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NFL Draft: Is LB Jarrad Davis at top of Giants’ draft board?

Let’s examine ESPN’s top 10 most likely picks at No. 23

NCAA Football: Missouri at Florida
Jarrad Davis
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Each Thursday, Chris has been bringing you a “10 for 23” post, providing a different way of looking at 10 potential picks for the New York Giants at No. 23 in the 2017 NFL Draft. We have, to this point, avoided simply making it a top 10 list of the most likely picks. Rather, we have given you different ways of looking at the pick, and tried to give you different ways of looking at it overall.

Next Thursday, draft day, Chris and I will give you our consensus top 10 most likely picks based on both our study and what I’ve gleaned about the Giants plans based on my conversations with talent evaluators.

The “10 for 23” has sort of become a thing about Giants writers, with several doing variations. Today, ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan is out with his list of the 10 most likely picks for the Giants in the first round.

Ranaan says his list is “Based on what I've heard from sources around the league and people inside and around the Giants organization over the past few months.” Let’s acknowledge that Ranaan has what we’ll call the ESPN advantage and here at Big Blue View we will likely never have the same amount of information at our disposal. We do, however, have some tricks up our sleeves and our own ways of gleaning some info.

What I am going to do here is go through Ranaan’s list and offer observations where I can based on both the information I have and the draft study that both Chris and I have done.

1) Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

Ranaan says Davis has “off-the-charts athletic ability” and “what are considered incredible intangibles.”

I’m buying what Ranaan is selling here, though I would have scoffed at this if you mentioned Davis as a possibility at 23 a month ago. I keep saying it, but the Giants have only one linebacker (B.J. Goodson) under contract beyond 2017. They have to add talent there. The injuries are the concern, and the thing that makes me wonder if the Giants would pass. Davis missed a significant number of games to injury in three of his four collegiate seasons.

2 & 3) Garett Bolles, OT, Utah/Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

Ranaan has Bolles No. 2 and Robinson No. 3. I’m not certain which offensive tackle the Giants like better, though from what I’ve been told that could well be Robinson. I agree with Ranaan’s placement of them here, though. Ranaan doesn’t have Ryan Ramczyk of Wisconsin on his list, and while I think the Giants might select him at 23 from what I’ve been told I do believe both Bolles and Robinson are higher on the Giants’ draft board.

4) Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

As Ranaan mentioned, GM Jerry Reese did attend Cunningham’s Pro Day. There was a time when it was thought that Cunningham would be the obvious choice if the Giants selected a linebacker. Now, I’m not so sure and I have a hard time placing Cunningham this high on a list of the 10 most likely choices. One source told me thought the Giants were “lukewarm” on Cunningham.

5) Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

Ranaan says “If he's there at 23, look out. You can never have enough pass rushers.” We know that the “never have enough pass rushers” credo is one that Reese believes in. I absolutely believe the Giants will add a pass rusher if they can, but I haven’t heard mention of Harris being this high on their list. In his prospect profile, Chris lauds Harris’ first step and his spin move, but questions his run defense and points out he doesn’t have the physical measurables the Giants usually look for. I think a hand-in-the-dirt pass rusher is more likely on Day 2.

6) O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Ranaan says simply that “If Howard were available, he would be the pick.” I will buy on that, mostly because you hear it too often for there not to be something to that. I am, however, going to say this — I’m not as captivated by Howard as many others are. I certainly can’t get on the “trade up for Howard” bandwagon.

7) Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

Ranaan says picking McCaffrey “would be an easy selection if he actually made it to 23 and Howard were off the board.” I’m absolutely on board with Ranaan here. If McCaffrey is on the board — which he almost certainly will not be — and Howard is not, I will be flabbergasted if he gets past the Giants.

8) Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

Ranaan says Reddick “has some supporters in the building if Davis and Cunningham are gone.” I would be shocked if he didn’t considering the similarities to Leonard Floyd, but I have my doubts that he will still be on the board at 23. If he is, the Giants taking him would not be a surprise.

9) Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

Like we said when discussing Harris, pass rusher is always in play when you are talking Giants. Of Charlton, Ranaan says “this is his range.” Chris sees Charlton as a Day 1 fit for the Giants if they decide to go for a pass rusher. A name to watch for the Giants among the pass rushers might be Jordan Willis of Kansas State.

10) DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Ranaan says “Watson has the tape and intangibles that would make the Giants think long and hard about making him Eli Manning's successor.” This is a situation where I believe there is one QB among the top four that the Giants really love and would pick if he was at. Is it Watson? I don’t know. A source, though, did tell me that Davis Webb of Cal would be a possibility for the Giants on Day 2.