By the time the seventh round rolls around during the last few hours of the NFL Draft, most fans have already tuned out. After all, the big names that they recognize are practically all gone by the third round. NFL teams, on the other hand, realize the importance of these late picks and the potential for some of them to have successful careers.
For the New York Giants, look no further than Paul Perkins, who was a sixth round draft pick in 2016 and figures to be the team’s No.1 running back at the start of this season. With the 241st pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants will select DE Eddie Vanderdoes out of UCLA .
Vanderdoes received All-Pac 12 honorable mention honors in 2016, but his skillset far exceeds just an honorable mention. At 6 feet 3 inches and weighing in at 305 pounds, Vanderdoes had surprising athletic ability, highlighted by a 4.99 second 40-yard dash time at the combine.
His quick feet allow him to spin out of blocks, and he has a powerful upper body that allows him to rattle offensive linemen with his initial punches. He is able to gain inside control on opposing offensive linemen often, and he plays with toughness and an edge that matches the style of others on the Giant defensive line.
Vanderdoes excels in the run game, and has the ability to clog up gaps and stop running backs at the line of scrimmage, similar to what the now-departed Jonathan Hankins was accustomed to doing.
Scouts would like to see him slim down a bit to be able to play most downs in the NFL, and have noticed that his reaction time is slow and his pad level rises after initial contact. A torn ACL in 2015 is concerning, but he was able to play in 12 games in 2016 without re-aggravating it.
Overall, Vanderdoes has the talent and physical tools to be a disruptive force similar to what Hankins was during his time in New York. He could potentially end up being a full-fledged starter, but for now he’s a player who will add depth to the roster and rotate in to give Damon Harrison and others a blow.
The ACL injury will scare off some teams, but the former five-star college recruit is a late steal who fills a need for the Giants and could pay big dividends in a few short years.