In its latest 2013 NFL mock draft, released Monday morning, SB Nation has gone the pass-rusher route in its selection at No. 19 overall for the New York Giants. That is no surprise. The surprise is that the player chosen was Florida State defensive end Tank Carradine, who tore his ACL near the end of an impressive senior season.
SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn writes:
This match seems unfair. The Giants, who have been so effective at finding defensive end talent get the best 4-3 pass rusher in this class. The only red flag on Carradine is the torn ACL he suffered back in November. But he plans to workout for scouts before the draft. If he does that, he will be a top 20 pick.
'Best 4-3 pass rusher in this class' is high praise for the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Carradine. Is it accurate? Carradine wasn't even a starter for the Seminoles when the season began but got his opportunity when senior Brandon Jenkins was lost for the year with a Lisfranc injury. He collected 11 sacks and 13 tackles for loss in 12 games before being injured.
Here are some opinions on Carradine from a variety of draft analysts.
From Russ Lande of the National Football Post:
In the first few games evalauting Florida State, Carradine impressed me and then the more film I evaluated he continued to jump off the film. For a player with limited experience, I was shocked at how instinctive, smart and technically sound he is. Displaying great competitiveness on every snap, Carradine made a ton of plays through sheer effort and hustle chasing down ball carriers 10+ yards down the field. Although he was often the last defensive linemen moving at the snap, he was by far the most productive of Florida State's defensive linemen in the five games evaluated - He was involved in 1 play out of every 7.31 snaps which is a rare ratio and usually that of a Top Five Overall Pick. In the end, Carradine's play on the field no doubt warrants being picked in the Top Ten, but the health of his right knee will be the primary determining factor in where he gets drafted. If his knee checks out and NFL medical personnel feel that he will return to 100% within a season or two then he will likely be a first round pick, but if there are any medical questions he will slide into the second round. I believe that while he will likely need a season to get back to 100%, by the 2014 season he will be a starting defensive end and eventually a high end starter.
From NFL.com, which compares Carradine to Justin Tuck:
On most other defenses, Carradine would have started as a first-year junior college transfer, but Bjoern Werner and Brandon Jenkins limited his snaps in 2011. Still, he flashed real athleticism and strength and was able to take the starting right defensive end spot by the horns when Jenkins was sidelined for the season. Carradine appeared to be headed for a first-round selection, but a torn ACL will limit his work prior to April's draft. The talent is certainly there, however.
From CBS Sports:
One of the most-talented pass rushers in this draft class, Florida State's Cornellius Carradine, wasn't even a starter at the beginning of the season. But after an injury, "Tank" stepped up and had an excellent senior season until he tore his ACL in late November, which clouds his NFL Draft future. The progress of Carradine's knee could determine whether he is selected in the first round or falls to the second day.
If you believe Carradine could turn into the best pass-rushing defensive end in this draft class perhaps using the 19th pick on his isn't too much of a risk. The Giants do have Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka and either Adrian Tracy or Adewale Ojomo to use in a rotation for next season. The Giants also often -- correctly -- take a long view of the draft, not just a 'what can the player do as a rookie?' viewpoint.
Your thoughts, Giants' fans?