The 2015 draft is ripe with hybrid edge rushers. Defensive ends that can play outside linebackers and outside linebackers that can play defensive end. Only one of the potential top 10 picks impresses me, and it’s unlikely he makes it to the Giants. Florida’s Dante Fowler is a probable top 5 pick, most closely associated with the Jaguars, selecting 3rd, and will undoubtedly be an impact player for year to come. The Giants360 draft six packs are not about looking at first round picks. We will do that in a separate article. This series is about digging deep to identify prospects from rounds 2 to 7 that fit the Giants drafting profile.
The Giants need linebackers, despite signing two, J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas, in free agency, the team is lacking play makers at the second level of their defense. Jon Beason can make plays when he’s not on the trainer’s table, and Devon Kennard, one of last season’s fifth round selections, showed some flashes, but some more talent is needed.
The Giants look at add high character players, who have displayed leadership ability, to their team. This is an especially important trait in a middle linebackers as he is viewed as the “Quarterback” of the defense. One of the downfalls of the 2014 Giants was being forced to play their “Backup quarterback,” Jameel McClain for the majority of the season. Adding some young depth behind the oft injured Beason is imperative.
Three of the five men profiles play middle linebacker, and a fourth has experience in the middle of the defense. In reading through our draft bible, Nolan Nawrocki’s 2015 Draft Preview, one man rose above the rest as a draft-able Giants prospect. Let’s hope Jerry Reese is paying attention.