The turning point during the draft season undoubtedly belongs to the NFL Combine in which teams and the fans can get acclimated with the soon to be draftees. While the combine was meant to test athletic skill and endurance, teams also evaluate medical issues as well as looking for character concerns. Let's recap the major headlines of the combine and look into prospects suited for the New York Giants.
Robert Nkemdiche speaks on his balcony fall incident
Based purely on his freakish measurables, Nkemdiche would have been a surefire top ten pick. Where he ends up being drafted will depend on if teams are confident on his character. In a rather bizarre incident, Nkemdiche fell 15 feet from a hotel balcony. When the police investigated, they found traces of marijuana in Nkemdiche's hotel room and was charged with possession.
Nkemdiche sheds light on his version of the events during Friday's media session. Nkemdiche claims that he was drunk but was not involved in the usage of marijuana on the night of the incident. He further states that the marijuana belonged to someone else in the room but and claimed that "nobody wanted to take the fall." Nkemdiche tried to assure teams and the media that this incident will stay in the past, and that he has a good head on his shoulders.
"That's not who I am," Nkemdiche said. "That's not what I stand for, that's not what my family stands for. It was embarrassing for me, and my whole family, the whole Ole Miss family. I told them, that's not the kind of player they're getting. They're getting a straight-forward player."
However, in another twist, Nkemdiche states that Laremy Tunsil, a favorite to be the first overall pick, was present in that hotel room that night.
Derrick Henry posts jaw-dropping Combine
Two of the biggest college football names in Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry took the field on Friday.
Henry in particular impressed many with his raw athleticism. Henry is known for his massive frame officially standing at 6-foot-3, 242 pounds. Despite his build, Henry was top five for all running backs in both the vertical and broad jump which are great indicators of burst. For comparison's sake, the athletically gifted Ameer Abdullah posted a 10 foot, 10-inch broad jump at 205 pounds during last year's combine. Henry matched that output being 30 pounds heavier. His combine numbers are even more impressive when comparing Henry to one of the game's biggest stars: Von Miller.
Sooooo Derrick Henry is the running back version of Von Miller pic.twitter.com/YAUfIyQ4TA— SportsNation (@SportsNation) February 26, 2016
Elliott posted a 4.47 40-yard dash which would top any recent running back drafted in the first round.
Ezekiel Elliott ran a 4.47 40. If he's selected in 1st round, it'd be the fastest time by a 1st round RB since 2011. pic.twitter.com/Lm8NfkrxD1— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) February 26, 2016
Offensive line recap
Laremy Tunsil, raved as the best offensive lineman in this year's draft, did nothing to hurt his stock on Friday. While he did not participate in the 40-yard dash or any of the jumping workouts, he impressed many on his positional drills.
In 2nd group OL Tunsil(Miss) outperformed Stanley(ND) in drills. Spriggs (Ind) had exc day in the drills & best 40 time avg 4.9 @nflnetwork— Charley Casserly (@CharleyCasserly) February 26, 2016
While Tunsil was impressive, Jason Spriggs from Indiana may have stolen the show. Spriggs excited many with his 4.96 40 yard dash but his raw athleticism translated in excelling in every workout. Spriggs was a top five performer in the bench press, broad jump, and 20-yard shuttle.
Ronnie Stanley has been mocked to the Giants on several occasions with the team's need at right tackle. He had an informal meeting with the Giants prior to the workouts. On the field, Stanley participated in the 40-yard dash, the 20-yard shuttle and the three-cone drill but did not register in the top 15 in any workout.
In case you missed it
It's no secret that the New York Giants need a revamped defensive front and they have begun that process with their private meetings on Friday. Edge rusher Noah Spence had a private meeting with the Giants but also opened up to the media of his previous usage of Ecstasy. Also joining Spence is defensive end Shaq Lawson who is a commonly mocked player for the Giants.
Jaylon Smith was speculated as possibly having nerve damage following his torn ACL and MCL. Reports indicate that his stock could plummet because of it.