With their fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft the New York Giants on Saturday selected Clemson linebacker B.J. Goodson.
Goodson is a 6-foot-1, 242-pounder who is listed as an outside linebacker. NFL.com says:
"Physical, two-day linebacker with the desire to scrape downhill and strike what he sees. Goodson's lack of pursuit speed and overall athleticism could be troubling to teams, but his toughness and consistency of effort will appeal to teams who value force in the middle. Goodson could figure on the third day of the draft as a backup with eventual starter potential."
Goodson said on a conference call that he "definitely wanted to be there" after visiting with the Giants.
"Definitely a legendary place," he said. "A place where football is very, very important.
"I really just fell in love with everything on my visit."
Goodson had 108 tackles, 14.5 for loss with Clemson last season. He had 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble, five passes defensed and two interceptions. Goodson's run-stop percentage of 11.9 last season was seventh in the nation among linebackers, according to Pro Football Focus. Also per PFF, Goodson was sixth in the nation among linebackers in both tackling efficiency and pass-rush productivity.
Goodson has played both SAM and MIKE, calling the MIKE spot "home for me."
"I actually moved out to outside linebacker my junior year because Coach saw a fit. He saw how dedicated I was, he saw the talent in me, and he wanted to get me on the field. With having Stephone and Tony Steward, having those guys out there, just being able to get me out there with those guys. So I learned the SAM linebacker position, and then once Stephone left, I went back home to the MIKE position and it played out from there," Goodson said.
The Giants have Devon Kennard on one side, but both Jonathan Casillas and J.T. Thomas appear to be short-term solutions at the weak-side linebacker spot. Perhaps Goodson could develop into an answer there. The Giants also have a murky picture at middle linebacker, where second-year man Uani 'Unga is joined by three veterans on one-year contracts, Jasper Brinkley, Kelvin Sheppard, and Keenan Robinson. Perhaps his future will be inside. We will have to wait and see.
Here is part of what Dane Brugler of CBS Sports wrote about Goodson in his 2016 NFLDraft Guide:
"He is a magnet to the ball in the run game with the take-on skills to stack the point of attack, using his strong hands and low pad level to shed and find the ballcarrier. Goodson is a balanced athlete and limits his wasted motion, but his range is based more on his instincts, lacking ideal play speed and explosive traits for the position. Although not a dynamic mover, which especially shows in coverage, Goodson plays a physical brand of football and always seems to be in the vicinity -- quality depth player, who will push for starting reps by year two."
Walter Football gave the pick a B+:
"B.J. Goodson had a ton of buzz in the lead-up to the 2016 NFL Draft, taking tons of meetings. This is the right spot for him though, and it's hardly a surprise that the Giants chose a linebacker, as they have one of the worst situations at the position in the NFL. A solid tackler, Goodson should be able to compete for a starting job right away."
Giants' Draft Picks
Round 1 (10th) -- Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
[The pick | Apple's reaction | Giants reaction | Analyst's grades | Ed's take | Chris's take]
Round 2 (No. 9, 40th overall) -- Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
Round 3 (No. 8, 71st overall) -- Darian Thompson, S, Boise State
Round 4 (No. 11, 109th overall) -- B.J. Goodson, LB, Clemson
Round 5 (No. 10, 149th overall) --
Round 6 (No. 9, 184th overall) --
More useful links
- Scouting reports from Stephen White
- SB Nation bloggers mock draft
- SB Nation's top 300 players
- Mocking The Draft first-round draft grades