2012 Undrafted Free Agents: 5 Players the New York Giants Should Consider
The New York Giants do an outstanding job discovering hidden gems throughout the draft process. Sometimes, the greatest of the gems are discovered after the draft, signed as undrafted free agents.
Victor Cruz, Chase Blackburn and Henry Hynoski are just three examples of the contributors the Giants have picked up as undrafted free agents and each played an integral part en route to New York’s second Super Bowl victory in five seasons.
With that in mind and the process already underway (and please keep that in mind as I post this), let’s take a look at some undrafted free agents the Giants should consider pursuing in the coming days and weeks.
Follow all the undrafted signing festivities here.
Nick Provo, TE, Syracuse
The New York Giants added an athletic, potential-laden tight end in Adrien Robinson, but with there being no way of knowing whether he will pan out as Jerry Reese and the Giants are hoping, adding another tight end to bring to camp could not hurt.
Syracuse’s Nick Provo is a serviceable player both as a receiver and blocker. His ceiling does not appear to be very high, and it is unlikely he will amount to much in the NFL, but the Giants have thrived on such players before in the past, such as fellow undrafted free-agent tight end Jake Ballard.
The former Orange posted 537 receiving yards over 51 receptions with seven touchdowns in 2011—three of which came in a big upset victory over West Virginia.
Eddie Pleasant, S, Oregon
Though undersized, Oregon’s Eddie Pleasant is a stalwart run defender with a good nose for the football. He is fairly productive working near the line of scrimmage, according to NFL.com, and a reliable tackler.
Pleasant has room for improvement as a cover man but would benefit by playing within the Giants’ Cover 2 scheme.
If nothing more, Pleasant is a valuable add to contribute on special teams, utilizing his sure-tackling ability at a premium.
Jerry Franklin, ILB, Arkansas
Despite being pretty stacked at the middle linebacker position, it could not hurt to add some more competition to the mix of young players.
Franklin is a tackling machine, ranking third all-time at Arkansas. He tallied 93 in 2011 and delivers some of the biggest hits in this year’s draft class.
At just 6’1” and 242 pounds, Franklin may also be able to move over the weak side linebacker position for some added depth behind Michael Boley and/or Keith Rivers.
Jamie Blatnick, DE, Oklahoma State
The New York Giants love their pass-rushers, and Oklahoma State’s Jamie Blatnick is one of the purest remaining rookies available.
Tallying eight sacks in 2011 against one of college football’s most offensively productive in the nation, Blatnick is a first team All-Big 12 defensive end and has the potential to play a similar role in the Giants’ defensive rotation similar to Dave Tollefson.
Blatnick is essentially a one-trick pony but could be valuable in key pass-rush situations.
UPDATE: Blatnick has been signed by the Denver Broncos.
Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, DT, Baylor
Baylor’s Nicolas Jean-Baptiste is an under-the-radar prospect who starred—though quietly in the shadow of Robert Griffin III and Kendall Wright—along the Bears defensive line.
Jean-Baptiste had a strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game and proved to be a difficult matchup for all who tried to oppose him.
At 6’1” and 330 pounds, Jean-Baptiste is a mammoth of a man who could easily stuff the middle. He loves to give opposing running backs when rushing between the tackles.
UPDATE: According to Twitter posts, Jean-Baptiste has signed with the Baltimore Ravens, but I have yet to find trustworthy confirmation.
Louis Musto is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter here.