Let's use today's 2013 NFL Draft prospect profile to look at a player who represents what the New York Giants want in their first round picks -- Florida State Seminoles defensive end Cornellius "Tank" Carradine.
Carradine has protoypical size for a defensive end in a 4-3 alignment in the modern day NFL at 6-foot-4, 276 pounds, and has good length with an arm length of nearly 35 inches. Carradine also has good size hands (10.25-inch hands). He is a very athletic player who explodes off the snap. He was really developing as a player this year after seeing just limited time in 2011 and playing at a junior college prior to that. He has big, strong, heavy hands and does a good job of steering the offensive linemen before disengaging and making a play. He gets more publicity for his pass rushing, but immediately in the NFL he'll be a better run stopper
Carradine tore his ACL in November and has not yet worked out for teams, though he is expected to do so before the draft in April. He doesn't have a ton of experience at a high level and has inconsistent technique right now. Carradine also needs to improve his pad level. He'll have to improve the two previous listed traits (technique and pad level) to be a dynamic pass rusher in the NFL.
Player comparison: Justin Tuck (NFL.com), Chandler Jones (Jones is mentioned in this Carradine breakdown)
Does He Fit With The Giants?
I would say he absolutely does profile as a player that the Giants would consider in the draft. The Giants haven't particularly shied away from taking players who have missed games in college (Terrell Thomas missed a lot of time in college and the Giants took him in the second round; Andre Brown had a reputation for being injury prone as well).
These are from the draftbreakdown.com crew @jmpasq and @aaronaloysius
Big Board Rankings
Mocking the Draft-53rd
Big Blue View Board-30th
Carradine's stock might all depend on whether or not he is able to work out prior to the draft. As mentioned, ACL tears are nowhere near career ending in the way they used to be: Terrell Thomas had an ACL injury in college and had some very productive seasons with the New York Giants before suffering two more injuries to his knee. Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady have had ACL injuries, and Thomas Davis has had a successful return after three ACL tears.
Also taking a player in the first round who might not be able to contribute much or at all in their rookie years has also happened before (Willis McGahee is the most prominent example I can think of at the moment).
Carradine is every bit as talented a player as any other pass rusher in this class and as long as he's healthy is a real option for the Giants in the first round.
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