Last week, Chris put together a “10 for 23” list, his top 10 potential choices for the New York Giants at No. 23 in the 2017 NFL Draft. That is something we will revise weekly in the buildup to next month’s draft.
Today, it’s my turn to take a stab at a top 10.
- Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt — After Giants’ GM Jerry Reese showed up Thursday at the Vanderbilt Pro Day Cunningham has to jump to the top of the list. Ourlads says Cunningham is “an active and explosive athlete with quick twitch reactions and looks physically like Jack Lambert but with teeth. Versatile enough to play inside or outside.” [Prospect profile]
- Garett Bolles, OT, Utah — If the Giants are going to take an offensive tackle in the first round, I believe this is the guy they would prefer. He’s athletic, plays with a mean streak and could give them an option if they want to consider moving Ereck Flowers. Ourlads says “His athleticism and hand strength are among the best in this class, respectively. His progression will need to come once he gets in to an NFL strength and conditioning program and that does take time, something that may go against the soon to be 25 year old. In a weak tackle class, however, Bolles could be the top prospect.” [Prospect profile]
- Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford — Yes, I am a staunch believer that taking a running back in the first round is generally not a good idea. I really don’t look at McCaffrey as “just” a running back, though. He is a “weapon.” He could help the Giants in the run game, pass game and return game. Ourlads says “McCaffrey will specialize as a third down back type and return specialist in the NFL. He is as dangerous as it gets in the open field and brings the versatility to fill multiple roles for any offense. He may be limited as an inside runner, but otherwise McCaffrey is a threat that defenses need to think about every time he is on the field.”
- David Njoku, TE, Miami — For weeks now, mock drafts have had Njoku at the top of the Giants’ wish list. He wold be a terrific pass-catching weapon for Eli Manning with the potential to develop into an all-around tight end. NFL.com says “his playmaking potential and elite traits should make him a first-round pick and a future Pro Bowler.” By the way, O.J. Howard is not on the list because I expect him to be long gone by the 23rd pick.
- Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin — Ramczyk’s recovery from hip surgery is a question. Some also question his love for football. There isn’t any question about his skill set. NFL.com says “Ramczyk is an early starter with the potential to become a good starting left tackle provided his medicals hold up.”
- Haason Reddick, LB, Temple — If Cunningham is on this list, Reddick also needs to be on it. Offers many of the same explosive traits that attracted the Giants to Leonard Floyd a year ago. NFL.com [Prospect profile]
- Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan — The Giants could use another edge rusher, and we know they love to collect defensive ends. NFL.com says Charlton is a “High-impact defensive end with all-pro potential is his ceiling. His floor is solid starter.”
- Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State — With Johnathan Hankins perhaps on his way out the door the Giants will need a replacement. Ourlads calls him a “High upside, low floor prospect.” NFL.com questions his work ethic, but also calls him “an explosive, ascending prospect with All-Pro potential.”
- Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama — The two other top tackles in the class are on the list, and I think Robinson needs to be there as well. Ourlads says “If he can shore up some lower body technique issues, he is a top grade starter in the NFL. There could be some debate he is better suited for guard at the next level, but either way he is an immediate upgrade to almost every offensive line in football.”
- Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky — More and more, you hear Lamp’s name as a possibility in the later stages of the first round. I will add him here. NFL.com has him projected as the second-best offensive lineman in the draft.
Five for Day 2
Here are five players I think could be Giant targets on Day 2. I will just list them.
- Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
- Dion Dawkins, OL, Temple
- Taylor Moton, OL, Western Michigan
- Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
- Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State