Linval Joseph

2010 Draft Grades: Giants

I have an enormous amount of respect for Giants GM Jerry Reese and once again he put together a very deep draft class.

As much as I like Reese though, I can’t help but wonder what he was thinking taking Jason Pierre-Paul over Derrick Morgan. I think he clearly identified the right position to address in the 1st round based on their needs and the talent available, but Pierre-Paul just isn’t as good as Morgan. He may have more upside, but that’s a huge risk to take with the 15th pick.

I love the selection of Linval Joseph in the 2nd round. One of the more underrated issues with the Giants defense last season was their interior defensive line. Joseph has the size to be an elite space-eater an should improve their run defense immediately. Don’t be shocked if he wins a starting job as a rookie.

I also love the selection of Chad Jones in the 3rd round. He doesn’t fill a need, but he was arguably the best available player. He can play both safety positions and contribute on special teams. I like Kenny Phillips, but don’t be surprised if Jones beats him out for the starting strong safety job by 2011.

The biggest criticism I have of the Giants draft is that they didn’t address their need for a linebacker until the 4th round. Even if Phillip Dillard is able to beat out Jonathan Goff and Gerris Wilkinson for the starting job at middle linebacker, he’ll only be a minor upgrade.

Mitch Petrus is a perfect fit in New York and could be a steal in the 5th round. He’ll play a backup role early in his career but could step into the starting lineup someday. He adds some much needed depth and will be a valuable asset immediately.

Adrian Tracy is a developmental prospect who will be making the transition to linebacker from defensive end. He likely won’t play much early on, but he was well worth taking a risk on in the 6th round.

I’m not crazy about ever drafting punters, but the Giants had an unexpected need to fill when Jeff Feagles told them a week before the draft that he was learning towards retirement. Matt Dodge was the highest rated punter on my draft board and will be given the opportunity to compete for the starting job.

Overall this was a typical Jerry Reese draft with the exception of his 1st-round pick. I think they landed a number of players who can contribute immediately and fill some holes. The only things holding them back from a higher grade is the fact that they took a big risk on a developmental prospect in the 1st round (Pierre-Paul) and failed to fill their most glaring weakness (middle linebacker). The selection of Pierre-Paul was out of character, and I wonder if they’ll eventually regret the move.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2010, Giants Comments Off

Top Nose Tackles

Following up on today’s earlier post on Terrence Cody’s rising stock, here’s a look at the top nose tackles in this year’s class.

Tennessee v Kentucky1. Dan Williams, Tennessee
At 6’2″, 327 pounds there’s no question that Williams has the size to play nose tackle. What makes him the top prospect at the position, though, is his athleticism. Most nose tackles earn their living just by eating up space, but a select few have the ability to get into the backfield and make plays. Shaun Rogers may be the best example among active nose tackles, and Williams could certainly have a similar impact at the next level.

2. Terrence Cody, Alabama
Cody’s stock is on the rise and the more weight he loses the higher his stock will climb. He isn’t the type that will make plays in the backfield with consistency, but he can take on two or three blockers at a time. He lacks the athleticism to be a truly elite nose tackle but he can make an instant impact anchoring a defensive line.

3. Cam Thomas, North Carolina
Thomas was overshadowed by Marvin Austin at North Carolina, but he’s starting to get the attention he deserves. At 6’4″, 331 pounds he has the size to fit right at nose tackle in the NFL. He struggled to make an impact at times in UNC’s traditional 4-3 defense due to his lack of athleticism, but he should flourish in a 3-4 scheme at the next level.

4. Linval Joseph, East Carolina
There’s a significant dropoff in talent after Thomas. Joseph has the size (6’5″, 328 pounds) and strength but he wasn’t always productive even against lesser competition at East Carolina. He’s an intriguing mid-round prospect but he isn’t a sure thing.

5. Jeff Owens, Georgia
Not all teams will view Owens as a nose tackle due to his relative lack of size (6’1″, 304) but he is a short, stout and extremely strong interior lineman. If he added some weight Owens could easily handle the duties of a nose tackle.

6. Aleric Mullins, North Carolina
Mullins was never a full-time starter at North Carolina, stuck behind Cam Thomas and Marvin Austin.  He’s an intriguing prospect who has the size and strength to play nose tackle and potentially the athleticism to play defensive end in the 3-4 defense as well. He could be one of those player’s who just needs to land in the right system to reach his full potential.

7. Brandon Deaderick, Alabama
Deaderick was overshadowed by Cody at Alabama, but he too was a key member of Tide’s defense. His production was nothing impressive, but his size and strength are intriguing. He’s a developmental prospect who could be a late-round pick.

8. Travis Ivey, Maryland
Ivey battled injuries throughout his career and wasn’t a full-time starter until his senior year. His tape isn’t impressive but there’s only so many guys out there who are 6’4″, 341 pounds. He’ll draw interest in the late rounds or as a free agent.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft Comments Off