Everybody knows mock drafts aren’t real. They are fun, but they are “mocks” meant as, hopefully, educated guesses. What, though, if they were real? A number of team sites around SB Nation are looking at what would have happened since 2010 if teams just went by the final mock drafts of ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay.
So, let’s join the party. Which players would the Giants have selected since 2010 had they just followed the advice of Kiper and McShay in Round 1? Would they have done better? Worse? What impact might those choices have had.
Let’s go year-by-year.
Giants (15th overall): DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Kiper: OLB Sean Weatherspoon
McShay: MLB Rolando McClain
I think it’s pretty clear that the Giants ended up with the best player. Weatherspoon was a talented player who went 19th overall to the Atlanta Falcons, four picks after the Giants took Pierre-Paul. He has been an injury-prone disappointment, though, playing in only 65 of 96 potential regular-season games (44 starts). He has missed more than half the season twice due to injuries. McClain? Please. A 2013 “retirement.” Two drug suspensions in the past two seasons. He may never play again.
Giants (19th overall): CB Prince Amukamara
Kiper: OT Anthony Castonzo
McShay: RB Mark Ingram
This one is really interesting. Amukamara was a good but not great player for the Giants, but played in only 55 of 80 games. Castonzo has been a six-year starter at left tackle for the Indianapolis Colts. Ingram has averaged 4.4 yards rushing throughout his career and is coming off a career-best season in which he gained 1,043 yards for the New Orleans Saints and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. It’s pretty easy to argue that both Castonzo and Ingram have had better careers than Amukamara, and are currently more important players.
Giants (32nd overall): RB David Wilson
Kiper: TE Coby Fleener
McShay: OT Jonathan Martin
Sadly, injury wrecked Wilson’s career after just 21 games. Could, Fleener, who has 233 career receptions and four straight seasons of at least 50 catches, have been the tight end the Giants have been searching for all these years? What happened to Jonathan Martin in Miami was unfortunate, but he only played three seasons in the league. In the end, seems pretty clear Kiper had the best idea here. Both Fleener and Martin were available when the Giants picked Wilson.
Giants (19th overall): OL Justin Pugh
Kiper: CB D.J. Hayden
McShay: DE Bjoern Werner
Given these three choices, pretty clear the Giants got this one right. Pugh has been a solid player for the Giants and was their best lineman in 2016 before injuring a knee. Hayden has just 25 career starts, only two in 2016. Werner had a non-descript career with just 6.5 sacks in three seasons, did not play in 2016, and has announced his retirement.
Giants (12th overall): WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Kiper: OL Zack Martin
McShay: TE Eric Ebron
Beckham, histrionics aside, is a great player. No real arguing with this choice. Still, I expected the Giants to take Martin with this pick and I think you can still make the case that it would not have been wrong to do so. Martin, like Beckham, has been a Pro Bowler all three seasons of his career. He is also a two-time All-Pro. Little doubt the Giants would be better on the offensive line with Martin. Ebron? He went 10th to the Detroit Lions and has improved each season. His 61-catch 2016 was his best yet. Still, he will never be the impact player that Beckham is.
Giants (Ninth overall): OT Ereck Flowers
McShay: OL Brandon Scherff
Well, neither Kiper nor McShay are any help here at all. The Giants took Flowers hoping he would be their left tackle of the future, and we know how that’s gone. Kiper would have made the same pick. McShay would have taken Brandon Scherff, who went four picks earlier to the Washington Redskins. For what it’s worth, I still believe Flowers was a consolation prize and that the Giants would have taken Scherff if he had still been on the board.
Giants (10th overall): CB Eli Apple
Kiper: OT Jack Conklin
You know the story. The Giants were widely expected to select either OLB Leonard Floyd or Conklin. Then, the Tennessee Titans moved up to No. 8 and grabbed Conklin and the Chicago Bears jumped to No. 9 to pick Floyd.
Apple had a pretty good rookie year and will be a good player. Conklin was an All-Pro right tackle as a rookie, and you know the Giants’ struggling offensive line could have benefited from that. Conklin was the fifth-highest graded tackle in the league, per Pro Football Focus.
|Year||Giants||Mel Kiper||Todd McShay|
|Year||Giants||Mel Kiper||Todd McShay|
|2010||DE Jason Pierre-Paul||OLB Sean Weatherspoon||MLB Rolando McClain|
|2011||CB Prince Amukamara||OT Anthony Castonzo||RB Mark Ingram|
|2012||RB David Wilson||TE Coby Fleener||OT Jonathan Martin|
|2013||OL Justin Pugh||CB D.J. Hayden||DE Bjoern Werner|
|2014||WR Odell Beckham Jr.||OL Zack Martin||TE Eric Ebron|
|2015||OT Ereck Flowers||OT Ereck Flowers||OL Brandon Scherff|
|2016||CB Eli Apple||OT Jack Conklin||OT Jack Conklin|