#RapidMock Grades: New York Giants

NYG 1 19     @yougomango Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston Col
NYG 2 52     @yougomango Kenrick Ellis – DT – Hampton
NYG 3 83     @yougomango K.J. Wright – LB – Miss State
NYG 4 117     @yougomango Brandon Fusco – C – Slippery Rock
NYG 6 185     @yougomango Eddie Jones – DE – Texas
NYG 6 198     @yougomango Kendric Burney – CB – North Carolina
NYG 6 202     @yougomango Nate Williams – SS – Washington
NYG 7 221     @yougomango Derrick Locke – RB – Kentucky


Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College – Grade: A
With their first round pick the Giants fill one of their biggest needs on the offensive line. Castonzo’s versatility is a perfect match for the Giants who like to bring along tackle prospects by first inserting them at guard.  Tom Coughlin has a strong connection to Boston College and Giants’ offensive line coach, Pat Flaherty, ran BC’s Pro Day.  Castonzo should be able to contribute right away.
Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton – Grade: D
Ellis was a nose tackle in college and I think that’s the position he projects best to in the NFL, as well.  The Giants run a 4-3 defensive scheme and Ellis would be a project for them.  Also, his major character concerns would be a red flag to the Giants’ organization.  I think that he can be a solid player in the NFL; however, not with the Giants.
K.J. Wright, LB, Mississippi St. – Grade: B-
To me, linebacker is the Giants biggest need.  Wright is a strong and athletic linebacker who would definitely catch the eye of Giants GM, Jerry Reese, for having the longest arms among linebackers in the draft.  However, I think he would need to be coached up quite a bit by the Giants, especially when it comes to the zone coverage responsibilities that Giants’ defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell, asks of his linebackers in his Tampa 2 scheme.
Brandon Fusco, C, Slippery Rock – Grade: A
Another major need for the Giants is the interior of their offensive line, especially the center position.  All three of the players who took the majority of snaps at the position last year for the Giants are coming off major surgeries.  Grabbing one of the top 3 or 4 centers in the draft in the fourth round is a great move.  Fusco would be a perfect fit for the Giants offensive line, especially with his ability to get to the second level, something the Giants often ask of their interior lineman.
Eddie Jones, DE/LB, Texas – Grade: F
I must admit, this pick was a major head scratcher to me.  First off, defensive end is probably the least position of need for the Giants.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised to still see them take a defensive end if he was indeed one of the best players available (JR does follow the Ernie Accorsi philosophy of, ‘you can never have enough pass rushers’).  That’s not the case here with Eddie Jones, a player I am not even sure will be drafted.  He has major injury concerns and his college coach, Mack Brown, once urged him to walk away from football because of it (huge red flag in my book).  Furthermore, he doesn’t have adequate size to play as a 4-3 defensive end and projects better as a 3-4 outside linebacker.  I just don’t even see Eddie Jones being able to crack the Giants’ practice squad, let alone their 53-man roster.  
Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina – Grade: B
Burney is a bit short when compared to other corners the Giants have drafted in the past, and is generally short for the position.  However, I think he would fit in well on Giants because they tend to play a lot of zone coverage where his size cannot be exploited as much.  I like that he is a playmaker with 11 career interceptions, something Perry Fewell defenses’ preach.   I think he is a decent prospect and has good value at this point in the draft.
Nate Williams, S, Washington – Grade: B-
Williams is an interesting selection here.  I’m not sure he can ever be a prototypical safety in the NFL, but I do think he can fill a special part of the Giants’ defense.  Last season, the Giants’ defense often utilized a third safety that would play in the box much like a linebacker.  Williams is an intriguing prospect to play that type of role because of his size and nose for the football.  Also, he could fill an immediate need on the Giants woeful special teams’ unit. I might have given this pick a slightly higher grade, but I think it was a round too early for Williams and that there were better safety prospects still on the board.
Derrick Locke, RB, Kentucky – Grade: A
Locke is a great late round grab for the Giants.  He’s a very intriguing running back prospect who can also fulfill another major need for the Giants as a returner.  His blazing speed, 4.40 40-yd dash, would be a welcome sight to many Giants’ fans.  Because of his small frame he probably will never be an every down back in the league, but that’s just fine for the Giants who tend to use running backs by committee.  Furthermore, he has an attribute that is lacking among current Giants’ running backs, and that’s his ability to catch the ball.  I think he can end up being a dynamic third down threat in the NFL and would be an exciting player to add to the Giants’ offense.  
Overall Grade: B-
This draft was very interesting by the Giants.  There were some selections that were great fits such as: Castonzo, Fusco, and Locke.  There were some intriguing selections such as: Wright, Burney, and Williams.  Finally, there were a couple of selections that just didn’t fit the Giants’ schemes at all such as: Ellis and Jones.  Overall, I think you did a great job of drafting for the Giants on the offensive side of the ball.  I believe Castonzo, Fusco, and Locke could all have an immediate impact on the team.  Furthermore, I think you did a good job at solidifying the special teams unit, which has been god awful these past few years, by drafting players who can contribute right away on specials (Locke, Williams, and Wright).  However, I can’t look past the fact that you selected a couple of guys who just don’t fit in the Giants’ scheme.  I know in the past Jerry Reese has done this, but being a Giants’ fan I have seen first hand how it has not worked (Clint Sintim anybody?).  I’m not a huge fan of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.  Lastly, while I think you did a good job hitting some of the Giants major needs (LB, OL, CB, and DT); I would have liked to see you take a tight end and/or a late round developmental quarterback.  
James Pennisi, @bigbluebloggers, http://blog.nj.com/giants_fan_blog/index.html

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