2011 NFL Draft: 10 Undrafted Free Agents the New York Giants Should Target
The New York Giants did not address a couple needs in the draft that several people thought they would—mainly fullback, tight end and interior offensive line.
So who are some of the names at those and other positions that the Giants could take a look at? Each year, there are a number of players people expected to get drafted, but for some reason or another they don't.
Whether it was a previous injury, character concerns or just draft analysts over estimating a player's ability, it seems each year there are guys that go undrafted that end up making their mark on an NFL roster.
There are obviously more than just 10, but these are the guys I feel the Giants would take a good hard look at and consider bringing to camp.
Mark Herzlich DE/LB, Boston College
Mark Herzlich is a tremendous feel-good story. He was the ACC defensive player of the year and projected top 10 draft pick after the 2008 season, but was diagnosed with cancer and forced to miss the 2009 season.
He remained on the team while fighting the disease, and was declared cancer free and able to play the 2010 season.
He obviously was not the same player he once was, but that was mainly due to him readjusting to the game of football again. His body was weak and not up to handling the grind of a full season.
He claims that is all behind him. If he can return to that 2008 form he will be a monster in the NFL. The Giants should sign him and get him to camp just to see what he can bring to the table.
Adrian Moten LB, Maryland
The Giants took two linebackers in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL draft, but with Gerris Wilkinson, Chase Blackburn and Keith Bulluck all free agents, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants add a linebacker to the training camp roster.
Who knows, maybe he could even beat out Jacquian Williams or Adrian Tracy for a roster spot on special teams.
Moten has a nose for the ball, totaling 77 tackles, 2.5 sacks and four interceptions in 2010.
Zane Taylor C, Utah
The 6'3'', 309-pound center from Utah is definitely a project the Giants could look at as the center of the future, depending on how well Adam Koets comes back from his injury.
Taylor did well in Utah's complicated zone blocking scheme, and bench pressed 225 a total of 42 times at his Pro Day, meaning he has elite strength.
Kris O'Dowd C, USC
O'Dowd is an underrated prospect out of USC that I fully expected to be drafted. If the Giants assess their center position as a need, they would look to bring in either Taylor or O'Dowd.
I personally like Taylor, but that is in no way a knock on O'Dowd's ability. He was an honorable mention all Pac 10 in 2010, but was hampered by injuries in 2009, which may have caused teams to shy away from him on draft day.
He started three years at USC (when healthy), and would be a nice addition to the offensive line for the future.
Schuylar Oordt, TE, Northern Iowa
While not a huge part of the Northern Iowa offense, what stands out to me from Oordt is his incredible size—6'6'', 261 pounds—and his big play ability.
He averaged 18.2 yards per reception the past two seasons for the Panthers.
He is a very capable blocker, and would be a nice backup to Kevin Boss, or maybe even a backup plan in case the Giants are unable to sign Boss.
Weslye Saunders TE, South Carolina
Weslye Saunders has red flags all over the place, and it is not a big surprise that he was undrafted. He did not play the 2010 season because he was dismissed from the South Carolina team. He also suffered a broken foot and could not participate at the combine.
However, that does not mean he is without talent. He is a terrific blocker and a proven commodity in the passing game, having 32 receptions for 353 yards and three touchdowns in 2009. He was on the pre-season award watch for best tight end in the country before being dismissed from the team.
In the right situation, he could make a name for himself.
Charlie Gantt TE, Michigan State
Charlie Gantt is a great blocking tight end who could occasionally beat you in the passing game. He was named to the All-Big 10 team and was an honorable mention All-American by SI.com.
He was such a good blocker that Michigan State actually named him their best offensive lineman with the Up-Front Award.
The Giants would look to him to be primarily a run blocker, but his good hands and size make him a threat in the passing game as well.
Mario Fannin RB, Auburn
Fannin was a combine All-Star this year that dropped out of the draft because of the simple fact that Auburn didn't really use him that often. He was third on their depth chart and never given the opportunity to shine. He is a big-bodied bruiser with surprising speed and quick feet.
Sound like anyone you know?
Former Auburn running back Brandon Jacobs?
Jacobs spent a year with Auburn behind Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown before the team decided to convert him to linebacker. Instead of that, he elected to transfer to Southern Illinois. Five productive years later, he is part of a terrific running back tandem for the New York Giants.
Fannin isn't necessarily Jacobs, but he could be that type of runner.
Henry Hynoski FB, Pitt
The Giants could afford to bring in a fullback, which would therefore make their tight end situation better by allowing Bear Pascoe to switch back to tight end.
Hynoski is an elite blocking prospect with a mean streak and capable hands to be a threat out of the backfield. He is not a terrific runner, but the Giants rarely run the ball with their full back.
The Giants were reportedly interested in Anthony Sherman and Shaun Chapas, but seeing as how they were drafted, they might bring in Hynoski.
Chas Henry P, Florida
I feel like Matt Dodge took a couple years off my life last year with how terrible he was. I have said that several times, but I'll keep saying it because it was stressful watching him line up for punts not knowing what was going to happen.
Chas Henry has a big leg and has the ability to pin teams deep to help his team win the field position game.
I get the feeling that, at the very least, the Giants will bring in Henry or some other punter to make Dodge realize his job is not safe. A little competition goes a long way.