The Giants hope the little guy from the little school will give opposing teams big problems.
With their third-round pick Friday night, they selected versatile 5-8 receiver Jerrel Jernigan from Troy (Ala.). Not only should he be able to find some reps in a receiving group that has several key members coming back from injury -- the most serious being Steve Smith's microfracture knee surgery -- but he could become a dynamic special-teams weapon.
He also might give the Giants something they haven't had in the last few years: a true Wildcat weapon.
"He's an explosive player," general manager Jerry Reese said. "We really like him."
Jernigan is the all-time leader in all-purpose yards not only at Troy but in the Sun Belt Conference. He finished his career with 3,128 receiving yards, 892 rushing yards, 1,580 kickoff return yards, 373 punt return yards and 43 passing yards. A high school quarterback, he completed 6 of 7 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown in 2010.
The prospect of the Wildcat came up -- albeit briefly -- when Jernigan met with the Giants during a pre-draft visit.
"They asked me if I loved doing it," he said. "I told them yes, I loved doing it. But that was pretty much it."
Jernigan is aware that NFL teams are interested in using offensive players in varying positions in the Wildcat, much the way the Jets have used Brad Smith in recent years. The Giants have not participated in that trend, and although Tom Coughlin noted the possibility, he also said he prefers not to take the ball out of Eli Manning's hands.
With Jernigan, however, he might be tempted to.
"I enjoy watching it," Jernigan said of the Wildcat. "Every time I see it, I say to myself, 'That is something that I can see myself doing when I go up there [to the NFL].' But I just look forward to going out there and competing."
Although Coughlin pointed to the middle of the offensive line as an area of need when he spoke at the combine, the Giants ignored that area for most of the draft. The first lineman they took was in the fourth round, Indiana tackle James Brewer, and they do not expect him to compete for a starting job right away.
Reese called him a "late bloomer" who started playing football only as a senior in high school. But with some work, the Giants think he can develop into a left tackle.
"We would like for him to get a little stronger and learn better technique," Reese said. "We think there's a lot of upside with him."
The Giants didn't have a fifth-round pick. They finished their draft by taking Michigan State middle linebacker Greg Jones, Iowa safety Tyler Sash and South Florida outside linebacker Jacquian Williams with three picks in the sixth round, and Maryland running back Da'Rel Scott in the seventh.