Despite having already invested more than $60 million in guaranteed money on defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul in free agency, could the New York Giants use the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft on another one? The current trend in our mock draft database, clearly indicated by the pie chart above, would be yes.
Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson is currently a clear consensus choice, having been the pick in 14 of the 34 mock drafts in our database, or 41.2 percent. The last time we checked the database, Lawson was also the player most often selected for the Giants but was the pick in only seven of 34 mocks, or 20.5 percent.
Would it truly make sense for the Giants, as currently constructed, to take a defensive end at No. 10? This question came up in Saturday's Big Blue View mailbag. Here is how I answered it:
Of course. Remember back in 2006 when the Giants raised eyebrows by drafting Mathias Kiwanuka despite not having an obvious place for him to play. The biggest thing people sometimes misunderstand about the draft is that it isn't necessarily about the upcoming season, it's about trying to collect good players you think can help you for several seasons to come. Thus, you take the best players. Ideally, the best player matches a current need but that doesn't always happen. In terms of a pass rusher, remember that Jason Pierre-Paul is on a one-year deal. If you want to protect yourself for the future and you think a guy like Shaq Lawson of Clemson can be a big-time pass rusher then you go ahead and take him even if you don't necessarily appear to "need" him right now.
Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott was the second-most popular selection, being the choice seven times. No one else was chosen more than twice.
Interest seems to have waned in some other pass rushers. DeForest Buckner dropped from five selections to one, and Noah Spence From four to one. Emmanuel Ogbah, who was selected three times at last check, and Kevin Dodd (one) went unselected for the Giants this time around.
Two mock drafts posted after the Giants' massive spending spree on Wednesday, which was focused entirely on defense, gave the Giants Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. It will be interesting to see if that trend picks up steam.