Draft week coverage continues on Giants360, as we identify three prospects in each later round from our Draft Six Pack Series for you to keep an eye on while digesting the draft coverage this Friday and Saturday. The players fit the new Giants draft profile, showing strong leadership skills, a high character, and a dedication to football. If you would like to read about all the players we reviewed, here are the links, by position to the six pack series:
We are setting up a player trackers for draft day that will show where the players in our Six Pack Series wind up after the dust settles. Some of these players may go higher than the round assigned by nfldraftscout.com, our source for determining lifely draft round. In fact, one of our Round Three players appeared in the Giants360 Mock Draft as a Round One selection, but that’s the fun of the draft. Players rise, players fall, with some over drafted, and others reached for rounds before their talent dictates.
Byron Jones, CB/FS, Connecticut: Jones has been selected in mock drafts anywhere between late in Round 1 through early Round 3. He’s durable, with 39 collegiate starts, as well as versatile, having spend time at both cornerback and free safety, making Jones a player who would provide help at two positions of need for the Giants. Critics point to the level of competition he faced at Connecticut as a sign that he should not be over drafted, but his measurables make the scouts mouth’s water. The Giants publicized their visit with him at Connecticut, making Giants360 skeptical of their actual interest, as the team rarely drafts player in the early rounds that they allowed their opponents to know they were interested in.
Owa Odighizuwa, OLB/DE/Pass Rush Specialist, UCLA: Pronounced Oh-Wuh Oh-DIGGY-Zoo-Wuh, this former team captain for the Bruins has a chiseled physique that gives him the strength to set the corner. A hard worker, and tough competitor, Odighizuwa explodes off the edge and makes plays in the backfield, as evidenced by his 12.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss in his just 21 career UCLA starts. Odighizuwa has a reputation as an over-analytical player who needs to refine his technique and react rather than think on the field. Hip surgery also cost him his junior season at UCLA, making the Giants medical evaluation critical prior to committing a high draft pick to Odighizuwa, as the team seeks to lower their league leading injury profile. Odighizuwa was selected many times immediately before the Giants turn at pick 40 in Giants360 simulated drafts on fanspeak.com indicating he would be targeted in that area.
A.J. Cann, LG, South Carolina: Cann started an incredible 51 games at South Carolina and was a two time team captain for the Gamecocks while competing his African-American Studies degree. Agile and athletic, Cann understand leverage and positioning, and can get to the second level fluidly to execute blocks on linebackers. His relatively short arms (32 5/8 inches) and slow speed (5.47 in the 40 yard dash) limit him to an interior position, but his ability to play left guard fits the Giants need on their offensive line like a glove. It would allow Geoff Schwartz to move to right guard, his preferred position. Cann is an overwhelmingly positive presence in the locker room, raising both the spirits and the game of the players around him. If the Giants do not pick and offensive lineman in the first round, Cann would be a top option to finish their offensive line in the second.
Quinten Rollins, CB/FS, Miami (OH): Rollins played just one season of college football and was named the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Another versatile, small school player, Rollins struggled against a higher level of competition when he faced it in the Senior Bowl and may need some time to adjust to the NFL. With a history of leadership, captaining teams throughout his high school and collegiate careers, Rollins has repeatedly demonstrated the work ethic and tenacity to overcome these obstacles and make the jump to the next level.
Denzel Perryman, MLB, Miami (FL): Perryman is the consummate inside linebacker and has gone in mock draft anywhere from the late first round to the the early third round. If the Giants were able to get him at pick 74, he would be the steal of the draft. We reluctantly gave him to the New Orleans Saints at Pick 31 in our mock draft. An undersized linebacker, at just 5’11” and 236 pounds, Perryman also struggles in pass coverage, causing some to view him as a two down linebacker, and explaining his drop on some draft boards. And instinctive player, and violent tackler, Perryman registered 351 combined tackles in his Hurricanes career, eye popping productivity that is hard to ignore. They NFL player comparison he most often receives is the Giants’ Jon Beason. His draft profile in the Nolan Nawrocki Draft Guide reads like a Giants’ player.
Ali Marpet, C/LG, Hobart: The fastest riser in the 2015 draft, Marpet overcame his small school stigma, by blowing away scouts with his Senior Bowl performance. The only Division III invitee to the game, Marpet not only proved he belonged on the field with the higher pedigree players, but was recognized at the best offensive lineman in the game, silencing critics. A two time Captain for the Statesman at tiny Hobart College in Geneva, NY, Marpet was named Co-Liberty League Offensive Player of the Year, the only offensive lineman to be so honored. He is a driven player, who constantly works to improve his game, can play guard or center, and is highly competitive, all skills that will help him succeed in the NFL. Blitz pickup is an area where Marpet need to improve, and he will have to show he can maintain the level of performance he displayed at the Senior Bowl.
If the Giants were to draft Odighizuwa and Rollins to go with Brandon Scherff, it will fill three areas of need with high quality players. Giants360 would like to see the team draft a true linebacker with a high pick, but the position does not seem to be a high priority under Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin. Perhaps this is the year that the team reverses that trend and jumps starts the tradition of play makers at the second level for the Giants.
Giants360 will be live tweeting the draft all three days. Come join the party with 21,500 of your closest friends in the biggest interactive online community of Giants fans anywhere. Check back here frequently for information and analysis of the players selected.
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