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With the 184th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected tight end Jerell Adams of South Carolina.
Over that time, the NFL’s incoming class prepared for the combine, participated in the combine, held Pro Days, anxiously awaited the draft results, and reported for rookie minicamp before being thrown into the deep end with veterans during spring practices. Such is life for an athlete trying to make it to the professional level.
The rookies are now enjoying a much-needed break before reporting for training camp on July 28. So it’s a good time to gauge their progress heading into summer.
Apple, a 6-1, 199-pound cornerback from Ohio State, was the 10th overall selection. He started 27 of 28 games for the Buckeyes following a redshirt year. Apple was one of the best defensive players on Ohio State’s 2014 national championship team, and was the Defensive MVP following the Buckeyes’ victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1.
Shepard, a 5-10, 194-pound receiver, was the 40th overall selection, from Oklahoma. In four seasons with the Sooners, Shepard caught 233 passes for 3,482 yards and 26 touchdowns. In 2015, he had career-high totals of 86 catches, for 1,288 yards and 11 scores.
UCLA product Perkins was chosen 149th overall. The 5-10, 208-pounder rushed for 3,491 yards and 29 touchdowns, and caught 80 passes for 739 yards and three scores in three years with the Bruins. His 1,575 yards in 2014 is the second-highest total in UCLA history. Last year Perkins rushed for 1,343 yards and scored a career-high 14 touchdowns. He also caught 30 passes for 242 yards and a score.
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The Giants today placed running back Orleans Darkwa on injured reserve and signed linebacker/safety Eric Pinkins off their practice squad.
Darkwa, a three-year veteran, has been plagued by lower leg soreness. He has New York Giants jersey authentic appeared only on special teams in the last four games after not playing at all against Baltimore on Oct. 16.
The Giants have been busy since free agency began. Big Blue signed veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who was recently released by the Jets. The Giants followed up by inking tight end Rhett Ellison (from Minnesota) and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker (from San Diego). Big Blue also re-signed running back Orleans Darkwa, offensive lineman John Jerry and quarterback Josh Johnson. On Friday, the Giants signed defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to a new contract. A free agent, JPP had received the franchise designation last month.
The New York Giants already made some roster moves in advance of the 4 p.m. start time on March 9, notably placing the franchise tag on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and signing veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who was recently released by the Jets. A day later, the Giants inked tight end Rhett Ellison, who spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings.
Thus far, the Giants have addressed wide receiver (Brandon Marshall), tight end/fullback (Rhett Ellison) and the offensive line (D.J. Fluker) in free agency. Despite those moves, I could still see them drafting a player at any of those three positions. For example, on the offensive line, Newhouse has signed with the Raiders, so there’s still room for competition and depth on the roster. The two positions where I could see free agency having the biggest impact on the team’s draft plans would be defensive tackle and linebacker. Johnathan Hankins is still a free agent and so are Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard, who both saw time in the middle. Depending on how things play out with those three players, the Giants may have some voids to fill through the draft specifically two defensive starters.