The Giants need corners, and their actions on the NFL Draft pro day circuit indicate they’re doing close homework on some of the top cover guys.
A Giants contingent took projected first-round South Carolina corner Cam Smith out to dinner last week the night before the Gamecocks’ pro day, several sources told the Daily News.
Meanwhile, some league sources say not to ignore Smith’s college teammate, 6-2, 198-pound corner Darius Rush, when Joe Schoen is on the clock in the middle rounds in late April.
The 6-1, 180-pound Smith is a popular prospect with impressive length who “can play man coverage at outside corner and nickel” in the NFL, one coach said.
Many scouts and coaches believe Smith could land in the late first round, which is where the Giants hold the No. 25 overall pick.
But multiple sources pointed out that Rush has had the better spring, including a strong Senior Bowl and a 4.36 40-yard dash to Smith’s 4.43 at the NFL Combine.
And as a converted wide receiver with only two years as a starting corner, Rush is seen as a developing defensive player on the rise. He’s also a good gunner on punt coverage.
Multiple sources believe he could go anywhere between the second and fourth rounds.
“A lot of upside,” one scout said.
Evaluators also seem to view Rush as a cleaner prospect than Smith. Some, therefore, see Smith as a late-first round risk and a better value in the second.
That’s why the Giants do their homework, though, including dinners out with players on their radar: to get to know the person, not just the player, and find out who will be a fit.
And with the Minnesota Vikings (No. 23) and Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 24) both in need of outside corners — and picking right in front of the Giants — Schoen needs to have all options on the table.
He certainly has plenty of needs on this roster, including two that continue to stand out after the first wave of free agency at wide receiver and interior offensive line.
Texas running back Bijan Robinson seems like a natural fit for the Dallas Cowboys at No. 26 overall after the release of Ezekiel Elliott, but it is difficult to see one of the draft’s most well-rounded prospects falling that far down the board. The Philadelphia Eagles (No. 10), Tennessee Titans (No. 11) and Detroit Lions (No. 18) are just a few examples of teams to watch for an offensive weapon who could make an immediate impact, in a draft without a star wide receiver … Michigan State linebacker Ben VanSumeren blew teams away at the Spartans’ pro day last week with a 42.5-inch vertical, a 4.4 40-yard dash, a 10-foot, 11-inch broad jump and 29 bench press reps. VanSumeren wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, but if he had posted those numbers in Indianapolis, he would have topped all 2023 combine linebackers in the vertical jump and broad jump, tied for the best bench press, and finished second in the 40. The Giants hold three seventh-round picks in April’s draft. VanSumeren is a candidate to be one of them, if not an undrafted free agent signing … The Giants have 10 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, which will be held April 27-29 in Kansas City, Mo.: First round: No. 25 overall. Second round: No. 57 (26th of round). Third round: No. 89 (26th). Fourth round: No. 128 (26th). Fifth round: No. 160 (26th), No. 172 (38th) compensatory pick. Sixth round: No. 209 (32nd), from KC. Seventh round: No. 240 (23rd) from Balt, No. 243 (26th), No. 254 (37th) compensatory.
Source: Berkshire mont
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