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Mock Draft: Mel Kiper, Todd McShay go head-to-head

ESPN analysts make surprising choices for Giants

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

ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper and Todd McShay Wednesday released dueling two-round mock drafts [Insider only] with interesting, somewhat unique, results for the New York Giants. The parameters, incidentally, are what each analysts believes the team actually will do. Let’s dive right in.

Round 1

Kiper — Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

An ankle injury kept Davis out of workouts at the combine, but he had a spectacular pro day, running a 4.56 40 with a 38½-inch vertical. Kelvin Sheppard started 11 games at middle linebacker for the Giants last season, but he's a free agent, while 2016 first-round pick B.J. Goodson only played 14 snaps. The versatile Davis, my No. 2 inside linebacker, would slot in on Day 1.

Off Kiper’s Board: O.J. Howard, Haason Reddick, Christian McCaffrey, David Njoku, Ryan Ramczyk and Forrest Lamp have all been selected. Quarterbacks DeShaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky and Patrick Mahomes are also gone.

Valentine’s View: This is an interesting selection. If the Giants want a linebacker and Reddick is gone, the common belief right now is that Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham would be the choice. Davis, though, has been getting more and more attention as we get closer to the draft. Davis is No. 33 on the Big Blue View Prospect Big Board.

In his Davis prospect profile, Chris writes that Davis “does everything the Giants ask of their linebackers, and would have the ability to play multiple positions and not have to come off the field in sub-packages. Davis is a fiery player and leader, and while the Giants aren’t lacking in that, making their defense even more fierce wouldn’t be a bad thing.”

McShay — Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State

McDowell is the most talented interior pass rusher in the draft, but he didn't play with the same passion and toughness this past season, which is a red flag. The veterans along the Giants' defensive line can show him how to be a pro.

Off McShay’s Board: Watson, Reddick, Howard, Trubisky, McCaffrey, Lamp and Njoku are already gone in his mock. So are offensive tackles Cam Robinson and Garett Bolles.

Valentine’s View: I’m not buying what McShay is selling here. Wisconsin offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk is still available. So are the linebackers, Cunningham and Davis. In this scenario, you could even go for a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes or DeShone Kizer, both of whom are still available. Even an edge rusher like Charles Harris of Missouri seems more likely to me than a defensive tackle. You can get one of those later. McDowell is No. 58 on our Big Board, with Chris leaving him off entirely while “Invictus” ranked him No. 19.

Round 2

Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma

Both Kiper and McShay selected Perine for the Giants with the 55th overall selection.

Kiper says:

Perine is one of the toughest running backs I've seen in a while, and he'd be a great complementary pounder (5-11, 233) to Paul Perkins, whom the Giants took in the fifth round last year. Perine had 49 touchdown runs in three seasons for the Sooners.

McShay says:

I agree with everything Mel said. Perine made a habit of plowing through arm tackles at Oklahoma, and he'd take the pressure off Perkins to carry the load in New York's backfield.

Valentine’s View: What is really interesting here is that both analysts also give Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara to the Oakland Raiders with the next pick. And only McShay includes D’Onta Foreman (64th, Carolina Panthers) in his mock. I figure the Giants will take a running back at some point in the draft, I’m just not sure it would be Perine. Especially at this spot.

Perine is No. 81 on our Big Board.

In his prospect profile, Chris writes:

As a north-south runner with good vision, Perine would fit well in the Giants’ offense if they continue to use the inside zone as the basis for their run game. Perine’s hands, both in size and softness, should appeal to the Giants as well, given the increased role of the running backs as receivers in the Giants’ offense.

While he is capable of picking up chunks of yardage on the outside on toss plays, mostly by bouncing off or running over defensive backs, the speed of defenders in the NFL might make that a tougher proposition than in college.