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That would be outside linebacker/defensive end Sergio Kindle of Texas, considered by many the best outside linebacker in the 2010 draft class.
Kiper calls Kindle "a need pick for the Giants," and I have to completely honest here. I don't get that at all. Looking at Kiper's mock and I see a bunch of players on the board I would prefer to Kindle.
I am not doubting this guy's talent. It's just that everything you read makes you think he is a better fit for the 3-4, which the Giants don't play. There seems to be no doubt among scouts that Kindle can rush the passer, either standing up or from defensive end. There are some doubts, though, about his run defense and his ability to learn how to play pass coverage.
Besides, the guy wore No. 2 at Texas. Somehow, that does not seem right for a linebacker.
Anyway, let's take a closer look at Kindle. Gotta figure that since I have now gone off on the guy he ends up being the Giants' choice this April.
Sergio Kindle Scouting Reports
From SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.
Speed, strength, athleticism and size are off the charts. Has elite-level speed and closing quickness. Very fast off the ball. ... Will test off the charts at the Combine. Is a flash off the line of scrimmage and will beat most tackles off the ball- especially right tackles. ... Kindle has the skill set to see his stock soar during the pre-draft process. His size, strength and speed at the position will make him a valued prospect to 3-4 teams.
MTD also has this to say in ranking him the best outside linebacker in the draft.
Where Kindle plays in the pros will ultimately depend on who drafts him. He looked much better as an outside linebacker in 2008 than he did as an end in 2009. That was until the national championship game, though, when he was arguably the best player on the field. Kindle has great size and athleticism and should be an early first-round pick.
Draft Breakdown also discusses Kindle's varsatility.
Though he might be best suited as a 3-4 rush linebacker, he has the physical skill set to play 4-3 OLB and maybe, just maybe a 4-3 defensive end. ... He will have to improve his strength at the next level, but an NFL weight lifting program should take care of that. Kindle also needs to further develop his game as a run defender, which is common among college pass rushers. Overall, he’s a solid first round draft pick that may be picked earlier in the first round if a 3-4 defensive team falls in love with him.
DraftAce calls Kindle a "liability against the run," and goes on to issue a pretty negative report.
Kindle looks the part, but he is raw and inconsistent and has all the makings of becoming a 1st-round bust. There is no question he can impact the game in passing situations, but it remains to be seen if he's capable of being an every-down player at the next level. His off-field issues raise further red flags, making him a dangerous selection in the 1st round despite having obvious 1st-round ability.
Walter Football is not very enthused about Kindle.
Kindle is strictly either an outside linebacker (4-3 and 3-4 schemes) or a third pass rusher at the next level. He looks very disinterested in playing physical football and is a finesse player without many pass rush moves, which is why I am not very high on him as a prospect. I think he has a lot of potential as a 3-4 rush linebacker, but he is a raw prospect. I’m worried about his game intangibles. Kindle is a projected second-round pick.
Player Comparison: Kamerion Wimbley. Wimbley has had an inconsistent career. He lacks physicality, but he has great athleticism like Kindle.
Why Kindle fits with the Giants
If the guy can make plays off the edge then new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell could obviously find a way to utilize him. The Giants can use all the play makers they can get on defense, and as Ernie Accorsi taught us there is always value in guys who know how to get after the quarterback. The way football is going these days physical play at the point of attack might be less important than speed and ability to make plays in space, which are things Kindle seems to do well.
Why the Giants should pass
Isn't Kindle really just this year's version of Clint Sintim? A guy who might be a defensive end. Or, he might be an outside linebacker. Or, he can probably play outside in a 4-3. But, right now, he is best suited to play outside in a 3-4. The Giants have enough 'tweeners with Sintim and Mathias Kiwanuka. And enough 'soft' guys against the run with Osi Umenyiora and Michael Boley. They really don't need to collect another guy with the same basic profile. Oh, and if there is concern about his being strong enough to hold up against the run how do you put him on the strong side up against the tight end? This guy seems to have some great skills, but he scares me.