All that rustling you hear coming out of the Meadowlands is the sound of the Giants organization preparing their mass western movement to Indianapolis, where the NFL scouting combine begins tomorrow.
Coaches, scouts, administrators all head out to the annual meat market, where the primest of prime college prospects, about 300 of them, will be inspected, prodded, poked, timed, and measured to get a better idea of where they should sit on the team's value board.
Not every draftee will be in attendance. They never are. Osi Umenyiora wasn't even invited in 2003, and yet he became the Giants' second-round pick. And many of the prospects who will begin workouts Saturday will pass up various parts of the combine, either because they're still rehabbing injuries or they simply feel they'll post better times in more familiar surroundings at their private, Pro-Day workouts at their colleges.
So the Giants won't get a full idea of how their draft board will look once the workouts end March 2. But they'll get plenty of info, as well as a chance to interview their targets.
A guy like UCLA DT Brian Price should get a lot of attention, considering the Giants' need for that position and the fact that he'll certainly be around at No. 15 after Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy come off the board. They might also give some special attention to Tyson Alualu of Cal, a potential second-rounder some currently rate as the seventh best defensive tackle in the draft.
Safeties Eric Berry of Tennessee, Taylor Mays of USC, and Florida State's Myron Rolle will be there too, undoubtedly getting a good look from Tom Coughlin and his staff.
I'll try to keep you updated from here on anything of interest. Jerry Reese and Coughlin usually appear at press conferences at some point during the week, so that should provide some thought-provoking pre-draft stuff.
In the meantime, the staff's clipboards, stopwatches, and measuring tapes are packed and ready to go.