The Giants.com staff debates the most important Combine drill:
*The most important drill at the combine is the 40-yard dash. *
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - The events at the combine are not the most important part of the weekend. Medical evaluations, measurements and interviews are far more important. Of the events, however, the 40 yard dash is the most important. In order to be a good cornerback in the NFL you have to have a certain level of speed. Offensively, you also have to have a certain level of speed to be a special player at running back or wide receiver. If you run below a certain level at those positions, it can make it very difficult to be successful in the NFL.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact - What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the NFL Scouting Combine? The 40-yard dash. Look, the importance of any given drill depends on the position. But I'll go ahead with "fact" here because it's what gets everyone to tune in. I know I'll be making my way over to Lucas Oil Stadium to watch it.
LANCE MEDOW: Fiction -For certain positions, the 40-yard dash is useful such as running backs, wide receivers and corners. Observing how fast those players run can translate over to the football field but how much are you really going to learn from an offensive lineman running as fast as he can in a straight line. The 40-yard dash is the most well-known drill and probably best fit for television but that doesn't make it the most important. While that event doesn't apply to everyone, the bench press and broad jump do. Strength relates to every position in football and those two drills, in particular, test the upper and lower body. Scouts and team executives can take a lot more away from those measurements as opposed to the 40-yard dash.
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein names his instant impact draft prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Giants are more likely to draft a running back than add one in free agency.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - Finding a running back in free agent can be a difficult proposition because it is a young man's position. Often times, a running back's production can drop dramatically when he reaches a certain age, which makes signing one in free agency a little risky. It's impossible to know when that drop is going to happen. Drafting running backs is a far safer proposition since they have fresh legs and normally play out their rookie contracts without any dip in their performance.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact - General manager Jerry Reese has drafted a running back in five of the last six years, typically in the later rounds with the exception of David Wilson in 2012. So history leans toward saying "fact" in this case. Additionally, this is a pretty loaded class at the position, beginning with the headliners Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, and Christian McCaffrey.
LANCE MEDOW: Fiction -Given the Giants parted ways with Rashad Jennings and all signs are pointing to Paul Perkins further expanding his role next season, I think the perfect complement to Perkins would be a veteran big back. Shane Vereen fits the label of an established player but he's more of a third down/receiving back. I wouldn't be surprised if the team selected a running back in one of the late rounds like it did with Perkins but I think finding a veteran to fill the void left behind by Jennings will be the likely game plan.
The 2017 NFL Draft class is deeper on defense.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - This is one of the deeper drafts in years at both the cornerback and the safety positions. It is also full of very talented edge rushers. Half of the players taken in the first round could be from those two position groups. You will also find quality starters at those positions into the third and fourth rounds. It is also deep at running back and tight end, but nothing compared to what there is on the defensive side of the ball.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact - I'm not going to pretend I've watched tape on all 300-plus prospects here at the combine, so I'll defer to the draft experts who have done just that. Most of them say this class is loaded on that side of the ball. That includes NFL Network's Mike Mayock, who said, "I think it's one of the best defensive drafts I've seen." And take Bucky Brooks’ latest mock draft for example. He doesn't have an offensive player going off the board until No. 9.
LANCE MEDOW: Fact -This is a draft class where two of the most important positions on offense (quarterback and tackle) don't have nearly as much depth as in previous years. With that being said, running back and tight end are two positions where there could be some substance in the late rounds. In comparison, nearly every position on defense has enough depth where you don't have to reach in the early rounds if you want to address that side of the ball, especially on the defensive line.
Jerell Adams and B.J. Goodson will see significant playing time in their second season.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - It depends what you mean by "significant". If you mean more than 50 percent of the snaps, then I'm not sure that will happen. I do think both players, however, will be role players in specific roles at their respective positions. Adams should be able to develop into the blocking in line tight end at his position that can also catch a little bit, and maybe challenge down the seam. Goodson on the other hand, should be an effective player against the run on first and second down.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact - Coach Ben McAdoo was asked about both of the 2016 draft picks this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. He said Adams needs to keep developing on special teams, but he did show some flashes from the tight end position, where they think he can develop into a good blocker. Goodson is an unknown quantity at this point after spending his time behind a veteran group of linebackers. But this guy did lead Clemson in tackles in his final collegiate season, so look for him to make a push for a larger role this season. McAdoo said, "B.J. is going to develop and play more for us on the defensive side of the ball, regardless of what position it is going to be. There are a bunch of different linebacker spots that he can go in and fight for."
LANCE MEDOW: Fact -Jerrell Adams and BJ Goodson both play positions where there are a number of free agents. At tight end, Larry Donnell isn't under contract for 2017 and, at middle linebacker, both Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard will have a chance to test the market. How free agency plays out will tell us a lot more but I think next season they'll both have more opportunities to contribute on offense and defense respectively. This past season, Adams and Goodson played primarily on special teams. Adams showed some flashes of what he can do as a receiver and, coming out of Clemson, Goodson's strength has always been pursuing the ball and helping to stop the run. This is an important offseason for both players to show more consistency in their play to help carve out more definite roles.