Happy weirdly empty office/horrendous traffic day everyone! While our Giants aren't technically out of the playoff race, it may be time to turn one eye forward to the 2014 draft.
Ed and co. do a great job with the prospect profiles over the course of the offseason, but for obvious reasons, they can't hit on every prospect. I thought it would be nice to look at the top prospects at each position (except for QB) to get a baseline understanding of who these prospects are. Obviously, at this early stage, not everybody agrees on everything regarding their positives and negatives but it's a fun exercise to look at the broader world of prospects. All heights and weights are from ESPN.
Olomu is an excellent press-man corner who displays impressive athleticism and jumping ability while also having sound technique and strong instincts. While he’ll occasionally struggle to get off blocks, he’s a physical tackler and will help set the edge in run support. He is undersized but used technique and aggressiveness to play larger than he is. That aggressiveness can hurt him at times in the form of penalties. Additionally, Olomu needs some work in zone coverage.
TCU Horned Frogs
Verrett is another fantastic undersized press-man corner, who displays excellent athleticism, aggressiveness and technique. Similar to Olomu, he’s a physical tackler and run defender. Verrett’s drawbacks are more or less out of his control. Given his size he may be limited to a slot role in the pros and unless he can put on a decent amount of muscle without sacrificing his athleticism, he could be injury prone.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Roby has that prototypical blend of height-weight-speed that scouts look for when looking for cornerbacks. Not only is he an elite athlete, but he’s got excellent technique across all types of coverage and is a solid playmaker as well. He’s not the best run defender/tackler. His extracurricular activities (getting arrested for disorderly conduct) and subpar season knocked him out of the top spot for CBs, but make no mistake, he has all the tools to be an elite #1 CB in the NFL.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Justin Gilbert has prototypical size and elite athleticism at the cornerback position. He’s big, fast and has long arms that should allow him to go toe to toe with large receivers like Dez Bryant, Julio Jones and co. He has good (but not perfect) technique in both press-man and zone coverage. Additionally, he has a nose for the ball and is always a threat to take it to the house (he’s an excellent punt returner as well). His run support/tacking leaves a little to be desired but he has all the physical tools to excel there.
Purifoy is an excellent man-cover cornerback with solid size and athleticism. His frame is long and lean so he could do with a little but more bulk. He demonstrates elite technique in coverage. Similar to Prince Amukamara coming out of college, his interception numbers are very low. This isn’t entirely on him because he isn’t targeted as much. He might drop because he was arrested for marijuana possession (though those charges were later dismissed and I mean come on, it's weed.)
Virginia Tech Hokies
Fuller is a big instinctual corner who plays better in zone than he does in man. He’s a decent athlete but doesn’t have the ideal speed for man coverage and you’ll see him give big cushions a lot of the time. In zone, he isn’t a huge playmaker, but he consistently limits YAC. He’s a great tackler and run defender. Given all of this, I personally think he might end up being a safety in the pros.
Michigan State Spartans
Dennard isn’t going to wow anybody with his athleticism, and his top-end speed leaves a lot to be desired, but he’s got solid size and elite cover instincts. He’s rarely out of position and he rarely reads a play wrong. That helps him make up for average explosiveness and fluidity. Dennard is a tough player and a willing run defender but only an average tackler. He has a long injury history which includes a season-ending knee injury, multiple offseason surgeries and a concussion.
Roberson is a tall corner and a very good athlete. One big knock on him was that he was too lanky, but it seems, that he’s added some weight to his frame. Unfortunately, he can be lazy in coverage and run defense, often relying on his athleticism over technique. In 2011 he had a season ending neck injury and has only played in a few games this season. He has been arrested for misdemeanor alcohol possession and was recently suspended by his team for violating team rules.
Colvin is a strong overall corner with good size and athleticism. His coverage skills and instincts are decent but need improvement. He is an excellent run defender and has very good ball skills. Additionally, Colvin plays through injury, is extremely passionate and is a vocal leader on the Sooners defense.