Draft season has descended upon us fast and furious. It is usually split up into four main categories. They are:
1) Bowl Season (East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl)
2) The NFL Scouting Combine
3) Official School Pro Days
4) The Draft
We've already seen the East-West Shrine game, and we are well into Senior Bowl week. The week will consist of three full-contact practices before the game on Saturday. You can find full rosters and measurements at our sister site, Mocking The Draft.
The Giants take the Senior Bowl very, very seriously and it's a big part of their scouting. Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg were two big time players at the Senior Bowl and admittedly impressed Marc Ross and the rest of the scouting staff during Senior Bowl week. So with that being said, let's take a look at some players the Giants might look into here:
The Star Offensive Linemen
"We would consider moving Pugh to guard if a dynamic right tackle were available to us." - Jerry Reese
(That's not the exact quote and I'm paraphrasing, but the intent is there.)
T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound tackle from Pittsburgh has already been rising due to his outstanding footwork and his length. He's a first round worthy pick right now and could continue a meteoric ascent if he shows out at the Senior Bowl. He's the definition of dynamic and one to watch out for as an odds on favorite for the Giants' 9th overall selection.
La'el Collins, OT, LSU
We've talked about the mauling left tackle from the Giants farm team...err, LSU for awhile now. A dominant run blocker that exhibits high motor and nastiness on every single play, he also fits the definition of a "dynamic" right tackle that could be in play for the Giants with their first pick. If he shows better technique and pass protection skills against some of the premier pass rushers on display, the calls for him to be a top ten pick are certain to pick up.
Can't Get Anywhere Without A Pass Rush
Nate Orchard, DE, Utah
The Ted Hendricks Award winner is a versatile player that attacks offensive linemen with fantastic speed to power conversion. His draft range is has been anywhere from early first round to early third round, so he needs to have a dominant Senior Bowl to establish himself as one of the best. He's already winning at the weigh-ins, where his 6-foot-3, 251 pound frame looked athletic and offered appeal for him to play in any scheme.
Hau'oli Kikaha, DE/OLB, Washington
At only 246 pounds, Kikaha was a destructive force for Washington, demonstrating an explosive first step and non-stop motor. However, at weigh-ins, it appeared that he had a maxed out frame so it became clear that he's got a limited role for a team as an outside linebacker only, and not at defensive end. He can improve his draft stock by showing promise dropping back into coverage and playing the run.
Danny Shelton, DT Washington
Who said pass rush only came from the edge? Shelton is bringing it from the middle. A massive, massive man with strange (yes, strange. Very strange for his size!) quickness, he's going to be a force in the middle. Mike Mayock recently compared him to Haloti Ngata. While I'd hold off on that comparison for now, he could prove me wrong with a great showing this week.
Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA
You might not have heard of him (I'm not going to spell his name out again, so sue me), but you will soon. He's going to be a very fast riser. At 6-foot-4, 266 pounds and great arm length, he looks the part with a ripped frame. He's got good burst, good bend, and very good power. He's got the length, the film, and the name that the Giants prefer on their defensive ends, so be on the lookout for him, could definitely be a round 2 target.
Lots of Needs To Be Filled
Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami and Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson
The 5-foot-10, 242-pound monster from Miami measured a bit shorter than ideal, but don't count him out. The Giants need some aggression and speed from the inside linebacker position. Eric Kendricks dropped out of the Senior Bowl, so this is Perryman's chance to really make up some ground and establish himself as THE premier prospect at inside linebacker. He'll need to show rapid improvement dropping back into coverage as well as shedding blocks, but if there's one person that could learn, it's Denzel.
Meanwhile, Stephone Anthony was a stalwart for the Clemson Tigers. He's being made out as a bit more unathletic than is required, but he's got great instincts and can really shut everybody up with a great week in Mobile. Much like Perryman, he needs to control his aggression and show that he can be a 3 down linebacker by excelling in coverage. Chris Borland showed that last year, and it's showing up in his game right now.
Cody Prewitt, S, Ole Miss and Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State
We all know the Giants need a safety in the worst way. I've gone out of my way saying that for me personally, it is THE biggest need for the team going forward. There are two very hyped prospects playing in this game that have had their stocks drop considerably.
Prewitt has fantastic size at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, but there are some questions about his aggression coming up and making hits (he seems a bit timid) as well as his range. He needs to come out guns blazing this week and start making hits. I still think he's one of the best safety prospects in the country, but he really needs to hit on what his potential could be.
Drummond was supposed to be a ballhawk for the Michigan State Spartans but that never materialized. He's a good hitter and he definitely has range, but I was left wanting after watching a few games. He needs to also have a good Senior Bowl week if he wants his current draft stock (which personally for me is a third or fourth round) to stay stable or rise.
David Cobb, RB, Minnesota and Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
After watching the Giants' running game in 2013 and 2014, we all know they are in dire need of some talent at that spot to help support Andre Williams and the oft-injured Rashad Jennings.
David Cobb is built like a tank in much the same way Andre Williams is. With a stock 229-pound frame, he's built to take hits. He's got fluidity about him, though and he gets up to top speed pretty fast. He can change directions effortlessly and avoids contact well. He's certainly someone to look out for early on day 3.
Ameer Abdullah meanwhile, is really the opposite. He's probably going to be the player voted most fun to watch in this year's Senior Bowl. With first step acceleration like a Ferrari and jump cuts that are described as "electric," Abdullah would be an ideal complementary back for a team that already has a bruiser. I don't think I need to tell you to keep an eye on him, Giants fans, because you'll be drawn his way anyway.
Other Highly Rated Players To Watch
Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
Josh Harper, WR, Fresno State
Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford
Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
Ben Koyack, TE, Notre Dame
Clive Walford, TE, Miami
Jeremy Langford, RB, Michigan State
Rob Havenstein, OT, Wisconsin
Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State
Ty Sambrailo, OT, Colorado State
Laken Tomlinson, OG Duke
Tre Jackson, OG, Florida State
Mike Hull, LB, Penn State
Lorenzo Mauldin, LB, Louisville
Markus Golden, DE, Missouri
Za'Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky
Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas
Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State
Carl Davis, DT, Iowa
Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (Ohio)
Eric Rowe, CB, Utah
This is obviously only some of the players on the rosters from both the North and South side, and there's a lot of other quality players contributing. I can really see a good Senior Bowl week really elevating all of these players immensely. Happy Scouting!