The New York Giants 2016 Draft: OLB Prospects; Part 2
By Michael Stewart
Continuing with the OLB prospects in this year’s draft; I will address the final four candidates on my board. Similar with my first 4 selections, the next 4 OLB have a lot to offer and possibly be a steal in the mid to later rounds. As I mentioned in my previous article, Jerry Reese hasn’t been a major component of drafting a linebacker in the early rounds (1st or 2nd), so again, I will focus on OLB that are projected to go anyway from the 3rd to the 5th round.
Joe Scholbert (OLB) Wisconsin 6’2/247: projected 4th round/Played both OLB and DE at Wisconsin and was equally effective at both positions. Possesses quickness and strength to be effective in run support, coverage and also rushing the quarterback. Scholbert could possibly make the transition from OLB/DE in college to ILB at the NFL level.
Jatavis Brown (OLB) Akron 5’11/221: Projected early 4th to mid 5th round/Very similar in size to Eric Striker out of Oklahoma and many scouts have viewed him as a safety at the NFL level. If so, most likely not a good fit for the Giants as they already have Landon Collins as their box safety and the Giants would need a safety that can excel in coverage. Despite his speed (4.52), Brown may not be that coverage guy the Giants would be looking for.
Dadi Lhormme Noicolas (OLB) Virginia Tech 6’3/235: Projected 5th round/More of a project than the other prospects mentioned. Noicolas would need to adjust to a 2 point stance at the NFL level and OLB mostly in a 4-3 defensive scheme to make an easier transition. Worst case scenario would be Noicolas making an impact on special teams.
Victor Ochi (OLB-Stony Brook 6’1/244: projected 5 rd/ Well-built with strong limbs to dip and use his hands to fend off edge blockers. Launches himself off the line of scrimmage with excellent play speed and a motor that is always revving. Has longer arms (33 1/2-inch) than most players his size, shooting his limbs at the point of attack and using his violent hands to fend off blockers.
Final Thoughts: As you can see; there are a few quality OLB available in the mid to later rounds of this year’s draft. Jerry Reese needs to find an outside linebacker in this year’s draft (or via free agency) that will make an impact on a defense that ranked near the bottom of the league in 2016. Aside from a couple of spots on the OL, the offensive side of the ball is in much better shape than the defensive side of the ball for the NY Giants.
If the Giants want to return to those glory years of playoff appearances and possible Super Bowl Championships, Jerry Reese must address the defensive side of the ball with extreme determination. Next article will feature ILB prospects.