By selecting South Carolina cornerback Stoney Woodson, the Giants got a guy who can come in right away and challenge for a spot as a nickel back and on special teams.
At 5-11, 197, with 4.5 speed, Woodson has the measurables you want in a corner and safety, both positions he played in college.
"He's what we call an eye corner," Giants Director of College Scouting Marc Ross said. "Guys that have size and speed and that's what he has. A real competitive kid."
Playing in the SEC, arguably the most talented and competitive conference in college football, Woodson knows all about playing against a bevy of future NFL stars.
As a fifth-year senior, Woodson saw plenty of action: 12 games his redshirt freshmen year; all 13 games as a sophomore and junior; and 10 games as a senior, due to a hamstring injury.
"Playing in the SEC, the speed was pretty fast," Woodson said. "Teams were good and a lot of the players were great. But, even though the speed of the game here is much faster, I think that helped."
During his career he went up against top QBs such as Georgia's Matthew Stafford and Florida's Tim Tebow, whom he intercepted as a junior.
Woodson also learned all about the pro style passing game from practicing every day under offensive-minded Coach Steve Spurrier. It also didn't hurt that he squared off against two star teammates who were drafted – TE Jared Cook, who was taken in the third round by the Titans; and receiver Kenny McKinley, a fifth-round selection of the Broncos.
"Coach Spurrier understands the passing game better than most coaches," Woodson said. "He understands zones and coverages, so he really challenged us. I think that helped us a lot too."
Woodson's speed and versatility also will help him succeed on the next level.
Although he ran a speedy 4.5 forty during his pro day, Woodson has been timed as fast as 4.35.
His versatility made him a valuable defensive force at South Carolina. He gladly played wherever he was needed. In 2007, he started at free safety against Louisiana-Lafayette and LSU. But he finished the season at cornerback, where he had 7 tackles and a Tim Tebow interception vs. Florida; and 8 stops against Clemson.
Perhaps the most refreshing aspect of Woodson's game and demeanor is his team focus – something Tom Coughlin always stresses.
"I think I'm a competitive type of player who tries hard on every play," Woodson said. "I've got some speed and I'm able to play corner and safety. There's a lot to learn, but I think I can help this team."
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