Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pro Days

Not a whole lot happening on the free agent front, as far as I can tell. Part of that is due to Pro Day at Rutgers. Oh, yeah, and one other school of note has a Pro Day going, too. Little place called the University of Alabama. See what I did there?

Actually, most of the Giants' staff will be down in Tuscaloosa perusing the big-time talent, not the least of which is linebacker Rolando McClain. So this might be a good time to have a discussion on the relatives merits of McClain for a team that hasn't drafted a first-round linebacker since Carl Banks in 1984 and hasn't had much luck drafting them anywhere in recent years.

The scouts will be interested to see McClain run and jump, since he declined to participate in the 40-yard dash and vertical leap at the scouting combine because of a hamstring problem. When healthy, he's a supremely talented athlete, and the No. 15-drafting Giants staff undoubtedly will be taking copious notes to determine if he's worth trading deep into the top-10 to get.

Not that Pro Day performances are the be-all and end-all of the scouting process, but the Giants might just luck out. McClain has been caught in a performance vice, the doctors telling him to rest and rehab while the draft process is pushing him to perform. If he throws up a substandard 40 time, his stock might just drop ever so slightly enough that the Giants would be positioned to take him with a lesser trade than originally thought necessary.

"He’s as close as he’s going to get right now," McClain's agent, Pat Dye, told the Birmingham News yesterday. "It’s a Catch-22. The doctors are saying the only thing you can do for this thing is rest and rehab it. Well, he can’t rest because he’s got to train. "We’ve got to get through this Pro Day and probably a few private workouts and hopefully let it calm down and be ready for mini-camps after the draft."

The Great Blue North Report ranks the 6-foot-3, 254-pound McClain as the top middle linebacker prospect in the draft, right ahead of Florida's Brandon Spikes. And, almost needless to say, the idea of picking McClain has been a consistent theme among this blog's commenters. And, good news for them, two of the four CBS Sportsline's mock drafters have McClain falling to the Giants, while one other lists him as going no higher than 12 to Miami. The other one has him going at No. 5 to Kansas City.

Quite a range. But the fact that many believe McClain will fall to at least spitting distance of the Giants could make for an interesting first-round decision.

The Giants would not only get a guy with mobility and ball skills that have created favorable comparisons with Ravens Hall-of-Famer-in-waiting Ray Lewis, but a guy who could bring immediate leadership to a unit that faltered badly last year.

"I've been a leader," he said at the combine. "I had to lead seniors as a freshman. A lot of guys saw the way I worked and they admired the way I worked, so it really wasn't that hard. They admired me, so they actually listened."

At this point, it would be a shock if McClain got past the Giants. The question is, will he be there for them at all? Or might they try the free agent route as a remedy instead?


UPDATE: Word out of Alabama is that McClain ran a 4.74 in the 40, which is about what the scouts figured he'd run.



  1. I'm not sold on Rolando McClain as everybody else is. I've watched a couple of Bama' games this past season and wasn’t overly impressed with him. Sure he's a an above average player but from what I saw was he was kind of slow and looked somewhat lost on the field sometimes. But then again who am I, I'm just the average fan. One thing though that really scares me is that he is already injured (not drastic) and if continues to push himself for his pro day and private workouts then what happens when minicamp rolls around and boom down he goes for the season. I'm not crazy about that. My personal choice would be Dan Williams DT in the first round. I'd rather see the Giants bring in a veteran MLB someone of the likes of Kirk Morrison or Dqwell Jackson. Who knows maybe they'll be cut as of June 1st and the Giants could get them for cheap. Here's another scenario, the Giants could go after Quantrell Bishop (From the movie BIG FAN), I saw the movie last night and just had to through that name in there. I thought the movie was a little crazy but loved the ending. Anyhow folks that’s my 2 cents. GO BLUE!!!

  2. I agree with you about not being sold on McClain. I watched two Alabama games this year and he was good, but just didn't see where all the hype is coming from. Granted, I was not fully paying attention to him. If he is there and rated the best MLB, then draft him. But, I would not trade away other picks to jump and get him. I will not also jump off a bridge if he does not drop to us at 15. Anyway, it would be hard for a rookie MLB to start for the Giants right away.

  3. McClain benefited from Mt Cody, who kept OL occupied, just like Ray Lewis benefits from strong nosetackle play. This said, he still makes plays.

    It's ironic, the Giants need ILB, OLB help but I think their options, in a relatively deep draft, for these positions are few.

  4. McClain is more of a 3-4 linebacker. It wouldn't make much sense to draft a player that high who would need sufficient time to adjust to the current scheme/system. Not to mention, although smart, his aggressiveness and sideline to sideline speed is average. Haven't the Giants grown tired of the lack of speed and play-making ability at that position?

    If not BPA, the Giants would fare better trading down and selecting Sean Weatherspoon. Although his combine numbers were very good, they would mean very little if they were not backed up with production. And productive he was showcasing himself to be, at the very least, a tacking machine.

  5. agree completely with the above post. Some LBs can have freakish combine numbers and turn out to be busts. Some players have terrible numbers but their play over their college careers was outstanding; Willis, Greenway, EJ Henderson, come to mind immediately.

    I think the value pick is Def line or Def end. Perhaps the Giants should consider more Free agents since their positions of need don't align too well with this draft

  6. willis ran a sub 4.40 40 yard dash. his numbers at the combine in conjunction with his numbers at his senior day were outstanding

  7. Scott, what Willis are you referring to?

  8. Yeah, can we not draft a player this year that comes from a different system (aka Sintim). McClain would not be able to start and we need MLB help NOW. Maybe the coaches see something in Goff that we didn't during the games he started. D-Line is a big need, but which one, DT or DE? I could see trading down for Weatherspoon and gaining some extra picks, which could be nice. Would not mind seeing an OT taken at 15.

  9. Enough of this rediculousness. Dan Williams? Seriously? We need D-line help? We have Tuck, Canty, Kiwi, Osi, Alford, Cofield. Where would this new D-lineman play? Who would he take playing time from? Sure they had a down year, but we really need another lineman?

    McClain is a stud. I'm sorry, is he supposed to run a 4.3 40 time? He's a 250-pound LB. And watch some games, the guys a playmaker. And please don't say this guy benefited from Mt. Cody.

    Where is Cody projected to get picked? Second, third round? Cody is an above-average tackle who lacks mobility and can't rush the passer. Any decent DT should eat up two blocks.

    If he's available at 15 and the Giants don't pick him, then they need to replace that whole front office.

    All of you complained about the inadequate Linebacking play all year, with Peirce, Clark, Goff, Boley and now we have a chance to get someone who people are comparing to Ray Lewis and some of you want Dan Williams?

    Oh, and by the way, Williams is a NT for a 3-4, not a 4-3 DT.

    Thank God you're not in the war room come April.

  10. Dan, well if you indicate that Williams is a NT and would not be a good fit for the Giants 4-3 defense, then why would McClain, who's a 3-4 LB, be good for the Giants?

  11. Dan, the whole defense was bad. D-line, LBs, DBs, all of them. Every position needs help, depth, or competition. Yes, I would like to see a DT or DE get picked in this draft, not necessarily at 15, but in the first 5 rounds. And the post above brings up a good point, McClain was in a 3-4. Sintim rarely saw the field this year because of struggles to learn the 4-3. McClain might have the same difficulty. The Giants currently do not have an experienced MLB! So, McClain right now, may not be the short term answer. I do not trust Goff yet to be that guy in the middle. He is inexperienced and, wait for it, came from a 3-4. What are the other options? I agree with Dominick that a veteran MLB probably needs to be brought in. And all of this is assuming that McClain drops to 15. He is being compared to Ray Lewis and is the best of a weak MLB class, which means he probably goes top 10.

  12. I'm pretty confident that 8 out of the first 14 picks won't be LB (Rams, Lions, Buccaneers, Redskins, Seahawks x2, Dolphins, and 49ers) so that leaves the Chiefs, Browns, Raiders, Jaguars, Bills, and Broncos.

    There's a chance the Jaguars are going to draft Tebow. And with the Raiders you never know what they're going to do.

    So I think the chances are good that McClain will be available at 15. Now whether he's the guy the G-men should draft I'm not sure.

  13. eli's mommaMarch 10, 2010 5:18 PM

    I gotta say I'm a bit disappointed in these comments today. Other than Dan, none of you all know jack about football! McClain is a beast. You should be joining me in praying every night that we should be so lucky to get him at 15. He'd be a lock for defensive rookie of the year and would be the leader of our defense for the next decade...
    Suggesting we take a DE or DT with the 15th pick so that they can join the rotation of players we already have is just dumb. Wake up!
    Also, you are all making way too much out of the 3-4 versus 4-3... He's a MLB... It's see ball, tackle ball! Not brain surgery!

  14. 4.7 is little slow for a playmaking MLB, isn't it?

  15. to Eli's Momma..

    there were several beasts last year and we missed all of them.

  16. eli's momma, what exactly is your definition of beast? I mean, yeah, McClain is a good player coming out of a very good program, needless to say. But being good and being classified as a beast, well let's just say, the game tape doesn't show it.

  17. eli's mommaMarch 10, 2010 5:53 PM

    McClain reminds me of Ray Lewis (who also happens to be slower than the 2nd coming...) in that he's a freak of nature who was put on this earth for no other purpose than to smash running backs in the mouth....

  18. So, you pretty much confirmed that he's not a beast as I've seen no game tape of what you just described above.

    He's a smart player, but his aggressiveness is lackluster. I've witnessed too many arm tackles from McClain to compare him to Lewis. That's just not fair.

  19. I don't see why we need to make McClain & Ray Lewis comparisons going into the draft. The Giants don't need Ray Lewis, they need the best MLB available. As far as speed and play making ability goes, I'm not sure the Giants could get much worse. It seems clear that the Giants' biggest weakness going into the season is LB play.

    I do agree the pass rush was awful. It also seemed that anytime someone ran in the direction or Osi or Boley they weren't going to stop anytime soon. However, I think the main weakness on the D line are the DTs. Maybe with Alford and Canty healthy (has Canty ever been healthy?), we could stop a few more run plays and put more pressure on the QB. (Remember Alford planting Brady on 3rd down?) Also, maybe Osi gets a little stronger after his injury and we don't need to rotate him out on non-pass rushing plays. Right now there are enough guys in the locker room that could make an impact in the D-line. I don't see that for linebackers.

    So that leaves free-agency and the draft. Dansby is out, and I'd prefer to avoid another 30+ yr old "mentor" that can't blow people up. I don't know what tape you guys saw of McClain, but to me it seemed like every time someone was getting tackled, McClain's number was on top of him.

    I've got to agree with Eli's Momma and Dan. I will be praying that McClain falls to 15 and the Giants take him.

  20. If we have the misfortune of McClain being snatched up before we pick, then I say grab one of the offensive lineman... There seem to be a couple that would be worthy of the 15th pick. Hell, maybe the kid from Rutgers falls to us!
    Outside of MLB, the offensive line is the other area that MUST be addressed... These guys are getting long in the tooth real fast and they've already dropped from an elite run blocking unit to just average... - The holes for the running backs were few and far between last year.

  21. NY GIANTS -Draft- 2010

    (Need/Best Player Available=BPA)

    15 Derrick Morgan/DE Georgia Tech 8
    15 Trent Williams/OT Oklahoma 13
    15 Anthony Davis/OT Rutgers 15
    15 Dan Williams/DT Tennessee 27
    15 Sean Weatherspoon/LB/Missouri 28
    15 Brian Price/DT UCLA 29
    15 Jerry Hughes/LB/DE TCU 32

    46 Tyson Aluala/DT California 57
    46 Daryl Washington/LB TCU 59
    46 Lamarr Houston/DT Texas 64

    76 Toby Gerhart/RB Stanford 72
    76 Anthony Dixon/RB Miss.State 97

    112 Graham Garrett/TE Wisconsin 104
    112 Sean Lee/LB Penn State 105

    143 A.J. Edds/LB Iowa 107
    143 Marcus Easley/WR UConn 115

    174 Rashawn Jackson/FB VA 161
    174 Riley Cooper/WR Florida 177

    205 Sam Young/OT Notre Dame 190
    205 Shay Hodge/WR Mississippi 197

    Ed... Enjoy your work.. 'My G-Men Draft for 2010

    Thanks! John (G-Men1958)