We enjoyed a tremendous college football opening weekend. Top teams suffered stunning upsets and games had fans on the edge of their seats.
With that great slate of games in the rearview mirror, we’ll turn out attention to the New York Giants’ scouts and pay attention to the games we know they will be attending.
Penn State at Pittsburgh (Noon, ESPN)
The Giants opening the season scouting Pittsburgh should make the ears of Giants’ fans perk up. Over the summer, veteran scout Dave-Te Thomas highlighted Pittsburgh offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty as one of two "glass slipper" offensive tackle prospects for the Giants. Dave-Te’s staff describes Bisnowaty as a tough, hard-nosed tackle and one of the underrated talents on the offensive line.
Watching his tape myself, I see a player with good feet and active hands. He is a willing run blocker who seems to enjoy bullying defenders and a smooth, tenacious pass protector. As Thomas notes, he has good initial quickness but appears a bit plodding when asked to get out in space. While we wait to see his development in his red-shirt senior season, my initial thought is that Bisnowaty, like Justin Pugh, could play left or right tackle, or left guard (if necessary). How the Giants evaluate him could depend on Ereck Flowers’ development as well as Bisnowaty’s own.
Mike Williams has the Giants’ attention
The New York Giants have a pretty good record of identifying talent at wide receiver. Drafting players like Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, Sterling Shepard, and of course, Odell Beckham Jr., when the Giants praise a receiver, it’s worth paying attention.
It’s only week two, but a Giants’ scout is already heaping praise upon Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams.
Speaking to College Football 24/7, an anonymous Giants' scout said "Clemson needs to understand what they have in Williams. What they have in Williams is a special, special kind of receiver. A guy that has his kind of speed, his kind of body control, his kind of size and his kind of ability to high point the football is a rare thing. With him coming back this season, they basically have a guy that should be playing on Sundays playing for them on Saturdays."
Hopefully the Giants aren’t in position to draft Williams, but adding a player who might wind up being compared to Julio Jones to Beckham and Shepard is an intriguing possibility.
Earlier in the week Ed took a look at the various power rankings around the Internet. The Giants’ average rating was 19th. That translates to drafting 13th overall. I haven’t built a big board yet — that won’t happen until underclassmen declare — so I will be using CBS Sports’ big board. Unless I feel otherwise, I will limit myself to a picking within five spots of where the Giants’ pick falls. Also, this will only be a four-round draft. I generally don’t like going further than that this early.
1st Round (13th Overall) - Adam Bisnowaty (OT, Pittsburgh)
This isn’t just because the Giants will probably be watching him today. With prototypical length, a hard-nosed play style, and the versatility to play multiple spots on the line, he is the type of offensive lineman the Giants like to draft. CBS currently lists him as a fringe first rounder, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rise throughout the draft process.
2nd Round (45th Overall) - Jarrad Davis (LB, Florida)
Davis lands at 48 on the CBS board, just inside of my range, and I will do my happy dance all the way to the podium to turn in this pick. Davis is a smart, athletic, sideline to sideline linebacker, and a leader of the Florida defense. He plays with an aggressive edge and is comfortable dropping in coverage, flying downhill in run defense, and hunting quarterbacks as a blitzer. I’d be surprised if he is here when the draft rolls around for real, but he would look really nice with Devon Kennard and B.J. Goodson.
3rd Round (77th Overall) - Davon Godcheaux (DT, LSU)
This is a bit of a reach going by my rules — Godcheaux is ranked 85th overall. However, the Giants’ depth at defensive tackle is an under-the-radar concern. We will know much better come April, after seeing Jay Bromley as an important role player, playing at a weight that he is more comfortable. But, without seeing a season of Bromley, and never seeing Robert Thomas in action, I want to add depth here. Godcheaux is a long, atheltic DT who can penetrate with his quick first step and has the agility to run the kinds of stunts, loops, and twists that Spags likes to call to create confusion up front. At 6-5, 295 he also has the frame to play end in a 3-man front, giving added versatility to the defense.
4th Round (109th Overall) - Avery Gennesy (OT, Texas A&M)
At this point (counting Bisnowaty in Round 1) the Giants will have invested three first-round picks and a second-round pick in the offensive line since 2013. While he has very quick feet, I don’t think Gennesy has the footwork to stay outside at tackle in the NFL. Because of that I think he is a bit of developmental prospect as he transitions inside, but I like the power he shows when engaged. There is no guarantee that Brett Jones or Bobby Hart will be able to take the starting right guard job, so adding another player to compete is a good use of this pick.
What do you think Giants fans? And feel free to use this as your open thread for today's college football action.