Let’s take another crack at a 7-round New York Giants mock draft using the ‘Fanspeak’ simulator. This week, I used the recently updated NFL Draft Scout big board. I also accepted a trade at No. 2, really simply to change the discussion and give us a different scenario to examine.
I accepted a trade offer from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, moving down from No. 2 to No. 7. My hopes for a trade down, if that is what the Giants ultimately choose to do, is to stay in the top 10 while accumulating some other high-value picks. I was able to do that here, adding the sixth pick in Round 2 (38th overall), fifth pick in Round 3 (69th) and eight pick in Round 4 (108th).
For what it’s worth, the Cleveland Browns took USC QB Sam Darnold No. 1 overall and the Bucs used the No. 2 pick on Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
Here is what I did with my selections for the Giants. Keep something in mind — part of what I’m doing here is to offer you scenarios to discuss, not necessarily saying this is how I expect the real draft to go.
Round 1 (No. 7 overall) — Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
After trading down I had the perfect scenario I was hoping for here. This pick was either Nelson or Edmunds — the best offensive lineman or the best linebacker in the draft. I chose Nelson. I could easily have chosen Edmunds and been happy.
Other players considered: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Round 2 (34th overall) — Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
After passing on Edmunds in the first round I couldn’t pass on Vander Esch here. He is the best linebacker left on the board, and there are those who believe he won’t last to No. 34 in the real draft if he performs well at the Combine. An impact offensive lineman and a three-down linebacker with my first two picks? I’m happy with that.
Other players considered: Billy Price, C, Ohio State; Derrius Guice, RB, LSU, Ronald Jones, RB, USC, James Daniels, C, Iowa; Mason Rudolph, QB Oklahoma
Round 2 (38th) — Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
This is my first extra pick from the Buccaneers. I don’t know if Rudolph is a big-time NFL quarterback, but with him sitting there at No. 38 I couldn’t pass him up. That would set the Giants up with a nice situation where Rudolph and Davis Webb could compete to be the heir to Eli Manning. I can live with that.
Other players considered: Billy Price, C, Ohio State; USC, James Daniels, C, Iowa; Chukumwa Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan; Brian O’Neill, OT, Pitt; Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon
Round 3 (66th) — Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
I know it’s double-dipping at the linebacker position, but I couldn’t help it. I like the player. After all the year of linebacker neglect by the Giants, extra attention is not a bad thing.
Other players considered: Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas; D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland; Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State; DaShawn Hand, DL, Alabama; Brian O’Neill, OT, Pitt; Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Round 3 (69th) — Brian O’Neill, OT, Pitt
I had to address the tackle position at some point, obviously. I wasn’t comfortable waiting any later in the draft to do it.
NFL Draft Scout says:
O’Neill needs to continue and improve his mechanics and play strength to reach his potential, but his balanced athleticism and body rhythm are a great place to start, allowing him to neutralize different types of rushers off the edge. With only three years of experience at tackle, he still has plenty of room to improve, projecting as a future NFL starter.
Round 4 (No. 102) — Will Clapp, C, LSU
Another double-dip — really a triple-dip — at a position of need. I was attracted to Clapp’s flexibility, since he can play center and guard. Since I believe Weston Richburg will leave the Giants in free agency, Clapp will offer some insurance behind Brett Jones.
Steady, durable and reliable, Clapp has appealing size, but he’s more likely to man his position than to help make a noticeable improvement to an offensive line. His guard/center flexibility gives him an advantage over some other center prospects, but he might be more of an eventual starter than early starter if he goes to a decent team.
Other players considered: Daesean Hamilton, WR, Penn State; Jaylen Samuels, HB/TE, N.C. State; Duke Dawson, CB, Florida; Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State
Round 4 (No. 108) — Michael Dickson, P, Texas
Yes, I went there. I honestly would not have made a pick like this without the extra picks I got from the Buccaneers. Brad Wing wasn’t good last year. I really admire the guy — he’s great in the locker room and with the media — he just wasn’t good at his job last year. The extra picks give me a chance to take a swing at an upgrade.
NFL.com compares Dickson to Wing, the guy he would replace in this scenario:
Dickson is the rare punter with good size, hands, touch, and power who is able to dig his team out of their own end zone and stick his opponents close to theirs. Over the last ten years, just one punter (Bryan Anger in 2012 to Jaguars) was taken inside the first three rounds but Dickson could be that guy this year.
Round 4 (No. 135/compensatory) — Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon
I couldn’t believe he was on the board here. I didn’t really look much further when I saw his name still available.
Round 5 — Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College
Admittedly, this is a bit of a need pick since I felt I had to find some cornerback depth.
NFL.com compared Yiadom to Bashaud Breeland:
Yiadom looks long and lean, but he plays with adequate strength in disrupting routes and has the aggressiveness to challenge and muddle the catch-point. He’s more aware than instinctive, but can handle both zone and press-man responsibilities. Yiadom’s special teams value may move him ahead of similar cornerbacks in this draft. His man coverage skills need more work, but he has the talent to go from backup to starter within a couple of seasons.
Other players considered: Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin; Shaqueem Griffin, LB, Central Florida; Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State
Round 6 — Dimitri Flowers, FB, Oklahoma
By this point in the draft I was looking either for a player who could fill a specific role, or one who had fallen to a point where I couldn’t believe he was still on the board. Shane Smith is a good guy, works hard, and he is easy to root for. He wasn’t great in limited opportunities at fullback last year. Flowers could be an upgrade.
Flowers may be viewed by some teams as a luxury, but he’s the type of luxury item that will pay for itself over time. Flowers could be an early starter thanks to his ability to plug into so many roles for teams operating out of a variety of personnel groupings.
Others: Kalen Ballage, Rb, Arizona State: Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa; Desmond Harrison, OT, West Georgia
Every time I do one of these mock drafts it proves to me that you can never get everything you want in a draft. I like each pick I made, obviously. But, I passed on an opportunity to draft Barkley. I didn’t add pass-rushing help, which I wanted to do. I also did not address the wide receiver depth, another goal.
Your thoughts on this mock, Giants fans?