Combine watch: CB Justin Gilbert


With the NFL scouting combine set to begin this week, we're taking a look at a handful of prospects the New York Giants might consider with the No. 12 pick in the first round. After profiling offensive players in each of our first four installments, today we finally look at a defensive player.

Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Why they'd take him: The Giants desperately need to improve on offense this offseason, but that doesn't mean they can ignore the defense completely. They appear to be done with Corey Webster, and while Trumaine McBride played well last year, he didn't necessarily solidify himself as the long-term starter opposite Prince Amukamara. 2012 third-rounder Jayron Hosley hasn't developed much, and starting a pair of young first-round picks at cornerback isn't a bad-sounding idea in today's pass-happy NFL. Amukamara looks like a solid player, but he's not a dominant, shut-down type of corner. Strong play on the opposite side of the field would only help him.

Where he ranks: Our pre-draft rankings have Gilbert as the No. 12 overall player and the No. 1 cornerback. Mel Kiper's latest mock draftInsider has him going No. 10 to the Lions. Todd McShay's latest mock draftInsider has him going No. 21 to the Packers.

Something positive (via ESPN's scouting report): "Excellent height and weight combination (6-0 1/4, 199 lbs) and appears to have long arms for the position."

Something negative: "Will relax on occasion and can lose leverage as a result. Will gamble jumping routes which can make him vulnerable to double moves at times."

History: The last time the Giants took a cornerback in the first round was 2011, when they took Nebraska's Amukamara with the No. 19 pick. They took Aaron Ross in the first round in 2007 and Terrell Thomas in the second round a year later.