OL – The Day Two Picks

Ceri says he expects the Giants to go searching for at least one lineman on the second day of the draft

I'm not one who believes that the Giants will focus on the OL on the first day and double up on picks the way they did at CB last year but I do expect them to go searching for at least one player on the second day of the draft (Rounds 4-7), if not to start, then certainly to be a solid back-up with starting potential a year or so down the road.

The big problem with projecting a starting line-up for the Giants is that every player is versatile and could conceivably play at least two of the spots open! As such, trying to focus in on whether we need help at OT, OG or OC is difficult to do so I'll list a few players who may appeal to us. However, Head Coach Fassel's comment last year that ‘we have a lot of Guards playing Tackle' leads me to believe that we will focus on OT and OC as opposed to OG. Finding a player for those spots is of course made more difficult by the insistence that the prospect chosen plays at least two spots as the Giants don't have a ‘pure' anything on the OL roster! The other thing is that the Giants rarely shy away from their required height/size at each position so all prospects will be over 300lb's, with OT's in the 6'6" range and over 315lb's. OG's will be slightly shorter and more squatty in the in their build (though not necessarily lighter), whilst OC's will be close to the 300lb mark.

This is not a great year for OT's and Painter did an exceptional job of covering the bases in his draft preview, giving you a good view of pretty much all the prospects. Of the players not mentioned in my preview (those I believe will be first day picks), Jermese Jones (Virginia) is the one I like the most and the one who I feel has true starting potential at ORT (the opposite side to where he plays now). However, as Painter pointed out, his conditioning isn't great and if you look at the Giants roster you'll not find a bunch of fat people. If he has worked on getting himself in shape and convinces our scouts that he can continue to do so he would be a solid 5th round pick and at the very least he'd add depth at a spot where we don't have a ‘true' back-up. After him, Langston Walker (California) would be intriguing but I wouldn't rule out the Giants grabbing Kurt Vollers (Notre Dame) in the 7th round even though I don't like him much as he lacks lower body strength (poor run blocker) and is inconsistent in pass protection handling the wide rush.. He has starting experience at both ends of the line and some at OG which means he fits our mould and that is why I feel he may be attractive to us.

A similarly excellent job of coverage on potential OC's was provided by Thomas Reed . Though not invited to the Combine, Kurt Anderson (Michigan) may be worth a late round look as he played pretty well in his only season as starter (though not as well as some sites would have you believe he fared against some of the stud DL's around in the Big Ten). He's a typical Wolverines OL and that means he's intense, well-drilled and has a professional attitude. He's not an early pick by any means but he may be drafted in the late rounds.

One I really feel is a little under-rated because of the athletic limitations Thomas made note of is Scott Peters (Arizona State). He caught my eye when watching top prospect Levi Jones play and it was noted on both telecasts that ASU coaches felt that he, not Jones, was the most consistent player on the line. I'm not sure he has the lateral quickness to play OG – though he has experience there – and if he's deemed a ‘one position player', his value to the Giants would be limited. Equally, I can see a scenario where Dusty Ziegler moves to OLG and Peters could be one of those immediate starters no-one paid much attention to on draft day. Were Ziegler to move, I wouldn't mind grabbing Peters in the 5th round to start.

MDK did a fine job on OG's too but posting on the message board may mean some people didn't get to read it (it's a few pages back but still accessible). Unfortunately, his ‘sleeper', the huge Richard Williams (Gardern-Webb) subsequently decided he didn't want to play football anymore and has officially withdrawn himself from draft day consideration!

Two players not mentioned who were collegiate OT's but more suited to OG in the pro ranks (but could still play OT in a pinch) and fit our size requirements are Michael Collins (Wake Forest), and Artis Hicks (Memphis). Collins in particular would be a decent fit as he played LG this past season and is a power player who could make an inside running game more effective. Hicks is smaller and less intense but a better athlete. Both will probably get drafted in the late rounds.

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