Undrafted Free Agents 2012: Grading the 10 UDFAs Signed by the New York Giants
Last year, the Giants were able to get a couple players from the undrafted player pool that ended up making the team. Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger and Henry Hynoski all had major impacts on the team.
Who will be the next Victor Cruz?
Cruz signed as a free agent in 2010 coming out of UMass. I don't need to remind you of his impact on the Giants this year.
There definitely could be some guys who make the team from this group. This grading system is more about their potential than anything else. Considering the Giants assume zero risk by picking these guys up, simply giving them a grade based on skill level would be irresponsible.
Matt Broha, DE, Louisiana Tech
Stats: 45 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles
I do not see much upside with Broha in terms of becoming an eventual starter, but he could definitely be a replacement for Dave Tollefson who bolted for the Oakland Raiders this offseason.
Broha needs to bulk up and maintain his 4.8 speed which is not great for someone who weighs 255 pounds. To be a defensive end at the next level, he'll have to get bigger.
David Douglas, WR, Arizona
Stats: 65 catches, 666 yards and four touchdowns
I could see David Douglas making an impression in camp and being a real contributor, either this year or next. He has many qualities that every team should look for in a wide receiver. He's got real soft hands, runs precise routes and can beat zone coverage.
His workouts are off the charts (4.4 speed, 39" vertical), and in this day and age, teams are looking for slot receivers as much as they are guys who can spread the field.
Douglas would fit that role perfectly and could be a Wes Welker type for the Giants.
Joe Martinek, FB, Rutgers
Stats: 24 carries, 123 yards, 5.1 ypc
Martinek is a very intriguing prospect to say the least. The 5'11', 224-pounder is the New Jersey State High School career rushing yards leader but switched to fullback last season for Rutgers. The Giants brought him in for a workout, and obviously, like him enough to give him a shot.
He's a tweener fullback/halfback who could contribute on special teams. He's the prototypical Giant—blue-collar, team-first kind of guy.
He has decent speed (high 4.4), and his highlights show him breaking off some big runs. He runs hard and could actually become a goal-line back for the Giants who seem devoid of that at this point.
Martinek will compete for Henry Hynoski's job, but his role on the Giants would lend more towards being a backup running back.
Julian Talley, WR, UMass
Stats: 60 catches, 759 yards and four touchdowns
If you're thinking the description after Julian Talley's name in the headline of this slide is familiar, you should be. Talley is not only from UMass, as Giants star receiver Victor Cruz is, but they share the position.
Former teammates will now get a chance to reunite in the NFL, with Talley looking to rise through the ranks similar to what Cruz did last season.
As Tom Rock of Newsday points out, the two have a lot in common.
"Both are receivers from New Jersey (Cruz is from Paterson and Talley is from farther south, in Winslow). Both went to the University of Massachusetts. Neither was good enough to be invited to the NFL combine. Neither was drafted. Both signed with the Giants."
One thing different about Talley is he could become a weapon in the return game. I'm not sure he has the talent that Cruz has, but who knew Cruz was this talented when he came out?
Adewale Ojomo, DE, Miami
Stats: 19 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks
Adewale Ojomo is another intriguing prospect but is a major project.
He's very raw in that he relied mostly on his athleticism to rush the passer in college. He does not have great upper body strength and will not beat many tackles with his bull rush. He's smart, athletic, disciplined and a good tackler. With the right coaching, he can improve and make an impact on the roster.
Ojomo likely fell undrafted because of his role with Nevin Shapiro and the scandal at Miami. Ojomo allegedly took benefits from Shapiro.
He played both defensive-line spots in college, so the Giants must like his versatility. I don't believe he has that high of a ceiling but could become a solid rotational player.
Jojo Nicolas, FS, Miami
Stats: 66 tackles, two interceptions, one pass breakup
Given the recent success with defensive backs from Miami (Kenny Phillips, Antrel Rolle, Bruce Johnson when healthy), it's no wonder the Giants are bringing JoJo Nicolas to rookie camp.
Nicolas made 30 starts as a safety for Miami and contributed in every season he was there (except the year he medically red-shirted). Nicolas was the leader for the 'Canes in his final two years as the starter. Smart, savvy and experience from a major football program are all great traits to have.
Damian Davis, WR, Mary Hardin-Baylor
Stats: 61 receptions, 928 yards and nine touchdowns
Update: I found his stats but did not update my text. Sorry about that.
This former Texas High School standout was ranked the 27th wide receiver coming out of high school and offers a ton of upside for the Giants if he can live up to his potential. That's big if given the obvious character issues, but this is a low-risk situation that could pan out for the Giants big time.
The 6'5'', 190-pounder has good leaping ability and can stretch the field vertically. He'll need to add weight before he garners serious attention in the Giants offense.
Stephen Goodin, G, Nebraska-Kearney
The New York Giants took a couple of offensive lineman in the draft, but they obviously were not done there. They picked up a couple more as undrafted free agents, such as Nebraska-Kearney's Stephen Goodin.
Goodin is a three-year starter with a good build for the NFL at 6'6'', 308 lbs. He can play both inside and out, which is what the Giants will like, but he projects better as a guard at the next level.
I do not see much upside for Goodin other than a career backup.
D'Angelo McCray, OG, Memphis
Of all the prospects, D'Angelo McCray is the most intriguing given that he can play both offensive guard and defensive tackle. He played both in college.
At 6'4'', 337 pounds, McCray is a load and a terrific run blocker. I imagine the Giants signed him as a guard given that is what he played last season, but playing both sides in your career gives you a better understanding of the game as well as proves what you will do for your team.
Janzen Jackson, S, McNeese State
Stats: 31 tackles, two interceptions, five passes broken up, one forced fumble
Janzen Jackson was easily the best signing by the Giants. Although the former Tennessee standout has had his fair share of off-the-field issues, he offers a tremendous amount of upside for almost no risk.
Jackson started his first two seasons with Tennessee as a freshman and sophomore. He's a big hitter, fast and plays with a reckless abandon—sometimes to a fault.
His instincts are not great, and he will need some coaching as will all 10 of the newly signed players, but Jackson's ceiling is extremely high.