The 2016 season is over, and only 12 teams can still think about playing football. For the first time in years, the New York Giants are one of those teams. But for the other 20 teams that only have a long offseason to look forward to, Dan Kadar of Mocking The Draft has released a consolatory two-round mock draft.
Let’s see how Dan did for the Giants.
Round 1, 23rd Overall
Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The Ereck Flowers experiment has been rocky. If Robinson slides into the 20s, the Giants could grab him to play left tackle while deciding whether or not Flowers can be moved to guard or, perhaps more likely, the right side.
Round 2, 55th Overall
Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
Starting with Round 1 I would honestly be surprised if Robinson was the pick. First, because he is likely the top OT in this class, and it would be a surprise to see him fall this far. He isn’t as good as Tunsil, Stanley, or Conklin were last year, but left tackles get drafted highly, even if they might not be “worth it." Second, because I have to assume that John Mara’s “No Red Flags” edict is still in effect. I don’t expect Dan to know it, but there were reports after the draft last year that John Mara told Jerry Reese that they wouldn’t be drafting any players with character or injury red flags.
Robinson and a teammate were arrested last spring and charged with possession of marijuana and a stolen firearm. The charges were dropped (insufficient evidence was cited, but the DA said that he didn’t want to ruin the lives of young men who spent their summers training for football in the heat while others are in air conditioning), but I have to wonder if that incident would be enough to knock him off the Giants’ board.
I would say Ryan Ramczyck (OT, Wisconsin) should be the pick in this scenario, but he will be undergoing hip surgery after Wisconsin’s bowl game, and it is unknown whether he will opt to go back to school. And again, that injury, even though it is relatively minor, might be enough for the Giants to stay away.
In this scenario, my pick is Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham. Cunningham has the size the Giants want out of a linebacker at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, and he has the kind of smooth, yet twitchy, athleticism that suggests a dynamic player at the next level. I believe he has been miscast as an inside linebacker in college and could excel at WILL linebacker. He is smart with a high football IQ, fearless coming down hill in run support and plays well in space. Cunningham might not have the pass rushing pedigree of Leondard Floyd, but he can do many of the things the Giants (reportedly) wanted Floyd to do.
As for the second round, I absolutely love the pick of Hodges. I doubt he falls that far, and if he does this is an absolute steal. Adding a player who compares to Jimmy Graham (but might already be a better blocker, though that is his weakness) to the same offense that has Odell Beckham Jr. can’t be anything BUT a steal. Hodges is a big, tall, and versatile tight end who knows how to use his size but has surprising speed and agility in space. He also has no problems lowering his shoulder to pick up tough yards after the catch. He’s still somewhat new to the position and will only get better.