Carl Banks – 1984.
The last time the New York Giants selected a linebacker in the first-round, you have to go all the way back to Banks more than 30 years ago.
Well, Pro Football Focus sees things a bit different this time.
In their latest mock draft, they have the Giants nabbing Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham with the 23rd overall pick.
Here’s their scouting report:
[su_quote] “Cunningham loves to take on blockers and he sheds them well and his nose for the ball led to his 56 solo run stops that led all Power-5 linebackers. He has the skills to excel in coverage as well, it’s just a matter of getting better as a tackler where he’s missed 34 over the last two years” [/su_quote]
Last season, the Giants graded out horribly at the linebacker position, according to PFF, as not one linebacker finished the season with a grade over 80 in any category (run defense, coverage, pass rush).
Jonathan Casillas and Keenan Robinson led the group in total snaps (800+) and neither had overall grades over 62.
It’s fair to say that using a first-rounder on a linebacker isn’t the worst idea.