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Jim Nagy scouts 'underrated' edge rushers at Senior Bowl

The upcoming Senior Bowl will be a great opportunity for the Giants to get to know some of the top prospects. More than 100 of the top collegiate seniors from schools all over the country will participate in this year's Senior Bowl.

Prior to the festivities kicking off, Jim Nagy, Executive Director of the Senior Bowl, joined the Giants Huddle Podcast to discuss some of the interesting prospects to keep an eye on next week. Nagy spent 18 years as a scout in the NFL and was a part of six Super Bowl teams and four Lombardi Trophy winning teams. He took over as executive director of the college all-star game in June 2018.

Dave Gettleman was named Giants general manager at the conclusion of the 2017 season, so Nagy is familiar with the types of players Gettleman has targeted from the Senior Bowl. In fact, the Giants have selected the last three MVPs from the game, including Daniel Jones.

"I think everyone knows, Dave is a blue-collar guy," Nagy said. "I think what he's trying to build there in that kind of image is great. The guys that come and play in our game… they're making a statement about how competitive they are. They're making a statement about how much they love football. Those are Dave's kinds of guys. Anyone building a team, that should be their kind of guys, but Dave especially. I think he's going to find some offensive linemen down here that are going to fit that. I think there are going to be some defensive linemen (he likes as well)."

The Giants have been heavily connected to offensive linemen in mock drafts, specifically junior tackles Jedrick Wills of Alabama and Andrew Thomas of Georgia, in addition to Tristan Wirfs of Iowa. Those three tackles all decided to forego their senior seasons in order to declare for the draft, which means they will not be participating in the Senior Bowl. However, Nagy mentioned a few senior offensive linemen, including Matt Peart of UConn and Josh Jones of Houston, he believes could be of interest to the Giants, including one that he sees more as a developmental lineman.

"Alex Taylor, a small school guy from South Carolina State, he has an 88-inch wingspan," Nagy said on the Giants Huddle Podcast. "That might not mean much to your listeners, but in scouting, in 20 years, I don't know if I've seen an 88-inch wingspan before. This kid is incredibly long. He is raw and coming from a small school, but Darius Leonard from South Carolina State, same school a couple years ago, came in and made the Pro Bowl his rookie year…"

View photos of players who accepted their invites to the 2020 Senior Bowl.

On the other side of the ball, Nagy couldn't contain his excitement when talking about some of the top pass rushers. Finding an edge rusher, whether it's in free agency or the draft, is likely going to be one of the Giants' top priorities. While there are several talented players set to become free agents, Nagy believes the Giants could find their guy at next week's game.

"The edge rush crew, it's a really good class with some really underrated guys…" Nagy said. "Maybe the best one is Terrell Lewis from Alabama. Terrell's battled some injuries during his time there in Tuscaloosa. But he's a really unique player. He's a long-bodied guy, and usually guys that are built like him, they're not really explosive because it's so hard for longer guys to generate pop like that. But Terrell has really, really heavy hands. When he gets into you, he gets into you. He's so explosive out of his stance, he can beat you with speed."

In 10 games for the Crimson Tide last season, Lewis recorded 31 tackles (21 solo), 6.0 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, two passes defended and recovered one fumble. The outside linebacker had his Alabama career derailed by injuries but seemed to return to full health this season, when he earned Second-Team All-SEC honors. Other edge rushers Nagy spoke about are Trevon Hill of Miami and Darrell Taylor of Tennessee.

The 2020 NFL Draft is being heralded for its wide receivers. Jerry Jeudy of Alabama, CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma and Tee Higgins of Clemson are considered first round picks, but all left their respective schools early in order to declare for the draft. While these three won't be partaking in the Senior Bowl festivities, the group of wide receivers that will be playing is quite deep and talented. Nagy discussed Brandon Aiyuk of Arizona State, Bryan Edwards of South Carolina, Devin Duvernay of Texas and Van Jefferson of Florida as some of the names to watch.

Nagy previewed some of the best cornerbacks taking part in this year's Senior Bowl, including Kristian Fulton of LSU, Troy Pride Jr. of Notre Dame and A.J. Greene of Oklahoma State.

To hear everything Jim Nagy said about the most interesting prospects to watch, listen to the latest episode of the Giants Huddle Podcast.


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