New York Giants Day 3 2014 NFL Draft Primer
A day after adding an offensive play-maker to their arsenal, the New York Giants addressed the trenches, adding center Weston Richburg from Colorado State and defensive tackle Jay Bromley from Syracuse to the mix.
The two newest Giants not only represent good value, but also fill needs at their respective positions.
They also represent something else that's very important to this Giants team. Read on and I'll tell you just what that is, as we look back at what's been done so far and look ahead to what we might be able to expect on Day 3.
Day 2 Recap & Analysis
Last December, Giants CEO John Mara lamented the numerous blown draft picks the team has had of late, acknowledging that they’ve taken too many risks that haven’t panned out.
Message received, as thus far, general manager Jerry Reese and company have gone with three safe picks—receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in Round 1, center Weston Richburg in Round 2 and defensive tackle Jay Bromley in Round 3.
Three picks, all of whom are high-character guys, former team captains for their respective teams, and about as clean as you’ll find.
The leadership qualities of the draft picks so far are of particular interest to head coach Tom Coughlin, whose team lost long-time leaders like offensive lineman David Diehl (retired) and defensive end Justin Tuck (free agency).
“When you have an individual, first of all, who is courageous, who is strong of character, strong of belief, an individual believes in the program who’s willing to sacrifice and willing to pay the price when in fact he’s being evaluated by those around him while it’s taking place,” he told reporters.
“Usually it speaks for a guy that gives his all, puts his heart into what he does, and is not afraid to be an individual who leads by example that may be helpful to younger players in terms of how they direct themselves. He’s not afraid to do that because he’s putting his best foot forward.”
With the draft being pushed back, the Giants won’t have a rookie minicamp this year; instead they’ll look to fold their draft class in with the veterans beginning Tuesday and hope that the rookies will be able to hit the ground running.
That’s why the Giants brass put a little more focus on the leadership factor, Coughlin revealed.
“It’s always an emphasis but I think it’s probably been talked about more this year in the room than maybe last year or two years ago or whatever.
“I believe that’s the kind of individuals that we would like to have working for the New York Giants in our program, guys that we can trust, guys that are football players and dedicate their minds and work ethic to becoming the very best that they can be.”
Updated Needs for the Giants
What's left for the Giants to accomplish with their four remaining picks? Here's a rundown
Will the Giants address this position or will they stand pat with what they have and hope that the third year is the charm for their 2012 fourth-round pick Adrien Robinson?
Art Stapleton of The Record seems to think it will be the latter scenario, even though they really don’t have a proven pass-catcher currently on the roster and Robinson hasn’t shown much in two seasons, the most recent of which was mostly lost due to injuries.
@Samps_NYG I like Vereen. Not convinced they take a TE.— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) May 10, 2014
I think if the Giants truly want to bring out the best in Robinson, and Larry Donnell for that matter, they should consider adding another player at this spot.
I noted in my Day 2 primer that the Giants don’t have many safeties under contract beyond this season. One guy they do have is Cooper Taylor, who was a fifth-round draft pick for them last year.
Since general manager Jerry Reese has shown patience in letting some of his past draft picks step out of the shadows, as he likes to say, he’ll probably be patient with Taylor and his development, though beyond Taylor, the Giants will need to add at least one additional face to this group to develop for the future.
In a radio interview on WFAN, Reese was asked about running back David Wilson, who is recovering from offseason surgery on his neck. Per Stapleton, Reese said that Wilson has been fully participating in the team’s offseason program but has not yet been cleared for contact.
Reese says David Wilson is full participant in offseason program. "He's definitely in our plans," but has not been cleared for contact. #NYG— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) May 9, 2014
Although Reese has never backed down from expressing hope of having Wilson, he also has taken steps to protect the team just in case Wilson’s return is delayed. One of those steps he should consider taking is drafting a a running back, given the pounding that the position tends to take.
Over the years, the Giants seem to have devalued linebackers. However, given the emphasis Reese placed on the back seven of the defense this offseason—combined with the fact that right now they only have one proven defensive pass-rusher in Jason Pierre-Paul—if they can find a young linebacker who is reliable in coverage to play the nickel linebacker spot, that would be a huge boost to the defense.
Top Day 3 Targets
Here’s a look at some possible prospects for the Giants on Day 3:
Arthur Lynch (Georgia) is a solid blocker who doesn’t possess elite speed as a breakaway receiver. Will the Giants pass on him because they have Kellen Davis, a blocking tight end?
Jordan Najvar (Baylor) is an experienced blocker with soft hands, per NFL Draft Scout. However, he might be worth taking a flier on as an undrafted free agent.
Craig Loston (LSU) hits like a ton of bricks and has a natural feel for the position, two things that a safety either has or doesn’t.
The Giants selected Andre Williams (Boston College) with their fourth-round pick (113 overall). Williams is a downhill runner whose scouting report at NFL Draft Scout reminds one of Brandon Jacobs. Only difference is that at 5’11”, Williams doesn’t have Jacobs’ 6’4” size.
What Are the Experts Saying?
B/R’s very own Matt Miller was brave enough to attempt a full seven-round mock draft for every team. Here’s a look at Miller’s picks for the Giants in Rounds 5 through 6, along with my take.
Round 5 (No. 174) Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke
I disagree with the thought of even taking a cornerback in this draft; instead I’d like to see the Giants take a running back, which I think is a greater position of need.
Round 6 (No. 187) Charles Leno, OT, Boise State
I’d like to see the Giants come away with two offensive linemen in the draft and at least one tackle to provide depth because I’m not completely sold yet on John Jerry or Charles Brown being able to play the position at a high enough level for more than a game or two if disaster strikes.
While I would have preferred the Giants take a tackle higher in the draft, Miller’s suggestion to take a flier on Leno seems like a low-risk, high-reward opportunity that would give the Giants a year to develop him.
Predictions for Day 3
What might happen on the final day of the draft? Here are a couple of predictions.
The Giants Won't Draft a Tight End
I think they need a tight end, but as I tell my followers all the time, the team sees their needs differently than we on the outside do.
If the Giants don’t grab Arthur Lynch if he's there in the fourth round, they're probably not going to spend a pick on a tight end.
The Giants Will Take Another Offensive Lineman
So far the Giants have their center of the future in Weston Richburg, but as the Giants found out last year, you can never have too many offensive linemen, something general manager Jerry Reese acknowledged.
"Last year we had a couple injuries early on the offensive line and it was pretty devastating," Reese told reporters. "We had to bring some guys in that struggled some at those positions so we’re trying to make sure we have enough depth at every position."
Updated Giants Mock Draft
Here's an updated mock draft for the Giants' remaining four draft picks.
Round No. 4, Pick No. 113: TE Arthur Lynch, Georgia
Art Stapleton of The Record seems to think that veteran Jermichael Finley of the Packers might be the Giants’ ace in the hole at tight end should Adrien Robinson not show much in the upcoming OTAs.
@Samps_NYG At this point I'm willing to give Adrien Robinson another shot with pursuit of Jermichael Finley if he gets cleared.— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) May 10, 2014
The problem with this theory is that Finley still hasn’t been cleared yet after undergoing surgery on his neck last fall.
Regardless of whether he’s close or still months away, just as the Giants can’t bank on having running back David Wilson, who is recovering from a similar surgery, they shouldn’t bank on Finley being cleared, not when they should be able to get Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch in the fourth round.
Round No. 5, Pick No. 152: S Craig Loston, LSU
The Giants are taking a huge gamble if they think they can get by with Stevie Brown, who is coming back from ACL surgery.
While I certainly hope that Brown doesn’t experience any setbacks, two former Giants who tried to make it back from complete ACL tears, cornerback Terrell Thomas and receiver Domenik Hixon, both ended up re-injuring the same ACL only to miss back-to-back seasons.
If LSU's Craig Loston (6'1", 217 pounds) is there in the fifth round, I’d like to see the Giants take him, as his scouting report from NFL Draft Scout reminds me a little bit of Will Hill in that Loston is a good hitter with a natural feel for playing the position.
Round No. 5, Pick No. 174 (Compensatory): RB Andre Williams, Boston College
Thanks to a run on running backs on Day 2, a lot of the pro-ready guys I liked for the Giants are off the board.
One guy who’s still there and who I like is Boston College’s Andre Williams (5’11”, 230 pounds), a stocky downhill runner with decent speed and quickness to change direction.
Round No. 6, Pick No. 187: DE Cassius Marsh, UCLA
The Giants addressed defensive tackle; now I’d like to see them take an end that they can develop, especially since Jason Pierre-Paul will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and Mathias Kiwanuka’s performance, at least based on last season when he graded out dead last among 4-3 defensive ends who took at least 60 percent of their team’s snaps, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
UCLA defensive end Cassius Marsh (6’4”, 252 pounds) can play both defensive tackle and defensive end. While he probably wouldn’t play much as a rookie, if he can develop, there’s no reason why he can’t see a bigger role by his second season.