The New York Giants are an organization that is known to take the best player available. But if you listen to a Jerry Reese press conference after the draft, you’ll hear a phrase, or slight variation, that keeps popping up when Reese talks about the player that he just drafted. Height, weight, speed. Or size and speed player. The most over-looked part of the entire draft process is the situation in which the person is drafted into. Each prospect has strengths and weaknesses that can be identified with enough tape study. But a huge factor in the success of each player is what team drafts him, how well he is coached, and whether or not he fits the system the team drafted him into, if he doesn’t he could struggle to find snaps and thus remain on that team’s roster for very long. The New York Giants believe very much in their coaches, which is why they feel comfortable taking high potential players. And when we’re talking about high potential players we’re talking about Size and speed. They are by no means the only team that takes high potential, limited production players.
Here are some comments from Jerry Reese and scouting director Marc Ross after last year’s draft that highlights my point.
On Jernigan: “Jernigan, we got him, a fast player”
On James Brewer:
“He’s a really good athlete. Only had one year of high school football, but he’s played a lot of football at Indiana. Long arms, big man…”
“This guy has good size, he runs good enough,”
On running back Da’rel Scott: “We took a flyer on the guy because he is big and fast,”
The Giants aren’t strictly a team that looks for potential above all else–they also take players who are productive who don’t have great measurables (Greg Jones is an example of that last year), but for the most part. This is a team that will over-look production for big time potential because they believe if the guy has good character and drive their coaches can mold the raw players into something terrific.
With that in mind I thought I’d highlight two players I think will really interest the Giants at the end of round one, or any team that is looking for good size and speed, but does not necessarily have the production to match.
Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill
Most people expect after his combine that Stephen Hill is a lock to be gone before the New York Giants draft at the end of round one, but I say to do that would not be respecting the business of scouting enough. On film Stephen Hill is big and fast and a good blocker, and has always flashed that upside. Perhaps he ran even faster than everyone expected as his size, but the fact that he was big (6’4 215 pounds) and fast (a 4.36 official 40 yard dash, even faster unofficially) not to mention he can also jump (39.5 inch vertical) but there are questions about his ability to run NFL caliber routes all over the field. Still he averaged 30 yards per catch during the season because he can flat out run and is bigger than anyone covering him–Hill’s complete lack of production and the terrific depth of WR in this class could convince teams to go in another direction throughout round one. If available for the Giants at 32 he would be a really intriguing player. The Giants will be looking for someone to play outside in three WR sets to push Victor Cruz into the slot. Respected beat writer Ralph Vacchiano has also wrote the Giants have been “sniffing around WR”
Syracuse DE Chandler Jones
Following the Giants closely I’ve also heard Jerry Reese mention on multiple occasions that the biggest indicator to a successful 43 Defensive end. Is not size, speed, or college production. It is long arms. Enter Chandler Jones the DE out of Syracuse. Jones also happens to be very athletic at 6’5 266 pounds. Jones has a 35 inch vertical and ran a 4.87 forty yard dash (the vertical is better than Pierre Paul’s JPP’s 40 yard dash was slightly better. Jones also had a better 20 yard shuttle and 3 cone drill). But what will appeal to the Giants more than anything are Jones’ freakishly long arms. Jones has a 35.5″ long arms. Jason Pierre Paul is considered to have long arms and his arms are 34.75″ long arms–Jones arms will be very enticing to the Giants. If you throw in the fact that the Giants have Osi Umeniyora and Mathias Kiwanuka set to be free agents after the 2012 season–Jones could be a player they consider at the end of round one. Coincidentally. Jones also plays in the Big East like Pierre-Paul and registered 4.5 sacks this year ( Paul had 5.5 sacks, but in 6 more games in his final college season). The question will be does Jones play with the same motor that Paul does.
Follow us on twitter @NFlmocks