With the 2014 NFL Combine complete let's see how results there have impacted the thought processes of resident draftniks 'Invictus' and 'Raptor' when it comes to the New York Giants and the 2014 NFL Draft. This is our first post-Combine NFL mock draft, but we have done something a little different. We have 'mini' mock drafts from 'Invictus' and 'Raptor' going only through the Giants' selection at 12 -- that is really the important stuff, anyway.
So, here we go.
1. Houston Texans -- Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville
2. St. Louis Rams -- Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
3. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Johnny Manziel, QB, texas A&M
4. Cleveland Browns -- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
5. Oakland Raiders -- Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
6. Atlanta Falcons -- Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
8. Minnesota Vikings -- Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
9. Buffalo Bills -- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
10. Detroit Lions -- Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
11. Tennessee Titans -- Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
12. New York Giants -- Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
'Invictus' says: My best player available. I know I'm going to get some grief for this selection but a lot has changed since the pre-draft big board. I've been able to watch more prospects, watch the Senior Bowl, and watch the combine. Donald consistently won on film, at the Senior Bowl, and at the Combine. He's a freak athlete and he's polished. He's not quite Sheldon Richardson for me, but he's close (and I had Richardson as a top 5 guy). I'm going to assume Linval Joseph heads to greener pastures (and the Giants load up on OL in free agency) and Jonathan Hankins pairs up with Donald to give the Giants a young, dominant duo inside. I also considered Taylor Lewan and Justin Gilbert.
1. Texans -- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
2. Rams -- Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
3. Jaguars -- Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
4. Browns -- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
5. Raiders -- Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
6. Falcons -- Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
7. Buccaneers -- Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
8. Vikings -- Jimmy Garappolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
9. Bills -- Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
10. Lions -- Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
11. Titans -- Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
12. Giants -- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
'Raptor' says: Both the Giants' wide receiving and tight end corps are thin and riddled with question marks. They need a dynamic receiving option who can create mismatches, provide a reliable option for Eli, and open things up for Cruz and Jernigan, both of whom need space to work with. Ebron is a height, weight, speed phenom with solid hands. He can line up inline as a traditional tight end, in the slot, or in the backfield, giving the Giants a wide variety of looks. He also comes from a pro style offense, which should help him to adjust to the pro game quickly, so he can get on the field and contribute immediately.
Which scenario do you like better, Giants' fans? Here are my thoughts on each mock scenario.
'Invictus' chose Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald for the Giants. As dynamic as Donald has been during the draft process, right now I don't see this one, even if the Giants lose Linval Joseph in free agency. The Giants spent last offseason getting bulkier at the defensive tackle position, and the 285-pound Donald doesn't fit the mold. Without free agency having unfolded, of course, my view is that Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert or possibly even Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin are more likely picks here if the draft breaks down like this.
'Raptor' chose North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. I could see this selection happening in the scenario from 'Raptor,' especially considering the idea that new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is a former tight ends coach. Again, though, difficult to pass on Lewan here. Also, there seems to be a belief developing that Mike Evans, the massive wide receiver from Texas A&M, would be difficult for the Giants to pass on should be be available. In this mock scenario, he is. Oh, and I hope 'Rap' will explain in the comments why he pushed Jimmy Garappolo all the way up to the Vikings at No. 8.
[PROMOTIONAL NOTE: Later today we will have an updated Big Board for you. This one will be extended through 100 players. So, stay tuned for that].