Commentary

Grading the Giants' 2011 draft

It's never too early to give you our take on who's new in Big Blue

Originally Published: April 23, 2010
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com


Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Round 1, 19th pick

Analysis: The Giants needed an offensive lineman and a linebacker. Instead, they drafted a Prince in the first round, one with an actual Nigerian royal bloodline. Amukamara was projected by many as a top-10 pick, the second-best cornerback behind LSU's Patrick Peterson. He might've dropped to the Giants due to four quarterbacks going in the first 12 picks, as well as a drop of production in his play from his junior to his senior year when he went from five interceptions to none. The 6-foot corner, who was clocked running a 4.43 40 at the combine, also might lack the kind of arm length some might want in a corner. Still, the Giants got the best talent available on the board. Amukamara gives them much-needed depth and speed in the secondary and will play special teams as well.


Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
Round 2, 20th pick (No. 52 overall)

Analysis: The Giants got a talented defensive tackle, but one with enough baggage to scare off some teams. Austin was kicked off the UNC squad because of an NCAA investigation into improper benefits. He has not played since 2009, when he had four sacks and 42 tackles. The Giants believe he is motivated, he has a nasty demeanor on the field, and they said they will keep a close eye on him off the field. Tom Coughlin also talked to him by phone prior to making the pick. Austin could be good enough to make the popular Barry Cofield, whose contract is up, expendable. With needs at offensive line and linebacker, the Giants went for a risky value pick that the Jerry Reese and company think is well worth it.


Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy
Round 3, 19th pick (No. 83 overall)

Analysis: The Giants' return game ranked second-to-last in the NFL last season, averaging just 6.1 yards per punt return and 19.0 yards per kickoff return last year. So the Giants opted to add some much-needed speed with Jernigan. He's small (5-9, 185) but runs a 4.46 40. He can play as a slot receiver, can return punts and kickoffs, and was Troy's Wildcat weapon. The Giants need playmakers, and they're hoping Jernigan is a big-play threat.


James Brewer, OT, Indiana
Round 4, 20th pick (No. 117 overall)

Analysis: The Giants finally went for an offensive lineman in the fourth round and got one they will need to develop. Brewer has size (6-6, 323) and upside. The Giants project that he can play both left and right tackle, even though he was primarily an RT in college. The Giants want Brewer to improve his strength and technique. It's likely he will provide depth on the offensive line this season and won't become a factor until later down the road.


Greg Jones, ILB, Michigan State
Round 6, 20th pick (No. 185 overall)

Analysis: The Giants needed a linebacker and they took one who was considered to be one of the best in the country two years ago. Jones was the Big Ten defensive player of the year and racked up 154 tackles and nine sacks during his junior year. His production slipped to 106 tackles and one sack last year. Jones has decent speed (ran a 4.8 40 at the combine) but lacks size (6-foot). This late in the draft, the Giants got good value at linebacker.


Tyler Sash, S, Iowa
Round 6, 33rd pick (No. 198 overall)

Analysis: The Giants can use another safety since defensive coordinator Perry Fewell likes to often use three on the field at a time. Deon Grant is a free agent, so the Giants have a need here. Sash has good size (6-foot), is instinctive, is strong against the run and had 13 interceptions in three seasons.


Jacquian Williams, LB, South Florida
Round 6, 37th pick (No. 202 overall)

Analysis: The Giants are going to the South Florida/Fort Scott Community College well again. They did well with Jason Pierre-Paul, their first-round pick last year, and now are hoping this athletic linebacker will do well for them too. Williams was a teammate of JPP's at both schools and is considered to be an athletic linebacker with good upside. He led South Florida in tackles (71) and ran a 4.63 40 on grass. Not many people know about Williams, but the Giants love his athleticism. The Giants need to get more athletic and faster at linebacker. Considering how they did with JPP, they might know something about this kid.


Da'rel Scott, RB, Maryland
Round 7, 18th pick (No. 221 overall)

Analysis: The Giants took a chance on a running back with size and speed with their final pick. Scott rushed for 1,133 yards and eight touchdowns his sophomore year, but then only had a total of 1,132 yards and nine touchdowns in his final two seasons. The last time the Giants drafted a running back in the seventh round, though, they took Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw's contract is up and the Giants want to re-sign him. But adding a running back doesn't hurt, especially one with the type of speed (4.34 40 at the combine) and size (5-foot-11) that reminds GM Jerry Reese of Willie Parker.


Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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