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2016 NFL Draft: Would Shilique Calhoun help the Giants' pass rush?

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Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun was one of the hottest defensive prospects in 2014 before going back to school. Could he be a value pick for the Giants in 2016?

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Towards the end of the 2014 college football season Shilique Calhoun of the Michigan State Spartans emerged as one of the hotter prospects on the defensive side of the ball. So much so, that there was a strong movement among fans to see him drafted by the New York Giants.

Calhoun returned to school, and though his red-shirt senior season didn't work out the way he may have hoped, the Giants fans who wanted him to be drafted by New York may have their chance to see it happen.

Measurables

Pros

  • Talented pass rusher, Calhoun is a three-time All-American, and notched 26 sacks from 2013 to 2016, 10.5 in 2015.
  • Offers schematic versatility. Calhoun played defensive end in Michigan Stat'es 4-3 defense but has the agility to be a rush linebacker.
  • Good height and long arms give him great length for the position. Uses a good first step, length, and athleticism to beat blockers.
  • Plays with a good motor, showing good effort in pursuit.

Cons

  • Slender build for a defensive end at 251 pounds.
  • Needs to get stronger and more violent with his hands. Could also stand to play with better leverage.
  • Will fight through blocks, but struggles when speed, agility, and finesse won't get the job done.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 49th

Mocking The Draft - 37th

CBS - 50th

Draft Tek - 22nd

Does He Fit With the Giants?

Whether or not Calhoun fits with the Giants rather depends on what they want their defense to look like. If Spags is going to run a more traditional 4-3 defense, then Calhoun isn't the best fit. In that case, he would be best as a situational speed rusher.

However, if the Giants are going to incorporate some 3-4 concepts and looks, Calhoun could fit as a pass rushing linebacker. Whether you want to call it a "SAM", "LEO," or "JOKER," that would likely be his best fit in the NFL. It would allow him to use his burst and agility to beat blockers without having to mix it up in the trenches too much.

Final Thoughts

Calhoun was a popular name for the Giants in the early part of the 2015 draft process, but the talented red-shirt junior surprised by going back to school. Unfortunately for Calhoun, his season ended in a rout by Alabama and despite good production, he didn't improve his draft stock -- instead, it actually dropped when he couldn't improve his play strength.

He will likely have to change position to more of a stand-up rusher in the NFL, but there will be a home for any player with his burst, agility, and talent for getting behind an offensive line.