NFL Combine 2011: 10 Players the New York Giants Should Have Their Eyes On
The combine has already seen one day go by, and many people will be tuning in today to see the nation's top offensive skill players take the field in Indianapolis, certainly highlighted by Auburn's Cam Newton.
The Giants have plenty of holes to fill and will be on site to scout several players, but I want to put notice on a few that the Giants might be able to select with their first two selections.
By now, you already have heard everything you can stand about these players, so the slides will be short and to the point, as I will be updating my mock draft after the combine is finished. You will find more analysis on those players when the time comes.
The unfortunate part of yesterday was when USC's Tyron Smith, who many have mocked to the Giants, was told he had fluid in his knee related to a minor injury he suffered during the season and was forced to stop the workout.
He weighed in at 307, which was 22 pounds over his 2010 playing weight, and had done 29 reps on the bench. The Giants would do well to see him workout at a pro day, and his 10-yard split and three-cone shuffle would only enhance what people have already seen.
A couple of these players have already worked out yesterday, but the rest are guys the Giants should be watching the rest of the way.
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Nate Solder OT, Colorado
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Nate Solder shined at the combine on Saturday. He was one of, if not the best, lineman out there. He improved his stock so much that he may be out of reach at the 19th overall pick.
Anthony Castonzo OT, Boston College
Castonzo showed off his agility and was a top-five performer in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuffle. To be a left tackle in this league, you have to be able to move well to stay in front of speedy pass rushers.
Mark Ingram RB, Alabama
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Ingram has been drawing comparisons to Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, so you better believe that if he falls to the Giants, they will seriously consider abandoning all notions of filling holes and take the best player available.
Mikel LeShoure RB, Illinois
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
LeShore has a chance to move up the ranks with a solid workout. He is already considered an early second round prospect and might even be taken in the late first round. The Giants rarely reach for picks, so unless he seriously impresses people at the combine, he will have to fall to them in the second round.
Titus Young WR, Boise State
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I literally just watched Titus Young do his across the field workout. He looked tentative and worried about dropping passes, but what he did at the Senior Bowl and what he'll likely do in the 40 will possibly warrant him being a top 20 selection.
The Giants have a good wide receiver situation on paper, but with all the injuries they suffered, you can never pass the opportunity to get an insurance policy. Steve Smith is coming off major knee surgery and is a free agent; you never know what could happen.
Virgil Green TE, Nevada
Green may have made himself a second round selection with his combine workout on Saturday. He set the record for the vertical jump by a tight end with a 42 1/2" jump, ran a 4.64 40-yard dash, did 23 reps on the bench, had an amazing 10'10'' broad jump displaying incredible explosiveness and was top four in both the three-cone drill and 60-yard shuffle.
Green's vert jump and broad jump were both No. 1 among tight ends, and in every single other workout other than the 20-yard shuffle, he finished in the top five.
Green's route running seemed a bit raw, but with the right coaching, he could be a fantastic receiving threat.
D.J. Williams TE, Arkansas
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Williams is another one of those guys who has already worked out on Saturday, and his speed showed why people like him as a second round prospect. He ran a 4.67, which was fourth best among tight ends. What people might not like is his height (6'2''), the fact that he is a bit undersized (245 lbs) and might have trouble blocking at the next level.
The Giants will have to make a decision as to whether they like Travis Beckum as their backup receiving option or not, and whether they will pick someone from this draft class they potentially like better.
Akeem Ayers OLB, UCLA
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You already know a ton about Akeem Ayers if you've been reading many mocks, as several have him falling to the Giants.
I won't bore you with any more stats, but just watch Ayers tomorrow. He's going to turn some heads.
Greg Jones LB, Michigan State
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Greg Jones is a second round prospect right now, but more of an inside linebacker than anything. Jonathan Goff played very well as a middle linebacker for the Giants last year in my mind, but Jerry Reese said yesterday morning that he "did OK" last year.
Reese and his staff are great at evaluating talent, and Jones has plenty.
Brandon Harris CB, Miami
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The Giants had a terrific pass defense last season, but most of that was due to a dominant pass rush that masked some inefficiencies in the coverage. Brandon Harris' stock dropped a bit after getting worked by Notre Dame's Michael Floyd, but Floyd is a 2012 first rounder, so there is no shame in that.
You can never have too many talented defensive backs.