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New York Giants: Scouting Combine Tracker for Giants' Potential Targets

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2014

New York Giants: Scouting Combine Tracker for Giants' Potential Targets

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    After a 7-9 season, the New York Giants have a lot of needs to address in the 2014 NFL draft. At the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine, the team will get an up-close look at a number of prospects to fill those holes.

    Every team looks for different things at the combine. Many organizations want to see big, athletic numbers in each drill like the 40-yard dash, bench press, shuttle run and more. Others want to see a fluid performance in the position drills. Finally, some simply use this as an opportunity to meet and interview the prospects.

    No matter what the squads put their faith in, they all have a number of prospects in mind coming in and want to come away impressed.

    The Giants can make their draft study much easier by narrowing down their options in Indianapolis, looking at a few players in each key position.    

    Here is a look at prospects they should focus on along with their results from the combine when available.

     

    Note: All combine height and weight information courtesy of Walter Football. Until official, information based on estimates from CBS Sports. Round info based on assorted media outlets and personal projections. Drills results courtesy of NFL.com.

Priority No. 1: Offensive Line

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Yes, the offensive line is full of very different positions and they cannot be grouped together in the draft. However, the Giants need help at almost every spot either for next season or the near future. 

    Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus rated New York as having the 29th-best offensive line in the league, including second to worst in pass protection. If there is a quality offensive lineman on the board, whether he is a tackle, guard or even a center, the Giants should take him.

    Here is a look at the top options that would be available based on what round they are likely to be taken in.

    NamePos.SchoolProj. RoundHeightWeight
    Taylor LewanOTMichigan16'7"309
    Cyrus KouandjioOTAlabama16'6"322
    Zack MartinOTNotre Dame16'4"308
    Xavier Su'a-FiloOGUCLA26'4"307
    Antonio RichardsonOTTennessee26'6"336
    Cyril RichardsonOGBaylor36'5"329
    Dakota DozierOGFurman36'4"313
    Bryan StorkCFlorida State46'4"315
    Seantrel HendersonOTMiami (FL)56'7"331

     

    If the Giants are going to select a lineman in the first round, it needs to be a cornerstone player who will be there for years to come. Justin Pugh performed well at right tackle, but the team now needs an upgrade from Will Beatty on the left side.

    While top names like Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews will likely be off the board, both Taylor Lewan and Cyrus Kouandjio have the ability to be Pro Bowlers at left tackle. Zack Martin is also a quick-rising prospect who can play either tackle or guard.

    David Yankey is the top player available at guard, but he is more of a run-blocker than pass-blocker. The team would be better off waiting for a better fit like Xavier Su'a-Filo or Cyril Richardson. 

    Finally, the team can grab a center for the future in Bryan Stork, who should be available on Day 3 of the draft.

     

    Name40-Yd DashBenchVert. JumpBroad Jump3-Cone Drill20-Yd Shuttle60-Yd Shuttle
    Lewan4.872930.5117.07.394.49-
    Kouandjio5.592127.596.07.714.84
    Martin2928.0106.07.654.59
    Su'a-Filo5.0425 25.0102.07.604.44
    A. Richardson5.303624.5
    C. Richardson5.3625 25.591.07.704.83
    Dozier5.422324.0101.08.144.89
    Stork
    Henderson5.03-24.095.08.154.77

     

    Combine Takeaways

    After Saturday's showcase, a few guys emerged for different reasons. One of them is Cyrus Kouandjio. He came in taller and bigger than he was listed at Alabama but failed several physicals as a result of a bum knee.

    Additionally, Seantrel Henderson remains an intriguing prospect due to his height and long arms. He will look to have a big week as well. 

    Of New York's most touted targets who ran the 40-yard dash, Taylor Lewan was the only one to finish south of five minutes at 4.87 seconds. Not that running in a straight line predicts success for an NFL offensive lineman, but his athleticism is something to consider when the Giants are mulling over their first-round choices.

Priority No. 2: Linebacker

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Although the Giants do not often place a lot of weight on linebackers, it has become a major area of weakness for the team. Jon Beason played well after being traded from the Carolina Panthers, but the squad needs a long-term answer at the position.

    Whether the organization decides to draft a linebacker in the first round or find a sleeper in the middle rounds, it is clear that this is a position of need on draft day.

    Here are the top options to focus on at the combine.

    NameSchoolProj. RoundHeightWeight
    Khalil MackBuffalo16'3"251
    C.J. MosleyAlabama16'2"234
    Ryan ShazierOhio State26'1"237
    Telvin SmithFlorida State26'3"218
    Yawin SmallwoodConnecticut26'2"246
    Chris BorlandWisconsin35'11"248
    Christian JonesFlorida State46'3"240

     

    Khalil Mack is unlikely to still be on the board when the Giants are drafting, but he would be a steal if available. On the other hand, C.J. Mosley is likely to be taken in the middle of the first round and would be a perfect fit for New York. He is a leader on the defensive end and could patrol the middle of the field for a long time.

    Like Mack, Ryan Shazier and Telvin Smith are outside linebackers, but they are both versatile enough to excel in pass and run coverage as well as strictly getting after the quarterback. Both of them have great speed as well, something the Giants desperately need on defense.

    If the team decides to wait until the middle rounds, they can hope that Chris Borland or Christian Jones fall to them after excellent college careers with their respective schools.

     

    Name40-Yd DashBenchVert. JumpBroad Jump3-Cone Drill20-Yd Shuttle60-Yd Shuttle
    Mack4.652340.0128.07.084.18-
    Mosley--35.0118.07.304.40-
    Shazier-2542.0130.06.914.21-
    Smith4.52-31.5119.0---
    Smallwood5.011836.5108.0---
    Borland4.832731.0114.07.184.27-
    Jones4.74-33.5115.0---

     

    Combine Takeaways

    Most scouts are worried about Ryan Shazier's lack of size, but the Ohio State linebacker measured seven pounds heavier than his official college weight at 237 pounds. That's still smaller than many of his peers, but his speed should even the playing field.

    Although Shazier didn't participate in the 40-yard dash, he showcased tremendous leaping ability and quickness throughout the other workouts, posting a vertical leap of 42 inches and broad jump of 130 inches (10'10").

    The former Buckeye was also strong in the 3-cone drill, finishing in a time of 6.91 seconds.

Priority No. 3: Cornerback

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    In four of the last nine years, the Giants have spent their first pick of the draft on a defensive back. Unfortunately, this is still a position of need.

    Prince Amukamara is a starter, but the other side of the field is a mystery full of unrestricted free agents and injury-prone players. New York needs to add someone in the draft either early on or in the middle rounds.

    Here are the players that should be near the top of the list for the G-Men.

    NameSchoolProj. RoundHeightWeight
    Darqueze DennardMichigan State15'11"191
    Justin GilbertOklahoma State16'0"202
    Stanley Jean-BaptisteNebraska26'3"218
    Marcus RobersonFlorida26'0"191
    Kyle FullerVirginia Tech36'0"190
    Pierre DesirLindenwood36'1'198
    Loucheiz PurifoyFlorida35'11"190
    Chris DavisAuburn45'10"202

    In a copycat league like the NFL, everyone will try to replicate the Seattle Seahawks' success on the defensive end. While there is no substitute for pure talent, one thing that can be followed is the idea of drafting big cornerbacks who can match up with big, physical receivers.

    Almost every player on this list is at least six feet and has the physicality to handle a receiver like Dez Bryant in the division. Darqueze Dennard and Justin Gilbert each have the potential be truly elite playmakers in the NFL.

    Pierre Desir represents one of the top sleepers in the class, and he will be followed closely at the combine. Meanwhile, Loucheiz Purifoy and Chris Davis also can contribute on special teams, an area that lacked in New York last season.

     

    Name40-Yd DashBenchVert. JumpBroad Jump3-Cone Drill20-Yd Shuttle60-Yd Shuttle
    Dennard4.5115-----
    Gilbert4.372035.51266.92--
    Jean-Baptiste4.611341.5128-4.33-
    Roberson4.61837.51206.844.08-
    Fuller4.491238.51286.904.19-
    Desir4.5911351336.864.3011.60
    Purifoy4.61635.5120---
    Davis-15-----

     

    Combine Takeaways

    The good news for the Giants is that most of the top names at the combine performed at or exceeded expectations. The bad news is this means that the targets will not stay on the board for too long.

    Justin Gilbert posted the best 40-yard dash time among players at the position, finished with an official time of 4.37. His athleticism and big-play ability make him one of the top options in the class. On the other hand, Darqueze Dennard remains right behind him thanks to his pure cover skills.

    There is a good chance that one of them falls to the Giants in the first round if they want to go in that direction. As Dion Caputi of the National Football Post notes, this is a good thing either way:

    Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard? The former had the better combine, but that was expected. Pick your poison - both will be studs. Top 15.

    — Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) February 25, 2014

    As far as the later rounds go, both Kyle Fuller and Pierre Desir excelled in the on-field workouts, showing fluid motion and great quickness to prove they can handle the position in the NFL. New York might want to make sure to grab one of them in the earlier rounds before they are taken by someone else.

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