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NFL Draft Grades 2011: Jerrel Jernigan Gets A B+

You have to say this for New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese. He was adamant prior to the draft that the Giants would take value over need, and the selection of Troy wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan with the 83rd overall pick was the third straight case of the Giants doing exactly that in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Jernigan is a versatile 5-foot-9, 185-pounder. He has sub-4.5 speed, can play in the slot, excels returning kickoffs and punts, has been a Wildcat quarterback and the Giants believe he has the toughness be a gunner on punt coverage. On the big boards for Draft Countdown, Great Blue North Draft Report and CBS Sports he was ranked in the low 60s. SB Nation's Mocking The Draft had him 59th on its Big Board.

That is tremendous value with the 83rd selection. New Era Scouting loves Jernigan's skill set.

No player in this draft has the ability to make plays as a return man and receiver as Jernigan. He’s an underrated talent who is getting noticed more as the draft nears. ... Bottom line: Jernigan has elite skills. He’s reminiscent of DeSean Jackson.

That's good enough for me. Truth is, the Giants did not have a player quite like this. Yes, they have a large number of receivers. There are questions about the health of Steve Smith, though. Plus, truthfully, beyond Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham how many of those receivers are proven play-makers? If this guy, can be one that is hard to argue with.

The only problem? A 185-pound guy can't play center or linebacker.

My Grade: B+ ... The NFL is now an explosive, big-play league. When you have an opportunity to get dynamic guys who are potential game-changers you take it. The only reason this is not an 'A' is that the pick still leaves the Giants needing help at center and linebacker as Day 3 of the draft dawns.