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2017 NFL mock draft: Mocking The Draft gives Giants Georgia running back Nick Chubb

Could the Giants really select an injured running back in the first round next year?

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

As I write this, we are roughly 36 hours removed from the 2016 NFL Draft. So, that should be enough respite from draft talk that we can safely start talking about the 2017 draft, right?

I'll admit to just a bit of sarcasm there, but only a bit. The work of an NFL scout is never done, and they only get a couple weeks off before they are back in the film room and back on the road, doing their preliminary work on prospects for the 2017 draft. The Giants have a deadline to meet, as they are one of the 12 teams that are a part of the BLESTO, a scouting cooperative named for the teams who agreed back in the 1960's to share preliminary scouting information (Bears, Lions, Eagles, Stealers Talent Organization). Being a part of the BLESTO means that the Giants have to provide at least one scout to present reports and grades (in addition to $100,000 membership dues) for organization's conference in late spring or early summer.

So while fans and beat writers might be burnt out on draft talk, draft season never truly ends.

And in that spirit, our friends over at Mocking The Draft have released an early mock of the 2017 Draft.

18. New York Giants: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

This pick assumes Chubb will recover fine from a bad knee injury in October. If so, he can be just as good as the two running backs taken ahead of him.

Raptor's Take: Dan definitely started off the 2017 draft talk on the wrong foot here, so where do I begin?

Okay, first point: He has the Dallas Cowboys winning the division.

Second, he has the Giants taking a running back without even finding out if what they have in Paul Perkins. Granted, Chubb is exceptionally talented, and probably the equal to Ezekiel Elliott. Or at least he was before the injury, which brings me to my third issue. The Giants made a concerted effort to draft players with clean medical sheets. Chubb is anything but after a devastating knee injury that tore his PCL, "two other ligaments", and reportedly damaged the cartilage in the knee.

He has Jabril Peppers (S, Michigan) and Jon Allen (DE, Alabama) going in the next five picks, and either would be my pick right now. Peppers is a big and very talented safety who is (quietly) getting Heisman talk for next season. He finished his sophomore season with 5.5 tackles for a loss, 10 passes defensed, 423 yards as a kick and punt returner, and 151 yards and 2 TD's on offense. Jon Allen of Alabama is both stout in the run game and athletic coming off the edge. With natural leverage and a good first step he lead a championship defense in both tackles for a loss (11.5) and sacks (9), and he has the upside to improve with more coaching.

But if Dan wants to lock the Giants in to a running back, I'm taking Stanford's Christian McCaffrey. If you were somehow unaware of the electric phenom that is the Stanford running back (perhaps you live in a pineapple under the sea, or were sciencing things on Mars), do yourself a favor and go watch him. There was no more exciting player than McCaffrey by the end of the 2015 season. Against USC for the Pac 12 title he had 207 yards rushing, 105 yards receiving, and 149 yards as a returner. In the Rose Bowl McCaffrey had 172 yards on 18 carries, 105 yards, receiving, and 91 yards on two returns.