The New York Giants had quite a few positions of need to address in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but they ended up going with a cornerback. Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple was the No. 10 overall pick by the Giants, but they will end up looking back and regretting their decision to reach for him that high.
Don’t take that comment as a statement that Apple will end up being a terrible NFL player and major bust. It simply means that reaching as high in the draft as they did, rather than trading down, was a mistake.
Apple has quite a few aspects of his game that will translate to the NFL, but there are others that are major concerns. He was graded as a borderline first round pick by most analysts, but the Giants obviously saw something that they couldn’t live without.
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network had some things to say about Apple, and it is worth a read.
“He’s only three years removed from high school. He has all kind of potential and is clean off the field. His tape is up and down. He’s tall, fast and physical, but inconsistent and it’s all because of a lack of reps.”
If the Giants had decided to trade down around seven or ten picks, they likely would have still gotten Apple. They could have acquired another asset or two to use as well. New York needed as many talented players as they could get in the draft this year after the season that they had last year.
New York finished the 2015 season with a 6-10 record and their defense was a big part of the problem. They allowed 298.9 passing yards per game, which isn’t normally going to get the job done. Apple will help with that issue a bit, but he isn’t a major playmaker, and he hasn’t shown the work ethic or improvement that he should have shown at Ohio State.
Last season as a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Apple compiled just 33 total tackles, one interception, and seven defensed passes. He wasn’t a major difference maker for the Buckeyes. There is no question that he has the build and potential to be a No. 10 pick, but the Giants could have gotten a better player that was more of a sure thing.
At 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, Apple will be able to get physical with opposing wide receivers. That won’t be his issue, but he has a lot of problems to work on as well that were obvious during his college career.
He has been slow to react to and anticipate an opposing quarterback, which will be an issue at the NFL level. Apple also possesses average athleticism, which could be an issue even with the size that he has. Perhaps the biggest problem that Apple could have at the next level is that he has been slow to turn his head and find the football throughout his career.
All of that said, the Giants saw something that made them take Apple with the No. 10 overall pick. If they are happy with the selection and confident that Apple will turn out to be worth the selection, then their fans should trust them. There are some major concerns to keep an eye on, but the biggest issue is that they reached so high to grab him, when they could have traded back and gotten another piece or two.
What do you think of the New York Giants’ decision to draft Eli Apple with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft? Do you think he will end up being a good pick or a disappointment? Let us know in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast]