After a seemingly interminable wait for it to get here, all too soon we find ourselves on the last day of the NFL Draft. After all the scouting, speculation, anticipation, and arguments that go into the draft, often times it is the third day and undrafted free agency that can make or break a team.
This is the day that has yielded players like David Diehl, Richie Suebert, Victor Cruz, Henry Hynoski, and Devon Kennard. There is still plenty of talent on the board if a team is able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Sean Hickey (OL, Syracuse) - Justin Pugh was campaigning for his former teammate calling him one of the strongest linemen in the draft. The Giants have already invested in their offensive line, but depth is always welcome, and the Giants do love strong, versatile offensive linemen. And players from Syracuse.
Mike Davis (RB, South Carolina) - Davis has long been "my guy" so I kinda have to bring him up. He's a jack of all trades runner who combines power with surprising speed and agility. He's also an adept receiver as well as pass protector.
Jay Ajayi (RB, Boise St.) - Ajayi was the third running back on many boards, and rightly so. On the field his determined, powerful, and wide-footed running style draws comparisons to Marshawn Lynch. However concerns about a severe knee injury and whether or not he could last the length of his rookie contract have teams hesitant to draft him
Rashad Greene (WR, Florida State) - Green was the top receiver at FSU, and one of the top receivers in the country. He has plus route running to create separation out of his breaks, and smooth athleticism to make defenders pay for missed tackles. He can play inside or outside and has been at his best in big games. However, a slight frame (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) along with short arms and small hands (31 5/8 inches, 9 inches) are big knocks on him.
Tre McBride (WR, William & Mary) - McBride is a terrific athlete with a knack for circus catches. He has great leaping ability, body control, and extends to catch the ball, giving him a catch radius much bigger than his 6-foot height suggest. He runs a 4.40 40-yard dash, so he can run by defenders that aren't careful. He has a tendency to round his routes off, and playing for a small school does him no favors, despite dominating the competition.
DeAndre Smelter (WR, Georgia Tech) - Smelter has a lot of tools the Giants love. He is big, long armed, and has ginormous 11-inch hands. He is also a willing and capable run blocker, and a bully at the catch point. He reportedly has high character and a mature attitude as well. However, only two years of college football, an ACL tear, and playing in Georgia Tech's triple option offense have severely limited his draft stock.
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (CB, Oregon) - Ifo could, should, have come out for the 2014 draft, but chose to return to college in order to improve his draft stock. He has first round talent, but a late ACL tear and small size has teams skittish. Which ever team takes a chance on him will get a great player.
The Four Free Safeties - Cody Prewitt (Ole Miss) , Derron Smith (Fresno State), Anthony Harris (Virginia), and Durell Eskridge (Syracuse). I could have broken these guy up, but chose to group them together. They are all solid safeties, but some warts have kept them out of the first two days in the draft. If the Giants still want to add a natural free safety, they should hope one of these players falls to them in the fifth.
Michael Bennett (DT, Ohio State) - Bennett's name has been brought up a few times. He is undersized for a defensive tackle, but one of the most disruptive interior rushers in the draft. He doesn't have Aaron Donald's raw athleticism, but he is a similar player.
Grady Jarrett (DT, Clemson) - Another undersized, yet very productive, 3-technique who has slipped in the draft. It's not clear right now why Jarrett has slid. Perhaps teams are concerned that his production is a result of offense focusing on Vic Beasley, similar to how they viewed Kelcy Quarless in 2014.
Tyeler Davison (DT, Fresno State) - A natural 3 technique with the raw power and leverage to play the nose tackle, Davison has long arms, big hands, and background in wrestling to lead his team in sacks from the nose tackle position.
Jake Ryan (LB, Michigan) - Of the linebackers left, Ryan fits the Giants mold the best. He has solid size at 6-3, 240 pounds and adequate athleticism. He also has a reputation as a very hard worker who loves to watch tape with his defensive coordinator. He gets dinged as a "try hard" over-achiever, but he has solid NFL tools.
Hayes Pullard (LB, USC) - Smart, disciplined, and versatile, the GIants might like to reunite Pullard with Devon Kennard. While he doesn't quite have the athleticism the Giant might want for their linebacking corps, he has enough to get where he needs to be. Despite his production, word is that scouts worry he might have a tendency to get complacent.
Jeff Luc (LB, Cincinnati) - Luc is an old-school linebacker who looks more like a fullback or a power lifter than a modern NFL linebacker. He is a beast of a blitzer and a big hitter going down hill, but his build and lack of bend limit how well he can play in space.
After trading the 108th and 245th picks to move up for Landon Collins, the Giants only have three picks today, in addition to undrafted free agency. There are generally two strategies for the third day of the draft: Taking less athletic but more technically sound players, or taking high ceiling prospects who could develop into major contributors. We'll just have to wait and see which road the Giants take, or if any of these players are wearing Blue when the rookie mini-camp opens next week.