With the Super Bowl in the rear view mirror let's get back to the business of what we have been doing for several weeks already. That, of course, is discussing the how the New York Giants can improve in the 2015 season. That involves previewing free agency and, of course, looking at multitudes of 2015 NFL mock drafts.
Our friends at SB Nation's Mocking The Draft released their latest mock draft Monday morning, and it is a very interesting one for the Giants. Mocking The Draft's Dan Kadar has given the Giants Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper at No. 9 overall and UCLA defensive Owamagbe Odighizuwa at No. 40 in a two-round mock.
The selection of Cooper in Round 1 is intriguing here, especially considering that Kadar left top-caliber players on the board at positions considered greater need areas for the Giants than wide receiver. Offensive tackle La'el Collins of LSU went to the Washington Redskins with the fifth overall pick in Kadar's draft. Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff (10th, St. Louis Rams), defensive end Bud Depree (13th, New Orleans Saints), defensive tackle Danny Shelton (14th, Miami Dolphins) and safety Ladon Collins (20th, Philadelphia Eagles) were among the players Kadar passed on to select Cooper.
"Even though the Giants just used a high first-round pick on Odell Beckham Jr. last season, Cooper is too good of a player to pass up at No. 9. General manager Jerry Reese always insists on taking the best player on the team's draft board, and Cooper has top-five potential. Taking Cooper would also be an indication of Victor Cruz's future."
Taking Cooper at No. 9 in this scenario is certainly understandable. He should not be available at No. 9 and, according to all currently available analysis, would be tremendous value at that spot. It would also not be shocking if general manager Jerry Reese, who recently said "In this league, you have to have weapons," grabbed Cooper in this spot. Reese also also added that if you believe a player is a game-changing weapon that ""it is hard to pass those guys up."
Cooper might be that. Our own 'Invictus' referred to him as "one of the top five talents in this draft."
Those things may be true. In my view, though, I have a hard time seeing this as the right choice to make. Neither of the teams who just played in Super Bowl 49 featured superstar wide receivers. The teams built with stars on the outside and holes on the inside went home long ago. As much as the Giants could use another offensive weapon and need to protect against Victor Cruz not coming back at full strength the biggest issue for the Giants is in the trenches on both sides of the ball. The view here is that is the thing they MUST get right this offseason to return to playoff contention next season.
The flash of Cooper would be fun to watch, and pairing him with Beckham and Cruz is enticing. It does nothing, however, to keep Eli Manning on his feet, open a hole for a running back or help the Giants stop anyone on defense.
The second-round selection of Odighizuwa is also interesting, but again probably not the choice I might have made at No. 40 overall.
Odighizuwa is a 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive end NFL.com refers to as an "absolute Greek God with the pads off," which you know will appeal to Reese. What doesn't appeal, or sound like a guy the Giants would generally pursue. is that Odighizuwa has already had a pair of hip surgeries and that he is apparently considered limited as a pass rusher, more of a run-stopping defensive end.
Our profile of Odighizuwa is still upcoming, and should be enlightening. Here are some of the notable players Kadar left on the board when he selected the UCLA defensive end for the Giants:
Miami ILB Denzel Perryman, Washington OLB Shaq Thompson, Duke OG Laken Tomlinson, Miami TE Clive Walford, Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Miami RB Duke Johnson.
Your thoughts, Giants fans?