Yesterday you got to see, and dissect, the first round of my first official mock draft of 2016. In case you forgot, or didn't feel like clicking on the link in the last sentence, I selected Leonard Floyd for the New York Giants.
It was a close choice between Floyd and Vernon Hargreaves III, but I ultimately went for the athletic linebacker the Giants have been lacking.
Today, just like the real draft, I give you rounds two and three, and like the draft at the end of this month, things will move a little faster.
32) Cleveland Browns -- Christian Hackenberg (QB, Penn State)
33) Tennessee Titans -- Eli Apple (CB, Ohio State)
34) Dallas Cowboys -- Paxton Lynch (QB, Memphis)
35) San Diego Chargers -- Sheldon Day (DL, Notre Dame)
36) Baltimore Ravens -- Taylor Decker (OT, Ohio State)
37) San Francisco 49ers -- Vadal Alexander (OL, LSU)
38) Jacksonville Jaguars -- Justin Simmons (S, Boston College)
39) Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Jalen Mills (DB, LSU)
40) New York Giants -- Robert Nkemdiche (DT, Ole Miss)
I'll be honest, I was REALLY hoping one of my top offensive five tackles would fall this far -- I like Spriggs the best, but que sera -- so the Giants could finally finish off their offensive line, but it wasn't to be. I was even sorely tempted to go with La'Raven Clark out of Texas Tech, but for all his physical tools he is even farther behind now than Ereck Flowers was coming out last year.
So I'm swinging for the fences and taking a chance on Robert Nkemdiche, with the rider that he stay the hell away from his brother. His character red flags are a definite concern, but this report from Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting (who has done a ton of leg-work on "character" guys) is reassuring:
Robert Nkemdiche isn't a bad kid, at least that's the general feeling among those who've spoken/interviewed him. One team said that he had one of the highest psychological test scores they've ever seen. He's just an odd guy that teams can't really get a handle on mentally. He's been a star athlete since he was in middle school, and that's affected how he's grown as a person off the field.
Jerry Reese and the Giants have experience here. Prince Amukamara fell from a top-10 pick to 19th overall because of an "off-beat" personality and coaches weren't sure how it would play in their locker rooms. It sounds as though Nkemdiche might be the same sort of personality, and if he is really a good kid who made bad decisions, putting him in a defensive line room with Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Johnathan Hankins, and Damon Harrison should help him reach his potential.
And oh, that potential. If he is in an environment where he can devote himself to his craft, Nkemdiche has the raw athletic tools to be as dominant as any defensive tackle in the league. Also tipping the scales in Nkemdiche's favor here is the report that Jerry Reese was at Ole Miss' Pro Day to watch him just as much as Laquon Treadwell, and the Giants are hosting Nkemdiche for a private workout. If we're saying the interest is real in Floyd, the same should follow for Nkemdiche.
41) Chicago Bears -- Jonathan Bullard (DL, Florida)
42) Miami Dolphins -- Carl Nassib (DE, Penn State)
43) Los Angeles Rams -- Michael Thomas (WR, Ohio State)
44) Oakland Raiders -- Derrick Henry (RB, Alabama)
45) Los Angeles Rams -- Kendall Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech)
46) Detroit Lions -- Kentrell Brothers (MLB, Missouri)
47) New Orleans Saints -- Kamalei Correa (OLB, Boise State)
48) Indianapolis Colts -- Vernon Butler (DT, Louisiana Tech)
49) Buffalo Bills -- Braxton Miller (WR, Ohio State)
50) Atlanta Falcons -- Karl Joseph (S, West Virginia)
51) New York Jets -- La'Raven Clark (OT, Texas Tech)
52) Houston Texans -- Will Fuller (WR, Notre Dame)
53) Washington Redskins -- Nick Martin (OC, Notre Dame)
54) Minnesota Vikings -- Germain Ifedi (OL, Texas A&M)
55) Cincinnati Bengals -- Jack Allen (OC, Michigan State)
56) Seattle Seahawks -- Chris Jones (DT, Mississippi State)
57) Green Bay Packers -- Joshua Perry (LB, Ohio State)
58) Pittsburgh Steelers -- Joshua Garnett (OG, Stanford)
59) Kansas City Chiefs -- Sterling Sheppard (WR, Oklahoma)
60) New England Patriots -- Vonn Bell (S, Ohio State)
61) New England Patriots -- Tyler Boyd (WR, Pittsburgh)
62) Carolina Panthers -- Kenneth Dixon (RB, Louisiana Tech)
63) Denver Broncos -- Deion Jones (LB, LSU)
64) Tennessee Titans -- Keanu Neal (S, Florida)
65) Cleveland Browns -- Shilique Calhoun (EDGE, Michigan State)
66) San Diego Chargers -- Su'a Cravens (S/LB, USC)
67) Dallas Cowboys -- Kenny Clark (DT, UCLA)
68) San Francisco 49ers -- Sterling Sheppard (WR, Oklahoma)
69) Jacksonville Jaguars -- Sebastian Tretola (OG, Arkansas)
70) Baltimore Ravens -- Artie Burns (CB, Miami)
71) New York Giants -- Jerald Hawkins (OT, LSU)
Heave a sigh of relief, because the offensive line is finished. Hawkins is a windfall in the third round, and was the last player on my board who I think has a reasonable chance of coming in and starting on the offensive line Year 1. Hawkins isn't a finished product -- he needs to continue to fill out his frame and get more consistent with his technique -- but he has experience starting at both left and right tackle in a pro-style offense, and played every game at LSU. He's a better pass blocker now than run blocker, but he's agile enough for effective cut blocks. With some development and coaching, he should develop into a good starter.
72) Chicago Bears -- Kyler Fackrell (OLB, Utah State)
73) Miami Dolphins -- Cyrus Jones (CB, Alabama)
74) Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Miles Killebrew (S/LB, Southern Utah)
75) Oakland Raiders -- Pharoh Cooper (WR, South Carolina)
76) Los Angeles Rams -- Connor Cook (QB, Michigan State)
77) Philadelphia Eagles -- Devontae Booker (RB, Utah)
78) New Orleans Saints -- Austin Johnson (DT, Penn State)
79) Tennessee Titans *via Philadelphia* -- T.J. Green (S, Clemson)
80) Buffalo Bills -- Kyle Murphy (OT, Stanford)
81) Atlanta Falcons -- Charles Tapper (DE, Oklahoma)
82) Indianapolis Colts -- Joe Schobert (OLB, Stanford)
83) New York Jets -- D.J. Reader (DT, Clemson)
84) Washington Redskins -- Leonte Caroo (WR, Rutgers)
85) Houston Texans -- Graham Glasgow (C/G, Michigan)
86) Minnesota Vikings -- Javon Hargrave (DT, South Carolina State)
87) Cincinnati Bengals -- Hassan Ridgeway (DT, Texas)
88) Green Bay Packers -- Nick Vannett (TE, Ohio State)
89) Pittsburgh Steelers -- Sean Davis (S/CB, Maryland)
90) Seattle Seahawks -- Xavien Howard (CB, Baylor)
91) New England Patriots -- Landon Turner (OG, North Carolina)
92) Arizona Cardinals -- Austin Hooper (TE, Stanford)
93) Carolina Panthers -- Shawn Oakman (DE, Baylor)
94) Denver Broncos -- Cardale Jones (QB, Ohio State)
95) Detroit Lions (Compensatory) -- Kenny Lawler (WR, UCLA)
96) New England Patriots (Compensatory) -- Maurice Canaday (CB, Virginia)
97) Seattle Seahawks (Compensatory) -- Rashard Higgins (WR, Colorado State)
98) Denver Broncos (Compensatory) -- Connor McGovern (OG, Missouri)
As we close the book on our imaginary first two days of the NFL Draft, I think the Giants have come away with a pretty good haul.
In the first round, we picked up Leonard Floyd, a long, athletic linebacker who can rush the passer as well as drop in coverage. In the second round, the Giants are taking a chance on Robert Nkemdiche, hoping their strong locker room can help mitigate his risk of busting and nurture his incredible potential. and finally in Round 3, we finished off the offensive line and hopefully drafted the right tackle of the future in Jerald Hawkins.
At the start of the offseason, new head coach Ben McAdoo talked about the importance of building the team through the trenches. I hope we stayed true to that by adding an explosively athletic linebacker, a very high-upside defensive tackle, and hopefully the missing piece of the offensive line.
The Giants could still stand to add a corner back, a wide receiver, and a safety, but that's what the third day is for in this case.
Who would you target with the Giants' last three picks?