While profiling NFL Draft prospects who might be of interest to our New York Giants, I want to recognize that there are seven rounds, not just one. Yes, the first round gets all the attention. But, it is the depth of the draft and how many players you hit on 2 thru 7 that often makes or breaks a draft.
So, many of the guys I profile will be players who won't be first-round selections. They are guys who could, though, end up available to the Giants as the draft unfolds.
Today, let's look at one such player. Arthur Jones of Syracuse is a highly-regarded defensive tackle prospect who is not generally thought of in the first wave of defensive tackles discussed by draft experts. He was somewhat injury-prone his last couple of seasons -- and, of course, he did play for Syracuse. So, those partially explain why his name isn't on the top of most boards.
But, he is an intriguing player at a position of need for the Giants. So, let's look closer.
Arthur Jones Scouting Reports
Jones is a 6-foot-4, 302-pound player with the reputation of being a better run defender than pass rusher from his post in the middle of the Syracuse line.
Here is part of the scouting report on Jones from SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.
Jones has the size and strength to play tackle in either a 3-4 or a 4-3. Syracuse used a three-man front in 2009 and Jones held the nose. While it limited some of Jones' playmaking ability, he was still a factor, particularly against the run.
Jones is flying far below the radar, especially after Gerald McCoy and Brian Price declared and Dan Williams emerged. But also causing the low profile are some serious injury concerns. He tore a pectoral muscle in the 2009 offseason and saw his senior year shortened by a torn left lateral meniscus.
Jones is an attractive prospect because his ability to play the 3-4 or 4-3. This would allow teams the luxury of presenting different looks on defense.
Jones' injuries may have knocked him out of the first 50 picks of the draft, but he's a very good player. Despite his injuries, Big East head coaches named him a first-team all-conference player in 2009.
Fantay Football Toolbox had this to say about Jones.
Heading into the 2009 season, Jones was considered one of the top five senior defensive tackles according to most pundits.
Having two surgeries in two years has raised major questions about his health. He will need to have a very productive NFL combine in order to move past the second or third round, but Jones certainly has the talent to be a solid defensive tackle in the NFL.
DraftSeason.com compares Jones to the Giants' Fred Robbins. If we are talking about Fred Robbins in his prime, Jones is the kind of player the Giants might want to consider.
Why Jones fits with the Giants
Obviously, the Giants need to improve their defense against the run. And improving the talent level at defensive tackle needs to be part of that. Jones is one of those guys who did not have a great season due to injuries, but in the second or third round might provide tremendous value at a position where the Giants need help. He has a reputation as a stout run defender who can hold his own against multiple blockers. It also seems as though his 2009 injuries did not allow him to showcase his true pass-rushing capability.
Why the Giants should pass
That injury history is the biggest red flag. The Giants just went through a rough season where too many key defenders could not get on the field consistently. Jones' talent may be too hard to ignore, especially if he is still available by Round 3, but the fact that he has not been able to stay healthy makes him a bit of a question mark.