MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - Thomas has always been a willing hitter as a cornerback. He has good size and speed (assuming his knee holds up after a third ACL surgery) and he is a smart and aware football player. If a decision is made to move Thomas to safety, I believe he will play well at that position.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - Terrell Thomas was never shy in run support as a corner, and even blitzed out of the slot. He is a willing tackler, and not afraid of contact. He also has a good feel of going after the football in the air. That’s everything you need to be a safety. It’s a transition he should be able to make if he can’t play corner after three ACL injuries.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact - Any corner who can lead his team in tackles for the first two full years as a starter (2009 and 2010) knows how to find and ball and isn’t afraid of contact when he gets there. And that is what the job description is for a safety. It has been a long two years for Thomas, and he’s eager to get back on the field in any capacity. Nickel could be the fit.
The NFL Scouting Combine is the most important part of the draft selection process.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - The combine is just one component in a very long and detailed scouting process. It’s important, but not as vital as seeing what players do in practices and games – especially today, when so many players decline to participate in some of the combine drills.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - The combine is important, but how fast a guy runs, jumps, or how much weight he bench presses can’t be more important than the performance he puts on tape during the course of the college football season. You are drafting football players, not athletes. What you learn in the combine supplements that player’s performance on the field, it doesn’t supplant it. Players called combine kings are often later dubbed NFL busts.
DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - Unless the cones are 6-foot-5, 300 pounds and can push back -- Fiction - What the combine can do is create buzz, which is never a bad thing for an NFL hopeful. But reputation is all about what you’ve put on game tape and what coaches say.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - If Wilson is the starting running back, as I expect him to be, I would like to see his kickoff return workload reduced – not eliminated, but reduced. Kickoff returns will put more wear and tear on his body, which will get enough of that running out of the backfield. But Wilson can still give the Giants big-play ability as a part-time return man.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - Even if David Wilson is the number one running back, he should still have more kickoff returns than any other Giants player next year. He won’t do every single one, the same way he won’t get every single carry, but he is way too dynamic not to be returning kick-offs. There are few return men that can win games single-handedly like he did against the Saints this year. As long as his carries at running back are limited and shared by a couple other running backs, he should be able to keep a sizable role on kickoffs. Giants fans are still spooked by that Jason Sehorn knee injury on a return in the preseason from more than a decade ago. It’s time to get over it.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact - This has been the most interesting debate around the lunch table recently. While I’m inclined to say protect him, what he can do as a returner can be just as important as in the backfield. That is especially true under a coach like Tom Coughlin, who stresses field position every week. The Giants had yearned for a returner like Wilson, and they finally found one. They won’t waste it. And if workload is a concern, Wilson will be able to handle it because the Giants use multiple running backs anyway.
There will be at least one new starter on both offense and defense that was not on the Giants' roster in 2012.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - I fully expect as many as three starters on each side of the ball on opening day to be players who are currently not on the roster.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - The Giants could have as many as three or four starters on defense next season that weren’t on the roster last year. All three linebackers could conceivably be new, as could the starting defensive tackle. I think half of those four spots will be taken from someone in house or a returning starter, but at least one, probably two will be new starters. It’s a little trickier on offense, but just based on how rampant change is in the NFL, I’ll say at least one of the Giants starting offensive linemen in 2013 will not have played for the Giants in 2012.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact - I think it’s safe to say there is at least one on defense, so it becomes a question on offense. The offensive line looks like the top candidate for change, from free agency to players getting long in the tooth. Based on the recent releases by the Giants, change is coming. Nothing too drastic is necessary, but there will be some new faces complementing the core group of players on both sides of the ball.
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