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2014 NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Consensus forming for Giants at 12?

In a roundup of post-free agency mock drafts Eric Ebron, Taylor Lewan and Aaron Donald are the most popular picks for the New York Giants at No. 12.

Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald

The major work of NFL Free Agency 2014 is done, and the picture of what needs the New York Giants will have entering the 2014 NFL Draft is now much clearer. With that in mind, let's see what the first wave of post-free agency mock drafts has to say about the Giants' selection at No. 12 in the first round.

CBS Sports (Rang) -- Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Protecting Eli Manning should be priority No. 1 in New York and given the way the Giants' offensive line has played this season it wouldn't be surprising if general manager Jerry Reese invested multiple picks in reinforcements. A four-year starter with good length, strength and nastiness in his play, Lewan would be a good start.

CBS Sports (Brugler) -- Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

On paper, it appears the Giants have their starting tackles with William Beatty and Justin Pugh, but Lewan gives New York an upgrade at the position and gives them flexibility up front.

CBS Sports (Prisco) -- Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

They lost Linval Joseph in free agency, so they try and take his replacement.

CBS Sports (Kirwan) -- Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

The Giants always like pass rushers in the draft. They just lost Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora left a year ago. It's time to rebuild a pass rush that was once great.

CBS Sports (Brinson) -- Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

After losing Linval Joseph to free agency the Giants are pretty thin at defensive tackle on the depth chart. Pairing the underrated Donald with Cullen Jenkins in the middle of the line would be a nice start to fixing that problem. (Davis) -- Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Many needs on defense, but QB Eli Manning faced a lot of pressure in 2013. (Jeremiah) -- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

The Giants need more weapons on offense and grabbing the top tight end in the draft would be a good place to start. (Banks) -- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Some mocks have Ebron ticketed for a spot in the top 10, but he'd look pretty good in Giants' blue, catching passes from Eli Manning in new coordinator Ben McAdoo's tight end-friendly offense. New York has other needs at defensive line and linebacker, but if Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese are serious about bringing the Giants offense fully into the 21st century, Ebron is an instant upgrade for the passing game.

Yahoo Sports (Shutdown Corner) -- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Prediction: A month from now, I will have Ebron going even higher. Ebron has Vernon Davis-like athleticism, and Davis, you might remember, was a fast riser in 2006, all the way up to No. 6. Ebron could go as high seventh. But if he falls here, he would be the perfect inside weapon for Eli Manning. The Giants have fallen back on a rent-a-TE approach that has produced OK results, but zero continuity at the position. This could change that, and new coordinator Ben McAdoo could do the same things with Ebron that the Packers did with Jermichael Finley.

Walter Football -- Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

These are the defensive tackles currently on the Giants' depth chart: Cullen Jenkins, Johnathan Hankins and Markus Kuhn. Think the team needs an upgrade at the position after losing Linval Joseph to the Vikings?

Aaron Donald is the best player available who makes sense for New York. He had a dominant 2013 campaign and has since strengthened his draft stock with strong showing at the Senior Bowl and Combine.

Valentine's View

In these 10 mocks, there are three selections for Lewan, three for Donald and three for Ebron. Pretty clear that a consensus is beginning to form that these three players could be at the top of the Giants' draft board this May. Interestingly, at least to me, is the fact that none of these mocks have the Giants selecting a wide receiver at No. 12 -- likely either Mike Evans of Texas A&M or possibly Marqise Lee of USC. Prior to free agency, mock drafters often had the Giants taking one of the two top corners in the draft, Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State or Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma. With Walter Thurmond and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie having signed as free agents, momentum for that apparently no longer exists.

Your thoughts, Giants' fans?