Round Four – Again, we continue to focus on talent over need. Hopefully the two will coincide. There are still viable players left in round four. There are two safeties that would be good value picks – Greg Blue from Georgia and Nate Salley from Ohio State. Of these two we would prefer Blue. He's a big guy who could also project to OLB. At the very least he could handle nickel LB duties. At DT we have Dusty Dvoracek from Oklahoma and Barry Cofield from Northwestern. Cofield is an unheralded run stopper that has above average quickness and mobility for a man his size and would not be a liability in pass rush situations.
Both would be worthy picks, but of the two we prefer Dvoracek. We also have a sleeper in Chris Gocong from Cal Poly. Although he is probably better suited to 3-4 LB he wouldn't be out of place with a 4-3 team like the Giants. He has very good pass rush ability. His production in college was very good. He has very good strength and he moves well. He preformed well at the Combine. A very athletic linebacker from UCLA, Spencer Havner is also a possibility.
After taking everything into consideration, our pick in Round Four would be DT Dusty Dvoracek from Oklahoma. He had a very good showing at the Senior Bowl where he displayed toughness and determination. He is the kind of player that grows on you. He has good explosion on his rush. He has had off-field problems, but he seems to be through them. He might be a bit of a gamble, but one that could pay big dividends.
Round Five – Obviously as we get deeper into the draft the talent level starts to fall. In round five there are two offensive linemen we like – OT Joe Toledo from Washington and G/T Guy Whimper from East Carolina. Of these two we prefer Whimper. He did a real nice job at the Combine turning in a 4.96 at 304 pounds. He also looked good in his position drills. He is a project, but he has the ability to make it. We also have safety Marcus Hudson from North Carolina State. Tom Coughlin paid a lot of attention to Hudson at the Senior Bowl. CB David Pittman from Northwestern State in Louisiana would be a CB of interest.
Our pick in round five for the Giants is CB David Pittman from Northwestern State. He is an average size corner with fair speed, but good technique. He was at the Senior Bowl as a late replacement for an injured player and he impressed immediately. He showed very good cover skills when given a chance. This is another player that looks better on the field than in shorts. He is certainly a development prospect, but worth a 5th round selection.
Round Six – Traded to Tampa Bay for Jason Whittle before the 2004 season.
Round Seven – Right now we are shopping for bargains. The last rounds are where you take a chance on athletes who with good pro coaching may turn out to be something. Right now we aren't looking at positions, just guys worthy of a chance. There is a fullback here from Colorado, Lawrence Vickers. Jim Finn has done a good job and FB is not a big need but Vickers has ability. He has decent size and he can block. He has some receiving skills. Purdue TE Charles Davis is a candidate here. He has good height and his hands are good. Although he has agility he needs to improve his route running. That is something the coaches can work with. He needs work as a blocker but that's why he lasted this long. He could challenge Shiancoe. WR Cory Rodgers from TCU is an early entrant to the draft. He has everything going for him except great speed. Wisconsin WR Jonathan Orr has the speed that Rodgers lacks. He has very good size and decent hands. His route running is basic, but he's coachable.
Also on the board could be two players like Freddie Roach, an inside linebacker, and safety Charlie Peprah, both from Alabama. Roach is a tough guy that plays the run well. He is a good tackler. He seems to make his reads well. He would need work in coverage. Peprah is an unsung safety with average size but he is someone who will catch your eye during games. He is very good playing the run and has the athletic ability to cover as well. He plays the ball extremely well. Michael Toudouze is an OT from TCU. He has good size but he is not fleet afoot. He will battle his opponents to the final whistle. We like his intensity.
Penn State safety Calvin Lowry helped his stock with a very good postseason. He was an overlooked member of the secondary, but when you watch him you can see he has ability. He will hit and his best asset is run support. He needs help in coverage, but with his speed he should be able to learn pro coverage techniques. He can be a dynamic special teams player while he learns his craft. This is a tough choice, but we would choose in the 7th round, Penn State safety Calvin Lowry.
We covered our needs and didn't try to force a pick. We would have liked to come away with an offensive lineman, but we couldn't find OL value. Picking 25th it's hard to have a spectacular draft. They need to acquire "meat and potatoes" players. This team needs players that perform on the field and we believe we got them. It would be great if they could sign LaVar Arrington and Ricky Proehl, those signings would change their needs and perhaps point them in a different direction. Of course, next season is riding squarely on the shoulders of Eli Manning. Even if they surround him with talent, he still has to come through if they expect to compete in a division that has improved significantly in the offseason.
Here's how the Giants' final day two draft board should look:
Round Four – DT Dusty Dvoracek, Oklahoma
Round Five – CB David Pittman, Northwestern State
Round Seven – S Calvin Lowry, Penn State
Straight Talk with Jim Sabo: Draft Day 2
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