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2017 NFL Mock Draft: Mocking The Draft gives TE O.J. Howard to Giants

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A draft shake-up still yields a familiar name for the Giants

CFP National Championship Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

This week’s mock draft from our draft-centric sister site Mocking The Draft gets just a bit nutty.

With four trades (six, counting the trades of the first two picks from the 2016 draft), Dan shakes up the draft from what we are expecting.

Could it happen in real life?

Well, trades in the first round are hardly uncommon. Per National Football Post, there were 73 trades in the first round from 2005 to the 2014, an average of 7 per year. So by that number, six picks trading hands is actually a bit below par for the course.

From our perspective, all these trades don’t really have a direct impact on the Giants’ draft.

23. New York Giants: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

At this stage of the draft Howard is too talented to pass up. He’s one of the 15 best players in the draft this year, and would finally give the Giants a dependable option at the position.

Raptor’s View - Whether or not Howard is “too talented to pass up” is a subjective matter. Miami’s David Njoku is also on the board and (according to Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline) a target of the Giants.

If you watched the Giants last year, you know that the Giants are lacking in dynamic play=makers outside of Odell Beckham Jr. Sterling Shepard is already one of the better slot receivers in the league and pretty much took up Rueben Randle’s slack with more catches, the same number of touchdowns, and only 83 fewer yards from scrimmage.

However, the Giants lack a second receiving option who can shock defenses out of the 2-Man coverage that frustrated their passing game all season. Njoku is expected to test extremely well at the Scouting Combine, and he has the speed and agility to threaten all parts of the field and the explosiveness to be a threat in the red zone or in short yardage situations.

While Njoku doesn’t have Howard’s acumen as a blocker, he isn’t a liability, and his tape has more “WOW” moments than Howard’s. It’s also worth noting that the Giants were believed to be interested in Eric Ebron before he was drafted by the Detroit Lions, and they did draft Travis Beckum. Beckum was a year or two before the undersized hybrid tight end position gained popularity in the league, and was a poor fit for Kevin Gilbride’s offense.

So is Howard talented? Certainly, and his blocking would be a benefit for a stagnant running game. However, the Giants might just prefer the more exciting Njoku (or perhaps even another athletic receiver-first tight end like Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges or Ole Miss’ Evan Engram)