*Five takeaways from Thursday's NFL Combine press conferences: *
RAMCZYK OPEN TO PLAYING ANYWHERE ON OL
If you're a Giants fan who follows the draft, Ryan Ramczyk (pronounced RAM-check) is a name you have probably heard early and often this offseason. A few draft experts have the offensive tackle out of Wisconsin going to Big Blue at No. 23. He measured in today at 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds with an arm length of 33 ¾ inches. The former Badger has made quite the journey to combine after beginning his college career at UW-Stevens Point.
"It's a special thing," he said. "It's an amazing feeling. I'm really honored to be able to come here and be able to talk to all the coaches here. This experience is incredible."
After transferring, Ramczyk started at left tackle in 2016 for Wisconsin and picked up All-Big Ten and Associated Press All-American honors. But he's open to playing multiple positions.
"I've heard a little bit of everything," he said. "Obviously I'm going to play the position that the coaches want me to play that's going to help the team out the most. I've really heard everything, from tackle to guard to center. So it's been interesting."
MCCAFFREY FOLLOWS IN FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, the son of Ed McCaffrey, who was drafted by the Giants in 1991 before going on to a long career in Denver, is one of the biggest names at the combine. As a sophomore in 2015, the Heisman Trophy finalist set the NCAA single-season record for all-purpose yards (3,864) and was named the Associated Press and Pac-12 Player of the Year. Like Ramczyk, McCaffrey has been projected to the Giants in various mock drafts.
"Something I really pride myself on is not just being a running back that can catch the ball but if I move out to the slot, I become a receiver," said McCaffrey, who will not run routes at the combine but will at his school's Pro Day. "If I move out to X or Z, I become a receiver and not just a running back. I really try to pride myself on route running, catching and being able to be a mismatch anywhere on the field."
McCaffrey was asked what advice his dad gave him for this week. "To smile, breath," he responded. "The work's been put in; now it's just time to go."
FOURNETTE IS A BIG DEAL
Running back Leonard Fournette, who set or tied 23 LSU records during his college career, officially measured in today at an even 6 feet and 240 pounds. The heaviest running back at the combine this year was also one of the most productive in his college career. In only 32 games, he worked his way all the way to fourth in LSU history in rushing yards (3,830) and third in overall touchdowns (42).
"It was surprising. I drank a lot of water before I weighed in, so it was water weight," Fournette said. "It went away completely. [I wanted to weigh] 235, which is what I played at in the season."
If he runs a sub-4.5 in the 40-yard dash, it won't matter what the scales say.
"Big running backs are nice," said Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman, the Giants' former pro personnel director. "They tend to run people over better than 180-pound running backs. But this is a deep group, we know that. And it'll be interesting to see how the whole process plays out because we're really just halfway through it. You've got to evaluate the film and get a picture of every individual running back. Then you talk about 'fit' and then we go from there."
THE FIRST DOMINO
There was a major shakeup last year in the draft order when the Titans and Browns traded the first two picks to the Rams and Eagles, respectively. Will there be another seismic deal this year? It's all up to Cleveland, which holds the No. 1 pick in 2017.
"You have to surround the team with talent," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "It's not just putting a quarterback on the team. He's a huge piece of it, but you also have to equip that quarterback with an opportunity to win. A lot of things go into that. We understand where we are and what we need to do. Our executive staff, along with our coaching staff, that's what we're setting out to do."
HEARD AROUND THE LEAGUE
"Tom's incredibly detailed. He's very forward-thinking. And he's going to hold everyone accountable. That's how he was as a head coach. I was with Tom for nine years, and it was a great nine years. He taught me a ton. But strap it on and be ready to work." – Gettleman on Tom Coughlin, who recently took over as Jacksonville's EVP of Football Operations
"I haven't studied [the quarterbacks] deep just yet, but I know that I think there is some talent in there. Is there is talk about a ready-made guy already in this one? Probably not, but you never know. You had a couple last year. Obviously there is not a surefire guy, at least not one that has come to the head just yet." – John Elway, Broncos GM and EVP of Football Operations
"I did [watch Super Bowl LI film] that the next day, mainly with the second half to watch through it so I could. … When you see things live, you want to make sure watching the tape you confirm what you saw. It went pretty much how I thought. I haven't gotten back to the first half yet. Other things have been more important right now. But, no, the Super Bowl was a great experience. I know it didn't work out the way we wanted. Every time it ends that way, you're going to second guess everything that you did. I'm proud of what we did, why we did the things we did. One thing I learned from it is I hope that opportunity comes again because it's a fun thing to be a part of. It makes you realize how special it is to get a win there." – 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI
Friday, March 3:On-field workouts for offensive linemen, running backs and specialists; media availability and bench press for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends.* Saturday, March 4:*
On-field workouts for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends; media availability and bench press for defensive linemen and linebackers.* Sunday, March 5:*
On-field workouts for defensive linemen and linebackers; media availability and bench press for defensive backs.* Monday, March 6:*
On-field workouts for defensive backs.