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Why did Giants select their 2015 Draft Class?

ROUND 1: OL ERECK FLOWERS

1. He's all upside.

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After Ereck Flowers caught the eye of scouts, Giants general manager Jerry Reese, vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross and offensive line coach Pat Flaherty traveled to Coral Gables, Fla., to see the offensive lineman at Miami's pro day. And they were sold.

"There were some good offensive linemen up there, but he was the highest guy on our board where we picked him," general manager Jerry Reese said Thursday night at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "We think it's all upside with him. A couple of days ago, he just turned 21. So those are things that we like. He's young, powerful, big, tough, he's got a nasty streak. All of those things we like about him."

2. He's nasty.

A common theme emerged when the Giants' decision-makers spoke on draft night shortly after the team selected Flowers. Some of the words used to describe him were "battleship," "aircraft carrier" and "gigantic human."

"He's just a big, tough guy," Reese said. "That's one of the things when you talk to the coaches down there, it's like this guy doesn't take any crap from anybody. We like that and you can see that in his play. He likes to finish guys off and that kind of fits the offensive profile that we like. We like some big, tough guys with a little bit of a nasty streak.

3. He's a tackle of the future.

Photos of Miami OL Ereck Flowers

As the ninth overall pick, Flowers will compete right away for a spot on the offensive line. While he can play inside or out, the Giants said he is naturally a tackle and has experience on both sides.

"A franchise left tackle is a rare commodity," Ross said. "There are not many of those guys around the league and we think this guy has the ability, the upside, the potential, the toughness, the smarts and the competitiveness to be a franchise left tackle for us."
4. The value met the need.

Flowers became the third offensive lineman drafted early by the Giants in the last three years. In 2013, they selected Justin Pugh with the 19th overall pick before taking Weston Richburg in the second round last year. Together they make up a young nucleus that will try to become the foundation of the team.

"We always talk about we're going to take the best player, but we're always cognizant of what our need is as well and we think this is a good need and a value pick for us," Reese said. "We think this can help solidify the offensive line, so hopefully this will settle the offensive line down and we don't have to keep talking about the offensive line as much."

5. He is all about football.

During their Miami visit, the Giants spent time and had dinner with Flowers. Additionally, they spoke to his college coaches to learn what makes him tick.

"He is very quiet, but he is a smart quiet," Ross said. "He is all about football. He is a gym rat. They tell you at [Miami] that he just hangs around the facility. He works out all the time. He is real tight with his dad and they work out together. He will come back to the facility and work out some more. He doesn't go out and hang out. He doesn't party. You would think down in Miami and South Beach that he would be out, but he is one of the exceptions down there. He doesn't go out. He just wants to play football. He doesn't want to talk about it, he just wants to be about the action, as Marshawn Lynch said."

ROUND 2: SAFETY  LANDON COLLINS

1. It was time to be aggressive.

Wanting to combine value with need, the Giants made some calls and struck up a deal with the Tennessee Titans to draft All-American safety Landon Collins. If they hadn't, the Giants felt confident they could still get a good player by staying put at their initial spot of No. 40. But it was time to bolster a position that has no returning starters currently on the roster.

"We were going to get a very good player right there (at No. 40)," general manager Jerry Reese said Friday night at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "But we thought it was in our interest to be aggressive to go after the safety in light of our safety situation to get a very good player who can compete for that job."

2. He's proven at the highest level.

Photos of Alabama Safety Landon Collins

During his time at Alabama, Collins won a BCS National Championship in addition to two league titles in the gauntlet that is the SEC. The hallmark of head coach Nick Saban's championship teams has been the Crimson Tide defense.

"What really stood out to me was that they used him all over the place," Reese said. "They asked him to do a lot and that was very attractive to me because he lines up all over the place. They asked him to make calls, make checks and they used him in a variety of ways and that was very attractive to see a guy with so much versatility and how they use him. I liked that about him."

3. Staff was blown away by his combine interview.

As important as what players do on the field, the interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine can go a long way. That was the case for Collins, who had one of the best meetings that vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross has seen.

"He had an air of confidence about him," Ross said. "Very mature. He blew us away talking about the football aspects of it. That is what we do. We talk to him a little bit and then we put him on the film. He blew us away with his total package – his personality, his maturity, his confidence and then his knowledge of football."

4. It was a fair deal.

It takes two to make a deal. As Reese said, everyone has buddies around the league, but no one is buddy enough to let you move up for free. Head coach Tom Coughlin echoed those sentiments.

"I think it is a fair deal for both teams," Coughlin said. "Tennessee is obviously looking for picks to go along with their first-round choice [quarterback Marcus Mariota]. If you want something and it is above you, you have to give it up. I thought it was a fair deal."

5. He's motivated.

After the unanimous All-American was not selected in the first round, Collins voiced his disappointment but pledged to "get back in the lab" and not let it define him. The Giants took notice and selected him with the first pick on the second day of the draft.

 "He thought he would go in the first round," Coughlin said. "He needs to come in here and prove to everybody that he should have. That is a good situation. Any time we've have had that one, it has turned out pretty well for us."

ROUND 3: DE OWAMAGBE ODIGHIZUWA

1. He's an effort player.

Following the Giants' pick of UCLA defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa in the third round, head coach Tom Coughlin opened up his press conference by praising the former Bruins' effort level.
"Effort, I like the effort," Coughlin said at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "I like to see a guy that just goes and goes and goes. He seems to have that kind of a motor. I like that. He plays hard."

2. He wants to be a Giant.

Photos of UCLA DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa

Coughlin said that Odighizuwa was in tears when he received the call that he was going to the New York Giants, a franchise known for producing accomplished defensive linemen.
"Snap to whistle, he is going after it," vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross said. "He is a team captain. He loves ball. He loves playing. That is what we are looking for. Premier position. He has rushed from the inside and outside. That gives you some flexibility there. He has special teams temperament. He is a great young man."

3. He will help win the line of scrimmage.

Coming off last season, Coughlin's biggest concerns were the inconsistencies in the run game as well as stopping the run. The Giants have addressed both sides of the ball through the first two days of the draft as the 6-foot-3, 267-pound Odighizuwa was the second physical defender taken on Friday night following the team moving up to pick Alabama safety Landon Collins. On Thursday, the Giants drafted a "battleship" in Miami offensive lineman Ereck Flowers in the first round.

"I think the biggest thing that jumped out is all three of these guys bring a physical toughness to our team," Ross said. "They are three different positions. A passion, a toughness, a physicalness at their position. I think that is the common thread with the three of them."

4. His combine numbers jumped off the page.

Odighizuwa stood out at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, posting top-tier numbers in the 40-yard dash (4.62 seconds), vertical jump (39 inches), broad jump (127 inches), 20-yard shuttle (4.19 seconds) and the 60-yard shuttle (11.75 seconds).

"When you start picking guys in the third round, those are guys that have some things they have to get better at, some developmental qualities that they have to get better at, but this guy, all of his gymnastic stuff he did at the combine were really off the charts," general  manager Jerry Reese said. "You rarely see guys with this kind of athletic ability with respect with the gymnastic numbers show."

5. He has room to grow.

Odighizuwa's raw talent is undeniable, but as Reese said in his press conference, the team thinks he can be a core special teams player as he acclimates to the pro level.
"He is going to have to learn," Coughlin said. "He is relatively new to the game. He is going to have to learn the nuances. I just don't want to slow him down while we are teaching him. We will try to anticipate those types of things. He is smart. He has graduated. He has been a captain. He played in a sophisticated system."

ROUND 5: SAFETY MYKKELE THOMPSON

1. He will complement Collins.

The Giants started Day 2 with an aggressive move and moved up to the first pick of the second round to draft Collins, the All-American safety out of Alabama. A day later, they added another player at the position in Thompson to bolster a secondary that has no returning starting safeties from 2014.

"We felt like in Thompson we had a guy that actually will go very well with Landon Collins," Coughlin said Saturday. "Thompson has played corner, as you know the majority of his collegiate career. He is a good cover guy and he is fast. He can play in the centerfield position. There is no way around it. You are going to have to bring him down to the line of scrimmage on occasion. As we go forward, if we could create it, we would create it the other way around. It also has been said that Thompson can play some nickel. We do have some guys that can play over the slot. We will just have to play that out as we work."

2. He's played every defensive back position.

Photos of Texas DB Mykkele Thompson

A four-year defensive back who played in 52 games with 31 starts, Thompson was used in a variety of ways during his career at Texas. Safety, nickel, corner, he's played them all.
"Honestly, I'll play wherever they want me to," Thompson said. "In college I played every defensive back position, so wherever they want me to go, that's where I'll play, and, of course, special teams is really big."

3. He's a sound tackler.

With defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo returning, the Giants will try to improve on their 29th-ranked defense last season. One way to do that is not allowing any yards after contact.

"Another thing that stuck out for me about this kid is that he's a good tackler," Reese said. "He's not really a smash-mouth hitter like Landon Collins, but he's calm. You see some guys get in space and they miss tackles. This guy was a guy who got people down to give you another chance to play defense. I liked that about him. "**

ROUND 6: WR GEREMY DAVIS**

1. He's consistent.

Davis ended his career as the most prolific receiver in UConn's FBS era and among the top six in program history in receptions and receiving yards (165 receptions for 2,292 yards and seven TDs). He caught a pass in every game he played, finishing his career with a reception in 36-straight contests dating back to 2011. That streak was tied for 12th-longest in the country.

2. He's quarterback friendly.

Photos of UCONN WR Geremy Davis

No quarterback can turn down throwing to a 6-foot-2, 216-pound frame, which is what Davis will present to Eli Manning. The Giants added another weapon to the arsenal of their franchise quarterback, who posted career highs in completions, attempts, and completion percentage in the first season under offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. Time to follow it up in Year 2.

"We think he's more of a possession receiver, first down-friendly-to-the-quarterback kind of player," Reese said. "He plays inside. He plays outside. He's a big kid. He has the right attitude to play on special teams. The guy can use his body to post people up, jump balls, good route runner. We like him like that."

3. He has the size and temperament to be a core special teamer.

Davis doesn't mind doing the dirty work. As a late-round draft choice, he gets a jersey to compete on special teams on Sundays. And he knows it.

"I am a physical receiver," he said. "I am going to run down there and make tackles. I can be an in man on punt protecting for the punt. Front line on kickoff return. I am going to use all those traits that I have as a receiver on special teams."

ROUND 7: OL BOBBY HART

1. He blocked for the best.

Hart was a key protector of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and 2015 first overall draft choice Jameis Winston. Together they led the Seminoles in 2013 to a BCS national championship after setting ACC records for total touchdowns (94) and passing touchdowns (42) as well the school record for rushing touchdowns (42). Hart also opened holes for Dalvin Cook to set the FSU freshman record for rushing yards (1,008).

2. He will bolster the interior.

The Giants have drafted Florida St. OL Bobby Hart

While he capped his career with 28 consecutive games at right tackle that earned him all-conference honors in 2013-14, the Giants project him as a guard at the next level. That will create competition on an offensive line that added two players in the draft this year.

"I see guys like that with his skill set," Reese said. "We see them every Sunday playing in the National Football League. But we do think he's a guard and not a tackle."

3. Hart rounded out a young and tough class.

The Giants bookended their draft class with a pair of 329-pound offensive linemen (Flowers is an inch taller than Hart). In between, they added three defenders and a wide receiver who all play a physical brand of football. The Giants envision they will make the roster bigger, faster and stronger.

"We always want that," Reese said. "Everybody wants big, strong, fast, tough football players."

Photos of the Giants 2015 official roster

1. He will complement Collins.

The Giants started Day 2 with an aggressive move and moved up to the first pick of the second round to draft Collins, the All-American safety out of Alabama. A day later, they added another player at the position in Thompson to bolster a secondary that has no returning starting safeties from 2014.

"We felt like in Thompson we had a guy that actually will go very well with Landon Collins," Coughlin said Saturday. "Thompson has played corner, as you know the majority of his collegiate career. He is a good cover guy and he is fast. He can play in the centerfield position. There is no way around it. You are going to have to bring him down to the line of scrimmage on occasion. As we go forward, if we could create it, we would create it the other way around. It also has been said that Thompson can play some nickel. We do have some guys that can play over the slot. We will just have to play that out as we work."

2. He's played every defensive back position.

A four-year defensive back who played in 52 games with 31 starts, Thompson was used in a variety of ways during his career at Texas. Safety, nickel, corner, he's played them all.
"Honestly, I'll play wherever they want me to," Thompson said. "In college I played every defensive back position, so wherever they want me to go, that's where I'll play, and, of course, special teams is really big."

3. He's a sound tackler.

With defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo returning, the Giants will try to improve on their 29th-ranked defense last season. One way to do that is not allowing any yards after contact.

"Another thing that stuck out for me about this kid is that he's a good tackler," Reese said. "He's not really a smash-mouth hitter like Landon Collins, but he's calm. You see some guys get in space and they miss tackles. This guy was a guy who got people down to give you another chance to play defense. I liked that about him. "

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