Ed has been doing a magnificent job with his draft prospect profiles. I wanted to list some prospects that I think will have a chance to be drafted in the 1st round in April and include why or why not I think the Giants will draft each.
I'll also give my prediction on who the Giants will draft in the 1st round this year at the end.
NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING CONSIDERED
Andrew Luck, QB
Robert Griffin III, QB
Ryan Tannehill, QB
Brandon Weeden, QB
All four will most likely be drafted in the first round or very early 2nd round. I don't think Tannehill is worth a 2nd round pick, but all signs point to him becoming a top 10 pick. That's neither here nor there, but the point here is, the Giants have a pretty ELIte QB anyway, so this is not an option for us.
Matt Kalil, OT
Jonathon Martin, OT
Both of these OL are left tackles only. Kalil is a top 3 pick, and I'd be greatly surprised if Martin escapes the top 20. That's because it seems like protecting the QB is the "in" thing nowadays for whatever reason. Kalil strongly reminds me of Joe Thomas. Fantastic footwork, and though he's a little light, his stance is tremendously squared up and has a low enough center of gravity not to get too bothered by incoming pass rushers. Also, he's fast. Real fast. Jonathon Martin is a little more of a risk. He reminds me of Roger Saffold. Not him this past year, but the one last year. Kind of weak, but fast and with a nice punch.
Justin Blackmon, WR
Michael Floyd, WR
Both of these WRs are playmakers and both should hang around the top 10. All year, Blackmon has been the consensus #1 for quite some time. However Floyd has an intriguing size-speed-production combination. He's bigger and faster than Blackmon. I have them virtually neck and neck. Blackmon's play reminds me of a stronger Jeremy Maclin. Floyd's play reminds me of a slightly poor man's Andre Johnson.
Trent Richardson, RB
Imagine Mark Ingram with better vision and 4.3 speed. Best back since Adrian Peterson since he can run in-between the tackles with great success and has the quickness to bounce it to the outside if he needs be. RBs are devalued, but Mike Mayock said it best: "If I were a scout, the last RB I'd bang on the table for in the top 10 was Adrian Peterson. I'm banging hard on the table for Trent Richardson."
Morris Claiborne, CB
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB
Claiborne is a virtual lock to go in the top 6. He's basically a less athletic Patrick Peterson with slightly better coverage skills. He's fast and instinctual. Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and St. Louis are all in play. Kirkpatrick's stock has fluctuated quite a bit. He has a similar skill set to Antonio Cromartie, just a bit more athletically gifted. If he gets put in the right situation with the right mentoring, I think his upside is better than Claiborne's.
David DeCastro, OG
Cordy Glenn, OG/RT
Both will be special players in this league. I've been high on Glenn since late 2010. He has awesome footwork for a 350 lb mammoth. He also carries his weight well, and is extremely athletic for his size. 31 reps with 35.75" arms (2nd longest in the draft) and a 5.15 40 time. He has Carl Nicks upside. Versatility is a big plus, and I think teams will also view him as a RT, which boosts his stock immensely. DeCastro's game is like Chris Snee. Ultra-athletic with very underrated power and mean streak. He's versatile in power blocking and pulling schemes as well as a zone blocking scheme. He should not get past the Cowboys.
Quinton Coples, DE
Melvin Ingram, DE
Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB
Michael Brockers, DT
Dontari Poe, DT
Bunch of pass rushers here. Poe is raw and doesn't have great tape, but anybody who sees what he did at the combine knows he ain't getting out of the top 15. Brockers is also raw, and he didn't have a great combine. However, he's shown flashes at LSU. I saw him thrown down guards like nothing. His potential will give him a team within the top 25. Almost guaranteed. Coples had a down year, but he faced constant double teams due to his running mate, Donte Paige-Moss flaming out. He flashed dominance that the showed in 2010. His inconsistent motor is his biggest weakness, but he has Mario Williams-type potential. Melvin Ingram shed some weight, but his versatility is his biggest strength. He has T-Rex arms, but he's fast and vicious. Upshaw has a strong motor and good bulk. I think he's better off as a DE, but will probably get drafted in the 3-4.
PLAYERS I LIKE MORE THAN YOU
Cordy Glenn, OG
Alshon Jeffery, WR
This should come as no surprise to those that encounter me on this website and on Mocking the Draft. Reports are that Jeffery is too slow, has gained weight, and interviewed poorly. However, the weight gain rumor was debunked, as he showed up to the combine at 216 lbs. He has yet to run the 40 yard dash, but his game tape shows adequate, if not excellent, separation. He is a physical, big-bodied receiver with soft hands and insane body control. His ability to adjust on the fly is one of the characteristics that translates into the NFL, and is the biggest reason why I believe he'll be able to be successful. Most are calling him a 2nd rounder, I still have him at 20 on my big board, and would be thrilled to draft him.
Andre Branch, DE
He was overshadowed in college by Da'Quan Bowers, but Branch is a powerful pass rusher in his own right. His biggest strength is his quick first step. He isn't overpowering, but he's got a decent array of pass rushing moves at his disposal, and if he gets an extra step past the tackle, its over. He'd be a great future replacement for Osi. Probably the biggest plus on top of everything is his run defense. He can seal and maintain the edge, and do it well. Another player I'd love to draft at 32.
Dwayne Allen, TE
Ah yes. These Dwayne Allen vs Coby Fleener debates harken me back to the days of Akeem Ayers vs Mike Pouncey, or Rolando McClain vs C.J. Spiller. I love Allen's skillset. He has the similar body control to Jeffery that I mentioned, along with the best blocking experience between Fleener, him and Charles. Allen's best usage in this offense may simply to be play versatile (run vs pass) and disguise it from the defense, who will have to respect both his blocking and catching ability equally.
Lamar Miller, RB
If we were ever going to take an RB in the first round this year besides Trent Richardson, I'm casting my vote for Miller, over Martin and Wilson (two quality prospects in their own right). Being a 'Canes fan might add a little bit of homerism, but it has allowed to watch most of our wretched season. Miller has excellent vision, and great acceleration (best 10 yard split), which means he hits the hole hard and fast (pause). Not as shifty as Wilson, but Miller's also got underrated power, too...which means I think he and Bradshaw will complement each other the best in a RBBC.
Fletcher Cox, DT
He could probably fall in the "probably unavailable" category as well. His gametape reminds me of Nick Fairley. A lot. I actually prefer Cox to Brockers, simply because of the dazzling strength and athleticism put on display both on tape and at the combine. Cox isn't the best run defender, but he's a penetrating-type UT in a 4-3 front. He's almost slippery how he can find himself in the backfield and disrupt plays. I had my reservations about him until he confirmed his athleticism with a 4.79 40 yard dash at 300 lbs.
PLAYERS I DON'T LIKE AS MUCH AS YOU
Coby Fleener, TE
Let me get this out of the way. I will not be upset if we draft Fleener in the 1st. That being said, I think he's overrated. He's athletic, and an explosive vertical threat, but I just don't see a fit in this offense for him without that blocking experience. I know, I know...."he can be coached!" Yes, I understand, but I'd rather have more of a sure thing in that regard. I don't think he can disguise himself in the offense, nor do I have enough confidence in his ability to become an every down, inline TE. I'd rather have the down and dirty Dwayne Allen that has just as much of an experienced route tree, as good (if not better) body control, as well as the blocking.
David Wilson, RB
Ditto my feelings with Wilson. Would be happy to have him. I think there's a larger gap for me in between Lamar Miller and Doug Martin vs Wilson. Reasoning for that is Wilson's vision. I think there's a bigger gap in his decision-making then I originally thought. He dances way too much, and his way of reversing field and not choosing his gaps quickly enough will probably give us headaches. That being said, he's got speed, class, and from all accounts is a good locker room kid, so while I don't love him as much, I'd still be thrilled if he were a Giant.
Devon Still, DT
Still is one of what seems like thousands of 1st round caliber DTs. However the problem here is inconsistency. He actually matches up quite well with Chris Canty. Large fellow, with a leaner frame that could probably play 3-4 DE. Inconsistent as a pass rusher but has the potential to be dominant. I don't think he was very effective against the run, as there were many times where he was pushed out of the play. Doesn't have a big anchor.
Riley Reiff, OT
He's a good pass protector, and a mauler in the run game. However, he has T-Rex arms at 33.25". You might think, well hey, that's not that important if he can hold up in the other areas of the game...and you may be right. But longer arms are imperative so that you can get a strong punch out, and keep the defender from crashing into your body and knocking you away. As it stands, Reiff would be well below average for the average starting NFL tackle, and that is enough to knock him down a few pegs. Rumors are the GMs are already considering him as a guard only.
Mike Adams, OT
Not much that I want to say here about him. Just know that he's inconsistent, technique is sometimes flawless, sometimes sloppy as all hell. He was suspended for a few games in the OSU scandal, and he's pretty weak. Also kind of slow and unathletic. He's the first guy that I'd be willing to say: Do. Not. Want.
Zach Brown, OLB
I'm usually a huge fan of UNC picks. I'd be a fan of this pick, too, but I'd prefer others at this spot in the 1st round. Brown is ultra athletic. He's fast, and he can hit hard. Problem is a couple things. He's not instinctual. You can see it yourself in any youtube video. Count how long it takes for him to diagnose a play and start traveling to the ball. Also got faked out a couple times. Another problem is his tackling technique. He does the " 'Taze " where he launches himself without wrapping up at all. It's coachable, but again, its that risk factor that might not make it worth it. He wasn't exactly the most productive player at UNC, either, which is another downgrade.
PROSPECTS THAT COULD FIND THEMSELVES FALLING TO 32
Whitney Mercilus, DE
Nick Perry, DE
Both of these guys are passrushers that could find their way to the Giants at 32. Mercilus has had exactly one good year, so that might turn teams off. Clearly, it didn't turn off the Giants from JPP, and this could be case of the rich getting richer, because though it was one season, it was one HELL of a season. Mercilus at times was, merciless (sorry, I had to do it at least once). He doesn't have a great jump off the ball, but he was able to gain leverage easily versus some of the more inflexible tackles. He has a great swim/rip move that he can use to get inside quickly.
Perry could fall to us, though he had a JPP type of workout. Reason was simply because he is terrible backpedaling in space. He himself has stated a preference for the 4-3, and the later round teams selecting are dominated by 3-4 teams.
Stephen Hill, WR
He's a bit of a knucklehead that hasn't fully matured yet. That, and the lack of route running and production will hurt him. Still, when a 6'4 210lbs guy runs an unofficial 4.30, you pay attention. He's a natural pass catcher as well. Reese was probably drooling when he saw that, but he was probably just as likely slapping himself on the wrist. For every Calvin Johnson, there's a Darrius Heyward-Bey. No denying Hill's incredible upside however. If we take him, we can be sure that we've done our due diligence to make sure that he learns how to concentrate and mature into an accomplished route runner and focus catching the ball.
Peter Konz, OC
I'm not the biggest Konz supporter here, but he's all good in my book. He pancaked people during the season. He'll most definitely take a tumble because of his blood clots (not that big of a deal once you get treatment for it) as well as his perceived weakness (managed only 18 reps on the bench press). I think he's a viable shot at 32, setting up Baas to take over at LG or as a possible future cap casualty.
Janoris Jenkins, CB
Stephon Gilmore, CB
Jenkins' draft stock has fluctuated a great deal in the past couple months. He could literally go as high as 11 and as low as leaving the 1st round completely. Part of it is his size (5'10 when he tiptoes) and part of it is the numerous red flags on his character, which should eliminate him from consideration from several teams. I've heard dissenting reports about his interviews, which turned out to be quite revealing. Some say he helped himself immensely, some postulate that he only hurt his draft stock. In any case, the player is insanely fast (best 10 yard split at the combine), is great at flipping his hips, and can track the ball very well.
Gilmore is an intriguing player. I've seen him go in the late 1st numerous times, and he's received praise from both Mike Mayock and Mel Kiper. He's got fluid hips, and is extremely athletic. He isn't a natural ball hawk, but a very good coverage corner that is physical. He isn't the smartest of all the prospects however, and he can have some real derp moments at times where he blows a coverage. Perfect fit for the Giants then! I kid.
Mark Barron, SS
Considering how much we value instinctual safeties in our scheme, Barron is a natural fit. He isn't the best cover safety in the draft (that would belong to Brandon Taylor and Harrison Smith), but what I always liked about him is his leadership and his instincts. He's a hard hitter, he'll know where the ball is headed, and is perfectly set up to QB a defense. Run defense is top notch. The best way to compare him is to take Deon Grant and upgrade every part of his game. That makes him a natural fit as a Big Nickel MIKE. He might fall due to his hernia, which puts him out of commission till possibly after OTAs, therefore making it impossible for him to workout for teams before the draft.
Doug Martin, RB
My final prospect that I'm going to cover is Doug Martin. He's basically a bowling ball. Underrated speed, and terrific balance. He's a good pass catcher as well, probably the best of the big 3. He's one of the jack-of-all trades RBs that's versatile in every scheme. It's quite close for me between him and Miller, but I went with Miller because I think the extra explosiveness is more useful than Martin's balance (which is also an underrated part of Miller's game) and strength. I'd be very happy to add him to our arsenal, he's a bell-cow-type back.
So with all this in mind, let's get on to why you're here in the first place. Our draft pick. Here we go:
WITH THE 32ND PICK IN THE 2012 NFL DRAFT, THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPION NY GIANTS SELECT.....
Vontaze Burfict, ILB
...wait, no....that's not right....hold on, let's see here...ah, here it is....sorry about that....
Andre Branch, DE
What can I say? You can't have enough pass rushers. Branch would be a natural fit at RDE in our scheme. He would instantly upgrade our run defense on that side. Ideally, he'd pull a Pierre-Paul and have limited snaps and learn behind our established crew. It isn't like our DEs couldn't use the quality depth either. Dave Tollefson is gone. Osi Umenyiora is a free agent next year. Mathias Kiwanuka also is a free agent the next year. We need to re-up both Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. It's not out of the question that two from our core four are gone during next year's offseason. Virtually guaranteed that at least one is. We need to protect ourselves and the rotation.
Plus, looking at our draft history, the pick makes sense. Big school (preferably ACC)? Clemson, check. Character concerns? Was a team leader. Good size/speed combination? 6'4 260 lbs 4.62 40 (1.62 10 yd split) 34" arms 10' broad jump 32.5" vertical. In other words...yes. The rich get richer, and Jerry Reese will get a steal in my opinion.
Welcome to dominance, Andre.