<
>

Giants GM Jerry Reese checks out Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham

Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham could be a target of the Giants in the first round of the draft. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese was at Vanderbilt on Thursday for the SEC school’s pro day, a school official told ESPN. Vanderbilt just so happens to have a linebacker who is projected to be selected in the middle or toward the end of the first round of the NFL draft, which is where the Giants pick.

Reese was on hand checking out all the Vanderbilt pro prospects (see below), but linebacker Zach Cunningham is the most notable, especially because the Giants select 23rd overall in the first round and they have a need at linebacker. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was also in attendance, and even ran Cunningham through some of the position drills.

Cunningham stood on most of his athletic testing from the combine. He did run the 60-yard shuttle and participate in drills.

Reese only gets out to a few pro days each year. So any time he’s spotted on a college campus checking out prospects with his own eyes, it is notable.

In 2014, Reese was seen at LSU and Alabama’s pro days. The Giants selected LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the first round that year.

In 2015, Reese was seen at Miami, LSU and Alabama’s pro days. The Giants selected Miami offensive tackle Ereck Flowers in the first round and traded up for Alabama safety Landon Collins in the second round that year.

The Giants general manager was also in attendance at Georgia’s pro day last year where he received a long look at linebacker Leonard Floyd. He was a target of the Giants who was selected one slot before they selected Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple.

There were no reports of Reese being in attendance at Ohio State last year, so it’s possible that his presence at a pro day turns into nothing. But there is also a possibility it turns into something. That might be the case this year.

After all, Vanderbilt doesn’t seem like an annual stop for the Giants general manager unless, maybe, there is a player he finds really intriguing. Cunningham might be that player.

Reese attended the event along with another Giants scout.

Vanderbilt pro day prospects: