New York Giants Draft Sterling Shepard 40th Overall in Second Round on Day 2
By Neal Lynch
With the 40th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
Even three months ago, we listed Shepard as one of the top prospects on the Giants radar and now, that possibility is a reality.
Chris thought the G-Men might go with Shepard in his article Friday morning.
"“Again, receiver is a need but Shepard is a different type of WR than the aforementioned Thomas. Shepard is more in the mold of OBJ. He’s a speedy wide receiver who runs great routes and has very reliable hands. Shepard would fit the Giants offense perfectly catching short passes from Eli Manning with the possibility for big gains.”"
I, too, thought there was a strong chance Big Blue would go with Shepard in my post later on in the day on Friday. Shepard provides insurance for Victor Cruz, and can be the #3 wideout / slot wide receiver right away. I believe this pick will get far better reception than the Giants first round pick Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple.
Height: 5 feet 10 inches | Weight: 194 pounds
Shepard earned a grade of 5.91, which means “Could become early NFL starter”.
Draft analyst Lance Zierlein compared him to Tyler Lockett, adding:
"“The similarities in backgrounds, playing style, production and football character and between Shepard and Seattle’s Tyler Lockett are obvious. Shepard doesn’t possess Lockett’s explosiveness as a return man, but is a better overall receiver. With more and more teams using “11” personnel (3 WRs) as their base offense, Shepard’s stock should be on the rise. Teams looking for a slot receiver who can make plays and rack up a high volume catch count on any given Sunday will find their man in Shepard.”"
Analyst Gil Brandt put Shepard on his list of most underrated offensive prospects, stating:
"“Shepard will be a slot receiver in the NFL. He has great hands and quickness for the position, and reminds me a lot of Wes Welker. I think he’ll also be a top punt returner in the NFL. He’s a great character guy who will be a Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) bargain for some team.”"
In his Pro Day notes, Brandt remarked:
"“Shepard is a great route-runner and has a lot of quickness. Shepard might catch 100 passes in a season some time while working as a slot receiver in the NFL.”"
ProFootballFocus ranked Sterling as the 7th best overall prospect on Day 2.
WalterFootball.com ranked Shepard as the 8th best WR in the draft, adding:
"“For the NFL, Shepard is a small, shifty slot receiver. He can get separation with his quickness and route-running, but looks limited to a slot role.”"
NFL.com’s Matt Harmon wrote that Shepard is poised for early success in the league.
Here’s the bottom line from Sayre Bedinger’s NFLMocks scouting report:
"“Shepard is a player who might struggle with press coverage at the NFL level, but he’s the type of guy that if he can get a clean release at the line of scrimmage, he is going to absolutely burn you all day. He has speed, quickness, and the ability to make tough catches and I think this is a player that can come in and make an immediate impact on an NFL roster because of those abilities.”"
Next: Top 10 Giants Draft Classes in Franchise History
Eli Manning will have a career year in 2016 on the heels of a career year in 2015. I’m telling you, this will be a top 3 offense that will propel the Giants to a division title and a deep run in the playoffs.