Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants show a lot of interest in Auburn prospects Braden Smith and Stephen Roberts as they traveled south for the university’s pro day.
It appears the New York Giants are interested in two Auburn University football players.
Scouts from the Giants attended the Auburn Pro Day on Friday, scouting prospects Braden Smith and Stephen Roberts for the upcoming NFL Draft.
According to NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline, the Giants have shown an interest in both Smith and Roberts.
Pauline states that both the Giants and the Tennessee Titans each had a one-on-one sit down with Roberts. In his senior season, Roberts recorded 50 tackles from the safety spot for the Tigers with seven pass breakups and one forced fumble.
“Safety Stephen Roberts, who was struggling with a stiff shoulder, also slightly improved on his combine time of 4.53 with some scouts clocking him at 4.48,” Pauline said. “Despite the shoulder, Roberts looked good in position drills.”
Roberts played his whole senior season with an AC joint strain in his right shoulder.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein sees Roberts as one of the most athletic and fastest safeties in the draft and compares him to former Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams.
“Roberts is faster and more athletic than many of the safeties in this draft, but he’s also smaller,” Zierlein said. “Roberts could battle for early sub-package reps and may have the speed and talent to become a solid starter in the future.”
Smith, a three-year starter at guard for Auburn, is considered one of the top interior lineman in this year’s draft according to CBSSports.com
Standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 315 pounds, the Kansas native helped pave the way for 1,000-yard rusher Kerryon Johnson, earning AP first-team honors in the process.
Pauline reports the Giants are very high on Smith and see him as a player that can play guard and right tackle.
“The Giants, who had executive scout Steve Verderosa hand at Auburn’s pro day, evidently liked Smith,” Pauline said. “During a webcast I did with John Schmeelk and Paul Dottino of the New York Giants during the combine, I mentioned Smith as a potential third-round target for Big Blue.”
At the NFL Combine last week, Smith put on an impressive performance for the NFL coaches and scouts on hand.
He recorded 35 reps on the 225 bench-press test. That, added to his performance in agility drills and offensive lineman position drills, ranked him in the 83rd percentile, showing why he is one of the top interior linemen in the NFL Drafts.
Zierlein compares Smith to Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler.
“Braden Smith has an NFL-ready frame and will impress evaluators with the eyeball test. When the eyeballs are focused on the tape, they will see a player who is more than capable of matching power with power,” Zierlein said. “He has size and power, but the holes in his game are unlikely to be patched up with coaching. He can become an average to solid starter.”
As most people know, one of the biggest weaknesses for the Giants is their offensive line. Big Blue will most likely not re-sign offensive lineman Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg and D.J. Fluker in free agency.
Smith could a be nice find for the Giants in the middle rounds of the draft. The Giants have been linked to Notre Dame offensive lineman Quenton Nelson with the No. 2 pick in the draft.
Giants had scouts on hand to at the Princeton University pro day this week, scouting quarterback Chad Kanoff, Pauline reports.
Kanoff has a big arm and with his 6 foot 4, fits the description of what scouts want in a quarterback in the NFL.
The Princeton quarterback may be an option for the Giants in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft.