Last week, when the Giants were about to make their first round selection, they could not believe Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara was still on the board. Surprised with this turn of events, the Giants pulled the trigger and selected Prince. According to Giants Director of College Scouting Marc Ross, the Giants believe they got the best player. “We picked the best player, and we were surprised.” But if he was so good, how come he fell to the Giants?
A reason given by Ross is the run on quarterbacks in the first round. Consequently, this pushed Prince further down in the draft. What Ross is telling us is true. Indeed, quarterbacks were taken earlier than anticipated. And I am not taking Ross’ truth at face value. Prior to this draft, Amukamara was listed on experts draft boards as a top 10 pick. At one point, Kiper had him in his top five. Generally speaking, teams in the league are looking to add quality cornerbacks to their roster. Given the fact Amukamara had no “character issues” or a serious injury concern, it seems to be a complete mystery about his stock falling. Even Kiper does not give an explanation on why teams were bearish on Prince. Kiper: Amukamara had dropped a bit on my Big Board leading up to the draft, but was still a really good value at No. 19 overall. Perhaps teams around the league viewed his disappointing performance against Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon. After watching this video clip, Blackmon made Prince look like Elvis “Toast” Patterson.
In defense of Prince, he could have had a bad day. However, after viewing this video, I disagree with people who believe Prince is a shutdown corner. Apparently, teams around the league saw how dominant Blackmon was against Prince. This could be a clue on Prince’s unexpected fall. Although Giants GM Jerry Reese was concerned about Prince’s tumble, they found nothing in their research which diminished his value. On the other hand, the Giants have a good player. He will help bolster the secondary as well as help on special teams. Recall a Bill Parcells quote, “The quickest way to get better in the NFL is with special teams.” And the Giants found a guy who can help them do that.