4 Draft Prospects Who Would Be Perfect Fits with New York Giants
Sunday's Week 15 loss was so bad, as Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger accurately detailed, that the importance of the upcoming draft just became that much more essential .
Sunday’s was historically bad: The first shutout since the 2005 wild-card loss to the Panthers. The first regular-season shutout since December 1996 against the Eagles. The worst shutout loss by a defending Super Bowl champion in NFL history.
With the team still unbelievably in control of their own destiny over the final two games of this season, let's put our general manger hats on and shift our focus towards the four 2013 draft prospects that fit perfectly with the G-Men.
Giants general manager Jerry Reese is not one to put all his eggs in one basket, but it would be wise to put the majority of his eggs into the Montee Ball basket.
Even though Ball holds the FBS record for most touchdowns scored in college history, the NFL Draft Advisory Committee projects him to go in the third round.
That assessment should fit with Reese's agenda perfectly, as the Giants GM always grabs the best player available in the draft—barring their position.
Ball already has NFL-ready vision, quickness and toughness, but it's his intangibles that overshadow his skills.
From the way that he doesn't have elaborate touchdown celebrations, to the way in which he conducts himself off the field, this young man is reminiscent of Barry Sanders.
It's yet to be seen if he'll have a pro career of a Sanders or Emmitt Smith, but Ball is the best all-around fit that the Giants will find in this draft.
The G-Men missed the boat on Doug Martin in last year's draft, and I don't see Reese allowing Ball to slip away if he is still available when it's New York's turn to draft.
It's hard to imagine a scenario where Osi Umenyiora returns to the Giants next season, and while defensive end isn't a hot-button priority, there is one draft prospect who is too good of a fit to ignore.
His name is Quanterus Smith, and he is the prototypical defensive end that the Giants love to draft.
Smith, or "Q" as he is affectionately known, is strong and quick like a deer.
In his senior season in 2012 at Western Kentucky, he registered 12.5 sacks which collectively totaled a loss of 85 yards.
Smith is a little undersized for his position—raising some doubts by NFL evaluators, but I love this kid's motor and potential versatility.
Don't forget how Mathias Kiwanuka was drafted as a defensive end and how a lot of his impact has been made from the linebacker position.
I see a similar story with Smith, and Reese must try and grab this four-year defensive stud.
Need a Safety for Safety
Kenny Phillips has confirmed that he will be on the field for the Giants' Week 16 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, but there is no guarantee, and little assurance, that the safety will be with the team next season.
Therefore, it's imperative that Reese and company go out and find the best safety they can grab in the 2013 draft.
For the G-Men, that is Matt Elam from the University of Florida.
The junior safety is already used to playing behind a very strong defensive line, plus he has the versatility to drop back in prevention of the big play or sneak up in the box to rush the quarterback.
His 2012 campaign has garnered attention, as he registered 65 total tackles and four interceptions
Elam would transition very nicely to Big Blue's defense.
There have been good and bad aspects to the Giants offensive line this season.
They have been terrific in their protection of Eli Manning, but the run blocking has been inconsistent—indicating that they might be getting a little old.
Tom Coughlin's son-in-law, Chris Snee, and first-year Giant but veteran Sean Locklear are both in their ninth years, and David Diehl's 10th season appears to be his last.
The G-Men have center Jim Cordle and right tackle James Brewer waiting in the wings, but there is a draft prospect that needs to be on their radar.
North Carolina Tar Heel Jonathan Cooper is a guard/center and could be a great successor to David Baas or Chris Snee.
He thrived as a run-blocker in college and was a big part in ensuring the Tar Heel running game average of 193.8 yards per game in 2012.
North Carolina offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic had lofty praise for Cooper and his future.
“It’s kind of a dream to coach a kid like him,” Kapilovic said. “As good of a football player he is, he’s an even better person. He’s a hard worker, very conscientious. Takes notes in every meeting. Pays attention to every detail. Studies film. As a coach you tell guys what they need to do and very few of them follow that plan 100 percent. He does that and does extra.”
Sounds like a Coughlin man to me and a perfect fit for the G-Men.