The first week of free agency is over! Our New York Giants made some interesting moves to say the least, but now we've got a pretty good idea of where our true need areas lie. It's back to the mock drafts we go! We'll have plenty of traditional mock drafts, but I decided to do a seven-round, Giants-only mock draft.
This will incorporate players that I think can fit the Giants well, accommodating for needs, as well as picking players where I think their general value might lie. That means I'm not exactly going to let myself pick Leonard Williams with our second-round pick! Read on to find out who I picked for our team:
Round 1 (No. 9) - Alvin 'Bud' Dupree, DE, Kentucky
This pick makes too much sense. With Jason Pierre-Paul still not under contract past this year, edge rusher becomes a huge need for the Giants. Bud Dupree is rising violently on draft boards to the point where many consider him a top 15 player. He has a tremendous first step, good bend, great motor, and an aggressive style of play. He's a speed rusher through and through.
The negatives on him are a lack of pass rush moves as well as some questionable instincts, but he can absolutely be schemed to success. At Kentucky, he had multiple responsibilities including coverage, setting the edge, worked as a spy, etc. If you ask him to pin his ears back in a 3-point stance while occasionally maintaining the edge, he can be a beast of a pass rusher.
The Giants also like to employ stand up rushers, as evidenced by their use of Devon Kennard last year and their pursuit of O'Brien Schofield and Jason Worilds. Dupree has ample experience doing just that. You want a play-maker with a top 10 pick and Dupree gives you a potential double-digit sack guy every year.
Round 2 (No. 40) - Eric Rowe, CB/FS, Utah
You'll hear me now and throughout the rest of the draft process banging the table for Eric Rowe. He's my top-rated free safety prospect and, well, last time I checked we didn't have many of those. He started off his career at safety but moved over to CB just last year.
From a measurables standpoint, he's a perfect prospect. 6-foot-1, 205 pounds that ran a 4.45 at the combine with a 39-inch vertical and a 6.7 3-cone. He was actually a top performer in every category at the combine. He's got fluid hips and can change directions well.
The issues he has mainly concern deep speed and short area quickness, but if he converts to safety, I'm not sure those matter. He appears smart, and doesn't get fooled very often, and he's a very good tackler. He plays physical. If the Giants are looking to get a free safety from this draft, Rowe would be the one to get.
Round 3 (No. 74) - Josue Matias, OG, Florida State
When you are looking at the draft, there's a few things you have to look for. First is talent. Talent trumps everything. However, a close second is fit. You need to find a fit for what you want to do with your scheme. There were mistakes in the past by Jerry Reese in terms of finding fits for what the team tried to accomplish, but it's clear that over the past couple of years, fit has taken on a more important role. With that, we get to Josue Matias.
At 6-foot-5, 309 pounds, he is not an athlete. A 5.52 40-yard dash with a 17.5-inch vertical. Not very explosive. What he is, however, is a football player and a pretty good one. He has good length with 33.5-inch arms and plays with a nice, square, wide base. He can anchor well and won't get overpowered. Balance is his key strength. He always maintains a nice center of gravity. Has natural knee bend. He's got short area quickness and gets to the second level pretty easily. Good punch. Very, very good pass protector and can form a wall for Eli Manning.
He needs work as a run blocker because he doesn't have great strength. Sometimes (not often, though), he'll overextend and will not be able to drive block. That's important, but less so in the Giants scheme where he'll be asked to reach block, seal off defenders, and cut block. He's more than proficient at those. He's played LG and that's where the Giants could use him. He's more valuable in a zone scheme, and again, that's what the Giants use. He's a starting level player who will likely be available in the third (I'm not sure Ali Marpet will be) and a good pick here.
Round 4 (No. 105) - Gabe Wright, DT, Auburn
It's all about explosion. Explosion, explosion, explosion. Wright is an explosive player. He's a classic three technique at 6-foot-3, 300 pounds with a good arm length of 32 5/8 inches. He is a pure penetrator in a 1-gap 4-3 scheme, which is likely what Steve Spagnuolo will run.
He's not a perfect prospect, hence why I have a Round 4 grade on him. His motor is on and off and he's got some issues changing directions. He can't anchor. However that first step rivals that of Aaron Donald's and in the right system, he can really, really stress an offensive line's integrity.
I can see him replacing Markus Kuhn at three technique, with Bromley rotating in for Johnathan Hankins. It would give the Giants a young and angry second line behind Big Hank and Cullen Jenkins.
Round 5 (No. 136) - Vince Mayle, WR, Washington State
A pure upside pick, Mayle has a chance to become quite a threat. At 6-foot-2, 224 pounds he's a nice-sized athlete, and even though he ran a slow 40-yard dash, his game speed is definitely faster. He's a very strong route runner, which we all know is a big plus in Ben McAdoo's system.
He has a big catch radius and as a former basketball player, he knows how to outfight smaller defenders for the ball. Very good body control. It's rare that you see a player with his size, body control, and route running ability to go this late but there's a couple of reasons that he could.
He's got a lot of drops -- 13 drops this past season and that's a pretty big number. He also lacks top end speed that most wide receivers possess. He struggles against the press, so he'll have to learn how to release better. He's got tremendous upside, however, and could be a late-round gem for New York.
Round 6 (No. 170) - Derrick Malone, Jr., OLB, Oregon
We've already converted Eric Rowe to a free safety from corner, we're going to do the same with Derrick Malone. He played exclusively as an outside 'backer for the Oregon Ducks, posting 190 tackles over the last two years. However, at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he simply does not have the size to play linebacker at the next level. How about trying him at strong safety?
Let's be clear, it's not simply a matter of height and weight to make transitions between safeties and linebackers. The linebacker has to be athletic, have good change of direction, has to have superior range, and he has to be intelligent. Malone has okay athleticism, mediocre change of direction ability, has good range, and is supposedly very intelligent. He is a team captain and he's the one that lines up the Ducks defense. He's not a perfect conversion prospect but he can do it.
Having him as a 'tweener between OLB and SS will add to the cache of prospects the Giants have there. He's also projected to be a good special teamer, so it's definitely a good add in the sixth round.
Round 7 (No. 201) - Jean Sifrin, TE, Massachusetts
An upside pick as a receiving tight end, Sifrin is 6-foot-5, 245 pounds and capable of making jaw-dropping catches. He's got insane body control, enormous catch radius and terrific hands. He's just never played that much football. He's 27 years old, which is definitely a negative, but he projects as an awesome goal line threat with fantastic athleticism.
He doesn't know how to run routes and is still learning, but he's also a terrific yards after catch guy. This would be a Hail Mary type of pick, but this is also the seventh round. If you want upside, Sifrin is the embodiment of it.
Round 7 (No. 220) - Terry Poole, OT, San Diego State University
I had Poole in a previous mock draft and I've got him again because I really, really like him. A hard-working player with good length, decent technique, and upside sounds like a late round Jerry Reese pick. He doesn't have the footwork to be a left tackle, but he could absolutely move inside. He has functional strength which should help him in the run game.
I see him as the type of player who can get stashed in the practice squad, develop for a year or two, and could eventually be a swing tackle or even make it in the league as a guard. Definitely a player to follow.