As the 2012 NFL Draft approaches it appears likely that the New York Giants will continue to focus on one of the main reasons they have won the Super Bowl in two of the last five seasons, their defensive line. One prospect that could be available in the third or fourth round is Jonathan Massaquoi of Troy University. Massaquoi is one of the more raw pass rushing prospects in the draft but Giants GM Jerry Reese has shown a willingness to take on a raw project on the defensive line as evidenced by his selections of DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Marvin Austin.
Massaquoi’s strength is as a pass rusher. He possesses decent size as a defensive end at 6-2, 265 pounds with long arms and large hands. He uses those arms and hands to gain leverage over opposing offensive linemen. His hands are quick and violent, keeping offensive linemen off balance. He is fast, having logged a 4.89 40-yard dash but lacks a truly quick first step. The potential is there for him to accumulate double digit sacks in the NFL if he works at it.
Playing at Troy meant he didn’t play against the best competition. He struggled when opposing teams double-teamed him which was often. It looks like he played harder on passing downs and turned his motor on high when he smelled a sack. He struggled against the run at Troy but could improve by adding a little weight and strength which will help him at the point of attack.
Massaquoi needs coaching. He is raw but with proper instruction he should be able to improve his football IQ and develop into an excellent situational pass-rusher. He would be an excellent fit for the Giants as he won’t be asked to step in right away and play every down but instead learn from guys like Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, and Jason Pierre-Paul. He might not be an all-pro caliber player but he should definitely be able to contribute to a fearsome Giants pass-rush and become a value if the Giants can grab him in the fourth round and might even slip to the sixth.