With the number 9 pick in the draft and a myriad amount of gaping holes on the roster, Jerry Reese could choose to go one of multiple directions with the selection.
One of these directions would be sprucing up the defensive line, specifically the pass rush. Sure, Jason Pierre-Paul is back but he’s shown he’s inconsistent and injury prone. Across from him at the opposing DE slot is Robert Ayers who broke out last season with 5 sacks in 12 games. Behind them will be Damatre Moore and George Selvie.
That makes for a very inconsistent line, as none of those players have been able to consistently prove they can stay healthy and be effective for a full 16 game season.
To help fix this, they could potentially add Nebraska DE/OLB Randy Gregory.
Gregory was an absolute beast in two seasons with Nebraska, earning himself all Big 10 honors in both of his two seasons at the program after transferring from Arizona Western, where he also was a feared defender.
He totaled up 17.5 sacks in 24 games played, the most of any Wisconsin player. He’s able to dominate on the line so much due to his outstanding athleticism and skill set combination. He’s incredibly quick and strong, and also has amazing skill moves to blast by the offensive line. He’s also shown he can use these moves for more than just attacking the QB. He also racked up 29 tackles for loss, and blocked two kicks. Here are some highlights of how dangerous he truly can be.
Gregory has shown the ability to defend the passing game as well, consistently improving in that area throughout his college career.
On the rushing side of things, Gregory has potential but was prone to being worn down at the college level. Melvin Gordon set an NCAA rushing record against Nebraska, and Gregory actually started off very well. Gordon kept on pounding and pounding, eventually wearing down Gregory to the point he was more of a liability than a help.
While most of that sounds great, there are two major concerns.
He has battled injuries the last two seasons, showing he may be injury prone at the much more demanding NFL level too. He missed two full games last season, and significant parts of two more games as well. He underwent knee surgery and suffered a concussion just a year ago.
He also admitted to failing a drug test in college, citing marijuana as the culprit. He won’t face discipline and he didn’t even have to come out with it, but chose to be honest with it anyway. Gregory has vowed to stop, saying he doesn’t have a problem. If Josh Gordon has taught us anything lately though, it’s that a players word isn’t always trustworthy. He was once considered a lock for a top five pick, but recent mocks have him falling to the Giants range.
If he ultimately is drafted by New York, his role will be decided in training camp and the preseason. If he can outplay Moore, Ayers and Selvie he very well could be a starter come opening day. If not, he could be a situational pass rusher and special teamer while he develops the other aspects of his game.
Him, Damatre Moore, and Jason Pierre-Paul could create an absolutely terrifying trio for the next decade. They are all young and have the potential to be elite pass rushers on the Giants defensive line, and finally give them the punch needed to break through the Cowboys brick wall of an offensive line.
The Giants have a history of staying away from players like Gregory, but him being honest and doing the right thing with it may sway their opinion. They could really use an extra pass rusher, and Gregory could perfectly fit the mold. He has drawn comparisons to Von Miller, a deadly defender in his own right. He may just be too good to pass up.
Chances the Giants consider Gregory: 70%
Chances the Giants Draft Gregory: 40%