NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock did not mention the New York Giants a single time during a Thursday press conference previewing the 2015 NFL Draft. That is sort of amazing since the transcript of Mayock's press conference, provided by the NFL PR Department, is 17 pages long.
Still, we can glean a few things that apply to the Giants from things Mayock said about players who may be of interest to the Giants. Here are a couple of things Mayock said that should be noted by Giants fans.
About the first-round offensive linemen
After Brandon Scherff, who was a tackle at Iowa and is going to get kicked inside and will probably go in the first 10 or 12 picks, after him, there's an awful lot of question marks.
Now, it doesn't mean there's not a lot of talent, because there is. But I could take, for instance, Ereck Flowers, D.J. Humphries, Andrus Peat and T.J. Clemmings. And all are gifted first-round tackles but I can poke a hole in every one of
those kids, either from a technique perspective or an off the field perspective or whatever.
So what's happened this year is that after Brandon Scherff and some teams like Cam Irving who could be a center, the kid from Florida State but as far as the tackle group is concerned, man, they've been pushed down a little bit in the first round, not because of talent, but because they're not all ready to play day one.
For instance, the reason I have La'el Collins as my No. 1 tackle is because out of that whole group he's the only one where I bang the table and say: I think I know exactly what I'm getting. I'm getting a starting right tackle that can kick inside and play guard, but I'm getting a starter day one and he's a body mover, I know what I'm getting.
All those other guys have question marks, and I think they're getting pushed down to the second half of the first round.
The safety class
I think the first safety in this class is different than what most people think, and the first safety off the board is going to be, in my opinion, Damarious Randall from Arizona State, and he's by far the best cover safety in this draft, and two months ago he was considered a third- or fourth-round pick. Now he's a first-round pick, and he's going ahead of Landon Collins because Collins is more of a box safety or a dime linebacker so that leads back to your question about it's such a bad safety class, and it is, which corners can convert over, and the guys that make the most sense are Eric Rowe from Utah, who I've got a second-round grade on regardless of where you play him, corner or safety, and he played both in college; Quinten Rollins, the basketball player who played one year at corner for Miami of Ohio; I moved him over into my safety list, and I think he's going to go in the second round as a safety; Alex Carter from Stanford, and he's got height, weight, speed, and again, if he can do that one job of coming inside and covering tight ends, he's got a high value.
Teams are looking far and wide for safeties because the class itself is so bad, one, and number two, because the league has changed. It's a pass first league, and safeties are expected to cover first, and you'll give up a little physicality and tackling for that.