Okay, stop me if you've heard this one before: The New York Giants find themselves in need of a linebacker, however team needs and the fall of the board might force them to wait until the middle rounds -- or later -- to add one.
What's that? Stop, you've heard this one before?
Ehhh ... Yeah I lied, I'm not gonna stop.
Instead, I'm going to tell you about Ben Heeney, an inside linebacker from Kansas.
- Athletic linebacker with good speed and change of direction abilities
- Flies around the field, plays without hesitation
- Aggressive player who racks up tackles and TFLs
- Beloved by coaches and teammates
- Reportedly high work ethic and film junkie
- Undersized at 6-feet 230 pounds
- Very short, 30.25-inch, arms
- Prone to over-aggressiveness, taking himself out of position
- Inconsistent tackler
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Honestly, I'm not sure.
I mean, he's a functioning linebacker, so the Giants could probably use him, but I'm not sure he fits the defense. In a lot of ways he reminds me of Chris Borland last year. Similar short, stocky build, T-Rex arms, and aggressive play style. However, like Borland, I think Heeney might be better suited to playing inside linebacker in an odd front. He can rack up tackles, but he absolutely needs to be kept clean to do so. He gets hung up on blockers and doesn't have as explosive a lower body as Borland, so he struggles to shed them.
Also, there is his aggressiveness. It's great to see a linebacker who plays fast and flies around the field, but he has a nasty habit of being over-aggressive or guessing and running himself out of a play. Spags' zone blitz heavy defense needs disciplined players, and if a player gets overzealous, then the defense would get burned.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - Not in top 100
Mocking The Draft - Not in top 100
CBS Sports - 128th overall
Draft Countdown -
Draft Tek -
Heeney is both fun and frustrating to watch. He has that frenetic quality that I love seeing in linebackers ... But he needs to play with more control. He strikes me as a player that the coaches, fans, and his fellow players will all love for how he approaches and plays the game. But his size and tendency to be over-aggressive have to be concerns. If he can harness his aggression, he can probably work around his size -- though that will likely land him in the fourth round by itself. But if he continues to play with reckless abandon, that is going to be a problem.