It's the Monday before the NFL Scouting Combine. That means that it's the last chance to get mock drafts in before the combine can re-shuffle everyone's draft boards, and behind the scenes meetings can change how teams' needs are perceived.
So, who did the Giants get in some recent mock drafts, and how will those picks be justified?
10. New York Giants: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
This is where the draft could get interesting. If teams are comfortable with where Smith is at in his rehabilitation from a knee injury at the combine, he may not be around at the No. 10 pick. If teams don't like what they hear about his rehab, his value could be much later in the first round. For the Giants, Smith can fill the hole left by Jon Beason's retirement. He has good instincts and a good first step, both keys for a good middle linebacker.
Raptor's Thoughts: How much I like this pick depends entirely on how healthy Smith's knee is. Doctors are getting very good at putting knees back together -- Unless, of course, you're Jefferson Jackson from Legends of Tomorrow, but that's a whole different can of worms. -- so it isn't unrealistic to assume that he will get back to his former levels of athleticism.
Personally, I'm comfortable with the pick, even excited about it, if I could be assured that he would "only" be on the PUP list and miss the first 8 (or so, depending on when the bye week falls) games. That seems like a small price to play for the Giants to get their best linebacker since Carl Banks.
However, without seeing Smith's medical reports (and being a doctor and specialist in the field), the question comes down to how much risk Jerry Reese has the stomach for. Before the bowl game, Smith had the potential to be one of the top - 5, even top 3 inside linebackers in the NFL. Now... Who knows? And therein lies the rub.
10. Ronnie Stanley (OT, Notre Dame) For years, the Giants have needed a play-making linebacker, but general manager Jerry Reese has favored drafting for offense. New York has taken an offensive player in the first round for the last four years with a preference toward the line. With Will Beatty having been cut, Stanley could form an excellent tackle tandem with Ereck Flowers.
Stanley is athletic and quick. He possesses good length to him and sustains his blocks pretty well. Stanley also has the speed and agility to mirror speed rushers, plus is a skilled blind-side protector. His significant athleticism allows him to hit blocks downfield as well.
However, Stanley needs to add more power and play with more of a mean streak, and he has to improve his ability to avoid mental mistakes with penalties. Stanley can struggle with physical defensive linemen (see Clemson and Shaq Lawson). He could stand to add some strength for the NFL as well.
Stanley (6-5, 315) generated a ton of late-season buzz in 2014, and he put an exclamation point on it by getting the better of the top 2015 NFL Draft-eligible defensive lineman in USC's Leonard Williams in limited plays against each other. In 2013, Stanley started at right tackle and was part of a line that allowed only eight sacks on the season.
40. Vonn Bell (S, Ohio State)
The Giants need to improve their secondary. They could use a free safety to pair with Landon Collins and more talent at cornerback, especially if Prince Amukamara doesn't return. Here, New York addresses the former.
Bell (5-11, 205) had a huge 2014 season with the Buckeyes as he recorded six interceptions with 92 tackles and six passes broken up. The sophomore finished the year in impressive fashion to help the Buckeyes win the National Championship with four interceptions over the final six games.
Bell showed speed, ball skills and instincts in his first season as a starter, but he wasn't as dynamic in 2015. Perhaps he had the NFL on his mind. Bell totaled 65 tackles with nine breakups and two interceptions in 2015.
74. De'Runnya Wilson (WR, Ole Miss)
The Giants need a No. 2 receiver to pair with Odell Beckham Jr. Rueben Randle is just average, while Victor Cruz unfortunately hasn't made it back to his old form.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Wilson totaled 60 receptions for 918 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015. He's a big possession receiver for the NFL who will struggle to separate from NFL cornerbacks. Wilson had a quality sophomore season and worked well with Dak Prescott. In 2014, Wilson caught 47 passes for 680 yards with nine touchdowns.
106. Bronson Kaufusi (DE, BYU)
The Giants need defensive end help even if Jason Pierre-Paul and Robert Ayers are re-signed. New York could use a third end to help the defense get after the quarterback.
Kaufusi totaled 64 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles in 2015. As a junior, he collected seven sacks after putting together a four-sack season as a sophomore. Kaufusi (6-6, 281) could fit as a five-technique in a 3-4 defense or a left defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. He needs to improve at shedding blocks for the NFL.
Raptors Thoughts: Stanley is an interesting pick, and likely entirely dependent on how free agency shakes out. If the Giants either don't or are unable (hey, there are 31 other teams out there vying for free agents) to sign a right tackle, then Stanley makes sense as a book end for Ereck Flowers. On the field, athletically, and physically they are similar players, and would give the Giants a starting offensive line that is young, athletic, and powerful at every position.
I like the Vonn Bell pick in principle, but the Giants will need to figure out why his production declined. Were teams taking fewer chances downfield? Was he used differently? Was his mind on the NFL?
De'Runnya Wilson is a solid choice to help fill out the Giants' receiving corps. His size, body control, hands, and short-area quickness should help in short down and distance, and red zone situations as he grows into a complete receiver.
Kaufusi, to me, is a solid option in the fourth round. He reminds me a lot of Kerry Wynn on the field. He is a powerful, but stiff, high motor player who is stout against the run but still figuring out how to beat blockers in the passing game. He won't make or break the Giants' pass rush, but he is a relatively safe player who has a role in the NFL. He might be a better fit for a 3-4, but the Giants used that alignment in 2015.
So Giants fans, what do you think of this week's mock drafts?
We have had almost two months of mock drafts so far, and they've been all over the place. Pretty much everyone agrees on where the Giants' needs lie, but there are many different opinions on how to address them. Be sure to check out our Mock Draft Database to see how the picks have changed over time.
Also, we now have a handy-dandy pie chart (and who doesn't love pie? Personally, it's tough for me to turn down a slice of apple) to give you a visual representation of who is getting mocked to the Giants the most.