It's no secret that the New York Giants need an upgrade on the offensive line. Not just one. At least two. Probably three. Quality upgrades, too. So then there's no real secret that a player like Staanford offensive guard David Yankey would be just the guy to fit in.
Yankey was one of the first Stanford linemen to crack their roster as a true freshman and would likely have been a first round pick had he come out last year after putting in an effort that made him a consensus All-American and named the Pac 12's Most Outstanding lineman. Let's break Yankey Down in today's 2014 NFL Draft prospect profile.
- Finishes his blocks and plays with the meanest of streaks.
- Always plays squared up and with a consistent pad level that makes him an unyielding wall in pass protection.
- Aggressive in run blocking, good explosion off the snap and fires out to effectively seal block right away.
- Pretty footwork and has great short area quickness to swivel around and recover.
- Inexperienced getting to the second level and being a lead blocker.
- Have seen him lunge a few times every game which is concerning because it allows big gaps in pass protection.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Without a doubt. He's the second coming of his college teammate, David DeCastro. DeCastro was the 24th overall selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012, and is now a full-time starter for Pittsburgh. Yankey and DeCastro have identical tape based on what I see, and we all know the Giants could use that. He plays angry and he plays with great fundamentals despite some inconsistencies.
Stanford OL vs USC (2013) (via DCheeseB)
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 28
Mocking The Draft - 31
CBS Sports - 27
Draft Countdown - 21
Draft Tek - 26
While Yankey doesn't have the pure movement skills of Jonathan Cooper or the sheer brutality of Chance Warmack, he's comfortably ranked fourth (also slightly behind DeCastro for me) among all graded offensive guards over the last few years. The consensus top guard is up in the air right now between Zack Martin (a fast-rising Justin Pugh clone), Gabe Jackson (a devastating mauler) and Yankey (the angry technician).
I don't know that I would pick him at 12, and I don't know that he'll be available at 43. He's almost assuredly going to go in the mid-20s in my eyes and would certainly be a target if the Giants decide they'd like to move down to that area.