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NFL Draft Rumors: Are the Giants targeting TE Gerald Everett?

OJ Howard is getting all the press, but what if he isn’t the Giants’ top target?

South Alabama v Georgia Southern Photo by Todd Bennett/Getty Images

Following Senior Bowl week, much of the talk has surrounded Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. Howard was used as little more than a blocker in Alabama’s offense, but his physical abilities — height, weight, and athleticism — intrigued scouts.

He got his chance to show what he could do outside of Alabama’s offense at the Senior Bowl, and Howard’s performance had scouts and observers buzzing. He excelled in one-on-one drills and had a solid showing in the game. After that, there was talk that he could be a top-20 draft pick, and the tight end needy New York Giants wouldn’t have a chance to draft him.

However, they might not even be interested in Howard.

Tony Pauline, draft expert and writer for Draft Analyst, was at the Senior Bowl and is reporting that South Alabama tight end Gerald Everett is actually the Giants’ “tight end of choice.”

Pauline wrote:

The universal belief leaving the Senior Bowl had O.J. Howard as the big winner at the tight end position. But a number of teams rated Gerald Everett of South Alabama equal to Howard last week.

Everett was impressive both days he participated in practice and though he has a size deficiency compared to other tight ends, teams view him as the truest deep threat and downfield play-maker at the position. There’s a belief Everett could slide into the late part of round one if he performs well at the combine.

Right now I’m told he’s the tight end of choice for the New York Giants.

If this is true — and the draft process is always rife with smoke screens — it’s an interesting fit. Everett is much smaller than a traditional NFL tight end at 6-foot-2, 227 pounds. That is, in fact, smaller than some wide receivers in the NFL. If there is one constant for the type of receivers the Giants have drafted, it is that they look for big hands, something Everett lacks (his are a small 8 2/8 inches).

In Pauline’s analysis of Everett’s practices, he wrote:

During the two days Everett practiced, he showed himself to be a competent pass-catcher with the ability to break long plays. Fluid and natural, he caught everything thrown in his direction and held his own blocking.

Overall this might not mean much, however at the very least it serves as a reminder to avoid locking in on one prospect — or type of prospect — as one the Giants “have” to draft. They might like Jerell Adams as their “complete” tight end and want a “twitchier” athlete than Will Tye to give defenses something to worry about.