Johnson caught our attention during Senior Bowl practice week, and he didn't disappoint during the Senior Bowl game either. However, there was still more to learn about the minimally advertised Northern Iowa product as the NFL Combine approached. Johnson measured a half an inch over 6 feet tall and weighed in at 224 pounds. Despite the larger frame, Johnson ran the fourth-fastest 40-yard-dash (4.50) among all running backs. More impressively, he finished with the second best vertical jump (41.5 inches), broad jump (10 feet, 7 inches), and 3-cone (6.82 seconds). These three drills are set up to test explosion and agility. If Johnson is on the board when the Giants pick in Round 3, don't be surprised to hear his name.
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Vic Beasley, edge rusher
Going into the NFL Combine, many projected Beasley as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 base defense, and they refused to believe that he could compete at any other position. Beasley proceeded to tear up the weekend, and his most impressive feat may have simply been the positional drills where he showed off fluidity and instincts. Beasley ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at 246 pounds. He showed off his elite explosion (41.5-inch vertical, 10 foot, 10 inch broad jump) and strength (35 bench-press reps). Many now believe that Beasley can play outside linebacker in a 4-3 base defense if he is used like how the Broncos deploy Von Miller. He is likely on the Giants radar at No. 9 overall.
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Chris Conley, wide receiver
Victor Cruz is still in the process of recovering from an unpredictable surgery, so it would be unwise to rule out the Giants from exploring another option at the position. At 6-foot-2 and a chiseled 213 pounds, he has the body type of a Terrell Owens. He possesses ridiculous length (33 3/4 arms), speed (4.35), and explosion (45-inch vertical, 11 foot, 7 inch broad jump). Once upon a time, Jerry Reese fell in love with the similarly athletic Darius Heyward-Bey. Luckily for Giants fans, Heyward-Bey was selected before their pick. Conley can be had at a much cheaper price.
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T.J. Clemmings, offensive tackle
Clemmings stood out at the Senior Bowl due to his length, but a poor week of play at the Senior Bowl exposed some of his flaws, and he has since dropped down many draft boards. However, the former defensive tackle used the combine to prove that his athleticism was even better than advertised. He measured in just under 6-foot-5 and with the longest arms (35 1/8") of any tackle prospect. Clemmings showed off explosion and agility in the vertical jump, broad jump, and three-cone drill. He projects nicely to right tackle on a team that utilizes zone-blocking schemes, and Ben McAdoo's offense features many zone blocking plays. If Clemmings is there in Round 2, expect the Giants to pounce with the idea of moving Justin Pugh inside to right guard.
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Dante Fowler, edge rusher
Before the NFL Combine, many knocked Fowler for his speed and ability to bend the edge. Fowler responded with a 4.60 40-yard dash at 261 pounds. This ridiculous speed-weight combination opened up the eyes of every scout who doubted him. Fowler may not have the length to play defensive end in a 4-3 base on every snap — he is just under 6-foot-3 — but new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo can use him at outside linebacker on base downs and kick him to defensive end on passing downs. As the Giants management always says, you can never have too many pass rushers. Keep an eye on Fowler at No. 9 overall.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY SporTrevor Ruszkowski
Jalen Collins, cornerback
With Spagnuolo in as defensive coordinator, you can expect to see a lot less zone coverage. The cornerbacks will press more often, and the Giants will shift their focus to draft prospects who project better to press-man schemes. Collins used the NFL Combine to prove that he fits that billing. After measuring in at just under 6-foot-2 and 203 pounds, he ran a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash. The Giants can hope that he lasts until their selection in Round 2.
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Eric Kendricks, inside linebacker
Kendricks entered the NFL Combine with concerns about his speed. Some wondered if he was too slow to play the position. He responded by blazing a 4.61 40-yard dash at 232 pounds. He adds those impressive workout numbers to a collection of game tape that never fails to impress. Kendricks is always around the football, and he makes plays based on his elite instincts for the position. Check out his game tape against Virginia here. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better game from any of the inside linebacker prospects. Jerry Reese did not guarantee that Jon Beason would return, and if he chooses to release him, the Giants have a hole in the middle. Kendricks could be the pick in Round 2.
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Byron Jones, cornerback
Jones took the event by storm when he soared 12 feet, 3 inches in the broad jump, which was 15 inches farther than the second-best defensive back and 8 inches longer than the best listed in the NFL scouting combine database. And he broke a world record with his broad jump. Many scouts admit that Jones is not simply just an athletic freak. He was injured for part of 2014, but when he did play, he displayed impressive skills as a bump-and-run press cornerback. He fits the billing for where the Giants are moving toward in the secondary, and if he slips out of Round 1, the Giants could look to target him on the second day of the draft.
Owamagbe Odighizuwa, edge rusher
Owa has not received the buzz that he deserves, but maybe his performance at the NFL Combine will change that. He measured in at just under 6-foot-4 and 267 pounds. This an ideal starting point for a defensive end in Spagnuolo's 4-3 base defense. Unlike some of the other top edge rusher prospects, it's not a stretch to project Owa as a down lineman in a 4-3 base. His size didn't hold him back from showing off elite traits for the position. His speed (4.62) and explosion (39-inch vertical, 10 foot, 7 inch broad jump) were among the best on the defensive line. He also showed off his lateral agility with a strong 3-cone drill. Owa is a true sleeper to be taken by the Giants in the first round, but if they don't and he's there in Round 2, you can lock this one up.