After reading Raptor22's 'New York Giants only' 2014 mock draft (which I personally thought was an excellent simulation), I couldn't resist making my own. Just the way it is with us maniacs, I guess.
In any case, the same rules apply for mine, as with his:
- No trades. They very well could happen, but too hard to predict at this point.
- My thoughts are my own. I have some very off-the-wall views on prospects. My views are my own and I own all of them. Don't mistake my wonkiness for Ed's.
- Big Board. In addition, to make it a little bit more fair for myself, I will be using a Big Board provided by "CBS Sports." Why? I'm using this particular big board because they have more than 500 prospects ranked and I usually find them to be more accurate than the average big board over the past couple of years.
I'm doing this because, let's face it, I'm going to draft Jadaveon Clowney in the first round, and Sammy Watkins will magically fall to us in the second if I don't. So with the New York Giants, here are the overall pick selections:
1st round (12)
2nd round (43)
3rd round (74)
4th round (113)
5th round (152nd)
5th round compensatory (174th)
6th round (187th)
What I'm going to do is use CBS' big board to give me prospects in that draft range and not allow me to cheat. For example:
If I'm picking the second-round player, I won't be allowed to pick anybody that's ranked higher than 43 on their big board. If I'm picking the third-round player, I won't be allowed to pick anybody that's ranked higher than 74 on their big board.
Got it? Here's a link to the big board I'm using: CBS Sports Big Board.
Round 1 (12th overall)
Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
According to the big board Eric Ebron and Mike Evans were both available at this juncture. In real life, my likely selection would Eric Ebron, but I go with Donald in this case because I absolutely recognize both the talent and need for a dynamic interior pass rushing force inside. Also, just for fun. There were a few people that wanted to see what my draft would look like had I taken Donald in the first instead of Ebron, so here we are. I'm a bit curious myself.
We've discussed Donald at length here on BBV, but the reason why he'd be such a great addition would be the ability to provide impactful interior pressure on a consistent basis. He's not without his warts, he gets washed out too much for my liking and struggles with gap discipline at times. He doesn't finish plays all the time. Those are all fixable, however. His leverage and first step are awesome, and his hand fighting is the best in the draft. Having Jon Beason line up behind him also will help with his deficiency in run defense. Is he the next Geno Atkins? We really have no idea but he's certainly got the best shot. He isn't Linval Joseph's replacement, that's the high upside Jonathan Hankins. He is Cullen Jenkins' replacement and a damned good one, too. Like Jenkins he can play outside at 5 technique as well for limited snaps. He'd shore up the defensive line and leave the interior as one of the highest upside in the league.
GIF made from www.draftbreakdown.com, they do some awesome work.
Round 2 (43rd overall)
Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
Kyle Posey, from one of our SBNation sister sites, "Bolts from the Blue", created these two GIFs of Davante Adams:
Nobody talks about him, but he's one of the best wide receivers in the draft. My personal big board has him as the 35th overall prospect, so to nab him at 43 (ranked 46 on CBS Sports) is a steal.
The most common comparison to him is Dez Bryant, so not sure why he isn't being talked about more often. He is 6-foot-1, 212 pounds with a 4.48 40 yard dash during his pro day and a 39.5 inch vertical. He has great body control and jumping ability. He's got a great blend of size and speed. His route running is more developed than you'd expect as well. With Derek Carr's bombs, his tracking ability is a plus as well. The negative on him is that he might miss a few easy catches here and there and he has some inconsistent games. However, 131 catches for 1,719 yards and 24 TDs in 13 games last year speaks volumes.
Round 3 (74th overall)
Weston Richburg, OC, Colorado State
The Giants have done a great job of amassing offensive line talent during the free agency period, but something tells me they aren't done. J.D Walton is an immense risk at center with his injury history so the need for a new center in the draft to develop is not out of the question.
Enter Weston Richburg. By this point, most of you know who he is but not much about him. Watching him, you can see him running a ton of screens and sweeps and you see him getting out into space. Admittedly, I have no idea what the heck the Giants look for in an offensive lineman because they have guys like John Jerry, Geoff Schwartz, and Chris Snee as power scheme players, and Will Beatty, Justin Pugh, and J.D. Walton as ZBS guys. Maybe they have some sort of weird hybrid. I don't know.
What I do know is that Richburg hasn't missed a game in his career, plays with strong leverage, is a ZBS center that is athletic enough to get into the second level and get some great seal blocks. Having him as the backup plan and eventual starter for Walton seems like a great idea to me and one that I'm going to sign off on right now.
Round 4 (113th overall)
Christian Jones, ILB/OLB, Florida State
Good grief, I had no idea that Jones would be available to the Giants in the fourth round, but there he is, sitting at 123rd overall according to CBS Sports. He is a tremendous athlete capable of ridiculous feats, so the upside is great. Hips are incredibly fluid and he's got great bend. His length is wonderful as well. That makes him an ideal 4-3 linebacker that can do pretty much everything.
The one weakness he has, and its a big one, is the lack of instincts. He flies around the field and moves extremely gracefully, but there are times where he looks like he has no idea what he's doing. His read and react skills are slower than that of Chris Borland and Kyle Van Noy.
The good thing about it is that he has time to develop behind Jameel McClain and Jon Beason. McClain is only a one to two year deal and Beason is always one injury away from, well, you know. Having a "beezer" like Jones only makes sense.
Round 5 (145th overall)
Xavier Grimble, TE, USC
Grimble isn't often talked about with the top tight end prospects and you can see why. He's much more of the throw back type, in-line lumberer in the mold of a Jake Ballard or Benjamin Watson rather than a Jimmy Graham or Aaron Hernandez. He's a big, very well built guy. Extremely muscular with little body fat. He's 6-foot-4, 258 pounds.
He's a tremendous blocker and a very good redzone target, which I believe will be high on the Giant "want" list. I have him as my sixth-best tight end in this year's draft behind Eric Ebron, Jace Amaro, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Troy Niklas, and Arthur Lynch and the fifth round seems about right for his draft range. Having him, Robinson, Randle, and Adams would give the Giants a very nice red zone unit that can all get up vertically and have excellent body control to come down with the ball.
At this point in the draft, you also look at upside. Going into the regular season, if somebody asked me to scout Julius Thomas of the Denver Broncos, I'd probably say the same identical things that I've said about Grimble. Now does that mean that Grimble equals Orange Julius? Probably not, but there's a chance.
Round 5 Compensatory (174th overall)
Storm Johnson, RB, Central Florida
We already have had a conversation about Johnson in my "Prospect Profile" and he seems like a pretty strong fit for what we like to do with our running backs. I know that we've invested in Rashad Jennings to be our bell-cow type back, and are crossing our fingers that David Wilson gives us a complementary spark, but outside of that, there isn't much to go on. I do like Michael Cox, but while he flashed ability last year, it cannot hurt to give him competition. I want to see the roster churning at the bottom. Competition is key.
Johnson not only will likely play special teams, but he certainly has the upside to be that third-down back that we haven't had since Derrick Ward. I likened Johnson in my profile to Ronnie Brown, and nothing I've seen recently changes that. He's a very strong pass catcher out of the backfield and can create a lot of big plays with his agility. He's a big guy and he needs to play with better leverage, but once he gets that down, he can get the tough inside yards as well. That's all you can ask for from a late round pick and I think he'd be a good (and relatively safe) one.
Round 6 (187th overall)
Cassius Marsh, DE, UCLA
I really, really like Cassius Marsh. He flashes starter level of ability every game he plays, so it's a bit surprising to me that he's projected as the 185th-best player by CBS Sports. He's 6-foot-4, 260 pounds with 32.25-inch arms. Had 8 sacks last year and his most natural position would likely be as a closed end in a 4-3 front. That makes him a perfect fit for the New York Giants, who lose Justin Tuck in that role. Marsh doesn't have the burst that you like in a quick twitch defensive lineman, but he does have an outstanding motor, good leveraging skills, and solid functional strength. He can hold up and maintain his gaps if need be and was in part, responsible for a lot of Anthony Barr's sacks by shunting everything away from his side with his power and motor.
He'll likely be a rotational guy that projects similarly to the now departed Adewale Ojomo and could be a high upside pick up for the team with their last pick in the draft.
[Note by Ed Valentine: Give this one to 'Invictus.' Marsh is ranked No. 185 on the CBS Big Board, but he turned this mock in before the comp picks were announced. So, let him slide here.]
My draft is a very dry and boring one compared to Raptor's, but by golly, I just can't help it. I'm just a coward at heart. My aim was to fix as many holes on this roster as I could with safe, low risk players that can contribute early on in their careers.
With Aaron Donald, Davante Adams and Weston Richburg, I took three pro-ready players ready to make an impact now. Donald slots in perfectly inside and next to Jonathan Hankins to complete what I think is a totally revamped defense ready to kick some you know what. Adams adds a high quality possession receiver threat opposite Rueben Randle and allows Cruz to stay inside. Richburg is ready to start soon, if not right away, and provides insurance for the offensive line.
I took a brief departure from this to revert back into a Reese BPA special with Christian Jones, but I think its worth it given the tenuous LB corps. Finally, the Grimble, Johnson, and Marsh selections were low risk, contributor type players that I think can find homes in the 53-man roster as situational players that all championship caliber teams possess.