Over at SB Nation New York I just did a roundup of 10 mock drafts to see if there was any consensus on what the New York Giants might do with the 32nd selection of the 2012 NFL Draft on Thursday night. Five of those 10 mock drafts selected Stanford tight end Coby Fleener [Prospect Profile] for the New York Giants.
That should hardly be thought of as a stunner. Fleener has been connected to the Giants by mock drafters and draft analysts for months now. The Giants, of course, lost both Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum to knee injuries during the Super Bowl. They signed Martellus Bennett, but that still makes two tight ends down and one tight end brought in.
Interestingly, though, I have seen increasing speculation on Twitter today that the Giants would pass on Fleener at 32. Ballard even predicted today that the Giants would not take a tight end in the first round despite his own belief that he will not play in 2012.
So, should Fleener be the pick if he is still on the board at 32? I know that is difficult to say without knowing who else would be there. The question is, how badly do the Giants want the tight end and how good do they believe Fleener is?
Personally, I am increasingly moving toward the "pass on Fleener" camp. The more I think about it the more it comes back to who the head coach and offensive coordinator are for the Giants. We know Tom Coughlin is very traditional in his view of tight ends -- he wants guys who can block first, catch passes second. Fleener is the opposite, a pass-catcher first whose blocking skills are questionable. We know that Beckum has never really fit comfortably into a Coughlin-Kevin Gilbride offense. You wonder if Fleener would face similar difficulty. I keep wondering if a more traditional "in-line" tight end like Dwayne Allen of Clemson might be more the TC/KG cup of tea.
Thoughts, Giants fans?