With the 2010 NFL Draft in the books, the countdown to training camp begins. Let’s take a look at the seven newest members of the New York Giants.


JASON PIERRE-PAUL (1st round, 15th overall)
College: South Florida
Position: Defensive End
Height: 6-5, Weight: 270

What you need to know: He is the self-proclaimed best pass rusher in this year’s draft class, and lots of scouts agree. He has freakish athletic ability that is almost unheard of at his position. But, he played just one season of major college football. It’s the definition of a high-risk, high-reward pick. His ceiling is extremely high and he could make multiple Pro Bowls, or he could be a one-year wonder and a bust. Drafting a defensive end was a huge risk; why is there a need to draft a defensive end when our rotation and depth are at the top of the NFL?

What the Giants are saying: “He’s a freak of nature really with some of the stuff he can do. He’s done some things I haven’t seen in scouting. He’s just a different breed of athlete. When he really learns, when he gets his coaching and he keeps growing and developing like we think he will, he’s going to be tremendous.” – Marc Ross, Giants’ director of college scouting

Bleacher Report

LINVAL JOSEPH (2nd round, 46th overall)
College: East Carolina
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6-4, Weight: 328

What you need to know: He was a late riser as the draft approached, with some scouts projecting him as a late first rounder. He’s extremely strong, but battled weight issues (up to 370), and a back injury in 2008. The Giants believe those issues are in the past. Joseph is athletic for his size and has good upside. He was a dominant presence in the middle of the Pirates’ defensive line, and he’s another player added to an already very talented (and packed!) defensive line. Daryl Washington of TCU (selected one pick later) and Sean Lee of Penn State (selected nine picks later) were still on the board.

What the Giants are saying: “He’s a big man, a powerful point-of-attack player. He doesn’t get pushed back from the line of scrimmage. I wouldn’t call him a pass rusher, but he is disruptive. This guy is a big anchor. He’s a human post, is what he is. He’ll give the linebackers a chance to run to the ball.” – Giants GM Jerry Reese


CHAD JONES (3rd round, 76th overall)
College: LSU
Position: Safety
Height: 6-2, Weight: 221

What you need to know: As I wrote here two months before the Draft, the Giants needed lots of help at safety, and Jones looked like a great fit. Kenny Phillips is coming off of surgery to completely repair his knee, Michael Johnson wasn’t the best solution for the future, and last season CC Brown was forced into a role he wasn’t familiar with: pass coverage. Since that time, much has changed. The Giants signed Antrel Rolle to hopefully play alongside Phillips, and they also picked up veteran Deon Grant. The possible rotation of Rolle-Phillips-Grant was something to be excited about.

Then, the Giants selected Jones in the middle of the third round, a big safety with terrific speed and great hands. What he seems to lack is a bit of a nose for the ball, but the Giants believe he’ll have a big upside once he plays football full time.

What the Giants are saying: “This kid may have some of the best pure hands in the draft at any position. You can really see his baseball skills and his hand-eye coordination. He can really catch it.” – Marc Ross

NY Post

PHILLIP DILLARD (4th round, 115th overall)
College: Nebraska
Position: Middle Linebacker
Height: 6-0, Weight: 245

What you need to know: The Giants addressed their biggest defensive need in the fourth round. Dillard isn’t necessarily a lock to step in and start, but he’s definitely in contention to. He shot up the charts with a strong senior season (playing behind DT Ndamukong Suh, the No. 2 overall pick). He had a torn ACL in ’06 and an ankle injury in ’08, but seems to be healthy now.

What the Giants are saying: “He’s tough, instinctive, smart, hard-hitting. We had him targeted for a while and we talked about him earlier. We feel like he can come in and start competing right away.” – Jerry Reese

Bleacher Report

MITCH PETRUS (5th round, 147th overall)
College: Arkansas
Position: Guard
Height: 6-3, Weight: 310

What you need to know: Showed his ridiculous strength by tying an NFL combine record with 45 bench presses of 225 pounds. He began his collegiate career as a walk-on tight end and also played some fullback. He’s got a good first step, and can be an effective pulling guard. Heading into the draft, the Giants’ only real need on offense was offensive line. The Giants added depth with Petrus and have begun their reloading process.

What the Giants are saying: “He’s hard-nosed and aggressive. This guy has a vicious nature about him.” – Jerry Reese


ADRIAN TRACY (6th round, 184th overall)
College: William & Mary
Position: Defensive end/Linebacker
Height: 6-3, Weight: 248

What you need to know: He’s a hybrid end/linebacker who will likely play outside linebacker with the Giants. He’s a kid with good character, he’s smart and a hard worker. But, he has the typical small-school physical limitations. He was a four-year starter and had a total of 22 sacks in his last two years, but needs some work to be a factor in the pros.

What the Giants are saying: “We just had people that continued to speak about how highly they felt about his ability. He played with his hand on the ground (at defensive end), but there wasn’t any question on the part of the scouts that he could be a linebacker.” – Tom Coughlin

photo courtesy of ECU

MATT DODGE (7th round, 221st overall)
College: East Carolina
Position: Punter
Height: 6-1, Weight: 224

What you need to know: Dodge was one of only two punters the Giants considered draft-worthy. This became a need pick when 44-year-old Jeff Feagles said he may retire. There are varying reports on Dodge’s leg strength and hang-time on his punts, but the Giants think both are very good

What the Giants are saying: “Big leg. Powerful. This guy can hit some moon shots.” – Jerry Reese

Draft Grade: B

Dillard is a hard-working player, who plays each play to the whistle and could blossom into a full-time starting middle ‘backer. He’s a fast learner and could find his way onto the field real quick if Jonathan Goff, Gerris Wilkinson, and Bryan Kehl don’t work out. Until then, though, the Giants are apparently higher on those three than everyone else is, so we’ll have to see how the situation unfolds.

Jason Pierre-Paul and Linval Joseph are both boom-or-bust players. Picking Pierre-Paul, as I wrote a couple days ago, wasn’t the right choice. Joseph is massive and immediately improves the Giants’ run defense by being able to create congestion in the running lanes – one of Coughlin’s main objectives this off-season. I’m hoping the Giants are seriously considering releasing Chris Canty. After Canty’s dismal season last year, I’m perfectly fine with a defensive tackle rotation of Barry Cofield, Rocky Bernard, Jay Alford, and Joseph.

Safety Chad Jones could surprise a lot of people. He has the size of a linebacker and the hands of a receiver. With Rolle, Grant, Phillips, and Jones deep, the Giants’ secondary looks terrific heading into training camp. Guard Mitch Petrus fits the Giants’ classic mold of an athletic guard who can pull and effectively get to the second level.

A very defensive-minded draft for the Giants, with five out of seven picks – and the first four picks of the draft – coming on the defensive side of the ball.

What grade would you give the Giants’ draft?