I'm writing this after reading a tweet (well long version tweet) from Ralph Vacchiano
It's still early and I'm not too deep into my draft prep, but I think if a tackle is there it's an obvious choice for the Giants. I know everyone loves Coby Fleener, but after adding Martellus Bennett I don't see the Giants using a first-rounder on the same position. I'd also bet they're more likely to draft a RB in later rounds. O-line is a big need. So is linebacker. And they've been sniffing around a lot of WRs. It's very early, but I'd focus on those three positions right now. #NYG
It's clearly well known around here that there's a large section of the Big Blue View family that hopes the Giants end up drafting South Carolina WR Alshon Jefferey with the 32nd pick in the N.F.L. draft. And if you believe Mr. Vacchiano (and he has a good track record for the Giants picks)--then WR is a definite possibility for the Giants in round one. Jeffery is a big bodied WR who had a down year in 2011. Yes, his quarterback was bad, but more importantly was that Jeffery was not in top physical condition throughout the year.
And there in lies the reason that teams are down on Jeffery he doesn't' have the reputation of a hard worker off the field-it's a very under-reported issue, and it's why you often hear people in the media refer to Jeffery as a second round pick even though they generally don't want to make on the record accusations--it has nothing to do with his ability on the field, which is very good even this year when his production was down. Here's a quote reported by the terrific Bob McGinn who covers the Green Bay Packers that pretty much summarizes the majority of scouts/media people I've talked to about Jeffery
"Excellent hands and just an outstanding athlete," one scout said. "Big and physical. He will be a definite No. 2 and he has No. 1 potential." "He plays the game really hard, but he doesn't do anything else hard," another scout said. "He thinks he's entitled. I don't think he trains well."
That's the problem with Jeffery, not his quarterback, not his ability on the field--his desire for football off of it. If you're wondering why Jeffery is considered a second round prospect it's right there for you. There were (legitimate) questions about his ability to separate this year, but that's because he was playing over-weight and his quarterback was awful. The bigger issue might be whether or not Jeffery has the desire to put in the required work off the field.
Now it's possibly the Giants consider him late in round one and they would be smart to in my opinion (he's a top 25 player to me on my own big board http://nflmocks.com/2012-nfl-draft/2012-nfl-draft-big-board/). But I wanted to take a look at a name that doesn't get a ton of publicity, but is a guy that is well thought of in scouting circles and that is LSU WR Rueben Randle.
Randle is 6'3 210 pounds and ran a 4.55 40 yard dash at the combine, but a 4.42 at his Proday. Randle is a guy who runs effortlessly around the field--almost like he's gliding, and a guy who made big plays down the field for LSU in big moments. He catches the ball really well over his shoulder and is an instant big play threat who builds speed as he gets down the field. He's raw in his route running, but is considered a guy with a major high ceiling, and a guy who has improved his route running every year. Like Jeffery, Randle is a guy who didn't put up great numbers this year, but most believe that's because of the terrible quarterback play first and foremost and not his own short-comings. Even though he's not a great route runner yet, he is a guy who has a pretty good feel for zone coverages and has instincts.
Here's what two scouts had to say about Randle:
Deep threat on the weak side. "He didn't have Matt Flynn or JaMarcus Russell throwing to him," one scout said. "He had Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. He's a very good athlete trapped in a very poor passing attack." Finished with just 97 catches for 1,634 (16.8) and 13 TDs. "Huge upside," another scout said. "He really came on this year. He's a faster guy."
Rueben Randle doesn't get all the publicity, but he's quietly seeing a rise in his stock and is considered by many a late first round option and a player who could really interest the Giants at 32--just an name to keep an eye out for. He fits the mold of what Giants look for in prospects. He played at a major conference and is from a winning program, he has a good size/speed ratio, and he has a lot of upside.
Randle by the way has been invited to the NFL draft, which doesn't mean as much as it use to when they only drafted first round guys.
Feel free to chat with me anytime on twitter @NFLmocks
Also FYI something from Tony Pauline:
Word is Bobby Massie is the other junior offensive tackle that could slide into the late part of round one. Depending on whether or not they select Ryan Tannehill at the top of the draft we’ve been told the Cleveland Browns will consider Massie with their second round choice. The other two teams mentioned in the conversation were the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers.