Weatherspoon could get Giants nod

Last year when the Giants needed a wide receiver, general manager Jerry Reese drafted two in the first three rounds by taking Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden.

This year, the Giants have seven picks to find a linebacker.

In the third and final installment of linebackers the Giants might want to take a look at in the draft, ESPNNewYork.com features Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon. The 6-foot-1, 239-pound tackling machine is projected to go later than 15, perhaps in the late first round. But Weatherspoon's name has been linked to the Giants in some mock drafts and reports. Weatherspoon has been rated by most as the third-best linebacker in the draft behind Alabama's Rolando McClain and Texas' Sergio Kindle, who is considered to be a prototypical 3-4 pass-rushing linebacker.

While the Giants have reportedly brought in other linebackers like Penn State OLB Navorro Bowman and ILB Sean Lee, and could also take a look at another inside player like Florida's Brandon Spikes in the second round or later, Weatherspoon is an athletic linebacker with good size and speed. He may be more suited for the outside but Reese has said he will not shy away from picking a player because they already appear set at that particular spot.


Position: Outside linebacker
School: Missouri
Height: 6-1
Weight: 239 pounds
Age: 22

STRENGTHS: According to Scouts Inc., Weatherspoon has an excellent combination of size and speed and has "top-end speed" to play either inside or outside linebacker depending on the defensive scheme. He is versatile, having played inside and outside. Has good range in coverage and is tough, having played through a torn labrum in his shoulder in 2008 during spring practice. He started 28 straight games in the past two seasons and was the leader of the Missouri defense.

WEAKNESSES: Needs to improve on recognition skills. According to Scouts Inc., he has been seen taking false steps against the run on misdirection and counter plays. Some scouts reportedly considered his junior season to be better than his senior year.

MEL KIPER'S TAKE: "Tackling machine with very underrated speed for the position. Weatherspoon is solid versus the run or the pass, and is a tackling machine."

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.