May 03, 2016

NFC East draft grades: New York Giants edition

Eagles NFL
043016PaulPerkins Timothy J. Gonzalez/AP

Paul Perkins has some LeSean McCoy in his game, and constitutes excellent value in the fifth round.

After focusing on the Eagles' draft since Thursday, we began taking a look around at the rest of the NFC East, one team at a time, starting with the Dallas Cowboys, who I believe had the worst draft of any team in the division.

Today we'll continue on with the Giants.

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First round: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

Like the Dallas Cowboys experienced so often throughout the 2016 NFL Draft, a team traded up ahead of the Giants to get their guy. Sitting at pick No. 11, the Chicago Bears jumped ahead of the Giants to draft Georgia edge rusher Leonard Floyd. It would be interesting to know if the Giants preferred Floyd to Apple. It will also be interesting to see what kind of career CB Vernon Hargreaves has, who was drafted by the Buccaneers at pick No. 11.

The Giants draft corners and pass rushers in bulk. While they are already paying a lot of money to Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, don't forget that they selected Prince Amukamara when they already had Corey Webster and Aaron Ross, who were viable starters at the time. This is just what they do. In that regard, Apple makes sense as a draft target, although it feels a lot like a positional reach at pick No. 10.

Second round: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma

At Oklahoma, Shepard was productive for four years, with his senior season being by far the best:

 Sterling ShepardRec Yards YPC TD 
 201245621 13.8 
 201351603 11.8 
 201451 970 19.0 
 201586 1288 15.0 11 
 TOTAL233 3482 14.9 26 


The Giants' offense has not been the same since Victor Cruz's career has stalled. Shepard will give the Giants a guy who can work the middle of the field the way Cruz used to.

Third round: Darian Thompson, S, Boise State

Getting the ball-hawking Thompson in the third round was good value for the Giants. Throughout his college career, Thompson had 19 interceptions. He also has great size, at 6'2, 208, and can play in the box. 

Fourth round: B.J. Goodson, LB, Clemson

In 2015, the Giants were 24th against the run defensively. In 2014, they were 30th. Goodson gives the Giants a good run-defending linebacker who led an extremely talented Clemson defense with 108 tackles. He also had 5.5 sacks, 2 INTs, and 14 tackles for loss.

Fifth Round: Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA

I have no idea how Paul Perkins lasted until the fifth round, but the Giants happily scooped him up there. Perkins carried the load for UCLA over the last two seasons for the Bruins.

Paul Perkins Rush Yards YPC TD 
 2014251 1575 6.3 
 2015237 1343 5.7 14 
 TOTAL488 2918 6.0 23 


However, it is unlikely he'll be used as a workhorse back in the NFL. Perkins has a lot of LeSean McCoy in his game, as he is a very shifty runner who often makes defenders completely whiff on tackle attempts.

Perkins is also effective as a receiver, as he had 80 receptions over his three-year college career, although those mainly came on simple short passes.

Perkins is probably not a three-down back, as he is not a runner who is going to consistently fall forward after contact. That is likely going to force him off the field in short yardage and goal line situations at the pro level. There will also be concerns about his ability to pass protect because of his small size, although he was a willing blocker at UCLA.

Because he is likely to "only" be a back who is part of a committee, that may have pushed him down some draft boards, but he could be very good in that role and constitutes great value in the fifth round.

Sixth round: Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina

Again, I like the value here for the Giants in the sixth round. Adams is 6'5 with 34 3/8" arms who ran a 4.64 40 at the Combine. He has a great blend of length and athleticism, and he's being drafted by a team that has gotten the most out of tight ends with far less compelling measurables.

Summary

With the exception of their first-round pick, I felt that the Giants got appropriate and in some cases excellent value where they drafted their players. They only had six picks but made the most of them.

Grade: B+


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