Now that the NFL Scouting Combine has concluded, ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. shared his newest rankings of the top 10 players at each position in this year's draft, which you can view here (ESPN Insider required). Here are some takeaways from Kiper's rankings that Giants fans should pay attention to.
Will Fuller's 40-yard dash helps him garner first round consideration
The Giants need weapons outside of Odell Beckham Jr. at wide receiver, but could former Notre Dame star Will Fuller become the next playmaker for Big Blue? Fuller came into the Combine known as a deep threat with an incredible amount of yards-after-catch potential. He reaffirmed the game film by running a 4.32 40-yard dash time, the best among all wide receivers at the combine and the second among all combine participants, behind only former Georgia running back Keith Marshall. Despite his 6-foot, 186-pound frame, Fuller is not a slot receiver. He's made his name on the outside, burning corners deep. Yet, he fails to consistently catch the ball and run creative short to intermediate routes. While some have compared him to Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson, NFL.com believes his pro comparison is more similar to Carolina Panthers all-purpose threat Ted Ginn Jr.
Sheldon Rankins a defensive end?
Former Louisville star Sheldon Rankins continued his rise up draft boards this offseason at the NFL Scouting Combine. At the Combine, Rankins ran the 40-yard dash in just over five seconds and showed off his explosiveness in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. Rankins is viewed as one of the top pass rushers in the draft and is versatile enough to play in either a 2-gap or 1-gap scheme. Kiper believes that his quickness will eventually find him a home as a defensive end in a 3-4 system.
"I have Rankins with this group because I think he could end up as a 3-4 defensive end, where his quickness will really play," Kiper writes. "I know some have him listed with the D-tackles, but that happens this time of year."
Javon Hargrave continues ascent up defensive tackle rankings
The former South Carolina State defensive tackle was one of our first draft profiles here at Big Blue View, and since then, he's continued to perform. His early success at the East-West Shrine Game earned him a spot at the Senior Bowl, and he continued to show his raw potential at the Combine. Hargrave, who weighs 310 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.93 seconds, displaying his quick burst and motor. Hargrave moved past the likes of Andrew Billings, Vernon Butler and Chris Jones in Kiper's rankings, who believes the FCS star "could come off the board early in Round 2."
Darron Lee one of the top athletes in this year's class
Former Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee displayed his explosive athleticism at the combine, turning heads and all but assuring he will be a first-round pick in this year's NFL Draft. Lee was one of the top performers at his position in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and 20-yard shuttle. Despite his strength not being ideal for a linebacker, Lee could be part of the new age of linebackers that necessitates better athletes. Lee is one of the top coverage linebackers in the draft and also has the ability to rush the passer. He could be a fit as a weak-side outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense. Everyone knows how much the Giants need linebackers, but could Lee be the selection at No. 10?
William Jackson III one of the biggest risers
The former University of Houston cornerback was "easily" the top riser, according to Kiper. Jackson, who ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, combines a tall, long frame with elite speed. In 2015, which was an upstart year for the Cougars, Jackson reeled in five interceptions and continuously made plays on the ball. Jackson is thought to be a lock in the second round, and potentially could be selected in the bottom half of the first round.