A report Sunday in the National Football Post indicated that Prince Amukamara's Nigerian heritage might have been part of the reason why Amukamara, a cornerback from Nebraska thought to be a top 10 talent, fell to the Giants at No. 19 in the first round.
What was behind Amukamara’s fall? In many draft rooms, the scouts liked Amukamara more than the coaches. The DB coaches and defensive coordinators got together and decided they weren’t as high on Amukamara as many of their scouting counterparts. The coaches pointed to Amukamara’s short arms (30 1/2 inches, 71 ½ inch wingspan) and small hands (8 ½ inches). And there may have been more to the story. A lot of NFL people are skeptical about Nigerian players like Amukarma. "And it’s not just white men," one executive said. "It’s whites and blacks." It’s still a subtle form of racism. The word on Nigerians: they are soft, not tough enough and too educated.
If being Nigerian truthfully did hurt Amukamara, that is a sad commentary on the NFL. And it is good for the Giants -- who already have a Nigerian star in Osi Umenyiora.