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2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Studs, Sleepers For The Giants

Who were the studs of the 2015 NFL Combine, and which sleepers could be Giant steals?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Well gang, the 2015 scouting combine has come and gone. We've seen ginormous men looking like sausages in their Under Armour compression gear run faster than most of us can manage, and we've seen more normal sized athletes do a passable impersonation of 1930s era Superman and almost leap out of or over Lucas Oil Stadium.

So before we get to our new big boards and mock drafts, let's take a minute to wrap up the combine discussion before we continue on with the offseason process. Normally this is where writers trot out their various "Studs and Duds" lists. I'm going to defy the rhyming temptation and take a bit more positive look and identify some guys who I think are studs, and some others who are similarly studly, but not yet in the national eye.


Alvin "Bud" Dupree (DE, Kentucky) - Bud has been steadily climbing up draft boards all season long. At the combine he confirmed his prototypical build for the position at 6-4, 270 pounds. Though he is still dealing with a groin injury suffered toward the end of the season, Bud threw down one of the, if not the, most explosive performances this year. His 4.55 second, 40 -- with a 1.60 10-yard split --, 41 inch vertical jump and 11 foot  5 inch broad jump were among the best of any position. In fact they all rivaled or exceeded Jadeveon Clowney's performance last year.

Kevin White (WR, WVU), Amari Cooper (WR, Alabama), DeVante Parker (WR, Louisville) - I could have easily talked about any and all three of these young men, but I decided to lump them all together. I believe there's an argument to take any and all of them in the top-10, and any of them could be the first receiver off the board. Each of them showed off a blend of height, weight, speed, and ability to set them apart and mark them as the class of this wide receiver class

Danny Shelton (DT, Washington) - Mike Mayock continually compared Danny Shelton to Baltimore's Haloti Ngata. Personally, I compare him to the New York Giants' own Johnathan Hankins. The two are very similar in build and athletic ability. Despite being simply massive human beings, they move far better than anyone would expect. As well, both Shelton and Hankins  also defy convention by looking like nose tackles, but are able to play any interior lineman position. While Shelton's 40 time was horrid, he showed off some impressive explosiveness with a 10 yard split on par with defensive tackles 40 pounds lighter, and out jumping the highly athletic Leonard Williams.

Trae Waynes (CB, Michigan St) - The Giants might not be in the market for a cornerback, but Waynes certainly solidified his stock as the best one in the draft. Despite being a slender 185 pounds, he showed impressive strength on the bench press, then paced the field with his measurables. He did confirm some concerns over his hip tightness, but as long as he is allowed to play his press-man game, he's a stud.

Ameer Abdullah (RB, Nebraska) - It's difficult to nail down any one running back who excelled, but I'm going to go with the RB from Nebraska. His 40 time was a bit disappointing and his lack of size was confirmed. But he showed off some truly elite explosiveness and agility. Don't believe me? Take a look at his spider graph, comparing him to other running backs:


Stephone Anthony (LB, Clemson) - Anthony was a bit of an under-the-radar prospect as a linebacker, but he had one of the best performances of any linebackers at the combine. His measureables were all around the top of the class, and his on-field drills showed off fluid movement skills. He looks like a prospect the Giants could target in the middle rounds and become a steal.

Kyle Emmanuel (OLB, NDST) - Emmanuel played defensive end in college, but his calling is at linebacker. He looked comfortable in space at the combine, and moved extremely well. But the most impressive thing about him was the comment that he was practicing drills while the rest of his defensive line group was just watching.

Senquez Golson (FS, Auburn) - Golson played cornerback at Auburn, but I believe his best position is a free safety in the NFL. His limited size will limit him at corner, but his excellent agility and instincts would be a boon at safety. He showed fluid movement and very impressive ball skills. His lack of height will push him down draft boards, but some team is going to get a very good football player.

Sean Hickey (OG, Syracuse) - Hickey isn't a guy who is getting a lot of recognition right now. However, I think people started to take notice when he finished second among the offensive linemen in the bench press. More important for me, I thought that while his hips were a bit tight for an offensive lineman, his feet are excellent for an offensive guard. The power and determination he showed on tape and in the weight room would translate to guard as well.

David Johnson (RB, Northern Iowa) - If more people had known about him prior to the Senior Bowl, Johnson would likely be up in the "Stud" group. I became a fan of his when I looked at his tape after hearing that the Giants had talked to him in Senior Bowl practices. After watching his tape, I compared him to Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell. After the Combine, I'm not backing off that comparison one bit. Despite being a big back, Johnson was one of the most impressive athletes there. I showed you Ameer Abdullah's spider graph, well here's David Johnson's:

Final Thoughts

This is an interesting draft class. It isn't nearly as strong as the 2014 draft class. However, what it lacks in top end talent, it more than makes up for in secondary talent. All throughout the process guys I've never heard of, guys like Ali Marpet, Lynden Trail, Kyle Emmanuel, and David Johnson, have surfaced and thoroughly wowed me.

Unfortunately for the Giants, this draft is lacking in top talent at positions of dire need, such as linebacker and safety. The chances of hitting a Grand Slam like they did in 2014 with Odell Beckham are much slimmer as well. However, much like last year's draft, this one has a very real chance of producing multiple players who are either starters or key contributors early in their careers.