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Giants' Jerry Reese plays catch-up at NFL combine

Giants general manager Jerry Reese talks to reporters.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese talks to reporters. (Jan. 3, 2011) Credit: AP

As the NFL world returns to Indianapolis for the second time this month, Giants general manager Jerry Reese realizes he's a bit behind the curve when it comes to this latest event at Lucas Oil Stadium. Which is a good thing, considering the last time he was in town just 17 days ago, his team was putting together a remarkable Super Bowl win over the Patriots.

"It's a lot different when you're still playing than when you have nothing else to do except concentrate on what you're trying to do in the offseason," Reese said as he prepares for this week's annual scouting combine, where more than 300 of the league's top college prospects will be on display for NFL executives and coaches "But it's a good problem to have. We can catch up quickly. We've done it before."

The Giants are coming off their second Super Bowl victory in the last five seasons, so they're starting to get used to this game of catch-up. And even though they draft 32nd and last in this year's draft, Reese and his staff have plenty of work ahead in identifying players they think can help a championship team down the road.

The Jets will draft 16th.

The combine will showcase the top college performers, most of whom will participate in a variety of drills that will better help scouts determine their value in the draft, set for April 26-28 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The top two quarterbacks -- Andrew Luck of Stanford and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor -- won't throw for scouts in Indianapolis and will instead wait for their schools' pro days. A handful of other elite prospects also will limit their drills at the combine, although most players will go through the full battery of practice, medical assessments and interviews.

Luck is expected to be drafted first by the Colts. He figures to be the future face of the organization, amid uncertainty over Peyton Manning's future. The Colts owe Manning a $28-million bonus March 8, but the team is unlikely to make the payment because of Manning's neck problems that forced him to sit out the entire 2011 season.

Griffin might go to Cleveland at No. 4 or Washington at No. 6. Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M is another first-round possibility.

Trent Richardson of Alabama is the best of a fairly weak class of running backs, and Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon is the featured receiver.

There's a terrific group of defensive tackles that includes Fletcher Cox of Mississippi State, Michael Brockers of LSU, Devon Still of Penn State and Jerel Worthy of Michigan State. And cornerback is another strength of this year's draft, as LSU's Morris Claiborne leads a solid group.

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