In their latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft, Matthew Fairburn and Dan Kadar of SB Nation's Mocking The Draft combine to select players for the New York Giants they appear to rank more highly than other NFL Draft analysts.
In this mock, a two-rounder, Fairburn selected UCLA offensive guard Xavier Su'a-Filo for the Giants at No. 12 in the first round. Kadar selected South Florida defensive end Aaron Lynch for the Giants at No. 43 overall in the second round.
Fairburn also made the selection of Su'a-Filo for the Giants in a previous mock draft. Here, he writes:
Xavier Su'a-Filo is built in the mold of the guards who were drafted high in the first round a year ago. He has plenty of functional strength at the point of attack, gets to the second level of the defense in a hurry and is coordinated enough on the move to make blocks in space. The Giants need offensive line help, and while Su'a-Filo isn't a sexy pick, he would be a good one.
Su'a-Filo is unranked on the initial Big Blue View Big Board. CBS Sports ranks him 36th and has him a late-first to second-round pick. The Mocking The Draft Big Board has Su'a-Filo at No. 26. So, at this juncture 12th overall would seem early for Sua-Filo, at least according to the draft boards, although the effort to upgrade the Giants' offensive line is probably on target.
Our own 'Raptor22' was glowing in his assessment of the UCLA guard, although he does opine that Su'a_Filo makes more sense as a second-round target:
He is a powerful and nimble blocker with the versatility the Giants demand out of their offensive linemen. Not only that, he's a nasty blocker who plays through the whistle, finishing blocks and then looking for somebody else to hit. In the passing game Su'a-Filo has the power and flexibility to anchor against bull rushes and the agility to handle speed rushes.
The second-round pick of Lynch is explained this way:
Justin Tuck is a free agent, and Jason Pierre-Paul hasn't played up to his potential the past few seasons for various reasons. While the Giants did draft Damontre Moore, Lynch is another super athlete with high upside.
What do we know about Lynch?
He is a 6-foot-5, 250-pound player who transferred from Notre Dame to South Florida. Lynch is No. 65 on the Mocking The Draft Big Board, No. 107 on the Draft Tek Big Board and No. 205 on the CBS Sports Big Board.
Lynch has played two collegiate seasons, registering 5.5 sacks at Notre Dame in 2011 and 6 sacks at USF in 2013.
The scouting reports are a mixed bag, indicating an incredibly talented player who simply doesn't try very hard.
Outstanding size and body length. ... Classic underachiever. Questionable effort, motor and desire. Leaves production on the field. Does not play with passion and lacks urgency. Goes through the motions. Is not a strong or creative rusher and does not create plays. Lacks concentration and focus. Will require maintenance. ... Must prove motivated to reach his potential.
A freakish athlete with a rare combination of size, speed and length. ... Questions abound as to whether or not he has the attitude, team-first mentality and dedication required to succeed at the next level. Does not play to the whistle, and often cuts his pursuit short when a play is moving away from him. ... It's hard to find an NFL comp for a guy who possesses physical tools that most players would only dream of having, yet doesn't appear to be very motivated to maximize them. The reason it's hard to find a comp for such a player is because most of those guys either never make it, or simply don't last long at the next level.
Considering that Giants' co-owner John Mara spoke at the end of the 2013 season about how the Giants had taken some draft-day risks in recent years that backfired, and the fact that they really can't afford to have that happen with an early pick this time around, a high-risk selection like Lynch would be a stunner. Admittedly I only know what I read about Lynch, but he seems like a huge gamble for any team that selects him.