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High praise for Giants draft class from their college coaches

Posted May 16, 2016

Giants.com's Dan Salomone gathers insight on the team's 2016 Draft Class from their college coaches:


A Buckeye, a Sooner, a Bronco, a Tiger, a Bruin and a Gamecock recently walked into the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the first time.

They’ll come out as Giants. After reporting for rookie minicamp at the beginning of the month, the six members of the Giants’ 2016 draft class mixed in with the veterans for the team’s offseason workout program. But before Ben McAdoo and his staff got their hands on the freshmen, there were college coaches who groomed them for the next level.

Giants.com rounded up what their mentors had to say about them:

ROUND 1: CB ELI APPLE

• College: Ohio State

“He did a great job of developing himself mentality and physically, gaining a lot of confidence and [he is] a tremendous competitor. I do not have any doubts [he will succeed in the NFL]. He has the skillset, he has the confidence, he has the coach-ability, he has the toughness, he has the desire. You talk about the NFL season, and it is a grind. If you truly don’t love the game, you are not going to make it. He truly loves the game.” -- Chris Ash, former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and current Rutgers head coach


ROUND 2: WR STERLING SHEPARD

• College: Oklahoma



“Sterling is one of the most competitive players that we've had here. Everyone knows he excels in route running and has exceptional ball skills, but he also brings a fire to the field and the locker room that will be difficult to replace. He is a tireless worker and is fearless over the middle. With that attitude and his skill set, I think he'll excel in the NFL.” -- Bob Stoops, Oklahoma head coach

“I also think too is he’s a kid that his ceiling is still much higher than where he’s at right now. I think he improved a lot during his senior year. He obviously improved his draft stock and his draft position a lot throughout that last 12 months, but I think his best football is certainly ahead of him and I think he’s got a chance to be a great Giant.” -- Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma offensive coordinator


ROUND 3: S DARIAN THOMPSON

• College: Boise State



“You don’t have that many career interceptions (Thompson set the Mountain West record with 19) if you’re not anticipating what’s coming. And then I think just that trust factor that when he did see it, he could recognize it, react, and go get after it. On top of that, being a physical player to go make some of those plays happen. Just a very good player who studies the game, does a great job of applying that on the field, and hopefully that continues. We were very excited when he got here about the type of player he was in those areas.” -- Bryan Harsin, Boise State head coach


ROUND 4: LB B.J. GOODSON

• College: Clemson

B.J. Goodson is one of the great stories of our 2015 season. He played behind a first-round draft pick in Stephone Anthony for three years, then got his chance as a starter in 2015. We were looking for some players to step up after we lost so many players to the NFL draft after the 2014 season and B.J. was one of the guys we knew could get the job done. All he did was lead us in tackles with 160, more than Anthony ever had in a season. And he made big play after big play, including getting two takeaways in the fourth quarter against Notre Dame. I am so proud of what B.J. Goodson accomplished here and I know he is going to be an outstanding pro.” -- Dabo Swinney, Clemson head coach


ROUND 5: RB PAUL PERKINS

• College: UCLA

“Paul is a fine young man, a true leader and a great teammate. Paul is a tremendous football player who is tough, versatile and dependable. Paul will represent the New York Giants organization in a first class manor both on and off the field.” -- Jim Mora, UCLA head coach


ROUND 6: TE JERELL ADAMS

• College: South Carolina

“[He’s] the modern-day tight end of what you want in a guy that can get vertical and create matchup issues on linebackers and in-the-box safeties. At 6-6, anywhere from 240 to 255 he’s weighed through the years and not lost his speed, he can really run. He’s long. He’s got a huge catch radius. The big thing I was most proud of him is where he learned the blocking -- to be kind of the complete tight end. There’s not a bunch of those left anymore. They’re either kind of large wideouts or they’re the blocking guy that can’t get vertical down the field. It’s hard to find those guys in today’s game, and he’s a guy who can do that and really made a big stride in the offseason before his senior year last year to really become the complete tight end. And he had his best year blocking yet and I think he’ll get nothing but better at that as time goes.” -- G.A. Mangus, former South Carolina tight ends coach