The Giants concluded the 2016 NFL Draft with a strong day three, adding quality players at LB, RB and TE. Interestingly, the Giants appeared to move away from recent trends and only drafted players coming from large programs. Could this reflect the influence of new Head Coach Ben McAdoo?
Maybe the chips simply fell in a way where the best players available were from larger programs or perhaps this was a reflection of pressure to ‘win-now’, but since 2000 the Giants have selected a player from small school programs 9 out 16 times. In those other 7 drafts, players were taken from the following programs: Alabama-Birmingham, Connecticut, Northwestern, Richmond, San Diego State, Southern Illinois and Southern Miss. In 2016, the Giants selections came from Ohio State, Oklahoma, Boise State, Clemson, UCLA and South Carolina.
In the 4th round the Giants addressed defense once again, this time adding linebacker B.J. Goodson from Clemson. Goodson played all 3 LB positions in a 4-3 scheme and will provide a nice boost to the position. He should compete for playing time and his hitting style and constant pursuit of the ball are needed skills for the Giants defense.
Switching to offense in the 5th round, the Giants added the most elusive college back of 2015, UCLA running back Paul Perkins. At 5’10 and 208 pounds backfield blocking may be difficult at the next level, but his production at UCLA is unquestionable. Perkins amassed almost 3000 yards and over 20 touchdowns on ground in his last two seasons, contributed as a receiver and was very careful with the ball. He might not push the pile by himself, but the Giants add a quick playmaker to the RB rotation.
With their last pick (the Giants traded their 2016 7th round pick for punter Brad Wing last season) New York added TE Jerell Adams from South Carolina. At 6’5”, Adams ran a 4.6 at the combine, the fastest time of the tight ends in the draft this year. He is a large target and insurance in case Larry Donnell’s neck injury causes additional problems going forward.
Pundits and fans alike will be surprised that no linemen on either side of the trenches were drafted, but the Giants have added some great talent via the draft. There should be good competition in training camp and a general elevation of athleticism, especially on the defensive side. Given the pressure on GM Jerry Reese and the rest of the front office to address depth this draft should give Giants fans additional excitement heading into the summer.