Giants bring in potential late-round defensive line gem for a visit

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech, new york giants
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are always looking for mid-to-late-round gems in the NFL draft. Although they’re focused on the quarterback and top-tier receivers, two essential needs, don’t discount some of their top 30 visits and what they can mean for their selections.

Recently, the Giants brought in Virginia Tech defensive lineman Pheldarius Payne, a 6’3″, 275-pound interior big man with the pass-rush upside to contribute at a high level in the NFL.

Paybe ran a 4.85 40-yard dash at 286 pounds, including a 1.65 10-yard split. According to Ryan Fowler of the Draft Network, that would’ve ranked second among all defensive linemen at the NFL combine. He’s currently flying under the radar, but the Giants certainly viewed him as a potential value later on in the draft to support their defensive front.

The Giants Are Looking For Upside

Over 288 snaps for Virginia Tech this past season, Paybe contributed 23 pressures, including six sacks and 19 tackles, with a 7.4% missed tackle rate. In other words, he was utilized heavily as a pass rusher from an interior stance, and with the departure of Leonard Williams, the Giants could use more support in that regard.

Currently, the team has Dexter Lawrence, Ryder Anderson, D.J. Davidson, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Jordan Phillips, and Jordan Riley as their primary defensive lineman. Still, a bit more rush specialization wouldn’t hurt.

The Giants have done their due diligence on several highly athletic players later in the draft. Bringing them in for top 30 visits certainly suggests they could be higher on their list.

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