Bookmark it. Print it out. Save it on your desktop. Do what you will, but consider this your ultimate NFL draft guide. Based on what draft experts are saying around the league, Giants.com compiled the top five prospects at each position in the upcoming NFL Draft, which runs May 8-10. So until Mr. Irrelevant is called in the seventh round with the 256th
overall pick, you’ll want to keep this close as the Giants prepare for the 2014 campaign.
- Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
NFL.COM: Short, scrappy, instinctive, highly productive defensive penetrator who does not look the part, but inspires confidence he can be an exception to the rule. Is the type you root for and has the first-step quickness, athleticism and motor to emerge as a havoc-wreaking three-technique in a fast-flowing 4-3 scheme such as the one deployed in Dallas, Chicago and Tampa Bay. Compares very favorably to (Tampa Bay 1999 15th overall pick) Booger McFarland and is a key building block and classic scheme fit for Tampa 2 teams.
- Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
NFL.COM: Slightly undersized, stoutly built, country-strong run stopper with the ability to drop anchor inside an odd front and develop into a solid, 3-4 movement nose tackle. Strength is his calling card despite his relatively modest size.
- Louis Nix III, Notre Dame
NFL.COM: Despite standing to benefit from a more dominant senior season in South Bend, Nix, who already graduated, opted to forgo his final year of eligibility in order to provide for 13 siblings. He does not enter the NFL with momentum, having coped with knee tendinitis before season-ending surgery to repair a torn left meniscus, and too often his gregarious personality and media hype overshadowed his performance. However, if the massive interior defender taps into his power more consistently, Nix has ample mass, strength and athleticism to anchor a "30" front as a space-eating, block-occupying run stuffer.
- Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota
NFL.COM: A raw, converted tight end with a basketball background, Hageman is a big, athletic, finesse three-technique with intriguing dimensions and movement skills who fits best in an aggressive, one-gap scheme where he could fire into gaps. Will probably be restricted to nickel pass-rush duty initially until the game slows down for him, but has impact potential if he ever figures it out. Is still maturing, having endured a harrowing childhood to get to where he is today, and would be best served landing in a structured environment with veteran mentorship. Classic boom-or-bust prospect.
- Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina
NFL.COM: Thickly built, long-armed, talented defensive tackle who was not as consistently dominant as his numbers or accolades suggest. Has quickness, strength and enough pass-rush ability to develop into a rotational three-technique in the pros, but could have benefited from another year of SEC competition.