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Eli Apple | Cornerback

Team: Ohio State Buckeyes
Ht / Wt:  6'0" / 185

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CBS Sports' Rob Rang was outwardly unimpressed by the Giants' draft haul, awarding them a C grade for the class.
To put that C into context, Rang assigned a grade of at least a B to every other NFC East team. No such luck for the Giants. The analyst was actually rather complimentary of several of New York's picks in his breakdown, though, comparing second-round wideout Sterling Shepard to the Seahawks' Tyler Lockett. Rang even spun the team's early reach on Ohio State CB Eli Apple, writing that, "some scouts believe he will ultimately prove the best corner of this draft." Sat, May 7, 2016 02:40:00 PM
Source: CBS Sports

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Rotoworld's Evan Silva hated what the Giants did early in the draft and loved what they did late, leading to a C overall grade for their class.

"Struggling GM Jerry Reese's draft began with a disaster," Silva wrote. "Loose lips in the Giants' organization leaked Reese's love for Leonard Floyd, so Bears GM Ryan Pace leapfrogged New York to land Floyd at No. 9. Reese panicked and overdrafted [CB Eli] Apple, a fringe first-round prospect who didn't address a pressing need on a roster littered with them." The analyst liked what the G-Men did after that, getting strong prospects like Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard and Boise State S Darian Thompson on Day 2 and finding nice Day 3 value in Clemson LB B.J. Goodson, UCLA RB Paul Perkins and South Carolina TE Jerell Adams.
Source: Rotoworld
Fri, May 6, 2016 03:20:00 PM

Giants selected Ohio State CB Eli Apple with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Apple (6'1/199) spent two years at Ohio State before turning pro as a redshirt sophomore, sprinkling 22 pass breakups and four INTs across 27 starts. He earned second-team All-Big Ten from the conference's coaches in 2015, before blazing 4.4-flat at the Combine. One of the youngest players in this year's draft, Apple doesn't turn 21 until August. A favorite of ESPN's Louis Riddick, Apple has upside as a press-man corner and is technically sound enough to play right away.
Thu, Apr 28, 2016 09:28:00 PM

An anonymous scout told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he's worried about Ohio State CB Eli Apple because he "has no life skills. At all. He can't cook."

The inane quote sparked Twitter comedy gold on Wednesday, with Apple's mother Annie tweeting the following in response: "Eli's dad is a retired five star chef. We eat well. So stop playing with our name. Next time you say our name, put some respeck on it." Ezekiel Elliott then joined in the fun: "Eli has made me some fire fried chicken and mac and cheese. The source seems to be pretty unreliable." Replied Apple himself: "Glad to know someone appreciates my cooking." As for scouts speaking to Apple's actual, you know, football playing ability, one was quoted as saying: "He got beat probably more than you want but he's got tremendous upside. He is too young (20) to be coming out but he is so you've got to project what he's going to be. I think he's going to be a pretty high-level starter."
Wed, Apr 27, 2016 06:50:00 PM

The Steelers want Ohio State CB Eli Apple at No. 25 overall, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac.

Apple may or may not be available at that time, but the Steelers should have plenty of attractive DB options to choose from when they get on the clock. Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves is reportedly dropping down boards and Rotoworld's Thor Nystrom mocks him to Pittsburgh at No. 25. Other options, depending on how the board shakes out, are Houston CB William Jackson III, Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander, and West Virginia S Karl Joseph.
Wed, Apr 27, 2016 04:48:00 PM

NFL Draft Scout's Frank Cooney believes that the Dolphins should draft Ohio State CB Eli Apple with the No. 13 pick.

Cooney likes Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves as a Dolphins pick, too, but Hargreaves could well be selected in the top-10, leaving Miami to search elsewhere for secondary help. As Cooney points out, the Dolphins actually could have been in the range to draft Hargreaves when they held the No. 8 pick, but they ultimately traded that to the Eagles. "Regardless [of the trade], Apple has the size and physical, aggressive nature the Dolphins would like to employ and pair with [Byron] Maxwell," the analyst noted. Several experts -- including Wes Huber of Pro Football Focus and Chad Reuter of NFL Media -- believe Apple will need to work on his off-coverage skills before he is ready to make an impact as a true well-rounded corner. Per Reuter, "scouts have questions about his natural ability to find the ball in the air."
Source: CBS Sports
Tue, Apr 12, 2016 10:17:00 PM

Pro Football Focus analyst Wes Huber noted that while Ohio State CB Eli Apple is adept at press coverage, he will "require work to improve his reaction time when assigned to off-the-ball coverage."

"[Apple's] wheelhouse is within a man-to-man, press scheme," Huber wrote, adding that Apple "effectively utilizes his large frame to pin receivers toward the sideline." That's the positive side of the ledger. Things aren't so smooth in terms of his off-coverage work, with Huber seeing "some difficulty mirroring and matching against quicker receivers." In late March, NFL Media's Chad Reuter offered similar analysis when it came to the 6-foot, 200-pound corner, writing that "scouts have questions about his natural ability to find the ball in the air."
Sat, Apr 2, 2016 08:38:00 PM

NFL Draft Scout's Jeff Cooley wrote that Ohio State CB Eli Apple is "[a] tenacious defender against both pass and run."

Cooley went on to say that "Apple's calling card drips with aggression." The analyst added that the 6-foot, 200-pounder "plays with the attitude that every pass is meant for him and has active, disruptive hands and exceptional straight-line speed." Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar has compared him to Trae Waynes, now of the Vikings. Apple has at least 16 team get-together's scheduled before the draft.
Source: CBS Sports
Mon, Mar 28, 2016 02:19:00 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter wrote that "ranking [Ohio State CB Eli Apple] among the top 15 picks in this class might overestimate his ability as a consistent playmaker."

Reuter does believe that Apple "will play in the league for some time" due to his size and speed. He's not without his questions, though. Wrote the analyst, "Apple will need to get stronger to lock down more physical NFL receivers, and scouts have questions about his natural ability to find the ball in the air." In February, an NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the 6-foot, 200-pounder's best path to NFL success might come with an extended early stint on the bench, as the scout sees Apple as an unfinished product at this point.
Fri, Mar 25, 2016 12:01:00 AM

Ohio State CB Eli Apple was compared to Trae Waynes by Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar.

The Vikings made sure Waynes didn't have to wait in the Green Room long last April when they plucked him out of Michigan State in the first half of the first round. Like Waynes, Apple is extremely physical and can get caught out of position on a gamble. Farrar says the NFL is far more tolerant of this profile than they used to be. "There have been a host of such cornerbacks who have come into the NFL in recent years, with their coaches trying to help them walk the line between efficient aggression, and the kind of hatchet work that draws penalties and leads to blown coverages," he wrote. "Apple straddles that line a bit too often, but he’s got enough on the ball to become a formidable prospect, and a potential upscale NFL starter at the position."
Sun, Mar 20, 2016 07:02:00 PM

Ohio State CB Eli Apple will be visiting or meeting with at least 16 teams in the next six weeks.

NFL Media's Rand Getlin reports a few of those teams include the Jaguars, Bucs, Rams and Dolphins. The Bucs and the Dolphins are showing corner interest at this point in the process, and Apple has been projected in the first or second round. Visiting, workouts and meetings are all quite different in terms of interest and importance.
Thu, Mar 17, 2016 10:18:00 AM

NFL Meda's Lance Zierlein says Ohio State CB Eli Apple was helped by his Combine testing scores as much as anyone.

"Apple's tape was solid, but there was nothing to really get excited about," he wrote, adding that it included "standard strengths and weaknesses." But Zierlein was curious about projecting Apple's ceiling, which required his measurements and his athletic testing numbers. Apple aced all those tests, with an ideal 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame and a 40-yard dash of 4.40 seconds (along with a smoking 10-yard split of 1.47 seconds). "[Those results] immediately checked a huge 'size/speed' box that is often necessary for a better draft grade," Zierlein wrote.
Fri, Mar 11, 2016 01:38:00 PM

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Falcons asked gender and sexuality questions to more prospects than just Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple.

"A few players told me the Falcons were asking gender questions," the paper's source said. "After (Michael) Sam and the Jonathan Martin situation, teams want to be careful." Atlanta may have itself a cultural problem inside the building. The organization was fined $350,000 and a fifth-round pick this year for pumping fake noise into the Georgia Dome, assistant coach Bryan Cox shoved a scout from Arizona, and offensive line coaches asked Western Michigan T Willie Beavers if saw himself as a "cat or a dog." Now, the coaching staff went to the Combine armed with interview questions out of the 1950s to blast kids fresh out of college with. Another fine is likely coming.
Wed, Mar 9, 2016 04:44:00 PM

An NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that it would behoove Ohio State CB Eli Apple not to start next season.

"He's raw," the scout said. "He's a man-cover corner. He'd benefit from not having to start right off the bat. Not getting beat early. The physical stuff is there. He gets by with size and speed but not really good fundamentals. That's great on the college level where they allow you to grab downfield." Apple logged four picks and 18 passes defensed in his two years on the gridiron for the Buckeyes. NFL Media's Mike Mayock recently moved Apple up to No. 2 in his CB rankings.
Wed, Mar 9, 2016 02:03:00 PM

NFL Media's Mike Mayock moved Ohio State's Eli Apple from the No. 4 CB to the No. 2 CB in his latest rankings.

The shuffle is likely caused by Jalen Ramsey being moved from safety to corner, but Mayock has a unique take on the top five at the position. Vernon Hargreaves fits at No. 1, Apple No. 2, Miami's Artie Burns at No. 3, Houston's William Jackson III at No. 4 and Clemson's Mackensie Alexander at No. 5. Alexander is frequently mentioned as one of the top names at the position.
Wed, Mar 9, 2016 12:07:00 PM