The second Giants fifth round selection, a compensatory selection, came up at 3:34 PM. It was the second to last selection in the round and 174th overall. They used barely half the time allotted to submit their pick as players are flying off the board at this point in the draft.
The Selection: USC linebacker Devon Kennard started 27 games and was a team captain had the top GPA on the team. Honored as the most inspirational player, Kennard’s father, Derek played 11 years in the NFL, as an offensive lineman for the Cardinals, Saints, and Cowboys.
Devon Kennard is a good tackler and a versatile player who can play both inside and outside linebacker as well as defensive end. Seen as smart and tough, he is a natural leader and takes a professional approach to the game. Kennard has small hands and average athletic ability. He lacks pass rush moves and does not provide sufficient resistance against the run. He will likely be a contributor on special teams if he makes the team.
Who They Passed Up: Tennessee offensive lineman Antonio Richardson, carrying on 3rd round rating on some draft experts list continues to drop. The Giants continuing to let him pass them by must indicate their expectation that Will Beatty will be healthy and ready to go for the start of training camp.
Expert Rankings: Kennard appears on neither NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock’s top 100 player list nor Gil Brandt of nfl.com and SiriusXM radio’s top 125 players. He is the 16th defensive end listed on Nolan Nawrocki’s position list in his invaluable draft guide.
Current Giant Most Effected: Spencer Paysinger. He counts $1.43 million against the salary cap and does not make that level of contribution to the team. If Kennard shows promise in training camp, expect Paysinger to be jettisoned in favor of the rookie.
The team’s trend of selecting team captains with leadership skills continues. It’s is not readily apparent what else he brings to the team, and at first glance, it he appears to be another Jerry Reese late round reach. The good news? Unlike Clint Sintim, he wasn’t picked in the second round. Spencer Paysinger should take notice, but shouldn’t worry about breaking his lease any time soon.