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Potential Giants Draft Target, Cyrus Kouandjio, Gets Dominated in Alabama’s Sugar Bowl Loss

January 4th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By axr29

There was some talk that in the 2014 NFL Draft, the New York Giants should select the best tackle available at the time. One of the names thrown around was Cyrus Kouandjio, a junior left tackle from the University of Alabama.

Kouandjio entered the Sugar Bowl on Thursday night as a player with tremendous upside, but a limited football background. The limited background showed, as Kouandjio was beaten repeatedly by speedy outside linebacker Eric Striker of Oklahoma. The back breaker came with a minute left in the game and Alabama down just a touchdown. Kouandjio was beaten off the edge by Striker, who forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown to seal the Oklahoma victory.


Kouandjio took it in stride, saying that his struggles won't break him and he is ready to learn from them:

"I say this not out of pity for myself, but I say this because I can take it," he said. "I'm still going to be the beast I know I can be. There's a beast inside of me, and it's going to come out. Nobody's going to stop me."

Kouandjio's struggles last night are worrisome, however. He played great against some very good defenses in his career, so what led to him being completely dominated by an average Oklahoma defense? Was it nerves? Did he go into the game underestimating Oklahoma's pass rush? It was not just the missed blocks, Kouandjio committed a number of bad penalties that hurt Alabama's offense. Last night was a big red flag for teams thinking of drafting him in the early parts of the first round.

After Kouandjio's poor performance last night he probably should return to Alabama for his senior season, in order to polish his skills. He will face a lot better speed rushers in the NFL than Striker, which would prevent him from making an impact early on. For a team whose championship window is closing, it would be smart for the Giants to pass on Kouandjio if he does enter the draft. They need offensive lineman who can contribute right away, and having to develop Kouandjio for a year wouldn't be worth the number twelve pick in this May's draft.


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Tags: Alabama, Cyrus Kouandjio, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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29 Responses to “Potential Giants Draft Target, Cyrus Kouandjio, Gets Dominated in Alabama’s Sugar Bowl Loss”

  1.  ERICHONIUS says:

    A potential, SLIGHTLY under-the-radar, draft target for the giants, is Terrance West of the Towson Tigers. He fills a need at running back. He would likely be a mid-round pick. The risk in taking him is that he has played at a lower level of competition in division I-AA FCS (same conference that Brian Westbrook came from), but he has completely dominated at this level. This year he set the conference records for most rushing yards in a season (2410) and for most rushing TDs (40). Also, when Towson faced uconn this year he ran for 156 yards and 2 TDs on 36 carries, which is not bad against a higher level opponent. He set the FCS playoff record with a 354 yard 5 TD performance. He has a good mixture of speed and power and he has above average vision. This guy is pretty much the entire offense for the Towson tigers. Further, the giants have a history with players from Towson as both Sean Landeta and Dave Meggett were from Towson. I am not sure if anyone else has mentioned Terrance West but in case no one had, I wanted to highlight him.

  2.  kujo says:

    Prior to the Sugar Bowl, I thought it was 50-50 that Kouandjio even came out this season. But after the other night, I’ll be Saban talks him into staying.

    He’s still a hell of a prospect, and I am a believer in him being a guy worth snagging. If it’s this year, I’d hold off until the 2nd round.

    •  buljos says:

      If Greg Robinson doesn’t come out, and Kouandjio isn’t right at 12th, then it’s Cameron Erving and… and…

  3.  ERICHONIUS says:

    I was checking, Terrence West’s 2410 yards and 40 TD’s are actually an FCS record (not only his conference), which is pretty impressive considering some of the notable running backs to come from the FCS.

  4.  Dirt says:

    There are 132 possible Super Bowl outcomes. The one I’m hoping for (not predicting):

    Chiefs over 49ers

    - Alex Smith sticks it to Jim Harbaugh
    - Forty Whiners come up short again
    - Eagles ran Reid out of town, he wins, their trophy case remains empty

  5.  turkish says:

    The Eagles scare the crap out of me. Chip is shattering team records and the defense is tightening up. Someone needs to figure out how to shatter his scheme.

  6.  Krow says:

    This guy is perfect for us. A project who can sit the bench for a couple years while he learns the pro game. Then it’s off to free agency.

  7.  Krow says:

    Wildcard game is two really awful defenses.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      Both KC and Indy had good defenses this year. KC’s CBs weren’t nearly as good as a I thought without the pass rush. Indy had injuries at CB.

      Luck is like an athletic Eli.

      •  turkish says:

        More like an athletic Peyton

        •  GOAT56 says:

          Right now he’s like an athletic Eli. Maybe he will become like Peyton but he still makes a lot of mistakes now. He just shakes them off in an Eli like way, Don’t forget he threw 3 Ints.

  8.  turkish says:

    Luck’s performance was unreal today.

  9.  jfunk says:

    Wow, that first game was absolutely wild.

    I for one don’t mind seeing Andy Reid fail in the post season.

    And Alex Smith is still just Alex Smith. I’m not a big Kapernick fan, but I think Harbaugh was right with Smith. I know he looks very good at times. I know this sounds derogatory but I don’t mean it that way…he might be the best game manager in the league. He does an excellent job in the “game manager” department, but he CAN also make the big throws. I know that makes him “more” than a game manager, but he never seems to make those throws when his team needs them most. I just don’t think he has “it”. Outside of that 2011 New Orleans playoff game, it seems like he never comes up with the necessary plays when the game is on the line.

    •  William says:

      Don’t really care about Alex Smith, but the guy put up 44 points without his best player for 90% of the game. Not really his fault that the defense made zero stops in the second half.
      If this game says anything its that “defense” is going the way of flying wedge in the NFL. Last years Superbowl said the same thing. You should draft accordingly and my bet is despite the bad game the Alabama tackle goes first round anyway because of it.

    •  GOAT56 says:


      I argue with my cousin about this but I just don’t believe you can win a SB with Alex Smith. Maybe he’s not a game manager but Jake Plummer lever QB.

  10.  Dirt says:

    Can’t believe how well the Saints handled that last drive.

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