I did a seven-round mock draft recently with a plan of taking players I would target if I were running the team. this time I'm going to try to do a draft approach I think the New York Giants might take.
For this mock draft I used Fanspeak and the CBS Big Board because it was the most accurate of the available options, according to the Huddle Report and used some my own discretion to pass on some players I think might actually be available. Keep in mind I'm trying to predict what the Giants conceivably do, not what I would do.
Round 1 (No. 9) -- Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
Love it or hate it, this is a pick that makes sense. The million dollar question is do the Giants think that Scherff can play tackle (left or right)? My guess is yes. The Giants will know how athletic Scherff tested out, and how strong he is both functionally and in the weight room. They will overlook his arm length (which is average for an offensive tackle) and think about his versatility. Scherff IS a very good player, he's in the top 10 overall on my board, and plenty of others people's boards, for good reason. He should be a good NFL player, he might not be an All-Pro tackle, but he might be a good starter now at tackle who becomes an All-Pro guard, but maybe just maybe he could be a Pro Bowl tackle, too. The Giants, or whoever drafts him, should give him the opportunity to prove he can't.
Scherff didn't look great all year in pass protection, but he only allowed 2.5 sacks, and he suffered a knee injury during the year which might cause some players to miss weeks, or more. Scherff missed one practice. He played hurt which could have torpedoed his draft stock, but he played anyway. Tough, athletic, drama free, and MEAN -- a Coughlin type through and through. He also fills one of the Giants two biggest needs (safety is the other). Also, by grabbing Scherff (or whichever OL they like most) the Giants will likely get their favorite guy at the position with the assumption, as it seems that no linemen have yet come off the board. That's not a bad consolation prize in the top 10. And if the Giants think Scherff can play either tackle spot (and this is a team that started David Diehl at tackle successfully for years). Scherff has been discussed ad nauseum, but it's because it's a pick that has a good chance of happening.
Other picks that make sense: Cooper, White, Williams or Fowler if they fall, but my money is the Giants go offensive line. Scherff, Peat, Flowers, Collins.
Round 2 (No. 40 ) -- Benadrick McKinney, LB, Miss. St.
(Passed on Breshad Perriman and Nelson Agholor -- don't think they would be available. Also Owanagbe Odighizuwa -- seen that mock draft scenario a million times already -- Michael Bennett and Eric Rowe).
I know this is a bit of a surprise pick for many because it's not generally how the Giants operate, but I think it makes sense for a few reasons I'll detail here. First there are some who believe McKinney can add on a little bit of weight and drop down to being a Right defensive end in a 43 and at his size 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, 33-inch long arms, and speed (4.66 40-yard dash) it's possible. He fits the Giants mold for linebackers, something that few linebackers have in the past years where they have passed on guys like Sean Lee and others because they don't have a ton of size. McKinney is a throwback player who isn't afraid to hit you, he's productive, and he's a very good athlete (93 explosion score on mockdraftable.com). The Giants are also looking for a future replacement for Jon Beason. Like I said the Giants need help in adding talent and length in the front seven. Conventional wisdom says that it will be a defensive end, but McKinney, if available, is likely to be rated higher by the Giants.
Other players who make a ton of sense: Preston Smith (if available -- don't think he will be), Damarious Randall (or any safety they like), Michael Bennett, or if one of the top wide receivers falls here.
Round 3 (No. 74) -- Clive Walford, TE, Miami
Another pick that isn't exactly predictable, but makes a lot of sense for a variety of reasons. First, the Giants are unsure about Victor Cruz and need someone to control the middle of the field with Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle patrolling the outside. Conventional wisdom says the Giants will look for another wide receiver, but I would argue the Giants simply need another pass catcher. If this was the offense under Kevin Gilbride I don't think a player like Walford would be in consideration, but in the third round he offers too much value to be passed up. Ben McAdoo showed last year how much he valued and was able to use versatile tight ends. McAdoo's system helped Daniel Fells have one of the best years of his career. Walford has ability as both a pass catcher and run blocker (though he could get bigger) and offers an upgrade to Adrien Robinson and Fells. Walford, I'd argue, would help out more than another receiver because it would offer the Giants the ability to be more deceptive with their two-tight end sets, and should be an immediate red-zone threat. Walford is often compared to Colts tight end Dwayne Allen. A player that can help in both the run game and pass game should get heavy consideration in Round 3.
Other players in serious consideration: Anybody who plays safety, could play safety, or is related to someone who plays safety. Defensive ends Trey Flowers and Za'darius Smith
Round 4 (No. 108) -- Adrian Amos, S, Penn State
Seriously considered him in the third round because I just think he fits the Giants very well and will be in the Giants conversation. Last year I mocked Jay Bromley to the Giants as a late Day 3 pick, but felt comfortable he fit them. He ended up going in the third round. I feel the same way about Amos. He's mocked in the fourth- or fifth-round area, but I think he's in the conversation for the Giants in the third, and I don't think it woiuld be a bad pick. I wrote my profile on Amos recently so you can check that out for everything I think about him, but basically put he's good in coverage and fits the Giants' mold.
Round 5 (No. 144) -- Alex Carter, CB, Stanford
Carter is a potential safety conversion project who could end up going higher than this, but cornerback is a position where it is very, very difficult to predict the range of players because cornerbacks fit differently into other people's systems, much differently from team to team. Each team is looking for something different in cornerbacks, whether it be a slot guy, or a zone guy, or a guy who can blitz a bit. Look at them each year -- they go all over the place compared to where they are ranked by draft media. Anyway, point is the Giants lack depth at cornerback. Trumaine Mcbride has been a pleasant surprise, but after Dominique Rodgers-Cromartier and Prince Amukamara the Giants need an infusion of talent. I think there is value in this draft for corneback in Day 3, but the Giants could go cornerback in any round prior to this one from the ninth pick (Trae Waynes) all the way until the last pick, perhaps even twice.
Other potential picks: Any player out there. Once you get into Day 3 teams are looking for guys who can play special teams immediately, or have high-upside, developmental ability. All positions are up for grabs.
Round 6 (No. 186) -- Ty Montomgery, WR, Stanford
Passed on Gerod Holliman - don't believe he'll be available.
The Giants add a high-upside wide receiver. Montgomery had an awful pre-draft proccess, but possesses. Montgomery is renowned for good character and is thickly built. He's like a running back with the ball in his hands and can create a lot of yards after catch. He is a good fit for the Giants system because of their use of the short passing game. Montgomery might be a guy who could eventually be a good slot receiver -- though he does have to continue to work on catching the football.
Round 7 (No. 226) -- Jeremiah Poutasi, OL, Utah
Adding more talent and depth to the offensive line. It would surprise me if the Giants went offensive line twice in the first four rounds, but it'd also surprise me if they only took one offensive linemen in the draft
Round 7 (No. 244) -- Cedric Reed, DE, Texas
Another Giants' type because he has size (6-foot-5, 270 pounds, 33 3/8-inch arms) and production at a major college. His production was down a lot this year (10 sacks 2013, 5.5 2014) and he hasn't worked out yet because of a knee injury, but this is the type of player you can take late in the draft, stash on the practice squad or IR while he recovers and maybe find yourself a starter or at least a solid contributor in two years.
I think the Giants will go offensive line in the first round, though if they don't my guess is Trae Waynes. The cornerback depth on the current roster is scary and they will address it in the draft. I'd expect at least two DBs to be drafted, but perhaps as many as four, and that wouldn't be a bad idea. I think the Giants also add at least one pass catcher to the mix, but I think tight end is over-looked. There is no long term to ANY tight end on the roster currently. Donnell is a free agent soon and Robinson might not get a second contract. Fells is a journeyman. I also am of the belief that adding a tight end will do more for the Giants than a wide receiver not named Cooper.
The biggest questions for the Giants in this draft are:
- What do the Giants truly believe about Victor Cruz's knee? That will dictate, I think, how early they go wide receiver.
- Do they believe Spags can get more out of Damontre Moore? If the Giants think Moore will break out (or think Kerry Wynn has a chance to), I think defensive end is a position that might not get addressed.
- I did not address defensive tackle in this mock, but it would make a lot of sense. Which brings us to the third question -- who is Jay Bromley?
This is the part of mock drafts we do not have access too. Their confidence level in Cruz, Moore, and Bromley will have significant implications on what they do in the draft, and that's just not information we know.
Be excited. Only a few days remain until we can stop talking about the hypothetical and focus on the actuality of what happened.