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2016 NFL Draft: The Giants need a pass rush -- could Eric Striker possibly provide it?

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Oklahoma's Eric Striker is one of the most unique players in the 2016 draft. But could that uniqueness work against him?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Two things tend to happen when unique players enter the NFL. Most often, the league can't figure out what to do with them, and they are either stuffed into ill-fitting schemes, or exit the league altogether. Less often, there is a beautiful confluence of talent and fit, and the rest of the league encounters something it isn't ready to deal with.

At its heart, the NFL is ruthlessly Darwinian. That means that most offenses and defenses wind up being similar, and have evolved to deal with each other. There's a conceptual chess match between schemes and schemes to beat those schemes. The exceptions happen when a talent comes on the scene that plays in a way the NFL just isn't ready for.

Eric Striker of Oklahoma has polarized scouts. Some see a potentially dynamic player, some see one without a home in the NFL. The Giants had credentialed scouts at several Oklahoma games, and with their woeful pass rush it's possible that they were there to see Striker.

Measurables

Height: 5-feet-11

Weight: 228 pounds

40 Time: 4.58s projected

Pros

  • Dynamic athlete. Possesses a great burst off the line and the ability to bend the corner.
  • Productive pass rusher for Oklahoma.
  • Has shown the ability to drop in coverage
  • Uses size to present a small target for blockers
  • Shows a high motor in pursuit

Cons

  • Doesn't have a defined position in the NFL.
  • Strictly a speed rusher. Play is generally over for him when lineman get their hands on him.
  • Just does not have the size or strength to be a classic linebacker.
  • Struggles in the run game when teams target him.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - Not in top 50

Mocking The Draft - Not in top 100

CBS - 121st

Draft Tek - 87th

Does He Fit With the Giants?

Does he fit any team?

Striker isn't just a tweener, but he is a three position tweener. Striker is a pass rushing outside linebacker in the body of a safety. Any team that drafts Striker will need to have a plan for him before they turn the slip in. He can be a weapon on long down and distances, using his speed and agility blow past blockers and disrupt plays in the backfield.

Final Thoughts

Eric Striker is an interesting prospect. Most teams will look at him and write him off almost out of hand because he just doesn't look like anything they know how to use. He's the type of guy who needs to land in the hands of a coach with the imagination and willingness to put him in position to succeed.

Where Striker goes in the draft is anybody's guess. He could work his way up draft boards with a strong combine, or he could wind up being undrafted because of his unusual blend of traits.