The NFL Scouting Combine has been in full swing this week, but the real scouting continues on Friday as running backs, offensive linemen, kickers and special teamers take the the field.
Here’s who the Giants should be keeping a close eye on when it all begins at 4 p.m…
1) Iowa T Tristan Wirfs
As Daniel Jones grows into Big Blue’s franchise quarterback, he’s going to need to be protected.
With the fourth overall pick in the first round, the Giants will likely have their choice at whatever offensive tackle they like the most, and that very could be Wirfs.
SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano has reported that the Giants already “love” Wirfs as a player. At 6-foot-5, 320 pounds, Wirfs certainly has the size to play in the NFL, and the drills on Friday will show just how athletic he is.
During his junior and final season with the Hawkeyes, Wirfs played both left and right tackle, which could make him even more appealing to a team like the Giants, who are in desperate need of any tackle depth they can get. That year, Wirfs earned second-team All-American honors and was also named the Big Ten offensive lineman of the year.
2) Louisville T Mekhi Becton
At the tackle position, Mekhi Becton is a physical freak. Weighing in at 6-foot-7, 364 pounds, Becton would be the heaviest tackle drafted in the last decade, and he’s instantly become the second heaviest tackle in the NFL behind Trent Brown of the Raiders.
Becton would certainly become the Giants left tackle of the future, though it’s likely he could start his career at right tackle and then move over to the left side after Nate Solder leaves the team.
Becton has been the talk of the town leading into the Combine, and now it’s time to see how he fares in the drills. And while 40-yard-dash times aren’t all that important, agility drills like the three-cone and 10-yard shuttle could show how explosive Becton is at coming out of his stance.
3) TCU RB Darius ‘Jet’ Anderson
After selecting running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, it’s more than safe to say that the Giants will not be taking another running back with their fourth overall selection this time around.
And they probably won’t be taking a running back anywhere in the first half of the draft.
But even with Wayne Gallman as the likely No. 2 back behind Barkley, the Giants could still use a shifty, change-of-pace-type back, and Anderson could be a good fit.
Plus, just imagine having a running back nicknamed Jet on the Giants.
4) Georgia T Andrew Thomas
If Becton or Wirfs aren’t the best overall tackles in this year’s draft class, that title could fall to Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas. After all, Thomas faced some very strong competition while playing in the SEC, and at 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, he’s no physical slouch.
Speaking to the media in Indianapolis on Thursday, Thomas said that he would be meeting with the Giants later that day. Thomas also mentioned that he’s a Roc Nation client, and has been to New York a couple of times. Certainly, there are plenty of Giants fans who would be happy to see him get even more familiar with the city.
5) Georgia K Rodrigo Blankenship
Aldrick Rosas is set to be a restricted free agent, and while it’s likely the Giants will bring him back, just in case they don’t, Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship might just be the best option available in the draft.
Let’s be fair, kickers are never going to set the world on fire at the Combine, and team’s aren’t looking to see kickers run 40-yard dashes or hit the bench press. But there are kickoff drills, and Blankenship could show off his leg while kicking an NFL ball, compared to the college-sized ball he kicked at Georgia.
Blankenship is one of three kickers at this year’s combine, and he’s known partially for his thick rec specs that he wears under his helmet. But if he has a good showing in Indy, perhaps the Giants could start seeing him through rose-colored lenses.