Unlike Mike Mayock, who believes that mock drafts long before the draft are essentially useless, ESPN's Todd McShay has regularly released mock drafts throughout the draft process. Thursday morning he released his final first round mock, and like Mayock, MaShay has selected an offensive lineman for the Giants.
10. New York Giants
Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
The Giants do not have a long-term right tackle on the roster. Conklin would solve that problem. A former walk-on, Conklin is a powerful run blocker who plays with the physical edge needed for a right tackle. Plug-and-play starter.
Raptor's Thoughts: I can't say I'd be elated by this pick, but I understand it. Is drafting four offensive linemen in the top two rounds over the last four years big concentration of resources? Yes, yes it is. But they are five different positions, and it goes a long way to helping the rest of the team.
Giving Eli Manning rock-solid protection as he ages will help to add effective years to his career and prolong the Giants window for winning it all, and protect the next quarterback (whoever that is). It also allows the offense the opportunity to take shots down the field rather than being forced to rely on quick passes to cover up spotty protection. As well, having a running game that can impose it's will on defenses not only opens up the play-action pass, but it let's the offense control the flow of the game and improves the Red Zone offense.
As for Conklin himself, he has the athleticism to be a tackle in the NFL. I don't subscribe to the notion that left tackles and right tackles have separate athletic profiles. Either a player is a tackle or he isn't. I'm not going to put an inferior athlete on the right and call it a day when he would have to block the likes of J.J. Watt, Von Miller, Justin Houston, Cam Wake, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, or Michael Strahan. Conklin has the tools to live out there, even if he needs to work on his footwork -especially against speed rushers.
Mentally, he is everything you could ask for in a linemen. He is a tough, mean, nasty SOB (and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible) who just wants it more, and will beat defenders down.