The NFL Combine is three days in and the big headline from the first few days was undoubtedly Saquon Barkley. But there is a lot of time before April’s NFL Draft as the combine gives way to Pro Days and then private workouts.
But the New York Giants and the New York Jets might well have taken a note or two from the combine’s first two days. A look at what the New York teams might have seen so far from Indianapolis:
Will Hernandez is something else
There’s been buzz about the Jets looking at Quenton Nelson with the sixth pick in the draft but Hernandez may have had the best showing of any interior lineman at the NFL Combine. While the Jets will need to do something to continue the rebuild of their offensive line and could well be interested with Nelson at the No. 6 spot, they might have other needs with that first round pick. And this is where holding multiple second round picks has an advantage as the Jets might be able to move up and grab Hernandez, who could be a late Day 1 or an early Day 2 pick. He put up a combine-best for any lineman of 37 reps on the 225-pound bench press. Most impressive, however, was the 5.15 time he ran in the 40 as a 348-pound guard. That type of athleticism and strength is rare. Were the Jets to bolster their pass rush or add an offensive weapon in the first round then Hernandez could be a great value pick early in the second round.
The Giants can’t let Barkley go by them
If the Cleveland Browns somehow don’t rate Saquon Barkley, then the Giants need to and must get him. It is that simple. He is a game-changer in the mold of Ezekiel Elliott but offers perhaps even more on the field and certainly isn’t the question mark off of it that Elliott has proven to be. Barkley measured well and also impressed with a 4.4 time as well as best in position numbers on the bench press and the vertical jump. That Barkley hit that 4.4 time was impressive because his film shows a player who is patient and reads his blocking well. Factor in top-end speed and it is a dangerous combination. Barkley would balance the Giants' offense perfectly and be a generational pick for this franchise. He is a priority now, more so than drafting a replacement for quarterback Eli Manning.
Local tight end can help either team
Mike Gesicki answered questions abut his speed with a solid 4.54 time. He was productive at Penn State and a good in-line blocker so his combine performance is going to back up what scouts have seen from him the past couple of seasons. He turned some heads, no doubt. Even as the Giants drafted Evan Engram last year, he could be a good pick come Day 2 for the Giants as Gesicki is more of a pure tight end than Engram. The Jets, especially if they move on from Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, could really benefit from him in their offense. Those 57 catches and nine touchdowns last year at Penn State were tough to ignore but a sparkling combine effort will likely push Gesicki solidly into the second round.