There are those who believe the linebacker position will be a major weakness for the New York Giants in 2015. Will they be right? We won't know for a while. One thing we do know is that unless there are injuries the players who will make the team at the linebacker spots appear to be set.
One player hoping to change that is Cole Farrand, an undrafted free agent from Maryland. Let's look at Farrand as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2014 Season in Review
Had 118 tackles, five for loss, during his senior season with the Maryland Terrapins. Also credited with seven passes defensed and a forced fumble. Had 276 tackes, 15.5 for loss, in 44 games (29 starts) for Maryland during his four-year career.
2015 Season Outlook
Farrand was one of the players signed by the Giants as an undrafted free agent. Unless there are injuries in that group, A spot on the practice squad would appear to be Farrand's most likely path to sticking around.
What does the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Farrand bring to the table? He would appear to be a pure inside lineabcker prospect with limited pass-rushing skills, having been credited with only a half-sack during a career at Maryland.
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein was not complementary in a pre-draft profile:
Not instinctive or athletic. Can't hang his hat on coverage ability or run-stuffing acumen. He's an inside linebacker with limited range who must prove he can be a special-teams monster to make it.
TFY Draft Insider was slightly more optimistic:
Farrand is a hard-working defender and does a terrific job reading the action then making the play. He comes with limited athleticism but could make a roster as an eighth linebacker/special teams player.
Here is a quote from Maryland coach Randy Edsall on Farrand, who is a Green Pond, N.J. native:
"Cole is one of those guys that you just have a tremendous respect for. He's a guy that really loves to play the game. It's important to him. He is a leader there on defense for us," Edsall said. "He's a vocal guy. He's a tough guy. He wasn't totally healthy this year . . . but he fought through things to be out there and he is a guy who has performed at a very high level."
Whether Farrand's toughness and intelligence is enough to earn him a spot with the Giants remains to be seen.