When we've discussed the New York Giants and the draft earlier this year (or rather, later in 2015) it's usually met with choruses of "Too soon!", and they're almost always led by Ed before I get started writing.
But now that the season is over and the draft order has -- barring trades -- been set, we can now get started to take a more realistic look at the draft. Of course, prospects' stock will rise and fall wildly between now and the end of April. But that doesn't mean we can't start focusing in on the kind of prospects the Giants could be looking at.
10. New York Giants: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
The Giants need an intimidating and effective force up front, and at 6'7, few seem more menacing on the field than Buckner. When you add in his 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss this season, his production matches the expectations his size suggests. Buckner has a good first step for a player his size, and can obviously cover a lot of ground in a hurry.
Raptor's Take: Buckner is an interesting fit for the Giants. Of course at this point, we really have no clue what kind of defense the Giants will be running in 2016. They'd probably like to keep Steve Spagnuolo around and let him actually build the defense with his parts -- and hopefully healthy players. Buckner checks a lot of boxes for the Giants. He is a massive defensive end but is still impressively athletic. He also reportedly has high character and is a team leader. However, you can't change physics, and his build makes it difficult for him to sink his hips and bend the edge as a pass rusher. The Giants could ask him to add some weight and be a defensive tackle in the mold of Chris Canty.
*In a somewhat rare turn of events, both Rob Rang and Dane Brugler agree on a selection for the New York Giants. I will be listing the selection and each one's reasoning for the selection.
10. New York Giants: Shaq Lawson (DE, Clemson)
Dane Brugler - The Giants have an obvious hole at defensive end, which showed in the stat sheet, ranking 30th in the NFL in sacks this season. Lawson is an efficient pass rusher with the power, quickness and ball awareness that allows him to be successful.
Rob Rang - Eli Manning and the offense gets most of the attention, but the Super Bowl runs with Tom Coughlin as coach came when the Giants boasted a dominant pass rush. That hasn't been the case in 2015, with the Giants registering just 23 sacks in 2015, 30th in the NFL. Sporting an NFL-ready build, burst, power and a high-revving motor, Lawson could offer the boost the Giants need.
Raptor's Take: Lawson has been, and will continue to be, a popular pick for he Giants in the first. With only one defensive end under contract for the 2016 season, they need to add a lot of talented depth there, and quickly. Lawson is a bit shorter than the Giants usually prefer, and there are some questions about his first step. We will have to wait until the Combine to shed some light on whether he truly lacks quickness or if he is asked to make a run check before rushing the passer.