ESPN NFL Draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. is out with his latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft. In this two-round version, Kiper has the New York Giants selecting North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron with the 12th overall selection in the first round and UCLA guard Xavier Su'a-Filo with the 43rd overall selection in the second round.
In this mock, Kiper explains that he is doing what he believes NFL teams will do based on the information he currently has and not drafting the players he would personally choose for each team. Here is how Kiper explains each pick for the Giants.
Kiper writes: Here's a case where you can accuse me of projecting a team to take the same player I would if it was my decision. Ebron is a potential difference-maker for the next stage of Eli Manning's career, a big target in the passing game who can create constant matchup problems with his size and quickness underneath, and down the field with his speed and catch radius (again, size). The Giants have had four different tight ends catch the most passes at that position over the past four years. They could use a really good one.
Valentine's View: Ebron is often mocked to the Giants, and neither Kiper's decision to give him to the Giants here nor his rationale for doing so are surprising. What might be surprising is that in this mock, Kiper has the Atlanta Falcons taking Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan sixth overall. Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans goes seventh to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews goes ninth to the Buffalo Bills.
Left on the board are Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald (14th to the Chicago Bears, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (15th to the Pittsburgh Steelers), offensive lineman Zack Martin (16th to the Dallas Cowboys) and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr (25th to the San Diego Chargers).
Kiper writes: That Justin Pugh played well down the stretch and worked out at tackle is good, but there's still a need for more talent at guard, and Su'a-Filo is as good as any in the draft on most days.
Valentine's View: Hard to argue with the selection of Su'a-Filo here, considering that he gave the Giants Ebron as a receviing target in Round 1. Among players left on the board here are Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III, wide receivers like Davante Adams, Bruce Ellington, Allen Robinson and Donte Moncrief and offensive tackles like Joel Bitonio and Cyrus Koundjio.