Months of mock drafts and previews prepared fans for the 2016 NFL Draft, yet few, if any, could imagine the drama of the top ten. When the proverbial smoke cleared, the Giants selected Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple with the #10 pick in the 2016 draft.
Tennessee and Chicago both jumped ahead of New York via trade taking two players (Jack Conklin – OT, Mich St, Leonard Floyd – LB, Georgia) that seemed to be good fits for the Giants. Coach Ben McAdoo showed confidence in the Apple selection noting, “We trusted our board and got exactly what we wanted when we wanted”.
Eli, 20, was the 3rd Buckeye taken in the top 10 along with Joey Bosa (3rd, San Diego Chargers) and Ezekiel Elliot (4th, Dallas Cowboys). The New Jersey native was highly recruited out of high school but an iron deficiency delayed the start of his college career. Healthy in 2014, Apple started 14 of 15 games as a red-shirt freshman on the way to a national title. He has good size (6’1”), speed (4.4 second 40-yard dash) and has shown success as an outside corner against the likes of Amari Cooper and fellow 1st round draft pick William Fuller (21st, Houston).
The New York Giants entered the 2016 NFL Draft with several needs, even after spending $200 million to address their last-ranked defense. Prior to drafting Apple, former Rams CB Janoris Jenkins was brought in via free agency. It is possible that Jenkins could slide into the slot corner role at times this season. The Giants still have some needs to address over the next two days including an edge rusher, an upgrade to the right side of the offensive line, and a receiver to compliment Odell Beckham Jr and the return of Victor Cruz. New York has the 40th and 71st picks on day two.