The New York Giants will almost certainly address their offensive line early in the 2015 NFL Draft. The idea that the Giants are one starter short on the offensive line has been well-documented. We have talked about Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff -- gone to Scherff City, if you will -- a million times. At least it seems that way.
What if the Giants decide, however, to go in a different direction at No. 9? What if they decide to bypass Scherff, La'el Collins, Andrus Peat and any other offensive lineman any of you amateur GMs would pound the table for at No. 9? Long-time Great Blue North Draft Report analyst Colin Lindsey -- a Giants fan, incidentally -- has been telling me for months that he believes the Giants will opt for defense rather than choose an offensive lineman at No. 9. Pat Traina of Bleacher Report wrote Thursday that she also believes the Giants will choose a defensive player with the ninth pick.
(A quick promo: Pat and I will be taping a new edition of the 'Big Blue Chat' podcast on Thursday afternoon. If you have draft-related questions, e-mail them to email@example.com and we will try to answer them.)
We will discuss those defensive options at No. 9 another day. For now, let's address Day 2 offensive line options. There are really two questions to ask, depending on what the Giants might be looking for in the draft. First, is there a Day 2 player who might be a future NFL left tackle? That's an important question with the future of Will Beatty as a Giant in question after the 2015 season. Second, is there a Day 2 player who can be an instant, quality starter at guard? Let's look at players who might be available at either pick No. 40 in Round 2 or pick No. 74 in Round 3.
For the purposes of our discussion, we will use the CBS Sports prospect rankings.
CBS lists eight players with second- to third-round draft grades. Those are T.J. Clemmings of Pitt (1-2), Oregon's Jake Fisher (1-2), D.J. Humphries of Florida (2), Ty Sambrailo of Colorado State (2-3), Oklahoma's Daryl Williams (3), Cedric Ogbuehi of Texas A&M (3), Donovan Smith of Penn State (3-4) and Rob Havenstein of Wisconsin (3-4).
Of course, we know the draft is an in-exact science. We know perhaps Clemmings, Fisher or Humphries could go in Round 1. Maybe Ereck Flowers of Miami slides to Round 2. We know that perhaps players CBS has listed with lower grades could turn into Day 2 selections.
The questions here are whether or not any of the players on this list are a) eventual franchise left tackles and b) guys who could start right away at right tackle, kicking Justin Pugh inside to guard.
'Invictus' says Ogbuehi has upside that is "through the roof." 'Invictus' believes Clemmings is "close to a top 15 talent," and adds that he is similar to Beatty. SB Nation draft analyst Dan Kadar recently told me that Flowers is a "perfect scheme fit" for the Giants.
So, Giants fans, out of the guys listed who is your man-crush? Who is the offensive tackle you would bang the table for at No. 40?
(Click the name of the player to read the profile)
Again using the CBS Sports prospect rankings, and again realizing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, let's look at guards with Day 2 grades.
CBS lists the following: A.J. Cann of South Carolina (2), Laken Tomlinson of Duke (2), 'Tre Jackson of Florida State (2-3), Ali Marpet of Hobart (2-3), Arie Kouandjio of Alabama (3), John Miller of Louisville (3) and Josue Matias of Florida State (3-4).
We know Marpet is visiting the Giants, grew up a Giants fan and would love to play for Big Blue. Can you gamble a second-round pick on a guy who played Division III college football, though?
Same basic question here, Giants fans. Who is your guard man-crush? Who would you bang the table for, either at No. 40 in Round 2 or No. 74 in Round 3?
Cameron Erving [prospect profile] of Florida State played left tackle and center in college, and there are some who think he can play all five positions across the offensive line. There have also been some analysts who have opined that Erving may be better than Weston Richburg, whom the Giants took in the second round a year ago. CBS has him graded as a Round 1 pick and the best center prospect in the draft. What if he is somehow still there at 40? Should the Giants consider drafting him and playing him at guard?