ESPN's draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr, released the latest edition of his mock draft Thursday morning. In his Mock Draft 2.0, Kiper had the New York Giants taking Iowa lineman Brandon Scherff. This time around Mel has the Giants taking Stanford tackle Andrus Peat.
Update: Read our NFL Draft scouting reports 2015 for the top prospects.
Kiper explains the pick by saying:
Analysis: The Giants could go shopping at right tackle in free agency, but given the needs around the NFL, they could opt to pass and look for a starter there from the draft. Andrus Peat has the potential to be the best offensive tackle drafted in 2015 because even as he's an unfinished product, he's already shown he can keep a QB clean for long stretches and he's capable of dealing with pass-rushing speed on the edge. I think he has the chance to come in right away and compete for the starting job at right tackle and he offers the profile of a future blindside tackle. You can do worse here.
And here [Scouting Report] is what our own Invictus has to say about Peat:
His draft stock is all over the place, but we here at BBV feel strongly that he's an easy top-10 pick. The problem most of the other sites have is that he isn't a dominant run blocker like a Brandon Scherff or La'el Collins. That's important, but so is pass protection and upside, and I believe Peat beats both of them in that regard. He's got length, he's got strength, and he's got quickness. He's got his lapses and he sometimes is disappointing on tape, but the consistency is mostly there. A top 10 pick for me and if he were chosen by the Giants, I'd be extremely happy.
On the board for the Giants are Amari Cooper (WR, Alabama [Scouting Report]), Danny Shelton (DT, Washington [Scouting Report]), Bud Dupree (DE, Kentucky [scouting report]), and DeVante Parker (WR, Louisville).
It seems to me as if Kiper went with the old mock strategy of "Perceive Need, Fill Need". In this case, he perceived a need along the Giants offensive line, particularly at right tackle. He's right that the Giants have a need there, but it's at left guard, not right tackle. Granted, Justin Pugh might be able to transition from right tackle to left guard, but that comes with a few questions.
First, can Peat make the transition from left to right? His technique is already inconsistent, and would having to mirror everything he knows cause issues that could get Eli Manning hurt?
Second: Can Pugh effectively transition to left guard? Not only would he have to adjust his technique, but he would have to deal with a level of size, strength, and power he hasn't consistently seen before.
Third: With Weston Richburg --likely-- becoming the starting center, what effect would having three players who would be playing new positions for the first time have on a team under a "Win Or Else" threat from ownership?
Fourth: Is Andrus Peat better than Justin Pugh? Kiper only gave him a chance to win the right tackle job, and personally, Pugh set the bar pretty high by besting JJ Watt, Brian Orakpo, and Chris Long last season.
Personally, I have my doubts that the Giants would spend the first top-10 draft pick they have had since trading for Eli Manning on an offensive tackle they only hope might be able to unseat the incumbent right tackle, and can't play another position.
Looking at the board, I think there are safer picks that could have a bigger, and more immediate impact on the team.
But I'll turn it over to you guys: Did Kiper make the right pick for the Giants, and did he pick who the Giants would pick given the way the first eight picks of the draft fell?