There are, it seems, zillions of NFL Mock Drafts at this time of year. Some are credible, from people who know what they are doing. Some are, bluntly, simple grabs at getting some page views from people searching Google for any and every morsel about the draft they can find.
I particularly dislike most efforts to come up with seven-round mock drafts. It is difficult enough to predict one round with any real accuracy, and virtually impossible to predict any more than two rounds. There are so many teams, so many variables like trades, so many unknowns.
All that said, one of the sites I have come to enjoy the past few weeks as I have started studying the 2011 NFL Draft is Sideline Scouting. Along with SB Nation's Mocking The Draft, the National Football Post and one or two other sites it has become one of my "go-to" places for player profiles and information.
Well, the folks at Sideline Scouting have put together a seven-round mock. I figured chatting about it would be a worthwhile exercise -- or, at least a whole lot more fun than talking about the collective bargaining agreement.
After the jump I will give you SS's pick for the Giants in each round, and some thoughts.
Round 1: Anthony Castonzo (OT, Boston College) -- Castonzo was the first NFL Draft prospect I profiled this year. He has been connected to the Giants by many experts and in many mock drafts. Right now, before the NFL Scouting Combine, this would be a hard pick to be upset about. As an FYI, UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers was off the board before this pick.
Round 2: Quan Sturdivant (LB, North Carolina) -- Don't like this pick at all, especially if you look at Sideline Scouting's profile of Sturdivant. Admittedly I have not really studied this guy, but he sounds like another of those players who fits better in a 3-4. The Giants need to stop trying to put square pegs in round holes on defense, and that is what Sturdivant sounds like to me. In this mock, players like Mikel Leshoure (RB, Illinois), John Moffitt (OG, Wisconsin) and Kendric Burney (CB, North Carolina) were taken later in the first round. I would likely be happier with Leshoure or even Moffitt.
Round 3: Marcus Gilchrist (CB/FS, Clemson) -- I profiled Gilchrist earlier today, and at this spot in the draft I sort of like a selection like this one. The guy offers some versatility on defense, could be good in the slot and has a chance to be a return specialist. Intriguing. Ohio State cornerback Chimdi Chekwa went later in the third round of this mock.
Round 4: Mark Herzlich (LB, Boston College) -- Herzlich is a guy the Giants were apparently intrigued by at the Senior Bowl, and would not be available at this point had he not suffered through a battle with bone cancer. To me, this is great value at this spot, considering both the player's upside and the Giants positional need. [Full profile]
Round 6: Jake Kirkpatrick (C, TCU) -- I think you would have to like this pick if the Giants could snag Kirkpatrick this late in the draft. In many mocks or reports I have seen, Kirkpatrick could be taken as high as the third round. There are not a lot of quality centers in this draft from what I have been able to ascertain, and I would be disappointed if the Giants don't come away with someone who might be able to take over from Shaun O'Hara eventually.
Round 7: Lee Smith (TE, Marshall) -- Sideline Scouting's profile of Smith calls him a "very good blocker" who might even profile as an offensive tackle if he were a little bigger than 6-foot-6, 270 pounds. This makes me interested. This is the type of late-round selection I have come to like. A guy with a single skill that the Giants are sorely lacking. In this case that would be a guy who might be the mauling in-line second tight end the Giants have been missing seemingly forever.