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Giants sign four draft picks & 14 undrafted free agents

Posted May 6, 2016

The Giants have signed announced the signing of Eli Apple, Sterling Shepard, Paul Perkins,  and Jerell Adams as well as 14 undrafted players:



EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – First-round selection Eli Apple was one of four Giants’ draft choices to sign contracts as the Giants opened their rookie minicamp today.

He was joined by Sterling Shepard (second round), Paul Perkins (fifth) and Jerell Adams (sixth).

Apple, a 6-1, 199-pound cornerback from Ohio State, was the 10th overall selection. He started 27 of 28 games for the Buckeyes following a redshirt year. Apple was one of the best defensive players on Ohio State’s 2014 national championship team, and was the Defensive MVP following the Buckeyes’ victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1.

Shepard, a 5-10, 194-pound receiver, was the 40th overall selection, from Oklahoma. In four seasons with the Sooners, Shepard caught 233 passes for 3,482 yards and 26 touchdowns. In 2015, he had career-high totals of 86 catches, for 1,288 yards and 11 scores.

UCLA product Perkins was chosen 149th overall. The 5-10, 208-pounder rushed for 3,491 yards and 29 touchdowns, and caught 80 passes for 739 yards and three scores in three years with the Bruins. His 1,575 yards in 2014 is the second-highest total in UCLA history. Last year Perkins rushed for 1,343 yards and scored a career-high 14 touchdowns. He also caught 30 passes for 242 yards and a score.


Adams, a 6-5, 247-pound tight end from South Carolina, was the 184th overall selection. His career totals were 66 receptions for 977 yards, and seven scores. Last year, he set personal bests with 28 catches for 421 yards, and three scores.

The Giants’ selections in the third and fourth rounds – Boise State safety Darian Thompson and Clemson linebacker B.J. Goodson – have not yet signed contracts.

•  In addition to the draft choices, the Giants announced the signing of 14 free agents: quarterback Josh Woodrum of Liberty University; running back Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State, wide receivers Roger Lewis of Bowling Green,  K.J. Maye of Minnesota, and Darius Powe of California; tight ends Cedrick Lang of UTEP and Ryan Malleck of Virginia; defensive ends Romeo Okwara of Notre Dame and Mike Rose of North Carolina State; defensive tackles Melvin Lewis of Kentucky and Greg Milhouse of Campbell; and defensive backs Andrew Adams of UConn, Donte Deayon of Boise State, and Michael Hunter of Oklahoma State.


A look at the Giants’ free agent signings:
By Dan Salomone

ANDREW ADAMS, S, CONNECTICUT

Height: 5-11
Weight: 202
Hometown: Fayetteville, Ga.

Overview: Adams started 33 games over his career, serving as one of four captains during the 2015 season. He led the Huskies in tackles and was named second-team All-American Athletic Conference.


MARSHAUN COPRICH, RB, ILLINOIS STATE

Height: 5-8
Weight: 207
Hometown: Victorville, Calif.

Overview: The two-time Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year ended his career with All-American honors by The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), The Walter Camp Football Foundation, the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA), STATS and The Associated Press. After rushing for 2,274 yards in 2014 and 1,967 yards in 2015, he was invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds, the same as Ohio State running back and eventual No. 4 overall pick Ezekiel Elliott.  


DONTE DEAYON, CB, BOISE STATE

Height: 5-9
Weight:
158
Hometown:
Rialto, Calif.

Overview:
A three-time All-Mountain West selection, Deayon ended his college career with 17 interceptions, good for fifth on Boise State's all-time list and third on the conference’s all-time list. He will reunite with former Broncos teammate and safety Darian Thompson, the Giants’ 2016 third-round draft choice who became the Mountain West's all-time interceptions leader (19).



MICHAEL HUNTER, CB, OKLAHOMA STATE

Height: 6-0
Weight:
186
Hometown:
Monroe, La.

Overview:  
A 2015 All-Big 12 honorable mention selection, Hunter was a fifth-year transfer from Indiana University. Hunter impressed scouts at Oklahoma State’s pro day, running the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds. He also did 17 reps in the bench press and had a vertical jump of 38.5 inches.


CEDRICK LANG, TE, UTEP

Height: 6-7
Weight: 269
Hometown:
Sioux Falls, S.D.

Overview:
Lang used his fifth year of eligibility to play football after suiting up for the UTEP basketball team for four years. He played in all 12 contests in 2015, making one start at North Texas. He hauled in the game-winning touchdown during an overtime victory at rival New Mexico State. Lang was used mostly as a blocking tight end as the Miners allowed just 12 sacks in 12 games, ranking first in Conference USA in tied sixth nationally.

 

MELVIN LEWIS, DT, KENTUCKY

Height: 6-2
Weight:
343
Hometown:
Compton, Calif.

Overview:
After beginning at Fullerton (Calif.) Junior College, Lewis transferred to Kentucky, where he emerged as a regular starter in 2014. He was the only returning starter on the defensive line in 2015, but a broken leg cut his final season short.


ROGER LEWIS, WR, BOWLING GREEN


Height: 6-0
Weight:
196
Hometown:
Pickerington, Ohio

Overview:
A Biletnikoff Award semifinalist, Lewis finished his career fifth in school history with 2,673 receiving yards, 10th in receptions (158) and sixth in touchdowns (23). After picking up first-team All-MAC and third-team All-American honors, he was the first BGSU to be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine since 2012. In Indianapolis, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds.


RYAN MALLECK, TE, VIRGINIA TECH


Height: 6-4
Weight:
249
Hometown:
Point Pleasant, N.J.

Overview:
Malleck logged a team-high 940 plays -- 806 at tight end and 134 on special teams -- in 2015, ending his college career with 32 starts. He missed the entire 2013 season after sustaining a left rotator cuff tear/labral tear during the preseason. He was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where he finished in the top five at his position in the vertical (34.5 inches) and broad (121.0 inches) jumps.


KJ MAYE, WR, MINNESOTA

Height: 5-8
Weight:
191
Hometown:
Mobile, Ala.

Overview:
In 2015, he caught 73 passes for 773 yards and five touchdowns. His 73 receptions ranked second all-time for a Gopher senior behind Eric Decker's 84 receptions in 2008. His 773 yards were the most for a Gopher since Decker had 1,074 in 2008. At his pro day, Maye ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds.


GREG MILHOUSE, DT, CAMPBELL

Height: 6-1
Weight:
295
Hometown:
Garner, N.C.

Overview:
A transfer from Appalachian State, Milhouse recorded five sacks in 11 games for the Camels in 2015. At his pro day, Milhouse ran the 40-yard dash in 4.90 seconds and did 26 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.


ROMEO OKWARA, DE, NOTRE DAME


Height: 6-5
Weight:
265
Hometown:
Charlotte, N.C.

Overview:
After moving to the United States from Nigeria as sixth-grader, Okwara was a 25-game starter who led the Irish in sacks in 2014 and 2015. He was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.90 seconds and did 23 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.


DARIUS POWE, WR, CALIFORNIA

Height: 6-3
Weight:
220
Hometown:
Lakewood, Calif.

Overview:
Power had a breakout senior season in 2015, recording career highs of 47 receptions, 560 yards receiving and eight touchdown catches (tied for eighth in school history). He finished his career with 104 receptions, 1,253 yards receiving and 11 touchdown catches. At Cal, he caught passes from future Rams quarterback and No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff.


MIKE ROSE, DE, N.C. STATE

Height: 6-2
Weight:
261
Hometown:
Fountain Inn, S.C.

Overview:
A consensus second-team All-ACC selection in 2015, Rose recorded 51 tackles and led the Wolfpack with 15 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. As a junior, he ranked third in the ACC in tackles for loss with 12.


JOSH WOODRUM, QB, LIBERTY


Height: 6-3
Weight: 231
Hometown: Roanoke, Va.

Overview:
Starting since his redshirt freshman campaign, Woodrum holds the school records in passing yards (10,266), completions (833), and attempts (1,304). The three-time All-Big South selection was a team captain, throwing 61 touchdowns to 30 interceptions throughout his career. He was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.80 seconds and led the quarterbacks in the three-cone drill at 6.74 seconds. He also finished in the top five at his position with a broad jump of 117 inches.