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Looking for gems in the later rounds

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I've said before that the draft isn't all about the first round -- or even the second.

To me, a successful draft is one where four or five of the players you select become solid, dependable members of your team. It's a bonus if you come up with a star on the second day, a la the Patriots with Tom Brady in the 6th round or the Saints last year with receiver Marquis Colston in the seventh.

The Giants draft last season came pretty close to meeting that criteria. The first five picks were Mathias Kiwanuka, Sinorice Moss, Gerris Wilkinson, Barry Cofield and Guy Whimper. All have either already established themselves as key players, or seem on their way to eventually getting that opportunity.

Who are the middle and late-round picks experts think could turn into steals in this year's draft?

One of them is Zak DeOssie, a linebacker from Brown and the son of former Giants linebacker Steve DeOssie.

DeOssie will likely be a second-day pick, with his value enhanced by the fact that he can long snap.

"This guy's a good player," said an NFC scout. "Forget about where he played or whom he played against. He's a good football player."

DeOssie can't wait for the chance.

"It doesn't matter who I play for. I'll play a 3-4 or 4-3, I don't care. I'll play for an expansion team in Hawaii. Whatever they want me to do I'll do it. I'm just happy to have been playing for as long as I have been, and I want to keep playing."

Here are some other looks at players who could wind up as mid- to late-round surprises.

-- Top 10 hidden gems SI.com
-- Walter Thomas, the Biggest (XXXXXXL) Sleeper New York Times
-- Drilling at the bottom NFL.com
-- Diamonds in the rough Fox Sports
-- These guys weren't at the combine Yahoo! Sports