Over this past weekend, Mocking the Draft held it's live community mock draft, a real seven-round simulated draft with representatives for each team. It was a real simulation with trades, timers, and the whole ordeal. The Giants were represented by ... well ... nobody technically from Big Blue View. They were without a representative and so a friendly Panthers fan by the name of "Teal and Purple" was our guy.
However, he did have some help. I've represented the Giants for a few years now in this mock, but because of availability concerns, wasn't able to be the main GM. I, however, was in consistent contact with our guy and helped advise him on our picks. I personally think we did quite well. Let's go over the choices.
Round 1 (Pick 9) - Devante Parker, WR, Louisville
Ah yes, a familar refrain from our community - to pick a WR or not with the ninth overall pick. I know this selection will have a great deal of detractors and trust me, I understand the concerns. You all know where I stand when it comes to having another "alpha" receiver on the field, and Parker is exactly that.
So, we decided to take him. There were some names on the board that will make some of you cringe, like Bud Dupree, Brandon Scherff, and Andrus Peat. Our GM wasn't as big a fan of Dupree as some of us were, and we were confident that the way the board was going to fall that we could nab a quality offensive lineman in the second or third round. Was it a risk? Absolutely. Hopefully it's a risk that pays off, but for now, we've got an explosive and smooth play-maker to put opposite Odell Beckham Jr., that can open up the offense and truly make it an elite one.
Round 2 (Pick 51) - Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon
A trade! The Giants traded pick number 40 to the Houston Texans for pick 51 and 116 (their fourth-round selection). I didn't have anything to do with the trade, but I didn't have a problem with it. It added to our collection of picks to increase depth.
We were astonished to find Jake Fisher sitting there at 51. We were getting a bit nervous as some of the bigger names fell, but it seemed like Fisher fell under the radar. He needs to get stronger, but otherwise has the requisite frame, superior athleticism, and great technique to be a top of the line zone blocking tackle. He'll push Justin Pugh to guard and the New York Giants offensive line is now complete. A combo of Beatty - Pugh - Richburg - Schwartz - Fisher is athletic, nasty, and will seriously give Eli Manning some time to find his now elite wide receiver corps.
Other players we were considering included Michael Bennett, A.J. Cann, Damarious Randall, and Benardrick McKinney. However, we recognized the red-light need for an OL and pounced at the best one available.
Round 3 (Pick 74) - Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State
You're kidding, right? We had no idea how Bennett was available at this juncture but we didn't care. We jumped on that and got a prototype penetrating three technique to put next to Johnathan Hankins. We realized the huge need for free safety, but felt like we could wait to get a good one. Nobody came close to the value that Bennett provided.
I'd like to think that a bulked up pass rush from the interior will do wonders for our pass defense in the first place. A true time where you get outstanding value at a position of need. Let's hope now that there are some quality safeties to look out for in Round 4.
Round 4 (Pick 108) - Derron Smith, FS, Fresno State
We had a pretty high grade on two free safety prospects that were left going into the fourth round. Derron Smith of Fresno State and Adrian Amos of Penn State. We were split between the two and would've taken either of them, but Philadelphia swiped the bigger Amos right before it was our pick, a literal one pick difference.
Derron Smith, we've gone over ad nauseum. He's an undersized safety with average athleticism but tremendous instincts, range and ball skills. He's a true single high safety whose numbers were depressed this year because he played more in the box. When allowed to roam on the deep side, like in 2013, he hauled in several interceptions.
Several prognosticators have him going much higher than this, and many more see starting caliber upside with him. He compares to Rahim Moore for me, and as a fan of his, I was ecstatic that he fell to the team in the 4th round.
Round 4 (Pick 116) - Henry Anderson, DE, Stanford
This was the pick that was given to us when we traded down with the Houston Texans and boy, was it put to good use. There were three players that we were looking at: LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander, Samford safety Jaquiski Tartt, and Stanford DL Henry Anderson, who we looked at as early as the third round.
With our needs out of the way, we switched over to a true BPA pick and Anderson is a height/weight/speed freak athlete who was insanely productive lining both on the edge and inside for the Stanford Cardinal. College Football Focus has him dominating the rankings in pass rush productivity and he's a very strong run stopper as well. He allows Steve Spagnuolo to run a lot more 3-4 looks as he can play 5 technique and come inside in a NASCAR package.
He could be our version of Margus Hunt and play base LDE and be a force. Shocked that he was still around.
Round 5 (Pick 144) - Lynden Trail, OLB, Norfolk State
He, of course, can be a pass rusher, but we wanted to get our 'Beezer in with the fifth-round pick. He's a perfect candidate to play as a SAM linebacker because of his unnatural coverage ability and fluid hips. He could potentially move Devon Kennard to the middle or weak side and take over there.
As an added bonus, he's also a tight end candidate and can help out in goal line situations and provide depth there. For me, honestly, he's an early Day 3 grade so getting him in the fifth round is a steal. Of course, everybody is going to think they are getting steals at this point, but that's because by now, there are so many divergent grades on prospects.
Round 6 (Pick 186) - Ibraheim Campbell, SS, Northwestern
I didn't think that Campbell would be there, but he was, and so we double-dipped at safety. CBS Sports has him as a second or third-rounder and he's on Mike Mayock's top 5 safeties for awhile. When I watched him, I gave him a fourth-round grade.
He's a powerful, no-nonsense hitter who is a pure box safety with good instincts and can hold his own in man coverage. He's a perfect foil to Derron Smith and could compete for a starting job against Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor as the enforcer. He's not as good as Jaquiski Tartt, but plays with the same kind of anger and intensity.
Round 7 (Pick 226) - JaCorey Sheperd, CB, Kansas
Exceptional ball skills with this guy. Had five picks and 32 ... that's right, 32 pass breakups over the past two seasons. He's got good size at 5-foot-11, 200 pounds and has plus athleticism. He's got a very good chance of making a roster as a special teams demon and plays with a good amount of fire.
This is now three picks taken for defensive backs, but as we know with the Giants, it's pretty necessary. One player that I particular had my eyes on was Rory "Busta" Anderson, the tight end from South Carolina but he went earlier in the round.
Round 7 (Pick 245) - Andrew East, LS, Vanderbilt
You guys know this has my finger prints all over them. This is my pick and it will remain my pick until someone tells me differently. I know in reality the Giants aren't replacing Zak DeOssie, but the point remains he's declining, coming off a bad year last year, and he's a free agent in the upcoming year. He'll want over a million dollars per year and I don't think we need to pay that. This pick will be guaranteed to stick, will save us some money, and potentially be an upgrade.