With the draft under two weeks away, rumors are swirling as to what will happen on May 8th. Who will land Johnny Manziel? Will the Falcons trade up for Jadeveon Clowney? What position will the Giants address at 12? What we tend to forget is that the draft is seven rounds, and a successful one is not measured by what is done on the first day, but on the next two. For instance, the Seahawks won a super bowl with a core of a third round Quarterback, and a Cornerback and Safety that were both found in the fifth. You can also look at the Giants 2008 super bowl team that featured Jay Alford, Kevin Boss, and Ahmad Bradshaw. All of these players were picked in the third round or later. Gems found in the later rounds are what build a franchise, and with so many holes, the Giants need to make sure that they hit on some of these picks, something they have failed to do in the past few years. One player who could add quality depth and some grit to a lackluster linebacker core is Notre Dame’s Prince Shembo.
WEIGHT: 253 LBS.
40-YARD DASH: 4.71
VERTICLE JUMP: 38 ½
3 CONE DRILL 7.29
225 BENCH: 26
Prince Shembo is a thickly built Strong side Linebacker, who always seems to play angry. He has the speed to reach ball carriers in the backfield, or near the line of scrimmage and has a high motor, which is something the Giants look for in their defenders. He plays with a low pad level, which helps him with his low compact build. Because Shembo is on the shorter side, and with his ability to get low, his blockers have a smaller target, which he often uses to his advantage. He has shown the ability to get himself in the right position in pass coverage, and also plays with his eyes up which allows him to find the ball carrier with ease.
Another positive to his game is that he played both in space, and with his hand in the dirt as a defensive end. The Giants are all about versatility with their players and love those that have the ability to play multiple roles, such as Mathias Kiwanuka, and Antrel Rolle. An ex long time Giant who switched from defensive end to defensive tackle was a guy named Justin Tuck, but we won’t talk about him. Shembo could play strong side on first and second down, and get down to defensive end on pass rushing situations. He notched 5.5 sacks in 2013, and 7.5 sacks in 2012. While he is raw, he did tally sacks against Michigan’s Taylor Lewan, and number four pick in the 2013 draft, Lane Johnson.
Now before you think Shembo is the second coming of Jesse Armstead, his weaknesses must be pointed out. While he is fast for his size, he doesn’t seem to have the ability to rev up his speed. In other words, he has only one speed, and can’t really hit that a second gear. While this may not seem like a big deal, it would help if he were trying to chase down a Running back or a scrambling quarterback, which he would have to do quite a lot with RGIII. Next, he is often overpowered by blocks, and has trouble getting back into the play. It may be a common occurrence with Linebackers when being blocked by a tackle, but he seems to get swallowed up at times by Tight Ends as well. Shembo may be an above average bull rusher and uses his hands fairly well, but he has a very small catalogue of pass rushing moves. There were times that he tried a spin move, but he needs to watch more Dwight Freeney footage if he wants to perfect that.
The Giants are coming off an amazing offseason where they filled many holes effectively through free agency. The cherry on top would be an A+ draft from Jerry Reese. Shembo could be picked in the 5th or 6th round, and would pay dividends down the road. With the recent addition of Jameel McClain, Prince could be used as a situational player next year, which would allow him time to develop. He has the fire that the Giants look for, and with good coaching, that non-stop motor could propel the Giants for years to come.