General manager Jerry Reese has specifically mentioned linebacker as an area of need for the New York Giants heading into the 2013 NFL off-season, and that was before the team dumped Michael Boley. The Giants haven't focused on drafting a linebacker early in the NFL Draft very often under Reese (as general manager, and even prior when he was scouting), but that does not mean that he won't. Remember, the Giants have been linked to a few linebackers early in the draft since Reese took over as GM eighth overall, the Giants ended up with JPP), and Sean Lee (they bypassed Lee for defensive tackle Linval Joseph).
With all that being said, today we're going to use our 2013 NFL Draft prospect profile to look at Arthur Brown of Kansas State, another linebacker who could be an option for the Giants in the first, or second round.
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Brown was a former top recruit out of high school who signed with Miami before transferring to Kansas State (his brother current Eagles running back Bryce Brown went from Tennessee and transferred to Kansas State with Arthur). Brown is not afraid of contact and will attack the hole and take on blockers. Brown is a very instinctive player. Brown is a good wrap-up tackler. Brown has sideline to sideline ability. Brown is adept at coverage. A very good all-around player.
[Big Blue View 2013 NFL Draft Big Board]
Brown does not have great size, and that is really his biggest knock. He'll weigh in at 230 pounds at the combine (if he's lucky) and maybe 6-foot-1 (maybe). That will scare a lot of teams off. Brown also makes all the right plays, but he hasn't made a ton of splash plays in college. Teams will question his scheme versatility -- can he play inside linebacker or is he strictly a weak-side linebacker?
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Player comparison: Navorro Bowman (NFL.com), LaVonte David (me), Curtis Lofton (CBS Sports)
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Anyone who plays linebacker in college fits with the Giants right now because their linebacker group is pedestrian (to put it nicely). As far as whether or not the Giants will select Arthur Brown in the draft, no I don't think so, at least not in the first round. I know enough to know that I don't know anything about what teams will do in the draft, but based on what the Giants look for in front seven defensive players (length!), Brown would not seem to be a great fit. I think Brown will go somewhere in the late first to early second round, so 19th overall would not be great value for him and the Giants' second-round pick will probably be too late.
Brown is a very good football player, and a good athlete, but he is not a size/speed phenomenon and that is usually where the Giants like to go in the draft. That's why in my opinion Alec Ogletree is the most likely linebacker for the Giants in the first (if they go that route).
[Brown to Giants in SB Nation 2013 NFL Mock Draft]
Big Board Rankings
Mocking the Draft-12th
Sports Illustrated-outside of the top 40
Big Blue View Board-23rd
Brown is a guy who plays better than his size. I don't want his size to disparage his natural abilities. Brown is a very good athlete for the linebacker position and he's functionally strong, he just doesn't possess the length or size most teams want. He should be a good, productive NFL player, though.
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