It’s time for another simulated seven-round mock draft for the New York Giants. This one will use the Fanspeak simulator and the latest CBS Sports Big Board. There is one other stipulation — the last two times I did this the first selection was Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles. This time, I pre-determined that I would pass on Bolles no matter what the board looked like simply to see how that changed the ultimate outcome.
Round 1 (23rd) — Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Off the board: LB Zach Cunningham, LB Haason Reddick, TE David Njoku,
Other players considered: RB Christian McCaffrey, TE O.J. Howard, DE Taco Charlton, DE Derek Barnett, DE Charles Harris, OL Cam Robinson
I could have gone several ways here. There is a group of Giants fans who will pan me for not selecting Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. I know that. I believe, though, that fixing the offensive line is more important that adding a tight end, and getting a guy most think can be an instant starter at a tackle spot was something I wasn’t going to pass up. Also, with the depth of tight ends in this draft I felt confident I could get a good one later on. I would have been really tempted to take Reddick or Cunningham here, but both were already off the board. Bolles, incidentally, was still available.
Ramczyk, oddly, is ranked N0. 23 on our newest prospect Big Board.
Here is some what Chris wrote in his Ramczyk prospect profile:
There is a lot to like about Ryan Ramczyk, though some of it depends on your perspective. Is his injury a problem or does playing through it show off his mental toughness? Does the fact that he only has one year of major college football make him a risk, or does it illustrate his work ethic? Regardless of your feelings on those potential risks, he does enough well already to suggest a player who can step in and contribute from Day 1, and only get better with more experience and coaching.
On the field for Wisconsin, Ramczyk looks like an NFL tackle. He is a brutish run blocker, which has to interest a team that can’t run the ball, and a solid pass protector. He, of course, has issues that need coaching up, but he doesn’t have some of the issues that plague many college tackles coming out.
The question is if he falls to the Giants, will they have the stomach for his potential risks?
Round 2 (55th) — Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State
Off the board: Robinson, Barnett, Harris, OL Forrest Lamp, DE Chris Wormley, TE Evan Engram
Other players considered: TE Bucky Hodges, CB Sidney Jones
Again here my goal was to go against a tendency here, and if you have been following our draft coverage you know I like Hodges. The other thing I thought about here was taking Jones, the Washington cornerback who would almost certainly have been a first-round pick had he not torn an Achilles tendon during his Pro Day. With three quality corners already, the Giants could likely afford to wait for Jones, even if he doesn’t play in 2017. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to do that here. I went with Willis in an effort to add to the pass rush and give the Giants the ability to stop over-working Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul. [Prospect profile]
Round 3 — Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
Other players considered: TE Gerald Everett, TE Jake Butt, DE Tanah Kpassagnon, EDGE Derek Rivers
I could not pass up Hodges a second time. I would have been perfectly happy to select him in Round 2, and was stunned to see him remaining on the board in Round 3. I’m not worried about Hodges’ inexperience inline. I’m thinking about what he can do as a receiving option matched up against linebackers and safeties.
Despite being listed by most at tight end, Hodges essentially played a wide receiver type role in 2016. His experience as an inline blocker is limited and doesn’t grade out well. However what he can do with the combination of athletic ability and size can be a major difference maker in the NFL. He is a potential matchup nightmare for opposing defenses that needs a specific role.
Round 4 — Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
I really didn’t consider anyone else here. I felt that at some point during the draft a running back was a necessity. After I selected Hodges, Marlon Mack, Wayne Gallman, Kareem Hunt, Jeremy McNichols, Brian Hill, D’Onta Foreman, James Connor and Corey Clement all came off the board. Perine, 5-foot-11, 233 pounds was the last back left on the board who, in my view, fit the Giants’ need for a power back to complement Paul Perkins.
Perine is a physical runner who can create additional yardage through power and can be a complimentary "banger" for a team who already has a slasher. Perine doesn't have the burst or play speed to be a dynamic lead back, but he can handle a heavy workload if needed and he should become an immediate short-yardage and goal-line option.
Round 5 — Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech
Other players considered: CB Jeremy Cutrer, EDGE Dawaune Smoot
My first instinct when the Giants signed both Josh Johnson and Geno Smith as potential backups for Eli Manning was that the Giants would likely pass on taking a quarterback in this draft. Now, I’m not so sure. The Giants have very little guaranteed money tied up in the two veteran QBs, so cutting one is no big deal. Evans could probably have benefitted from staying at Virginia Tech another year, but he’s got physical tools and he’s a good developmental option for a team that wouldn’t ask him to play for a couple of seasons. [Evans wouldn’t mind learning from Eli Manning]
CBS Sports says:
Evans' numbers, size and power are undeniable but so too is the fact that his production was inflated by Virginia Tech's relatively simple offense and his two NFL-caliber pass-catchers. He possesses legitimate talent but is a significant project who may have been served playing more at the college level to improve his overall accuracy, something that likely will not happen simply watching from the sideline as a backup in the NFL.
Round 6 — Zane Gonzalez, PK, Arizona State
The Giants have only former NAIA kicker Aldrick Rosas, who has never kicked in a regular-season NFL game, on the roster. Gonzalez is the premier placekicker in the draft. [Gonzalez interview]
Self-made, four-year starter who has steadily increased his kickoff distance and range as a field goal kicker. As the most prolific field goal kicker in FBS history, Gonzalez has a good chance of being drafted and becoming an instant starter.
Round 7 — Nate Hairston, CB, Temple
At this point, you really are not looking for players who you expect to be instant contributors. You are looking for players with upside who might eventually turn into useful pieces. Hairston fits that description, and as we said earlier the Giants already have three solid corners so they could take a chance on a player like this.
Raw but very moldable prospect. Hairston shows good awareness from zone and his physical style and willingness to come tackle make him an immediate fit for primarily zone cover teams. However he may have the tools to eventually become a solid bump-and-run cornerback as he becomes more experienced at the position. Hairston is a projection-based talent who should become a much better player in two years than he is today.