New York Giants
Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |
Giants left tackle Will Beatty is expected to miss five or six months because of a torn pectoral muscle.
The 6-foot-6, 329-pound lineman suffered the injury lifting weights, according to FOX Sports. He underwent surgery Wednesday, according to Newsday, and is not expected back until midseason.
Beatty, a second-round pick in 2009, has started 63 of 82 games in four seasons and has missed just one game over the last three years.
Many young men who enter the NFL have a special bond with their parents. For New York Giants' first-round pick Ereck Flowers, his bond with his father is extra special.
Flowers lost his mother, Tanya Stokes, when he was six years old. As a result, his father, Everald Flowers, took on an even larger role in his son's life.
The elder Flowers, a college linebacker at Washburn University, took an active role in coaching his son in sports, being there for his college games, the combine, his pro day and his draft day experiences.
Everald Flowers also accompanied his son to East Rutherford, home of the Giants, following his selection by the Giants.
The elder Flowers will also be serving as his son's agent, though an attorney will actually review the terms of the contract before the ninth overall pick in the draft signs.
Flowers, a young 21 years old, was described by head coach Tom Coughlin as a quiet guy with a mean streak, a description he didn't dispute.
"I like to really get into the game, and I really play with a lot of passion," he said. "I love the game of football."
Flowers is also humble enough to realize that he has a lot of work to make his transition to the NFL a smooth one.
"I think I'm a player who needs to work on everything. I think I've got a long ways to go and I'm ready to go that way," he said. "I love everything about football, so I'm pretty happy about the confidence in myself. I'm just ready to take this next step."
He will do so with his biggest cheerleader, his father, not too far from his thoughts.
The Giants' selection of Flowers in the first round makes this the fourth consecutive year the Giants have drafted an offensive player with their first pick. Flowers follows running back David Wilson (2012), tackle Justin Pugh (2013) and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (2014).
The Giants' four-year streak of drafting an offensive player is their longest such streak since 1987-92, when they chose receiver Mark Ingram, offensive lineman Eric Moore, center Brian Williams, running back Rodney Hampton, fullback Jarrod Bunch and tight end Derek Brown in the first round.
Flowers is also the fourth player from Miami taken by the Giants in the first round since 2002, joining tight end Jeremy Shockey (2002), defensive tackle William Joseph (2003) and safety Kenny Phillips (2008).
Flowers is also the first player from the University of Miami to be drafted in the first round since Phillips.
New Giants safety Landon Collins, the team's second-round pick, has temporarily been assigned No. 27, previously worn by Stevie Brown.
However, Collins is hoping that once he comes in for the Giants' rookie minicamp next week, he can get a specific and different number.
That number would be 26, famously worn by the late Sean Taylor during his days at the University of Miami.
"When I talk to the equipment manager again, I will do that," Collins said at his introductory press conference, perhaps unaware that the number is already in use by running back Orleans Darkwa. "I'm going to ask for it."
Up until this year, No. 26 was worn by former safety Antrel Rolle, who signed with the Bears during free agency. If Collins ends up getting No. 26, it would be only fitting to try to continue the tradition of solid play and leadership that Rolle was known for during his five-year stint with the Giants.
"He's a big safety too. He's fast and a great guy," Collins said when asked about Rolle. "He knows the game very well."
Like Rolle, Collins is confident that he can ensure there is no drop-off during the upcoming transition from Rolle to the younger generation.
"I came into a lot of places. I came from Dutchtown. I came in right after Eric Reid. Going into Alabama I came in after Mark Barron and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Vinny Sunseri," Collins said of the perceived pressure to replace Rolle.
"I had plenty of big shoes to fill, so I'm going to definitely fulfill those shoes and keep it going."
Giants third-round pick Owa Odighizuwa was so emotional when the call came in from the Giants advising him that he was their third-round pick, that the young man admitted to weeping tears of joy.
"I was definitely very emotional," Odighizuwa said. "Just finally getting my name called and knowing that I'm going to be living out my dream and working and playing professional football was a very emotional moment for me."
Emotions aside, it is time for Odighizuwa, the 74th overall pick in the draft, to get down to business where he hopes to carry on a young tradition for one of the NFL's oldest franchises.
That tradition would be to be as productive as another Giants third-round defensive prospect draft pick who was also selected 74th overall, former defensive end Justin Tuck, who played nine seasons with the Giants and who recorded 59.5 sacks.
"I certainly hope the results (for Odighizuwa) are that," head coach Tom Coughlin quipped.
It's probably going to take a little time though for Odighizuwa to get up and running.
"When you start picking guys in the third round, those are guys that have some things they have to get better at, some developmental qualities that they have to get better at," said general manager Jerry Reese.
However, there is definitely some things there to work with, according to Reese.
"He's a big, powerful guy. An amazing body. We're hoping to hit on this guy as a pass-rusher. He can play inside. Our coaches like that he can go inside and play. We think he'll be a matchup problem as an inside rusher as well."
In four seasons for the Bruins, Odighizuwa started 21 of 51 games, recording 136 tackles (85 solo), 12.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for losses.
That's exactly what the Giants are going to need on their defensive line, which last season all too often was beaten down in the trenches, and which finished 30th against the run.
"I like the effort," Coughlin said. "I like to see a guy that just goes and goes and goes. He seems to have that kind of a motor. I like that. He plays hard."
Talk about surprises.
If Giants fans were surprised with the team's fifth-round pick, imagine how surprised the pick himself was to get the call.
Texas defensive back Mykkele Thompson, a versatile defensive back who has also done well on special teams, admitted he was surprised as well to get the call from the Giants.
"Honestly, I had no idea where I was going to go," he said via conference call. "Me thinking that I didn't put that good of numbers up this past season, I thought free agency was going to be the main goal probably."
Thompson, who revealed that the Giants were the only team who invited him in for a pre-draft visit, is hoping that his versatility he has played free safety, cornerback, and slot cornerback will help him find a role on the Giants' 53-man roster.
"I'll play wherever they want me to," he said. "In college I played every defensive back position, so wherever they want me to go, that's where I'll play, and, of course, special teams is really big."
Count Giants' sixth-round pick Germey Davis as another player who was surprised to hear his name called by New York.
Davis, speaking via conference call, said he hadn't really heard much from the Giants, making his selection a surprise. However, he is glad to have heard from them and is looking forward to getting to work.
"From a receiving standpoint, I am a big, physical guy. I am not afraid to open up big blocks for running backs and other receivers," he said.
"I am not afraid to go across the middle. I have great hands."
He also believes he can be effective on special teams.
"I am a pretty big guy. Six-two, 215 (pounds). I am a physical receiver. I am going to run down there and make tackles. I can be an in-man on punt protecting for the punt. Front line on kickoff return. I am going to use all those traits that I have as a receiver on special teams.
That all sounds like good news for a Giants team that apparently still has concerns about Victor Cruz's status for the coming season. Cruz, of course, is recovering from a torn patellar tendon.
Davis, who saw his college production dip in his final year of eligibility he went from 71 catches in 2013 to 44 in 2014 believes his high ankle sprain was to blame.
"I missed two games with a high ankle sprain (on my left leg). Then when I hurt my ankle, it was in the beginning of the ECU game so I pretty much missed three games. Prior to that, I was on pace for another year like I had, but unfortunately I had the injuries."
Thankfully for him, the Giants overlooked his injury issues.
"I came back strong at the pro day, Combine and all-star games. I am happy that the Giants realized it."