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:
The draft tracker will be up tomorrow with all the names, by round, that we identified as fitting the Giants draft profile. As the draft rolls on, we will update the list to show when and by whom the prospects were drafted. We will also profile each of the Giants selection to provide you with the best information possible on the newest members of the team.
On Day Three of the draft, teams are selecting mostly for depth. The occasional starter is uncovered, but those are few and far between. The Giants may have found two in the 2014 draft, with fifth round picks Devon Kennard and Nat Berhe slated to start this season. Below are three names per round to keep an eye on as the names scroll by quickly on Saturday. If the Giants pick one or two of them, you know we’ll be crowing about it endlessly.
Anthony Chickillo, DE/DT, Miami (FL): Described as a “Film junkie with very good football intelligence,” Chickillo, a 47 game starter for the Hurricanes, prepared for college games as if he were a professional player, and the results showed on the playing field. Chickillo, a team captain for Miami, recorded 170 career combined tackles, including 25 for loss. Although he has limited athletic ability, Chickillo brings a tireless work ethic and high energy with his game to compensate. He runs a 4.79 in the 40 yard dash, but is strong enough to set the edge, something that was missing on the right side of the Giants defensive line last season.
Davis Tull, OLB/DE, Tennessee-Chattanooga: With rare lower body explosion, and a weight room work ethic that the Giants coaches will hope is contagious, Tull, a Mocs team captain and Three Time Southern Conference Player of the Year will need to prove his skills translate against a higher caliber of competition. Starting 48 games for Tennessee-Chattanooga, Tull registered 37 sacks and 60 tackles for loss, but critics argue that his numbers are inflated against inferior competition. At 6’2″, 246 pounds, and possession 4.57 speed in the 40, Tull has the measurables of a NFL linebacker. Tull can get caught in blocks, and lack coverage skills, making him a developmental project. He will need a year to develop, but as a small school player with upside, and possessing the leadership and character traits the Giants value, Tull encapsulates both the old and new versions of a Jerry Reese draftee. That may be too much for Reese to resist.
Dres Anderson, WR, Utah: The son of 10 year NFL veteran receiver Willie “Flipper” Anderson, who will forever haunt Giants fans who witnessed his overtime catch and tunnel run touchdown in a 1989 post season game at Giants Stadium. Dres was a Utes team captain, and 32 game starter, before a knee injury ended his college career. Before that injury, Anderson was viewed as a potential second round pick, however, he was not an explosive receiver prior to the injury, and if it robbed him of what little explosion he had, it will negatively impact his pro prospects. Anderson is excellent at beating press coverage and getting off the line, getting into routes quickly, and finding the soft spots in zones. He is also a good, although inconsistent blocker, and blocking is something the Giants value in a wide receiver. With a solid NFL pedigree, and good college production, medical evaluation of the 6’1″, 187 pound Anderson will ultimately determine where he’s drafted. Brace yourself for Flipper Anderson clips when he is finally selected, especially if it’s late in the day and the coverage is getting to it’s rambunctious stage.
Mike Hull, MLB, Penn State: Hull was a team captain for Penn State, and racked up 218 tackles in just 2 seasons of play. Critics argue that the Penn State defensive line allow him to roam free and make plays unfettered, and believes he will have continued issues disengaging from blocks as a professional. Hull demonstrated a solid work ethic and keen awareness for the game in his 23 career collegiate starts. With the Giants strong need for the position, and Hull’s heavy production, this match may be too perfect to pass up.
Laurence Gibson, LT, Virginia Tech: Described as “Humble and grounded,” Gibson earned dual degrees in Sociology and Psychology from Virginia Tech. He also has the long 35 1/8 inch arms that scouts like to see on a massive 6’5″,305 pound left tackle frame. While long arms alone don’t make for a successful NFL tackle, Gibson’s strong run blocking and ability to get to the second level will help his cause. Pass protection has been an issue for Gibson, as he stands to tall and gets out leveraged by both speed and power rushers. Considered a “Developmental left tackle,” if Gibson’s technique can be honed, he has the makings of a solid starter or potential NFL swing tackle, both invaluable finds for a fifth round selection.
Zach Zenner, RB/FB, South Dakota State: Zenner dominated lesser competition with the Jackrabbits, compiling 1,095 carries, 6,548 yards, and 49 touchdowns in his collegiate career. He added 95 receptions for 909 yards and another 7 touchdowns. Not a fluid or graceful runner, Zenner has good vision, and the strength to push the pile. A willing blocker, and durable, Zenner would be an idea candidate to play fullback in a West Coast offense, and has the hands to thrive as a receiver out of the backfield. Criticized for piling up yards against lesser competition, Zenner’s big games against Nebraska and Missouri went a long way towards allaying those concerns. What can’t be overlooked are his excessive number of collegiate carries, which makes some believe he will wear out faster than other backs entering the league this year. His upright running style also makes Zenner vulnerable to taking big hits, another warning sign for durability concerns, although they did not materialize at South Dakota State. The same criticism was given to Brandon Jacobs, and he was durable and effective throughout his nine year career.
Anthony Harris, FS/CB, Virginia: A versatile athlete, Harris has what scouts describe as “Good eyes,” reading the quarterback well, and reacting to what he sees to make plays in the secondary. Harris is a an outstanding special teams player, as well as a free safety and nickel cornerback, and will be able to contribute to a team as a core special teamer if he is not able to crack the defensive lineup immediately. An aggressive tackler, Harris has struggled with injuries because of his rough and tumble playing style, and can be vulnerable to play action. NFL quarterbacks will take advantage of his propensity to bite on play action fakes if he does not work through to correct this trait.
Zack Wagenmann, DE/OLB, Montana: Wagenmann broke his foot in a pre-draft workout last week, which may cause him to go undrafted, but this 6’3″, 247 pound, “Tweener” will push for playing time on an NFL defense, once healthy. A two year captain for the Grizzlies, Wagenmann holds three team records, sacks (37.5), tackles for loss (53), and forced fumbles (11). Tough, as well as intelligent, Wagenmann played through a torn labrum in his junior season, but with his latest injury, durability may become a concern for some teams. With only 14 bench press reps at the NFL Scouting Combine, Wagenmann will benefit from time in a professional weight room, and might require a season to develop as a defensive player. With an excellent character, high motor, and good work habits, Wagenmann’s profile in the Nawrocki Draft Guide reads like a Giants prospect. He is a player the team should consider on May 2nd.
Bobby McCain, CB, Memphis: At 5’9″, 195 pounds, the undersized McCain uses his 4.43 speed in the 40, quickness, and explosion to make up for what he lacks in height. A four year starter at Memphis, McCain demonstrated his ability to play against a higher level of competition at the East-West Shrine game. McCain’s man coverage skills were on display in that game, and McCain also has the awareness and discipline to play zone coverage in the NFL. He struggles to match up again taller receivers and can be out jumped, neither of which can be corrected. McCain’s press coverage skills can be improved, and his right knee meniscus, which was torn and required surgery to repair, will need to be examined before he is drafted.
Deon Simon, DE/DT, Northwestern State: The pride of the Demons in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Simon brings a thick build and a huge power base that allows him to “Ragdoll” blockers and beat double teams. Generating power from the lower half of his body, Simon, a 6’4″, 321 pound team captain at Northwestern State, moves well for a big man. As is the case with many larger players, Simon fatigues easily, and his technique suffers when he is tired. He has a reputation for playing down to the level of his opponent and reacting late on misdirection plays. But, as the time honored adage says, “You can’t teach size,” making Simon a top day three prospect.
Sean Hickey, LG, Syracuse: Before Justin Pugh mentioned him at his press conference last Thursday, Giants 360 had already identified Hickey as a potential draft day target for the Giants. A team captain for the Orangemen, Pugh’s former college teammate allowed just two sacks in his final three collegiate season. Durability is the main concern with Hickey, as he has suffered ACL, PCL, hamstring, labrum, and ankle injuries during his college career. Despite the cornucopia of injuries, Hickey started 38 games for Syracuse, but has what are described as “average” blocking instincts, and is not considered a strong finisher. With Pugh’s internal recommendation, he may get a shot with the Giants, either with one of their 7th round picks, or as an undrafted free agent.
E.J. Bibbs, TE, Iowa State: A team captain for the Cyclones, Bibbs lined up inline, as a wing, and flexed out. He also played special teams at Iowa State, enhancing his value to a NFL franchise. With modest speed at 4.88 in the 40 yard dash, the 6’2″ 258 pound Bibbs is fast enough to create separation, but will not be elusive after the catch. He runs fearlessly across the the middle, and has a knack for finding the soft spots in zone defenses, but won’t stretch a defense. He is described as needing a “Patient” coaching staff, and may take some time to develop, but that’s where his special teams prowess will enter into the formula.
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