Between now and April's NFL Draft I am going to try to profile, from a New York Giants perspective, as many potential draft picks as I can. I will try to do one a day, though I can't guarantee I will have one every single day.
The profiles will be of players often connected to the Giants in various mock drafts, or guys who logically might fit into what the Giants appear to need.
With that as criteria, there is really one place to start our 'Prospect Profile' series. That would be with UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price -- who was the Giants' No. 1 selection in the first three mock drafts CJ mentioned is his first installment of 'Mock Draft Monday.' By the way, be sure to check for CJ's mock draft summaries every Monday until Draft Day as I'm sure we will see lots of twists and turns as the 'experts' try to gauge what teams will do with their picks.
So, let's move on to discussing Price and why he might -- or might not -- be a good fit for the Giants.
Brian Price Scouting Reports
Price is a 6-foot-3, 300-pound junior who was named Pac 10 Defensive Player of the Year. He has a reputation as a penetrating defensive tackle who can wreak havoc in the backfield.
Here is part of what SB Nation's Mocking the Draft said in its report about Price.
"He is a penetrating force that disrupts both the passing and rushing games because of his consistent ability to break in to the backfield in a blink. There are a lot of these players however that fail to make it big in the NFL because the power game in the trenches is still a vital component. Price needs to strengthen his lower half so that he can hold up against the more physical blockers and play with a better sense of leverage. If he can do that over the early years of his career, he has the ability to evolve in to a top flight defensive tackle at the next level. He will be sought after towards the second half of the first round, mainly by teams looking for a penetrating presence along the interior of their defensive line."
Walter Football had this to say about Price.
"Price is a player I like a lot for teams that need a 3-technique (think a Warren Sapp-type role). He makes a lot of plays and is just flat out dominant at times. He doesn't take many plays off. ... He'll find himself drafted in the top 25 picks. "
Mel Kiper Jr. calls Price a "powerful leverage guy who wreaks havoc along line."
Why Price fits with the Giants
We know how poor the Giants were against the run in 2009. And we know the under-whelming play of the defensive tackles was a huge part of the reason. Fred Robbins and Rocky Bernard are both long-time veterans who have been good players, but don't seem to have much left in the tank. They will likely be gone in 2010. As we have discussed previously, there are questions about the remaining tackles, as well.
There is no question the Giants need to fortify the middle of their defensive line. He could well be the highest-rated defensive tackle on the board when the Giants pick at No. 15, and as of today the selection of Price would be a hard one to argue with.
Why the Giants should pass
The specter of William Joseph. Somehow, reading about and looking at Price thoughts of Joseph keep seeping into my brain.
Depending on what rating services you want to believe, Price is anywhere from the third to fifth-best defensive tackle in the draft. When the Giants selected Joseph 25th in 2003, he was the sixth defensive tackle taken in the first round. It was a copycat 'everyone else is taking a defensive tackle' kind of move, and we all know that it turned out to be a disaster.
This draft is looked at as being rich in quality defensive tackles who could be taken in the first three rounds. Price is, at best, the No. 3 defensive tackle in this draft. Good player or not, the Giants might be able to go elsewhere in the first round and still find a solid defensive tackle available in the second or third round.
(E-mail Ed at email@example.com)