This is all in fun. The first full mock draft I did was something during which I predicted what I would do if I ran the New York Giants -- this time I'm going to take a guess on what I think the Giants will do. It's hard to figure out what the Giants prioritize as needs as opposed to what we prioritize as needs, but based on depth, experience, recent draft picks who they expect to develop, and future contract obligations/potential future cuts and their own free agents, I can get a decent idea. I can guess what the Giants might do (though I'm sure to be very wrong on all accounts) because after doing the mock, it's a bit different than most would guess.
1st round (19th overall) - Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Call this a gut feeling, but I think when the carousel stops spinning on draft night Chance Warmack is available for the GIants with the 19th pick overall. After being a top 10 talent on the "consensus" big boards it seems unlikely that he'd be available, but he falls because of positional value and a lackluster pre-draft process. He had a modest workout, athletically speaking, at the combine. And then little nuggets keep popping up about him during the pre-draft process. Like this from draftinsider.net
According to sources the hype around Warmack centers on "the big school mentality."It was compared to much of the hype surrounding Courtney Upshaw last year. Critics feel Warmack is "shoulder heavy" and cannot adjust on the fly while Cooper’s athleticism and movement skills set him apart.
And then Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who has very good sources (had the most players right on his Top 100 big board last year from TheHuddleReport.com)
Scouts say he has a problem with excessive sweating, at times requires IVs and tends to wear down in the fourth quarter. Graduated in December but scored just 9 on the Wonderlic, and teams appear split on his ability to think on his feet. "He's football smart," another scout said. "But you've got to put somebody (smart) next to him." Ran an awful 40 at the combine. "He can't play more than one position and you have to be careful in games what kind of adjustments you make," a third scout said.
Now all of that doesn't mean that teams don't love Warmack, it just means that he plays guard, he isn't a superior athlete, he's not projected to play either center or tackle in the NFL. He also happens to be in the same draft class with maybe the most athletically gifted and intriguing guard prospect to enter the draft in a long time in Jonathan Cooper, who I do believe will be drafted before Warmack is on draft night, even though I prefer Warmack a touch more.
Guards rarely get drafted in the top 20 even if they can play tackle or center, but Warmack can't -- he's a guard only. I just can't see two guards being selected in the top 18 picks, and I also think with the Giants overall depth and the fact that they have eight draft picks it's also possible that they'd be willing to move up to 16 or 17 to get Warmack if he was falling, even though it's not their style. Moving up from 19 to jump Dallas at 18 would likely only cost them a late-round pick -- a player who might not make the team anyway.
With all that being said, Warmack to me is the pick. Boothe is not a long-term option, and Snee is on the back nine in his career. Warmack is one of the best players in the draft and offers great big board value here at 19. He takes care of an immediate need -- a guy who can push Boothe to a backup role and give the Giants depth in the offensive line, and also a long-term role as the left or right guard of the future.
Players I think are almost assuredly gone by the time the Giants pick in Round 1.
QB (1) -- Geno Smith
WR (1) -- Tavon Austin
OT (3) -- Joeckel, Fisher, Johnson
G (1) -- Cooper
LB (1) -- Jarvis Jones
S (1) -- Kenny Vaccaro
That's 15 players, I'd put the next few as D.J. Fluker, OL, Alabama. Tyler Eifert, TE, Norte Dame, Bjoern Werner, Alec Ogletree, and Datone Jones Tank Carradine, DE, FSU, Cordarelle Patterson, Damontre Moore, DL, Texas A & M, Desmond Trufant.
I think the Giants end up with a very good player in decreasing order of likeliness: Warmack, Fluker for the record I also think Fluker will be selected before pick No. 19), Carradine, Datone Jones, Alec Ogletree, Tyler Eifert. That's my guess.
Two out of left field options that haven't been discussed much are offensive tackle Menelik Watson from Florida State and safety Kenny Vaccaro of Texas.
Lance Zierlein guarantees Watson be a top 27 pick -- and Zierlein has a good track record and great connections.
I also think if for some reason Vaccaro hasn't been drafted yet, he'd be in serious consideration for the Giants. Antrel Rolle's future is uncertain and Stevie Brown, Will Hill, Ryan Mundy and Tyler Sash might all be better back-up guys than starters.
As an FYI, Ralph Vacchiano, who very good track record on the Giants picks, at least in his final mock draft guess for the Daily News listed Manti Te'o as the Giants No. 1 option with pick 19. I don't buy it, but I've been wrong before.
2nd round (49th) -- Eric Reid, S, LSU
Surprise pick here, but it makes sense to me for a variety of reasons. First, I think the Giants are planning on Terrell Thomas playing cornerback (just a guess), but even if that's not true if the season were to start today the Giants would have four cornerbacks they like: Corey Webster, Prince Amukamara, Jayron Hosley, and Aaron Ross. If you count Thomas as the fifth cornerback there's not a ton of room for a rookie to get on the field early. On the other hand, the Giants' safeties are Brown, Rolle, Mundy, Hill and Sash. Safety is a position the Giants have prioritized under Jerry Reese more so than other teams. Rolle got a huge contract, they spent a first round pick on Kenny Phillips, and a third-round pick on Chad Jones (which, unfortunately, did not pan out). I also think Reid has the abilities the Giants covet and this is right in his draft range. Reid is a first-round talent who played at a third-round level in 2012 after a very good 2011 and could be drafted any time between the late first round and early third round. Reid ranked No. 41 on the Mocking The Draft Big Board.
Other possibilities include (but are not limited to): cornerbacks Jamar Taylor or Darius Slay, linebackers Alec Ogletree or Arthur Brown (if available), defensive ends: Alex Okafor or Margus Hunt (if available), and of course any top player that falls here for whatever reason.
3rd round (81st) -- Jamie Collins, LB, Southern MIssissippi
Just a feeling this year that the Giants go linebacker earlier than they usually do. I was debating here between Jamie Collins, who I'm not sure who will be available, or another position like tight end with Travis Kelce of Cincinnati. But I decided to go here with Collins because he's a supremely gifted athlete. Now it's entirely possible that Collins could go as high as the early second round, but there's a number of players you can say that about every year. Through the middle of the third round most players who get drafted were second round players on multiple boards. Collins is ranked No. 30 on the Mocking The Draft Big Board.
Stewart had an injury during the season which could have ended his football career, but he is now making a comeback. The Giants have taken chances on guys with injury histories in the draft (Terrell Thomas, Andre Brown) are two such examples because they recognize that at certain point in the draft you're drafting JAG (Just A Guy), but you could take a shot at someone who can be special (that's Stewart) if not for an injury history. Stewart is long, fast, and explosive. Although Stewart's production has not reached his talent level that hasn't stopped the Giants before.
5th round (152nd) -- Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State
Every year under Reese, except for 2010, the Giants have selected a wide receiver in the first three rounds of the draft. This is clearly a position the Giants place a lot of value on and for good reason. Wide receiver success can be very hard to project to the NFL and it's a position that teams carry more of because they often offer special teams value as well, so it should be no surprise if the Giants select a wide receiver in the draft.
The hard thing to do is to project what kind of wide receiver the Giants will like, unlike most positions in which the Giants have a prototype (running backs have a high speed score, which is a combination of size and 40-yard dash time), defensive ends have long arms, cornerbacks are almost always over 6-feet tall, etc).
The wide receivers they have drafted have been all over the map in terms of type. What is similar about Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, Ramses Barden, Jerrel Jernigan and Reuben Randle? They all play very differently, all timed differently, all come from different conferences.
Don't be surprised if the Giants go wide receiver early--and one guy I love in the third round if available is Markus Wheaton. Wheaton is ranked No. 104 on the Mocking The Draft Big Board.
6th round (187th) -- Sheldon Price, CB, UCLA
A tall, fast athlete who didn't excel on the field like the Bruins had hoped. Price is 6-foot-2 and ran a 40-yard dash in the mid 4.4 at his Pro Day. I mentioned earlier I don't think the Giants attack cornerback as early as everyone else thinks because of the number of veteran players they already have on the roster. Any cornerback they draft is likely to come in as the No. 5 cornerback. If they think Webster is done and Thomas is a big risk they could go there early, I just don't see it.
7th round (225th) -- Emmett Cleary, T, Boston College
Slim pickings here in the seventh round,which is why I would have no issue with the Giants trading a sixth- or seventh-round pick to jump the Cowboys and pick at 17 instead of 19 in the first round if the Pittsburgh Steelers would be up for it. The Giants have drafted a number of players that they brought in for visits late in the draft. They also have taken a few Boston College players. He also fills a position of need. The Giants, if they had to, would feel comfortable relying on David Diehl this year, if Brewer doesn't pan out, but they would need one of Mosley, McCants, or Cleary to develop into a starter in the near future.
I also thought long and hard about a running back prospect here like LSU's Michael Ford, Zac Stacey (definitely, if available), or Miguel Maysonet from Stony Brook.
The other options here are guys that would improve special teams play -- a guy with return ability, a guy with speed, or a productive captain type in college who doesn't have great NFL athleticism.
7th round compensatory (253rd) -- Michael Williams, TE, Alabama
I think Williams is a guy who goes undrafted, but at this pick -- he is essentially a priority free agent. Williams is an undersized offensive lineman or an oversized tight end. He does not possess NFL caliber athleticism for a tight end, but he has soft hands and could be a player the Giants use on special teams as a blocker and as a jumbo package tight end.