After the first three rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft the New York Giants filled the three positions that were most immediate needs for upgrades. Nickel cornerback, a second wide receiver (because you can't count on Victor Cruz), and a free safety to potentially pair with Landon Collins.
What else do the Giants need? If you're asking me, the Giants need to improve their linebacker corps and add talent to their running back group, which is spotty at best. They need more cornerback depth as this is a position that needs to be five or six deep. They could use competition at defensive end, but Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, and Kerry Wynn is not a bad group. Wynn is a fine fourth defensive end -- he does what he's supposed to do and plays hard. Hopefully Odighizuwa can step up this year, but the Giants believed he was the goods last year and that hasn't changed. Of course, the Giants also need to improve their depth along the offensive line and they could use more competition at defensive tackle. At this point they are not likely to find an immediate starting tackle on offense or defense, so I imagine they'll just add pieces that can develop or run limited packages now.
Best Available Players
For me right now, only four running backs have come off the board through the first three rounds so I think the value is there today. This class had a lot of guys with terrific speed scores;
Georgia RB Keith Marshall had a historically good speed score, Dan Vitale (Northwestern), Daniel Lasco (California), Wendall Smallwood (West Virginia), Marshuan Coprich (Illinois State), Brandon Wilds (South Carolina), Soma Vainuku (USC/FB), Tyler Ervin (San Jose State), Dwayne Washington (Washington), DeAndre Washington (Texas Tech)
All of these guys fit the mold of what the Giants look for in a running back. I'd be surprised if they didn't take at least one because Rashad Jennings is getting old and Shane Vereen is a nice player, but Orleans Darkwa and Andre Wiliams haven't proven anything.
There are other guys like Alex Collins (Arkansas) and Paul Perkins (UCLA) Kenneth Dixon (Louisiana Tech), Devastate Booker (Utah State), Jonathan Williams (Arkansas) are also more highly-regarded.
I like Jonathan Williams and Indiana Jordan Howard most of the guys still available.
The Giants have three guys they are counting on right now at defensive tackle in Damon Harrison, Jay Bromley, and Johnathan Hankins. Montori Hughes and Louis Nix are castoffs. They won't stop the Giants from addressing the position. This also happens to be the position with the most highly-rated players left.
Andrew Billings (Baylor), Hassan Ridgeway (Texas) , Willie Henry (Michigan), Sheldon Day (Notre Dame) are all guys who could have gone earlier. Of these, Day least fits the Giants profile.
Charles Tapper from Oklahoma fits the mold of what the Giants are looking for at defensive end. I would not be surprised to see them add here.
Defensive line makes sense in Round 4. The Giants have seven guys who are locks for the roster between defensive tackle and defensive end, but they usually carry nine or 10 that means competition for Wynn, Hughes/Nix is likely to be added and I wouldn't be surprised if that started in round four.
Vadal Alexander from LSU is Geoff Schwartz-like in measurements. He's 6-foot-5, 326 pounds with huge arms and huge hands. He's slow, but the Giants love length. He also makes a lot of sense in Round 4. Willie Beavers (Western Michigan) is another guy who fits the mold for what the Giants look for. I think one thing is for sure -- the Giants are done with finesse offensive linemen. Think big, strong, offensive linemen and let's worry about athleticism later. If the Giants think any of the guys left can compete for a starting spot TODAY they are the pick in in Round 4.
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants add another cornerback if the grade is high enough. Cornerbacks are expensive and I don't know if Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is staying long term.
Rashad Robinson of LSU might be the name to watch. There was a report a while back that the Giants thought he would have been the number one cornerback in the class had he continued to play football. He doesn't have character concerns really. He just didn't care about college. No interest whatsoever in it. Just wants to play football. He's slight, but if they think that highly of his talent he's a name to watch in rounds 4 and 5.
Stephen Weatherly from Vanderbilt is a Giants kind of prospect. Doesn't have great speed, but plenty of speed 4.61 forty yard dash at 6-4, 267 pounds, 34.5-inch arm longs, and 10.25-inch hands. He is also a former defensive end who has played linebacker last year. His grandmother is a genius (graduated from Harvard and MIT) and the Giants like players with good families, Tyron Holmes from Montana is another guy who is Giants like in terms of that pass-rushing SAM they are still trying to fill. Antoine Williams Georgia Southern as well.
Well, there you have it. Some intriguing names to look out for on the thid day of the 2016 NFL Draft. I think the one thing the Giants are absolutely doing with their team now is looking for TOUGH players. Whoever they draft you can bet that will be part of their scouting report -- that he plays tough, he plays bigger than his size - -that he loves football. That's what they have done with all three of their first picks. Apple is raw, but no one questions his physicality. Shepard is short, but no one questions his love for football. He plays bigger than his size. Darian Thompson is not considered a great tackler, but he's considered tough (he launches into ball carriers instead of tackles them) and he's a film junkie. And you can't be a film junkie if you don't love football. So that's my prediction for Day 3. The Giants are sick of being the most injured team in the league, they have changed their training regimens the last couple of years, but now they are trying to change their mindset as well.