The clock has now officially started on the 2010 season, and here are the seven newest members of the Giants:
Pick: 1st round (15th overall)
College: South Florida
Position: Defensive end
Ht: 6-5, WT: 270
What you should know: He considers himself the best pass rusher in the draft, and many scouts agree. He’s got freakish athletic ability, but only played one season of major college football. He’s a high-risk, high-reward pick. His ceiling is high and he could be a Pro Bowler, but some feel there’s a potential for him to be a one-year wonder and possible bust.
What they’re saying: “He’s a freak of nature really with some of the stuff he can do. He’s done some things I haven’t seen in scouting. He’s just a different breed of athlete. And when he learns how to really play it’s going to be ‘Watch out,’ because he does some things just naturally. When he really learns, when he gets his coaching and he keeps growing and developing like we think he will, he’s going to be tremendous.” - - Marc Ross, the Giants’ director of college scouting
Pick: 2nd round (46th overall)
College: East Carolina
Position: Defensive tackle
HT: 6-4, WT: 328
What you should know: He was a late riser as the draft approached, with some scouts projecting him as a late first rounder. He’s extremely strong, but battled weight issues (up to 370) and a back injury in 2008, but the Giants believe those issues are in the past. At times he was a dominant presence in the middle of the Pirates’ defensive line.
What they’re saying: “He’s a big man, a powerful point-of-attack player. He doesn’t get pushed back from the line of scrimmage. I wouldn’t call him a pass rusher, but he is disruptive. This guy is a big anchor. He’s a human post, is what he is. He’ll give the linebackers a chance to run to the ball.” - - Giants GM Jerry Reese.
Pick: 3rd round (76th overall)
HT: 6-2, WT: 221
What you should know: He’s a big safety with terrific speed and great hands. What he seems to lack is a bit of a nose for the ball, but the Giants believe he’ll have a big upside once he plays football full time. In college, he was also on the baseball team, pitching and playing the outfield for LSU’s title team.
What they’re saying: “This kid may have some of the best pure hands in the draft at any position. You can really see his baseball skills and his hand-eye coordination. He can really catch it.” - - Marc Ross, the Giants’ director of college scouting
Pick: 4th round (115th overall)
Position: Middle linebacker
HT: 6-0, WT: 245
What you should know: He may be an MLB, but he’s not a lock to step in and start. He shot up the charts with a strong senior season (playing behind DT Ndamukong Suh, the No. 2 overall pick). He had a torn ACL in ’06 and an ankle injury in ’08, but seems to be healthy now.
What they’re saying: “He’s tough tough, instinctive, smart, hard-hitting. We had him targeted for a while and we talked about him earlier. We feel like he can come in and start competing right away.” - - Giants GM Jerry Reese
Pick: 5th round (147th overall)
HT: 6-3, WT: 310
What you should know: He flashed his strength by tying the NFL scouting combine record in February with 45 bench presses of 225 pounds. He began his collegiate career as a walk-on tight end and also played some fullback. He’s got a good first step and can be an effective pulling guard.
What they’re saying: : “He’s hard-nosed and aggressive. This guy has a vicious nature about him.” - - Giants GM Jerry Reese
Pick: 6th round (184th overall)
College: William & Mary
Position: Defensive end/linebacker
HT: 6-3, WT: 248
What you should know: He’s a ‘tweener who’ll likely play outside linebacker in the NFL. He’s a good character kid who is smart and a hard worker, but has typical small-school physical limitations. He was a four-year starter in college and had 22 sacks the last two years but likely needs some work to be a factor in the pros.
What they’re saying: “We just had people that continued to speak about how highly they felt about his ability. He played with his hand on the ground (at DE), but there wasn’t any question on the part of the scouts that he could be a linebacker.” - - Tom Coughlin
Pick: 7th round (221st overall)
College: East Carolina
HT: 6-1, WT: 224
What you should know: One of only two punters the Giants considered draft-worthy, this became a need pick when 44-year-old Jeff Feagles said he may retire. There are varying reports on Dodge’s leg strength and hang-time on his punts, but the Giants seem to think both are very good.
What they’re saying: “Big leg. Powerful. This guy can hit some moon shots.” - - Giants GM Jerry Reese.
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
As soon as the draft ended, the Giants began reaching out to many, many undrafted free agents to either sign them or invite them to next weekend’s mini-camp for a tryout. As the names come in - - either from reports, agents, NFL sources, or sometimes the players themselves - - I will continue to update this list.
Keep in mind two things, though: Sometimes we’re told the player is “signed” when he really just has a tryout. And sometimes a player agrees to join one team, but then later changes his mind.
In other words, this list will likely be fluid. For now, though, here are the names I know:
WR Duke Calhoun, Memphis
DT Nate Collins, Virginia
DE Ayanga Okpokowuruk, Duke
G Chris Poole, Holy Cross
CB Leon Wright, Duke
One final note on the draft: The Giants made an extremely classy move today by bringing Vinny DiTrani, the longtime Giants beat writer for The Bergen (N.J.) Record, to Radio City Music Hall so he could announce the fifth-round pick. DiTrani, whom Bill Parcells once dubbed “The Sage”, is about to begin his final season before retirement after covering the Giants and the NFL for 43 years.
He is the first member of the media to announce a team’s pick in the NFL draft. You can read the full story, in his own well-written words, right here.