The process leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft still has a long way to go. The new league year starts soon, rree agency is just around the corner, and we have nearly two months of pro days between now and the first round of the draft.
But the NFL Scouting Combine has already reshuffled the deck, potentially changing who the New York Giants could value at the 10th overall pick. If the draft were this Thursday, rather than eight weeks from now, who would have positioned themselves to be picked by the Giants?
DT Sheldon Rankins -- While he didn't blow anyone away with this 40-yard dash time (it should be noted that the weekend was full of curiously slow 40s), Rankins on-field drills and measurables mark him as a potentially elite defensive tackle. He is explosive off the ball and smoothly changes directions. This is a historically deep draft for defensive tackle, but Rankins had one of the top SPARQ rankings of any defensive lineman.
DT Andrew Billings -- Billings isn't as smooth an athlete as Rankins is, but his youth and explosive power could attract the Giants. Both he and Rankins would pair well with Johnathan Hankins, but they go about disrupting offenses in different ways. Billings is stout at the point of attack and can collapse the pocket.
OT Ronnie Stanley -- If the Giants don't (or can't) address the right tackle position before the draft, Stanley could be the choice at 10th overall. They met with him at the combine, and he looked like a good starting tackle at the next level. The Giants are well aware of the potential struggles a rookie offensive tackle will face in the NFL, but Stanley showed that he has the tools to be successful.
RB Ezekiel Elliott -- Elliott is the premier offensive weapon in this draft. He is a quick, explosive, and powerful runner with great vision and patience, as well as a dedicated and ferocious pass protector. His workout did nothing but confirm what he showed on tape. The receiving drills did show that he has some work to do as a pass catcher, but as solid as the rest of his game is, bringing his ability to track the ball without seeing it leave the quarterback's hand up to speed is a relatively minor complaint.
DE Shaq Lawson -- Lawson was a common mock draft selection for the Giants coming out of the 2015 season. He then began to slip as questions emerged regarding his athleticism. He seemingly answered those on Sunday with a terrific combine performance, but that workout also raised another question: If he's fast in shorts, why was he slow on the field? Scouts (and the Giants) will need to take another look. He also measured shorter than ideal at 6-foot-2 and 32 3/4-inch arms.
DE Emmanuel Ogbah -- Like Lawson, Ogbah was a fairly common selection for the Giants. And like Lawson, he slipped down draft boards as questions arose regarding his pass rush ability. Despite an even better workout than Lawson, Ogbah would disappear for long stretches during games, and apparently show little of the athleticism he put on display in Indy. He too will need a second look.
DE Noah Spence -- Spence was a dominant force both in the week of practice leading up to the Senior Bowl and in the game itself. That performance reminded everyone of his talent rushing the passer. At the Combine he measured nearly identically to Khalil Mack, and posted a better bench press and 10-yard split. However, the other facets of his workout fell short. Spence's jumps were good, but not great, and his overall 40 time was disappointing. Spence won't have to wait long for one last chance to impress scouts, EKU's pro day is March 4th. Also, teams will continue to dig into his character.
LB Darron Lee -- Lee's athleticism was apparent at Ohio State, but if there was any doubt he was a top performer in nearly every event. He plays fast and with confidence, has the ability to cover over the middle, rush the passer, and is willing in run defense. He might be a bit small for the Giants' historic standards, but both John Mara and Jerry Reese have mentioned that those standards may be changing.
LB Leonard Floyd -- Floyd is an interesting player. Until 2015, he was primarily a pass rusher for the Georgia Bulldogs, using his combination of length, bend, and quickness to get around blockers. However, NFL teams have been worried that his whip-thin build (listed at 230 pounds) would be too slight to stand up to the NFL game. In 2015, however, he showed the ability to drop in coverage and be a "complete" linebacker who can play in any scheme. He also addressed concerns regarding his physique by showing up to Indy weighing 244 pounds. While that is still thin at 6-6, he was fast and explosive at his combine weight and recorded a 40 time, vertical leap, and broad jump at the top of his position group.