Giants Take Backer in 5th Round: Ryan Connelly

by Spiro Kasabian @nyspawtsguy_spi

With the 143rd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Wisconsin Linebacker, Ryan Connelly.  Connelly is a tough Linebacker that should provide solid depth at the LB position and, at worst, will be a good contributor to Special Teams.

The Giants took a huge step up in Special Teams coverage last year, and with the selection of Ryan Connelly, the Giants should get another player that will help in that regard.  Connelly was a former walk-on for the Badgers and plays every down like he is still trying to earn at spot. 

Connelly should have little issue surpassing Nathan Stupar on the depth chart.  Connelly will remind Giant fans of Mark Herzlich, but quicker and more instinctive.  If B.J. Goodson does not show any significant improvement this year, Connelly could be a good candidate to replace him in James Bettcher’s downhill, attacking defense.

Strengths

  • Instinctive player, recognizes plays quickly and attacks even quicker
  • Tough. Played hurt for a long time
  • Smart player with high football IQ
  • A high motor that plays very well in run defense

Weaknesses

  • Has issues shedding blocks at times
  • In-the-box LB that doesn’t have a ton of athleticism or speed
  • Issues keeping up with good Tight Ends and Running Backs in man-to-man coverage
  • Can over pursuit and get caught off guard with misdirection

Connelly should be, at worst a solid add to Special Teams and good depth during his rookie year.  He has the potential to be a spot starter and could earn himself a starting spot as a ILB in Bettcher’s 3-4 defense.  The Giants could have done better from a value standpoint here, but they also could have done worse. 

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