Two things became abundantly clear by the 2014 New York Giants season. For one, the need for a true guard was at red light levels. Secondly, the run blocking by the offensive line was downright pathetic. There needs to be an infusion of youth into the line. Can A.J. Cann of the South Carolina Gamecocks provide the answer that the Giants desperately need? He's one of the best guard prospects in the country, so let's go ahead and break him down.
- Fantastic drive blocker. Can level opponents.
- Monstrous initial punch and very good hand placement
- Does a good job of getting to the second level and locating targets
- Extremely powerful upper body allows him to stay engaged with defender
- Intelligent player that can engage/disengage and identify targets
- Can play too narrow at times and so, he could struggle anchoring
- Short area quickness leaves something to be desired; speed rushers inside give him trouble
- A little top heavy at 6-foot-4, 311 pounds. Could gain some functional weight in the lower body
- Footwork gets sluggish
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Like with all offensive line prospects, it depends on the scheme that the Giants run. They run a mixed scheme, but mostly have assignment ZBS plays. Therefore, Cann is more of a mediocre fit than a good one, but he could still find a place on the team. He's certainly a powerful drive blocker and can get to the second level well, which helps in either scheme.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 32
Mocking The Draft - 48
CBS Sports - 47
Draft Tek - 40
Cann is a good, but not great prospect. He reminds me of Larry Warford as a prospect. Warford got a lot better at pass protection once in the big leagues, but he had some of the same agility deficiences that Cann has. Cann is also a bit smaller than Warford was. The pass protection is a big issue for me, and it's a reason why he's not mentioned in the same breath as Brandon Scherff or La'el Collins, despite being almost as proficient as a run blocker.
Is he a first-round pick as a prospect? Probably not, but he looks like a top 50-60 player. He should get consideration by the Giants in the second round, and would definitely warrant a really close look in the third.