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Scouting the mock drafts

Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN came out with his first mock draft of 2010 the other day. That means the NFL Draft speculation has officially begun.

So, let's take a short break from our position-by-position breakdowns and scour some of the current reputable mock drafts to see what the current thought process is in regards to how the New York Giants will use the 15th overall selection.

Keep in mind that I am not crazy about doing this. It is January 23rd. The draft is not until the end of April. The annual dog-and-pony show that is the Scouting Combine has not been held yet. Free agency has not re-shaped any rosters yet, and that will impact the draft.

Some of you think you have this all figured out already. Well, that puts you waaaay ahead of the league's 32 general managers. It is lots of fun to speculate, but right now NOBODY knows anything.

That said, let's peek at the current mocks and see what people are thinking in terms of the Giants first-round selection.

Below, I will list the mock draft and the Giants choice. In some cases, though not all, I will add a comment of my own.

Kiper -- Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida. Kiper calls him "the premier pass-rusher in the college game" and says he has Jevon Kearse-like potential. My take: I don't know if Kiper is right about Dunlap, but with all of the other quality defensive players likely to be available I don't like the idea of the Giants taking another defensive end with their first pick. Unless Osi Umenyiora has been traded away, that is.

Bucky Brooks, -- Brandon Spikes, MLB, Florida. My take: Yes, we know there is a need here. The consensus right now, though, is that this is way too early for Spikes. In Brooks' mock, Joe Haden, the best corner in the draft is still on the board here. So are the best two safeties in the draft, Earl Thomas (Texas) and Taylor Mays (USC). Oh, and just for 'Free's' benefit, so is Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. I'm really not sure what Brooks was smoking when he did this mock.

Draft Tek -- Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma. My take: I love 'Draft Tek,' which uses software to build a consensus draft from current mocks. I have no clue how, or why, Gresham would be the pick, though. Yes, he is considered the best tight end in the draft. But, he missed much of 2009 with torn cartilate in his right knee. And the Giants need defensive help. Not another tight end.

Draft Countdown -- Rolando McClain, MLB, Alabma. Draft Countdown says this about McClain -- "A terrific all-around prospect, McClain can stop the run, drop into coverage or rush the passer and that versatility is sure to make him a valuable commodity on Draft Day. In fact, it would not be a surprise if he was the first linebacker selected and off the board by this point." My take: As things currently stand, McClain being available here would be the dream scenario for the Giants. If it were to happen, the Giants should take oh, five seconds or so to get this pick to the podium.

Walter Football -- Brian Price, DT, UCLA.

Walter Football (Matt McGuire) -- Earl Thomas, S, Texas.

Football's Future -- Brian Price, DT, UCLA. FF says he would be "an instant force."

Fantasy Football Toolbox -- Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee. My take: Williams is a 6-foot-3, 327-pound monster. From everything I have read thus far, he would be an excellent choice here.

Draft Ace -- Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers. My take: Hard to argue with grabbing an offensive tackle. I will just have a hard time accepting the Giants not going defense in the first round.

There is a looong way go before Draft Day. The process is just getting started, and a lot of you know more about these guys right now than I do. But, this should give you something to argue about.