Mel Kiper of ESPN is out with his annual "Grade A" NFL mock draft. In that three-round mock, Kiper plays GM for all 32 teams, selectng the player he thinks they should take and not who he believes they actually will take.
Here are Kiper's picks for the New York Giants?
- Round 1 (10): Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
- Round 2 (40): Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky
- Round 3 (71): Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
What grade would you give that three-round haul for the Giants? I don't think I would give it an "A." Here is Kiper's rationale for all three Giants' selections:
I imagine some Giants fans will find this first pick surprising, but as the GM in this scenario I look at my wide receivers and see that my No. 2 is Victor Cruz, who turns 30 this fall and hasn't played in a regular-season game since October 2014. Eli Manning is 35 and with the value poor at O-line in this slot, I'm going to help him in another way and get the top wide receiver in the draft. Even if you question whether Treadwell is a true No. 1 -- does he have to be given that other guy from the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry on this roster at wideout? Spence is a no-brainer as a pass-rusher in Round 2. Free agency helped, but we need another one. And I love the versatility of Dixon in Round 3. Good value range to take a back who can help right away.
Speaking of this draft in general terms, I can't fully support a draft that gives the Giants two offensive players in the first three picks when one of those is NOT a player who could develop into a starting right tackle. Let's look at each pick.
Round 1 (Treadwell) -- Nice player, and yes he fills the bill as a big, possession wide receiver to play opposite Odell Beckham Jr. On Monday, we laid out the case for and against using the 10th pick on Treadwell. Looking at both sides, I simply can't support picking Treadwell at No. 10. In my eyes, he's Hakeem Nicks or Anguan Boldin, not Beckham. The value just isn't there, and there should be a plethora of wide receivers available in Rounds 2-4. It's not that Treadwell won't be a good player, it's just that this is not the best use of this pick.
In Kiper's draft, both offensive tackles -- Ronnie Stanley (7th, San Francisco 49ers) and Jack Conklin (95th, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) -- are off the board.
Picking right here, I'm really tempted to take the big swing for Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd. Cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves of Florida and William Jackson of Houston are also both still on the board, and -- in my eyes -- preferable selections to Treadwell in this spot.
Round 2 (Spence) -- Our man Chris will LOVE this pick. He has continued to swim against the tide and insist that the Eastern Kentucky defensive end is the best edge rusher in the 2016 draft class. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report agrees with Chris, which would make Spence an incredible value at 40.
There are the questions about Spence's character after he was booted off the Ohio State team. There is also the question of whether or not, a 6-foot-2, 251 pounds, he can play defensive end in a 4-3. He's a risky pick here, especially since there is concern he will never develop into more than a pass rush specialist, which is what we saw happen to former Giant Damontre Moore, who is similar in size to Spence.
Personally, having passed on Treadwell in Round 1 I would be tempted to grab either a wide receiver or offensive tackle here. Receivers Sterling Shepard of Oklahoma and Michael Thomas of Ohio State are available, as are tackles La'Raven Clark and Shon Coleman. If you really want to roll the dice, Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche is also still on the board.
Round 3 (Dixon) -- Now, one day after praising Dane Brugler of CBS for selecting the Louisiana Tech running back in the third round of his mock draft for the Giants I don't want to sound like a hypocrite, but in this spot I can't support the choice of Dixon.
In my view, the Giants have to come out of the first three rounds of the draft with a player who at least has the potential to be a starting right tackle in the NFL. I always rail against the idea of locking yourself into saying you have to draft position x in round x no matter what.
In this case, though, there is really only one player left who might provide immediate competition for Marshall Newhouse. That would be Jerald Hawkins of LSU. This isn't an ideal pick, and our profile sees him on the "fringe" of potential right tackle starters, but in Kiper's scenario he could be the best pick.
Others to choose from include Penn State defensive end Carl Nassib, Boise State safety Darian Thompson, and linebacker Josh Perry.
Your grade for Kiper's draft, and for my modifications?