There has been plenty of coverage surrounding the biggest names in the 2015 NFL Draft class. Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Amari Cooper have all been highly touted and will likely come off the board early this April in Chicago.
But there are a number of under-the-radar prospects who might be shooting up team’s draft boards and warrant more recognition. The New York Giants have always been a team that likes to do their due diligence and has had success picking up prospects other teams have foolishly overlooked, such as USC’s Devon Kennard a year ago.
Here are three low-profile prospects who could be making their way up team’s respective draft boards and ought to be on the Giants’ radar:
Jaquiski Tartt, SS, Samford
A strong safety with prototypical size and an impressive resume, Tartt is very reminiscent of incumbent Giants safety Antrel Rolle. The FCS All-American leaves room for improvement in pass coverage, but he’s a stout run defender who displays perfect angles to wrap up the ballcarrier.
He’s a little slow for a safety and that puts him at risk in man coverage with a wideout down the middle. The Giants have had enough issues against the pass in recent years. Some of what Tartt has shown on tape would not be welcome at MetLife Stadium.
Still, Tartt is a phenomenal prospect (CBS Sports’ third-ranked strong safety) who should be further up the Giants’ board because of their need at both safety positions with Rolle and Stevie Brown due to become free agents. His size, talent and athleticism make him a solid potential NFL starter in the near future with some good coaching and work in the film room.
Zach Vigil, ILB, Utah State
Quality linebackers, perhaps more so than any other position in the NFL, can be found deep in the draft (or even undrafted). Often times, the ones that pan out are those who were highly productive and proven leaders.
The Aggies’ Vigil fits the bill. He is a sound tackler, recording a team-high 154 in 2014, including 40 over the team’s final four games. He also added seven sacks and an interception. He backed up his collegiate success by leading the Shrine Game in tackles.
Vigil is a little undersized at just 240 pounds, but there’s a possibility he could still bulk up some. He is a versatile athlete, capable of playing a variety of roles.
NFL.com’s Zierlein questions his “run-game instincts” and cites it as a reason he may be unable to make it in the pros, but he shows a clear nose for the football with the ability to diagnose the play in front of him and make the stop. He could be a great fit as the SAM linebacker opposite Kennard—who is versatile enough to play the weak side if the Giants choose to move on from Jacquian Williams—down the line.
Robert Myers, OG, Tennessee State
There’s been plenty written before about how the Giants would like to get bigger down in the trenches. There aren’t too many offensive lineman who come bigger than Tennessee State’s Robert Myers.
Myers stands tall at 6-foot-5, weighing 326 pounds, and using every bit of it to his advantage. He’s a powerful blocker who excels against bull rushers because of his explosiveness at the point of attack. He shows above average technique with a high football I.Q.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein believes Myers has a higher ceiling than many guard prospects in this year’s class. With some coaching, he could be a NFL starter quite early on. For a Giants offense in need of improved interior line play, he’d be a great addition with the potential to contribute from the get-go.