

*16 QB Jared Goff – California – 6’4/215

Widely, but not unanimously, considered the top QB prospect in this class. As clean a thrower as you will find in the group this year. Spins it real well and is very far along when it comes to putting proper touch and zip in the ball depending on the situation. Top tier accuracy. I like his poise. He is always under control, never too high and never too low. That’s important. Has better running ability than you think. Goff had a rough stretch halfway through the season. Just got caught up trying to in games by himself. I am totally confident in him as a passer. My issue is the same one I had with Sam Bradford years ago. Does he have the body to take hits on a weekly basis from NFL pass rushers? You’d hate to spend a high pick on a guy that in only a matter of time will break in half. Goff needs bulk, and plenty of it. Still will be a 1st rounder and is in the running for #1 overall.

*#4 WR Kenny Lawler – 6’3/195

Junior that hasn’t declared yet. He is 50/50 as of right now. Led the Bears in catches and TDs. There aren’t any real standout WRs on this team but Lawler has the best tool set and upside. He is the best hands catcher of the bunch and he hosts a nice combination of height/reach/leaping ability to make him a mismatch for most corners in one on one situations. Lawler can be tossed around by more physical cover men and is too easily altered by contact, but with the NFL trending towards quicker release passing games, Lawler could easily find a starting spot early in his career. If he comes out I see a day 2 pick here.

#9 WR Trevor Davis – 6’2/180

Fourth year senior. Came in to 2015 on everyone’s radar as one of the top kick returners in the country. He broke out as a WR as well. It helps to be in this scheme with this QB but he made some elite plays. Really good concentration downfield. Tracks the ball with balance and speed. He may be the fastest WR on this team, he can really run away from people. Slight frame and limited route tree will hurt his grade a little. Looking at a 4th or 5th rounder here with some interesting upside and roster versatility.

#1 WR Bryce Treggs – 6’0/181

Four year contributor, mainly as a screen game factor. Nobody has given this kid a ton of attention but he has a level of explosion and acceleration that lot of these other WRs do not. He can go from 0-60 in a blink. Tough with the ball in his hands, constantly gaining extra yards after contact. He is a a bit of a gimmick player but he can find a role somewhere. I think he has enormous upside from the slot. Day three target here with high potential.

#89 TE Stephen Anderson – 6’3/230

Fourth year senior. Listed as a tight end and I guess he starts with his hand in the firt every now and then, but he plays more WR than anything in this spread attack. Anderson has shown glimpses over his career of being a big time matchup problem. He was a huge factor in 2014. He may have actually suffered from a system full of quality WRs that simply got more looks from Goff. Anderson is a tweener without special physical traits. So I don’t see the point in spending anything more than a 7th rounder on him but like I said earlier, he’s made plenty of plays over his career. Someone could fall for him and draft him earlier,

Other Notables:

#10 WR Darius Powe – 6’3/220
#73 Jordan Rigsbee – 6’4/300
#13 DE Kyle Kragen – 6’2/245
#41 DE Todd Barr – 6’2/240
#7 LB Jalen Jefferson – 6’2/240

****************************************

NORTH CAROLINA

#12 QB Marquise Williams – 6’2/225

Fifth year senior. Was a backup for a couple years then took over in 2013 because of injury. Started off as a running QB that would be a passer second. Really turned a corner in 2014, setting several single season records. He’s been the leading rusher in addition to a very solid pocket passer. Williams is going to get a shot somewhere. He has the talent and the intangibles. He has choppy footwork and will lose his release point at times. I’ve seen him get too aggressive near the red zone and make some costly mistakes as well. He has what a lot of offensive coaches want to work with though. Anywhere from round 3-5 I think.

#14 WR Quinshad Davis – 6’4/220

In 2012 Davis was being talked about as the next big thing among ACC WRs. He had one of the best seasons for freshman in SCC history. 2013 was more of the same with 10 TDs…but 2014 didn’t go as planned. His weaknesses are obvious. He has a hard time getting open from man coverage. He has speed but lacks the short area quickness and agility. I think Davis can be a lethal red zone threat in the NFL but there are techniques and nuances to the position he needs to really work on. He has a high ceiling. If he works out well he could be a 3rd or 4th rounder.

#78 RG Landon Turner – 6’4/325

Fifth year senior. Three year starter. Turner is massive from head to toe, I wouldn’t be surprised if he weighs in higher than what he is listed. Naturally he is a very good straight ahead blocker, he can win battles in the run game consistently. He doesn’t get out of his stance laterally very well and he lumbers in pass protection. He can dominate guys when his hands are inside though. There is potential here. Good test for him in this game. 4th or 5th rounder.

#42 LB Shakeel Rashad – 6’2/235

Perhaps the linebacker that improved his stock the most via his game tape in this class. Rashad was a little-used rush linebacker/bandit for three years until the Tar Heels implemented a new scheme. He’s second on the team in tackles and shows top tier speed to the sidelines. He is a pursuit linebacker that works well in space. He doesn’t bring that ability to coverage and he struggles in traffic to find the ball, but Rashad’s speed and ability to close will be sought after. 4th or 5th rounder.

Other Notables:

#98 DT Justin Thomason – 6’4/295
#10 MLB Jeff Schoettmer 6’2/235

BAYLOR

*#1 WR Corey Coleman – 5’11/190

Fourth year junior that has already declared. I could write 300 words alone on his statistical accolades. Coleman was known as a workout warrior, hosting a team best 40, 3 cone, and vertical on a squat full of elite athletes. 2015 from start to finish may have put him in to top 10 consideration. His route tree is limited and the Baylor offense is very stat-happy, but Coleman has traits that will be attractive to teams in need of a young playmaker. Coleman has elite ball skills. Hands catcher. Will come away with the ball in traffic. I’ve seen several contested catches where it looks like he was being hung on to by defenders. Coleman is a strong kid. Plenty of muscle, tough after the catch. My issue with him is lack of effort on running plays, poor body language when things don’t go his way. He is a different player when the ball isn’t coming to him. That stuff worries me, especially with the WR position. He’ll be a first rounder but it he completely dominates the Combine, he could be the first WR taken.

#58 LT – Spencer Drango – 6’6/310

Fifth year senior. Has been starting his entire career. Has been the top LT in the Big 12 for a few years now. Drango almost came out in 2014 after an All American season. I think he will make a move to guard in the NFL ideally. He is a very good run blocker, can maintain power on the move. Lacks the ideal length and foot speed for the outside but in a pinch he could play tackle. Team leader, very good intangible guy. He is a blue collar player that will have a long career in the league. He is maybe the surest prospect on this team. Late 1st round is possible.

*#32 RB Shock Linwood – 5’8/195

Third year back that hasn’t declared. Big time explosion and change of direction. He may seem undersized but now a days with the committee approach tat many teams use, Linwood can be the gamebreaker most teams are looking for. He may run a sub 4.4 and I think he has more vision and awareness that some of the other backs that have cone out of Baylor in recent years.

#4 WR Jay Lee – 6’4/220

Fifth year senior. Lee is a height/weight/speed guy that doesn’t get thrown to a lot but he’s made several plays that leave you wishing he had more opportunities. The scheme and spacing helps but he has an upside based on tools that could get him drafted in round 4 or 5. He’ll need time to develop.

#2 DE Shawn Oakman – 6’8/280

Fifth year senior that started off at Penn State. Sat out 2012 because of the transfer to Baylor. Oakman almost came out after an 11 sack season in 2014, but that was only his first year as a starter and wisely chose to go back to school in 2015. Oakman is arguably the biggest “freak” in this class. What he can do in workouts is remarkable and rare. He has a combination of measurables that are very rare. He will be drafted based on upside, as he’s shown flashes of complete dominance. If you watch him a lot though, you’ll notice there are a ton of plays where he simply doesn’t factor. He still has some awkwardness to movement in short spaces. He doesn’t react well. He can really lumber around when it comes to changing direction. A guy this tall will always have a hard time winning the leverage battle, veteran NFL OL love to play against that. It will be a long road for him. He’ll make someone drool though and could be a 1st rounder.

*#75 DT Andrew Billings – 6’2/300

Another underclassmen here, most expect him to come out. Has world class level weight room strength. He has set world records among weightlifters. Interesting prospect here. He looks really stiff to me. Doesn’t bend that well and won’t easily change direction. But he is explosive from a standstill and he has a lot of functional strength. He is being coached by the same guy that coached Aaron Donald, and he has been quoted saying Billings can be a better player in the NFL. That is extremely high praise. Upside guy here but at the very least he can be a stout run defender. 1st rounder if he comes out.

#92 DE Jamal Palmer – 6’3/250

Fourth year senior. Backup for 2 years, starter for 2-ish. His 2014 ended after just 5 games because of a knee. Palmer is the guy that jumps off the screen when you turn Baylor on to watch Oakman. He is explosive out of his stance and he has a violent approach to blockers. Relentless motor, wants to finish every play himself. He can react and change direction faster than Oakman, he can change direction faster. I’m not saying he’ll grade out higher but the gap between the two is not nearly as large as some want to think.

Other Notables:

#73 LG Blake Muir – 6’5/310
#61 Jarrell Broxton – 6’5/330

****************************************

NEVADA

#6 RB Don Jackson – 5’10/210

This will be my third look at Jackson. From what I’ve seen, he looks like a guy that could have a top 100 overall grade on my board. He has the NFL body already. Very muscular from head to toe but he also has the quick and agile lower half. He misses initial contact often and will surge through tacklers, always falling forward. Very aggressive, angry runner. Has rushed for just under 2,000 yards past two years. Hasn’t been used much as a receiver. I will spend more time on him in the coming months but I like what I see so far.

#8 DE Ian Seau – 6’3/250

Nephew of the late Junior Seau. Fourth year senior that spent a season at Community College. 1st Team All Mountain West in 2015, led team with 15.5 TFL and 9 sacks. Emotional leader of the defense that is constantly hustling to the ball. Relentless style. Bends the corner well and plays with stable legs and a strong upper body, Seau lacks some physical gifts but he can make up for some with consistent effort and positioning. He plays mechanically sound. 5th or 6th rounder that may fit best in a 3-4 OLB role.

#94 DE Lenny Jones – 63/270
#55 DT Rykeem Yates – 6’2/280

COLORADO STATE

*#82 WR Rashard Higgins – 6’2/190

Junior that most are expecting to leave early. 1st Team All American in 2014 after an amazing, nation leading 1,780 yard and 17 TD performance. He didn’t match that production in 2015 but it may have been impossible to do so. I saw a lot of Higgins last year and this year. While his stat line is different by a long shot, I actually like what I see now more than what I saw in 2014. Higgins does everything well. He runs quick routes that can get himself open. He attacks the ball in the air with his hands. He can outrun defensive backs downfield. What I would like to see more of is the effort as a blocker and selling routes against man coverage. If Higgins works out well, he will be a 1st rounder and potentially one of the first five WRs taken.

#86 TE Kivon Cartwright – 6’4/245

Sixth year senior that had a redshirt in 2010 and missed 2014 with a slow healing foot injury that required multiple surgeries. Was invited to the East/West Shrine game. Prior to the injury, Cartwright was on his way to being a top tier TE prospect. 2015 was a slow road back but he showed signs of being the guy everyone thought he would be. He can get behind a defense with above average speed. He makes tough catches in traffic. I want to see more out of him as a blocker. It seems he tries to simply get his hands on the defender rather than drive through them. I don’t think he has the potentual to be a receive-only TE, so he’ll need to clean that up.

#26 FS Kevin Pierre-Louis – 6’1/215

Fifth year senior. His teammate Trent Matthews gets more attention but I like Pierre-Louis more. He has the speed, both vertically and downhill, that jumps off the screen. He is very decisive and will attack the ball carriers. Good tackler. Can flip his hips and catch up to receivers. I need to see him more but in a class that lacks cover safeties, I think this kid has an interesting upside.

#31 OLB Cory James – 6’0/245

Fifth year senior and four year starter. James has played the strong side and in the middle. Both positions work for him, he has the tools/skills for them respectively. James is stout. He can take on a block without losing ground. He has the speed to reach the sidelines. He does look stiff in coverage and doesn’t offer much as a blitzer, but he has special team and solid backup potential. The body is there and he can fit in to multiple roles. Limited upside. 5th or 6th rounder.

Other Notables:

#71 RT Sam Carlson – 6’4/295
#25 WR Joe Hansley – 5’10/180
#9 DE Martavius Foster – 6’4/270
#90 DE Joe Kawulok – 6’6/250

****************************************

LSU

#74 RT Vadal Alexander – 6’6/329

Fourth year senior with a ton of starting experience. Has played in 48 our of 49 career games with 45 starts. Has played RT and LG. Will be playing RT in this game. 2nd Team All American in 2015. Alexander is massive, the kind of massive that makes other big guys look average. He is a punishing run blocker that can render a defender useless if he gets off the ball well and gets his hands locked on. Elite level power. His footwork and reaction speed can be exploited by low pad level speed rushers, but even those guys have ahard time getting around the wingspan of Alexander. He could project to guard or RT in the NFL. Day2 caliber pick.

*#77 OL Ethan Pocic

Third year junior that has not declared. There hasn’t been a ton of chatter about him coming out but I’ve been told he is 50/50 at this point. If he comes out, we are talking about one of the top 3 interior linemen in the class. Pocic moves very well. Easy bender and easy mover in space. He is stout at the point of attack, really anchors himself against power guys. He plays hard through the whistle. Pocic led the team in pancake blocks. He is a young kid with plenty of physical development to come. He can play all the interior spots, it simply makes a lot of sense for him to come out. He could be a top 45 pick.

*#65 LT Jerald Hawkins – 6’5/305

Another third year junior that has not yet declared but it looks like he will. I don’t like him much. Every game of his I have seen, I’ve made notes about how easily he was pushed back. He doesn’t dominate anyone. He has the length and feet, but I don’t see the guy that can lock a guy up and control. Maybe there is an upside I just don’t see.

*#18 CB Tre’Davious White -5’11/191

Third year junior, third year starter. 2nd Team All SEC and Thorpe Award Semifinalist. Wears the coveted #18 jersey for LSU. White is one of the best corners in this class if he comes out. Elite press cover ability with long arms and a strong jab at the line and easy turn ability. Can run with anyone downfield. QBs did not like throwing in his direction this year. He can do it all and showed some high level punt return ability to boot. 1st rounder if he comes out.

*#52 MLB Kendall Beckwith – 6’2/252

Third year junior that has not declared yet, but did submit the paper work looking for his grade. Between the tackles thumper that fits best in a 3-4 scheme. Can dominate at times. Very physical and hard to move. Fills the lanes hard, blitzes well. Will locate the football fast and work his way to it. Knows how to finish. Definitely has a lack of speed to the outside and shows heavy feet in coverage. I would advise him to go back to school, as there are too many holes in his game that the NFL just hates to see these days. He may need to play at a lighter weight.

*#92 DE Lewis Neal – 6’2/264

Third year junior that has not declared, but many think odds are trending towards him leaving early. Neal got off to a hot start in 2015, totaling 7 sacks in 6 games. A sprained ankle that he opted to fight though hampered him the rest of the season, notching only 1 sack the rest of the way. He is shorter than ideal and may not have ideal length for the 4-3 DE role. He can beat blockers off the edge though. Plays low to the ground with a strong base and quick hands. I think he should go back for another year, there isn’t anything that screams special in him. He could fall in to round 4 or 5 easily.

#45 LB Deion Jones – 6’1/227

Fourth year senior. Had to wait until this year to get a starting nod. He played really well all year, leading the Tigers in tackles. Jones is a little smaller than ideal but he can play big against blockers. Violent player that delivers a pop. He can stay on the field all three downs, showing decent coverage ability. I’ve seen Jones miss too many tackles in space. He is a weak side guy, so that is an issue. He is not Kwon Alexander from last year. I see him as a 4th or 5th rounder.

#28 FS Jalen Mills – 6’0/196

Fourth year senior and four year starter at CB and S. Has the movement ability to play both in the NFL. Very good footwork. He is quick and mechanically sound. Smart player, always moving in the right direction. He made a few All American teams although I think that was based on popularity more so than performance. Mills is a solid player but he isn’t very physical. He doesn’t have the catch up speed I want out of this style of a guy either. He had a great year in 2013 but didn’t take the next step up. He was hampered by an ankle early, missing 6 games and slowed in others. Solid cover man that can back up a few spots but I don’t think he has starting potential.

Other Notables:

#11 LB Lamar Louis – 5’11/227

TEXAS TECH

#62 LT Le’Raven Clark – 6’6/308

Fifth year senior. Has been First Team All Big 12 for three years in a row. Clark has received a ton of accolades from the media and coaches throughout his career. He rarely gets beat one on one. While he doesn’t always look the part and his technique is very inconsistent, Clark gets the job done. He can project to guard or tackle at the next level. He has a nice combination of size, strength, and foot quickness. Right now I see him as a 3rd round type that could be a versatile backup early in his career.

#21 RB Deandre Washington – 5’8/200

Fifth year senior that sat out a year with a torn ACL. Very good 3rd down back type with hands and blocking ability. High effort guy. I can see him being a factor for someone in the screen game. He has a nice feel for setting up blocks and defenders. Good acceleration and change of direction. 5th or 6th rounder here that can bring excitement to an offense.

#10 OLB Pete Robertson – 6’3/238

Fifth year senior. This is the one guy on this defense that I think has top 100 potential. Robertson is a fierce, aggressive player that pursues hard and angry. He has cruel intentions. Very powerful kid. Has some straight line speed to him as well but lacks the quick wiggle out of his hips. Might not be a guy that beats blockers off the snap but he can play. He makes guys adjust to him and Robertson is playing through the whistle at all times. He has led the Raiders in TFL and sacks each of the past two years. He can fit in somewhere. 3rd or 4th rounder.

Other Notables:

#9 DE Branden Jackson – 6’4/270

Dec 282015
 
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (December 27, 2015)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]

DEVON KENNARD PLACED ON INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants have placed linebacker Devon Kennard on season-ending Injured Reserve. Kennard missed two games in October with a hamstring injury and will miss the last five games of the season with a foot injury. He started nine games in 2015 and finished the season with 58 tackles, four pass defenses, and one interception.

Kennard’s roster spot will be taken by wide receiver Odell Beckham, who has had suspension lifted and has rejoined the team. Kennard is the 18th New York Giant on season-ending Injured Reserve.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media by conference call on Monday:

Just a couple of comments on the game last night. I thought in the very beginning that our defense was playing well. We had three punts and a field goal to show for the first 22 or 24 plays in the game. I thought that as the turnovers occurred and as we tried to fight our way back into the game with the onside kick and the fourth and one drop, we continued to create some very bad field positions for our defensive team. That continued pretty much throughout the game as we tried to battle back and didn’t get a whole lot done. We were minus-three in turnovers and we knew going in that this was a team that the way they structured themselves with defense, run the ball, use the play-action pass—they were only plus-two, but they hadn’t really turned it over that much. They played the kind of game that they did not beat themselves and we provided them with opportunities with a touchdown, a ball at the four-yard line. Too many opportunities to have easy scores, to pile up points, and then to eventually put even more pressure back on the offense, which wasn’t playing well. Because we had run the ball fairly effectively, but at the end of the night, 20 carries is certainly not what you’re after, even though we averaged 4.6. We had 0 for 1 in the green zone production and we were very poor on third down with only 1 of 11 on third down.

Our special teams outfit, we tried the onside kick, which was not successful. We later tried another kick which was not supposed to be an onside kick. We were trying to place that ball over the 10 men up front and then have a chance to perhaps run the ball down. That did not prevail as well either.

Our defensive team at the end of the day held the opponent to 2 for 5, 40 percent, in the red zone, 38 percent on third down. We did give up some runs. The 68-yard run and the 39-yard run, I can’t attribute to something that the offense did to contribute. So therefore, those are problem issues. The long run, the 68-yard run, was a run that they had run many times and we stopped it, and utilized this one particular run a number of times. On this last one, the runner got in the middle of a pile and I don’t think we sorted it out very well, and weren’t able to distinguish where the runner was. He cut back to an open lane and that led to the long run. I thought, again, if I had to look back over it, I know our defense played well enough to be competitive. Our offense did not.

Our production with regard to the return-game, which we really were looking forward to, particularly our opportunities on kickoff return, was not there. We did not produce the yardage we wanted. And we let two balls bounce on us where our punt return that we had done this a couple times during the year. I’m not sure, I’ll have to talk to Dwayne (Harris) about what particularly happened there. I know when we made the fair catch signal and it looked like the gunner was going to come in to interfere with Dwayne, when he did not catch the ball, it did not bring about the flag. That ended up being, again, another long roll which created very bad field position for us. That’s basically the way I saw the game last night, and again re-affirmed by what I watched this morning and this afternoon on the tape.

Q: Given the fact that there were no playoff implications on your side, finding out Saturday. Were you pleased with your team’s effort given the fact you stressed playing for pride throughout the whole week? Were you pleased with the way they came out just from an effort standpoint?

A: Well, you’ve got to break it down again. Defensively, it was outstanding. I think special teams was fine. I thought the offense, if we had created some opportunities for ourselves rather than just backing up in pass protection and turning the ball over, that kind of sapped some of the energy from the guys. I think coming out of the locker room, we were fine with regard to that. Even among the players themselves talking about pride and respect and so on and so forth. I don’t have any thoughts about them not being prepared or coming out and playing hard. I just think we sapped our own energy on one side of the ball, and we didn’t create any real positive situations for our defensive team with the field position we presented them with.

Q: You’ve been through this before and you know that, try as you might, the conversation this week is going to be a lot focused on you and your future. Have you addressed that with your team and how does it affect you go through the week?

A: It’s not going to affect anything in terms of how I go about my business this week. I will tell the team not to be distracted by it. The only factor that is involved right now is we have one game left and we have to prepare ourselves to play a Philadelphia team in the division that they know us very well, we know them very well. We did not play well against them the first time around, and we need to play much better at home for our home fans in this return visit. That’s the only factor that regards whatever all the discussion comes. I’ve tried very hard, and you know this for a fact, the situation is not about me. I’m hoping that the players, they’re not going to get centered around that. We’re going to conduct ourselves as we always have. We’re going to work as hard as we possibly can. We’re going to try to put ourselves and our players in the best position we can, and we’ll let whatever happens happen. We’re going to try to play the game to the best of our ability and win a football game.

Q: What does it mean to you that some of the players, including Eli just recently, admitted that they feel like they’ve let you down this season?

A: I feel badly that they feel that way. It’s a shame that they have to be put in the position where they have to respond about something to do with me. Again, it’s not about me. I’m here for them. If you want to break it all down, blame it all on me, I’m the head coach, I’m responsible. We lose, I lose the game for our players. Put it that way, leave it that way. We try like heck not to put these young men in a position where they feel badly about the circumstances that the head coach finds himself in.

ELI MANNING…
The transcript of quarterback Eli Manning’s media conference call on Monday is available in The Corner Forum.

NOTES…
The Giants host the Eagles in the season finale on Sunday. The winner will clinch second place in the division, the loser will finish third.

The Giants will finish under .500 for the third consecutive season, the first time that’s happened since they had eight straight losing seasons from 1973-80.

The Giants will miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, their longest drought since they went 17 years about a postseason berth from 1964-80.

The Giants finished 3-5 on the road for the fourth consecutive season.

Quarterback Eli Manning surpassed the 4,000-yard mark for the fifth time in his career. Phil Simms and Kerry Collins are the only other Giants quarterbacks to throw for 4,000 yards in a season, and they each did it once.

Manning has thrown 33 touchdown passes this year, extending his career high. His previous best in a full season was 31 in 2010. The 33 touchdown passes in a single season tied for the second-highest total in Giants history. Y.A. Tittle threw for 33 scores in 1962. Tittle holds the franchise record with 36 touchdown passes in 1963.

Manning has thrown 292 career touchdown passes, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Warren Moore and moving him into sole possession of eighth place on the NFL’s career list.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday to start preparing for Sunday’s home finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Dec 282015
 

butchsun1[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]

Minnesota Vikings 49 – New York Giants 17

Overview

Oh, good. For a moment there I thought we were in trouble. – Butch Cassidy

The Giants got clobbered but I wouldn’t read too much into this one particular game. The Giants found out the day before that their playoff hopes were dead and were bound to suffer an emotional letdown against a quality opponent headed to the tournament. The Giants were missing one of their two superstars. And a weak and poorly-constructed roster once again is feeling the effects of an inordinate number of players on Injured Reserve (currently up to 18). Throw in the mental strain of six devastating 4th quarter collapses and it was only a matter of time before the Giants were on the receiving end of good old-fashioned ass whooping.

The more troubling concerns are the longer term trends. While the blowouts are down this year, they have continued since 2012. For the last four seasons, the Giants have fielded weak, injury-depleted rosters. They seem no further along on their rebuilding process than when they started.

The bottom line is this is a bad football team. It simply does not have the horses to consistently compete. Until the Giants acquire better players and players who are not so injury-prone, they will remain an also-ran who at best flirts with a playoff appearance.

Tom Coughlin will likely be fired or forced to retire in early January. This is a bottom-line business and the Giants have missed the playoffs six of the last seven years. He and his hand-picked defensive coaches have been unable fix a defense that remains a disaster.  The team hasn’t been able to consistently run the ball for years. The Giants remain an unconfident, uptight, finesse team that lacks toughness on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Coughlin must share a significant portion of the blame for those faults. In addition, other than Eli, Coughlin’s old warriors are gone and his cachet doesn’t carry much with the new guys. He will be 70. Sadly, it’s time for a change.

Offense

We now know what happens when Odell Beckham does not play. The results were not pretty.  The Giants had seven offensive possessions in the first half. Two resulted in interceptions and four with punts. The Giants had six first downs in the first half, three coming on their lone scoring drive that resulted in a short field goal. The Giants did not complete a pass until the second quarter and only had five pass completions in the first half. Running back Rashad Jennings accounted for 100 of the Giants’ 112 first-half yards.

For the game, New York was 1-of-11 (9 percent) on third-down conversion attempts and 0-of-2 (0 percent) on fourth-down conversion attempts. The Giants did not score a touchdown until the game was out of reach (32-3). Over half of Manning’s passing yards came on two pass plays. If that was not bad enough, the offense was directly responsible for two touchdowns by the opposition and put their own defense in bad field position situations all night.

Quarterbacks

Missing the target that had been responsible for 26 percent of the team’s receptions, 36 percent of the team’s passing yardage, 41 percent of the team’s receiving touchdowns, and opening up opportunities for his teammates, Eli Manning struggled mightily. He did not complete a pass until New York’s second drive in the 2nd quarter. He was 5-of-13 for 77 yards in the first half, and 50 of those 77 yards came on one play. His first-half quarterbacking rating was 19.2. Two of his three interceptions led directly to two touchdowns. Vikings’ defensive backs only had five interceptions on the season coming into this game. Manning also could not handle a shotgun snap on 3rd-and-16 that led to a 13-yard loss. In the end, over half of his 234 passing yardage came on two pass plays. He only completed 15 passes in the game. There was another delay-of-game penalty to boot. Ryan Nassib came into the game late in garbage time and was 5-of-5 for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Running Backs

Rashad Jennings came to play and was astoundingly responsible for 100 of New York’s 112 first-half yardage, including one screen pass for 50 yards and nine carries for 50 yards. He finished the night with 14 carries for 74 yards (5.3 yards per carry) and two catches for 62 yards. Jennings did not pick up a corner blitz well on a play where Manning was hit. The other four backs only had six carries for 17 yards, with Andre Williams being the only other back with more than one carry (three carries for 5 yards). Shane Vereen was held to two catches for 21 yards. He also dropped a pass in the red zone where the Giants had to settle for a field goal.

Wide Receivers

Absolute shit. Minus Odell Beckham, the Giants and Eli Manning desperately needed the other wideouts on the roster to excel and they did the opposite. Through almost to the end of the 3rd quarter, when the Vikings were up 32-3, Giants receivers had three catches for 21 yards!!! Rueben Randle and Hakeem Nicks looked like they were going through the motions. Dwayne Harris dropped Manning’s first attempt. Randle dropped another on the field goal drive inside the red zone. Myles White dropped a fourth down pass.

Tight Ends

Crap. Giants tight ends had one catch for six yards in the first half. In the end, Will Tye, Jerome Cunningham, and Matt LaCosse had a total of eight catches, but seven of those came when the game was well out of hand. Tye was also flagged for an illegal shift and dropped a 4th-and-6 pass late in the game.

Offensive Line

The Giants needed a strong performance up front and did not get it. Manning was sacked four times (three times in the first half) and officially hit eight other times, even though he it seemed far more than that. Too many penalties too with Marshall Newhouse (false start), Ereck Flowers (unnecessary roughness and holding), and Justin Pugh (illegal use of hands) being flagged. The line did run block pretty well in the first half of the contest, except on a poorly-designed 2nd-and-1 play right before the pick six where two Vikings were left unblocked. Newhouse gave up the first sack on 3rd-and-10 in the 1st quarter. The second sack wasn’t on the line as the Vikings did not bite on a play-action rollout and the defensive end got around Will Tye. Pugh gave up the third sack on 3rd-and-9 and another sack late in the 4th quarter. Flowers gave up a few late pressures and a bit hit on Eli.

Defense

The defense hung in there but once again predictably faded. The fate of the Giants’ defense has been based on turnovers, and that’s never wise. The Giants have lost 17 of their last 18 regular-season games in which their defense did not force a turnover, including against Minnesota.

The defense forced three punts to start the game, including one possession that started on Minnesota’s 45-yard line. The Vikings’ fourth possession started on their 46 and resulted in an 8-play, 40-yard drive that ended with a field goal. Minnesota’s only offensive touchdown of the half came on a very short field, the drive starting on New York’s 44-yard line. The Vikings’ last first half points also came on a short field, with Minnesota only having to pick up 23 yards and one first down to set up a field goal. The defense gave up only 13 first half points despite being in bad field position most of the half.

In the second half, the Giants’ defense allowed a 58-yard drive that ended with a field goal. Another interception gave the Vikings the ball on the Giants’ 4-yard line and an easy touchdown for a commanding 29-3 lead. Then came a 47-yard drive that set up a 53-yard field goal, an onside kickoff that gave the Vikings the ball at the Giants’ 18-yard line and a turnover on downs that gave the Vikings the ball on the Giants’ 35-yard line. The biggest embarrassment for the defense was the 68-yard touchdown run late in the game when the Vikings were simply attempting to run out the clock.

Oddly, despite the team giving up 49 points, the defense only allowed the Vikings 17 first downs and 150 net passing yards. The Vikings were also only 2-of-5 (40 percent) in red zone efficiency.

Defensive Line/Linebackers

The front seven did a decent job against the run in the first half, holding the Vikings to 44 yards on 14 carries (3.1 yards per carry). The Giants also sacked Teddy Bridgewater twice, including 9-yard sack split between Robert Ayers and George Selvie on 3rd-and-5 after Manning’s first interception. Ayers got the other sack late in the first half (note to Giants…stop dancing around like dumb asses when the other team is kicking your ass on the scoreboard).

Adrian Peterson really didn’t hurt the Giants all that much until late in the 3rd quarter when he broke off a 39-yard run when Jason Pierre-Paul got double-teamed and J.T. Thomas couldn’t get off the block by the tight end. This set up a long field goal. The defense started to fade very late in the 3rd quarter and early in the 4th quarter, first with Bridgewater’s 9-yard scramble on 3rd-and-8 and then running back Jerick McKinnon’s 7-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-goal. On the later run, Pierre-Paul and Jasper Brinkley simply failed to make the play. The nadir came on McKinnon’s three runs late in the game that picked up a total of 80 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run. Jay Bromley and Ayers were each flagged with being offsides. Thomas was thrown out of the game for throwing a punch.

Defensive Backs

Teddy Bridgewater only completed 15-of-25 passes for 168 yards. The problem remains the safeties. Craig Dahl was beaten for a 28-yard touchdown by tight end Kyle Rudolph on 2nd-and-14. Landon Collins was late getting over to help out on the play as well. Collins later gave up a 25-yard reception against Rudolph on 3rd-and-3 on Minnesota’s first scoring drive of the second half. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara didn’t really hurt their team but didn’t really help either. I didn’t like how Amukamara played patty-cake with the wide receiver on Jerick McKinnon’s 7-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter on 3rd-and-goal. Trevin Wade, playing the nickel, made a nice play defending a 3rd-and-5 shot into the end zone, but he later gave up a 21-yard reception on 3rd-and-3 on the field goal drive right before halftime.

Special Teams

Not good. An ailing Dwayne Harris (shoulder) returned two punts for a total of 12 yards, muffing his first chance. He also let one punt hit the turf and roll that he should have fair caught. Shane Vereen returned seven kickoffs, but his longest effort was only 23 yards. Ben Edwards also returned one kickoff for 20 yards. None of Josh Brown’s kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Both of his onside kicks failed, and one was returned 27 yards to the Giants’ 18-yard line, setting up another touchdown. Brad Wing punted six times, averaging 40 yards per punt. One punt was expertly downed on the 4-yard line by Landon Collins and Craig Dahl. Wing’s 30-yard punt right before halftime helped the Vikings add an additional field goal. Punt coverage and kickoff coverage on the two traditional kickoffs were good.

Cram it in your Cramhole Award

Minus Odell Beckham, the entire wide receiving corps. Three catches for 21 yards until late in the 3rd quarter when the game was out of reach? Holy crap.

(New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings, December 27, 2015)
Dec 282015
 
Eric Murray, Minnesota Golden Gophers (September 3, 2015)

Eric Murray – © USA TODAY Sports Images

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]
2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 28, 2015 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

PITTSBURGH

*#23 WR Tyler Boyd – 6’2/200

Third year junior that will most likely declare. Top prospect of the day. Has been drawing comparisons to Larry Fitzgerald since day one. All American receiver that has a big time skill set. NFL ready right now. First player in ACC history to record 1,000+ yard receiving seasons in freshman and sophomore seasons. Boyd doesn’t have the top tier triangle numbers but neither do a lot of the top WRs in football. He is as savvy as it gets, knows the game inside and out. Tremendous body control and ball skills make him a guy that QBs can throw to with a ton of confidence. Some minor off field issues need to be checked out but at the end of the process I except him to be a a first rounder.

#86 TE J.P Holtz – 6’4/250

Fourth year senior, starter for all four of those years. He’s been pretty much the same guy production wise every season but there were a few more big plays in 2015. Holtz has really good foot speed/quickness. He can get open underneath and sneak behind the second level more so than you would think. He had a few drops in the two games I scouted. He is a limited player but someone that can do everything well enough to make a roster somewhere. Late rounder.

#5 DE Ejuan Price – 6’0/250

Fifth year senior that started off at linebacker. Tore a pec in 2012 and had to sit out the year. Only played half of 2013 before injuring back, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Once again missed all of 2014 with another pec injury. Price finally put together a healthy year in 2015 and he broke out in a huge way. 1st Team All ACC. 19.5 TFL and 11.5 sacks. Price will make a move to 3-4 OLB in the NFL. He is very short and stout, a build that gives him a big leverage advantage. He doesn’t do well off the snap but he can get rid of blockers and his relentless motor helps him make plays as things break down. His injury woes will scare some teams away but someone will be drawn to his ability to finish plays. He is a relentless, powerful defender. Maybe a 4th or 5th rounder if his medicals check out.

#6 CB Lafayette Pitts – 5’11/195

4 year starter. Very aggressive player that will play a physical brand at the point of attack. Very hands on kind of guy. Pitts has had stretches that lasted weeks where he looked like a top 100 overall player, but also ones where he was taken off the field by the coaching staff. Very inconsistent player that doesn’t have the short memory you hear defensive coaches talk about. Someone can take a chance on his talent in the late rounds. The ability is there.

**********************************

CENTRAL MICHIGAN

#54 C Nick Beamish – 6’3/310

Fifth year senior. Has started every game of his career. Has the body type and lower body strength for inside. Ideal kind of guy to man the position. He is smart and vocal. Very aware and rarely gets caught out of position. Good enough athlete to work in space, more than enough strength to handle the big boys. I think he gets drafted day three. Starter potential.

#89 TE Ben McCord – 6’4/240

Fifth year senior. Broke out in 2015 with a solid line of 37/370/5. Moves well and can easily line up in space and move with defensive backs. Good hands catcher, makes me think he was under utilized his first three seasons. He isn’t a good blocker though, lacks presence and power. Won’t get movement on anyone. Developmental guy that is likely a priority UDFA.

#21 SS Kavon Frazier – 6’0/218

Wore #5 all year but he is wearing the #21 jersey honoring a fallen teammate. Only pkayer on the team to wear it twice this year. Leading tackler, had a big senior year and may have played himself in to being drafted in the top 150. 2nd Team All MAC. Built like a linebacker. Attacks downhill hard, can lay the lumber. He isn’t a speed guy and he won’t cover well in the NFL. Limited but could find a role as a run defender. Late round or UDFA.

MINNESOTA

#31 CB Eric Murray – 6’0/199

2nd Team All Big 10 two years in a row. 3 year starter that has a shot at being a 1st round pick. Top prospect in this game. Murray combines size, speed, physical presence and awareness to make himself one of the top senior cover men in this class. I’ve only seen him twice and he wasn’t challenged much. I’ll need to do more work on him. His name comes up from almost everyone I speak with when talking about the top cornerbacks. There isn’t anything about his game that screams weakness. His lack of career INTs (2) has more to do with teams not throwing his way. He can be a shut down guy.

#26 LB De’vondre Campbell – 6’5/239

Fourth year junior. Played one year at junior college. Has the triangle numbers that could get him drafted based solely on that. Shows some ability as a weak side guy with his ability to pursue across the field and finish plays. He looks strong on the move and will tackle well, but he looks weak in traffic. Struggles to take on blockers. He is an upside guy that could be a Special Teams monster. 5th or 6th round.

#29 CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun – 5’11/190

Fifth year senior. Played a year at Junior College and missed 2013 with a knee. Very productive in 2014 and 2015. Solid cover man with anticipation and awareness skills. Very savvy. Good decision maker that rarely seems fooled. Might be limited athletically but has enough to be a factor in the NFL. Not quite on the same level as Murray but Calhoun will get selected. Probably a day 3 guy.

Other Notables:

#1 WR KJ Maye – 5’10/194
#55 Theiren Cockran – 6’6/258
#11 S Antonio Johnson – 6’0/208

Dec 282015
 
Eli Manning, New York Giants (December 27, 2015)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]

MINNESOTA VIKINGS 49 – NEW YORK GIANTS 17…
The New York Giants were humiliated by the Minnesota Vikings on national television on Sunday night. With the loss, the Giants fell to 6-9, ensuring their third losing season in a row. The Giants have lost five of their last six games.

While the Vikings only slightly out-gained the Giants in first downs (17 to 15) and total net yards (368 to 363), Minnesota held dramatic advantages in rushing yards (218 to 91) and time of possession (34:57 to 25:03). The Vikings also won the turnover battle 3 to 0 as quarterback Eli Manning was intercepted three times, one resulting in an interception for a touchdown and the other giving Minnesota the football at the New York 4-yard line and leading to another touchdown two plays later.

The Giants’ defense actually held up fairly well until late in the game. They forced Minnesota to punt on their first three possessions before allowing an 8-play, 40-yard drive that set up a 32-yard field goal. They then allowed a 5-play, 44-yard drive that ended with a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to tight end Kyle Rudolph. After forcing another punt, the Vikings set up another field goal late in the half by driving just 23 yards in seven plays.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ offense, minus suspended wide receiver Odell Beckham, struggled a great deal. The Giants only gained 112 net yards in the first half, and 50 of the 77 gross passing yards gained came on one pass play to running back Rashad Jennings. The Giants’ wide receivers only had three catches in the first half for 21 yards. Manning was sacked three times in the first half alone. New York only gained six first downs, three on one drive that set up a 27-yard field goal. Worse, Manning’s pass intended for wide receiver Rueben Randle late in the second quarter was picked off and returned 35 yards for a touchdown (the extra point was missed).

At the half, the Vikings led 19-3.

The game spiraled out of control in the third quarter. After the Giants went three-and-out to start the second half, the Vikings drove 58 yards in nine plays to set up a 22-yard field goal to take a 22-3 lead. On New York’s first ensuing offensive snap, Manning was intercepted for a third time in the game and the ball was returned 32 yards to the New York 4-yard line. Two plays later, Minnesota took a commanding 29-3 advantage when running back Adrian Peterson scored. After another three-and-out by the Giants, the Vikings kicked a 53-yard field goal to go up 32-3 late in the quarter.

The Giants did score on a 72-yard catch-and-run by Randle with about a minute left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 32-10. But the ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Vikings and returned 27 yards to the Giants’ 18-yard line. Six plays later, the Vikings scored a touchdown to extend their advantage to 39-10. Then came a 4-and-out by the Giants, followed by 26-yard drive that set up a 27-yard field goal, another drive that ended on downs by the Giants, and then a humiliating 68-yard run by reserve running back Jerick McKinnon. Reserve quarterback Ryan Nassib came into the game with 3:30 left and drove the Giants to a late garbage touchdown.

Offensively, Manning finished 15-of-29 for 234 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions. 122 passing yards came on two plays. No Giant caught more than three passes and no wide receiver caught more than two passes. Jennings did carry the football 14 times for 74 yards. Manning was sacked four times and officially hit eight times. Minnesota also had six tackles for losses.

Defensively, the Giants did not force a turnover. They did accrue three sacks: 1.5 by defensive end Robert Ayers, 0.5 by defensive end George Selvie, and 1.0 by linebacker Jonathan Casillas. New York also had six tackles for losses and seven quarterback hits.

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Right tackle Marshall Newhouse and safety Craig Dahl both left the game with concussions and did not return. Linebacker J.T. Thomas injured his ankle but returned until he was later ejected for throwing a punch.

POST-GAME REACTIONS…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Tom Coughlin (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • RB Shane Vereen (Video)
  • OC Weston Richburg (Video)
  • CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Video)

POST-GAME NOTES…
Inactive for the Giants were LB Devon Kennard (foot), S Cooper Taylor (concussion), WR Geremy Davis, OG Adam Gettis, OT Emmett Cleary, DE Stansly Maponga, and CB Jayron Hosley.

ARTICLES…

Dec 272015
 
Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (December 26, 2015)

NFC East Champion Washington Redskins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]

NEW YORK GIANTS PLAYOFF HOPES ARE OVER…
With the Washington Redskins defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 38-24 on Saturday night, the playoff aspirations of the New York Giants are officially over. The Redskins won the NFC East divisional title and all other teams in the division have been eliminated from NFC Wild Card contention.

The 6-8 Giants will finish up the 2015 season with an away game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night and a home game against the Eagles on January 3rd. The Giants have lost four of their last five games and will not have a winning record for the third season in a row. This will be the fourth year in a row the Giants have missed the playoffs and the sixth time in seven years. The last time the Giants missed the playoffs four years in a row was pre-1981.

ARTICLES…