While John Mara has been doing damage control with regards to the lack of a collective bargaining agreement, Jerry Reese and the New York Giants front office has begun their search for the teams first overall pick.
Over the course of the past two days, the New York Giants have scheduled a number of pre-draft visits including Mike Pouncey, an offensive guard out of the University of Florida, and Justin Houston, a linebacker from the University of Georgia.
Mike Pouncey is the brother of the Maukrice Pouncey, the starting center for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both players were excellent leaders for Florida's national championship team in 2008. Though Pouncey was a guard in college, many project him as having the versatility to become a center at the NFL level. With major injuries being suffered bya number of interior linemen in 2010, it should come as a surprise to few that the Giants have worked out Pouncey.
Houston is a guy whom I have not heard connected to the Giants very much by any major analysts (similarly to Jason Pierre- Paul). Linebacker is among the toughest positions to scout from college to the NFL level. Regardless of whether a player played in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme in college, his assignments change as to whether he has to set the edge, shoot gaps, rush the passer, or even guard against cutback runs.
Two players who turned out to be perfect fits in their scheme that come to mind immediately are Clay Matthews and Lawrence Timmons. Matthews was not an overly- productive player while at USC, but his athletic prowess intrigued Dom Capers and Ted Thompson, and Matthews plays all over the field and must be accounted for on every play.
Timmons is a perfect fit at the middle linebacker position for a team in Pittsburgh who has two stud edge rushers. Timmons is the wild card in the defense whose athleticism is as under-rated as anyone's in the NFL. He can cover, blitz, and play the run.
At Georgia, Justin Houston recorded 33.5 tackles for a loss and 17.5 sacks over the course of the last 2 seasons. He has proven athletic skills, but the question is where would he fit into the Giants defensive scheme?
At this point, any extra athletes at the second level of the defense would be welcomed additions, as it has proven to be a glaring weakness over the last two seasons.
Also of note, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was in attendance at the Illinois pro day, presumably to take a look at defensive tackle Corey Liuget and linebacker Martez Wilson. Liuget has been connected to the Giants in a number of mock drafts, and I had the Giants selecting a defensive tackle in my first mock draft, as I believe it is a sleeper need for the team.
Martez Wilson had a huge showing at the combine, and while not many have linked him to The Giants, I believe his combination of speed and instincts would be a perfect fit at the second level of the Giants defense. He might just be the best fit scheme wise for the Giants of any linebacker in the draft.Tags: Florida, Football, Georgia, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jerry Reese, John Mara, Justin Houston, Mike Pouncey, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Perry Fewell