Giants' Potential UDFA Targets: Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College

In all honesty, I don't think anyone really wanted to see former Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich [full profile] get bypassed in the 2011 NFL Draft. Herzlich is a great story and a guy everyone wants to root for after he successfully battled back from bone cancer to return to the field at Boston College.

Yet, the NFL is a bottom line 'can you help us?' kind of business, with no room for sentimentality. Draft Countdown's Scott Wright said Herzlich " could turn out to be a steal if he returns to the form he displayed back in 2008." During the three-day draft the 32 NFL teams made it clear that they thought the bone cancer battle took a lot of Herzlich's athleticism, and that they aren't willing to gamble that he will ever get back to that 2008 form.

The Giants took two linebackers in the sixth round, Greg Jones and Jacquain Williams, so linebacker might not be a high UDFA priority whenever NFL teams are allowed to begin signing them. Still, it would be hard not to be happy if the Giants -- or anyone for that matter -- decides to give Herzlich a chance to come into training camp and show what he has.

Here is what ESPN had to say about Herzlich's performance during Senior Bowl week:

He is a big kid with long strides and can cover a lot of ground. He shows good range. ... But it's also clear why his stock has dropped. He doesn't have the closing burst he showed prior to his battle with bone cancer, he's not getting to as many balls as he used to and a glaring issue is his stiffness in space. He really struggled to open it up in zone coverage and it wasn't just one play; he was consistently struggling. He also struggled in man coverage. ... It's impossible not to root for Herzlich with all he's been through, but you can't ignore what you're seeing. Right now, he's a Day 3 pick, but he's also played like a first-rounder in the past.

Your thoughts? Would you be as happy as I would to see the Giants bring this guy to training camp?

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