As is becoming the custom on the Monday after playoff games, we have a new slate of mock drafts to pour over. Of course, at this point in the draft process, they are anything but accurate, but one thing they are is a way to look at the perceived needs of a team.
So with that in mind, let's take a look at who the various mock drafters have picked for the New York Giants.
10. New York Giants: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
New York needs someone who can get after the passer, and Lawson showed this season he can do that with 12.5 sacks to go along with 22.5 tackles for loss. He's a good all-around end, too, so he won't be a liability against the run.
Other options: [DeForest] Buckner (DL, Oregon), Emmanuel Ogbah (DE, Oklahoma State)
Raptor's Thoughts: Personally, I'm not too high on Ogbah or Lawson at 10th overall. Sure they're the "next best" defensive ends behind Joey Bosa, but that doesn't mean they're great picks because they fit a need. Buckner has impressive physical tools, but honestly, I'm left wanting. Watching him against Michigan State, I saw him legitimately win three times in 12 minutes of tape, with Jack Conklin (a likely second, or even first-round offensive tackle) giving him fits. He is big and long, but didn't use it well, popping upright after first contact giving up any leverage and push.
10. Giants: DeForest Buckner (DE, Oregon) - Buckner is the kind of long, rangy defender that GM Jerry Reese needs to shore up a Giants defense that's struggled getting stops in critical moments.
10. Giants: Jaylon Smith (LB, Notre Dame) - I'm assuming that Smith will come back fully healthy. If he does, he offers playmaking range and sneaky versatility that could help ramp up the Giants defense quickly.
Raptor's Thoughts: I've already made my thoughts known about Buckner, so I'm going to concentrate on Smith. Jaylon Smith might be the "Todd Gurley" of this year's draft. Healthy, he is in the conversation as the best player in the draft. In fact, he was the first player I sat down and really studied this year, and my very first note was "ELECTRIC player" Size, speed, agility, instincts, range... Smith has it all. However, can the Giants take a chance on a player coming back from from a torn ACL and MCL? Can they afford the patience that may come with having the 10th overall draft pick start out on the PUP list? Can they keep him healthy?
If the Football Gods could give me the assurance that he can come back 100 percent and stay healthy, then I would be fully on board with picking Smith. Eight games is a small price to pay for a player who can be compared to Patrick Willis in his prime or Luke Keuchly.
Round 1) Shilique Calhoun (EDGE, Michigan State)
With Robert Ayers, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Cullen Jenkins LL hitting free agency, DE is certainly a high priority heading into the off-season. While Calhoun doesn't have the pure athleticism of someone like Shaq Lawson, he does have very good size for the position. Because of that, he is a likely candidate to line up opposite the right tackle on the strong side. He needs to add strength to his lengthy frame to hold up against the run better but I don't see that being an issue once he gets into an NFL weight room. As a pass rusher, he wins more with strength and technique than overall athleticism, and will likely struggle against left tackles at the next level, which supports my theory of moving him to the strong side. If this team plans to bring back Pierre-Paul, this move makes perfect sense. Should they chose to retain Jenkins or Ayers, it may be better to go after Shaq Lawson who has the first-step quickness and ability to turn the corner against left tackles at the next level.
Round 2) Darian Thompson (FS, Boise State)
It would be painful to watch the Giants pass on value OT guys like Gerald Hawkins and Jack Conklin, given that Marshall Newhouse and Ereck Flowers were ranked #72 and #76 in the NFL (per ProFootballFocus.com) among qualifying OTs - a league worst. But with a healthy Will Beatty (could be a cap casualty), and (hopefully) Flowers getting over freshman jitters, the OL hopefully will be a vastly improved unit next year for new HC Ben McAdoo. The Safety personnel were also graded poorly by PFF: Brandon Meriweather #71 ,Landon Collins #77, and Craig Dahl #85. Unlike the OT position, there is no injured stud waiting in the wings to bring the NYG secondary back to relevance. But we are hopeful that Collins, like Flowers on the OL, will rebound after a weak rookie season. He'll need a sidekick. Darian Thompson has hijacked 19 footballs in mid-flight during his career at Boise State. The Second Team All-American (FWAA, Phil Steele) will bring a seasoned presence to the Giants' secondary.
Round 3) Pharoh Cooper (WR, South Carolina)
Round 4) Alex Collins (RB,Arkansas)
Round 5) Deion Jones (OLB, LSU)
Round 6) Jerell Adams (TE, South Carolina)
Raptor's Thoughts: Okay, I am not a fan of the Calhoun pick in the first round. First off, I think he's strictly a 3-4 outside linebacker, so that is a difficult scheme fit at best for the Giants. Second, I think he is a tremendous reach at 10th overall. That pick is redeemed by Thompson in the second. He is a natural centerfielder and would make a great pairing with Landon Collins. I'm a big fan of Pharoh Cooper, who I think would be a "Randall Cobb" for the Giants, and Deion Jones could be an absolute steal in the fifth. Collins is a great running back, and that's probably a fantastic value, but I'd rather see another piece added to the defense, but if the holes are shored up in free agency, I wouldn't mind the pick at all.
What do you think Giants' fans?