After sending fourth-and sixth-round picks to the Los Angeles Rams in the Alec Ogletree trade, the New York Giants have five selections in the 2018 NFL Draft. In this week’s 7-round Giants mock draft, I magically turn five picks into 12.
As you read, and hopefully you do that rather than just jump all over how the draft unfolds without understanding the rationale, keep in mind that this is just a scenario. I don’t actually expect the draft to unfold this way. For example, my first trade was down to No. 8 with the Chicago Bears. In the real draft, I have doubts that the Bears will be a trade partner for the Giants, especially to go up and get wide receiver Calvin Ridley, which is what happened here.
This is just a “what if this happened?” scenario to see how it would play out. I will also admit there are a couple of selections in here that I probably wouldn’t make in the real world, but that I made just to how the choice would be received. When we get to it, there is one obvious one that fits that category.
- Click here for the full draft
I made two trades here. I swapped the No. 2 pick to the Bears for the No. 8 overall pick, the seventh pick in Round 2 (39th overall) and a pair of fourth-round picks. Then, I swapped the No. 8 pick to the Bills for Nos 21 and 22 in the first round and a third-round pick, which was 96th overall.
No. 21 — Roquan Smith, OLB, Georgia
The streak is over! In this scenario, Smith becomes the first linebacker taken in the first round by the Giants since Carl Banks in 1984. With the addition of Alec Ogletree inside, the Giants could use Smith’s sideline-to-sideline ability at the WILL.
NFL Draft Scout says: “Although he lacks ideal length and take-on power, Smith is a magnet to the ball and his professional make-up and mental alertness make him a high-ceiling, high floor prospect for the next level. Simply put, he is one of the best defensive players in the 2018 class and worthy of top-10 consideration.”
NFL.com says: “Smith is an ascending linebacker prospect with elite athletic ability, plus intelligence and an ability to be an effective cover linebacker on passing downs. While he’s a little undersized, he does have the quickness and speed to keep himself from being mauled. He was good in 2016, but great in 2017 and projects as a player who hasn’t tapped his full potential. Smith has Pro Bowl traits and talent and will come off the board in the first round.”
No. 22 — Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
OK, you got me. This is one of those picks I probably would not make in the real draft. But, he was still on the board here at No. 22 and trade down or not I still believe that taking a quarterback if the right one is there isn’t a bad idea. Is Jackson the right one?
NFL.com makes the obvious Michael Vick comparison, saying: “Evaluating Jackson against the NFL standards for the position will cause him to come up short. However, he has rare speed and athleticism and can single-handedly win games. Jackson’s accuracy is clearly spotty and teams must decide the level of accuracy they are willing to live with relative to his ability to create explosive plays. Jackson may need to operate in an offense ready to integrate RPOs (run/pass options) along with heavy play-action. Like Deshaun Watson in 2017, Jackson has the ability to counter mental mistakes and turnovers with a high number of explosive, touchdown-making plays. He has star potential, but his success will rest heavily upon his ability to stay healthy.”
NFL Draft Scout compares him to Vick and Fran Tarkenton, saying: “Given their exceptional combination of raw athleticism and arm strength, it is easy to see why Jackson is so often compared to former No. 1 overall pick and 13-year NFL veteran Michael Vick. Like Vick, Jackson possesses the accuracy to deliver strikes from the pocket, albeit not necessarily with the consistency which coaches would prefer. What makes Jackson special, however, is his ability to extend the play - a factor all the more important in today’s wide-open NFL.”
So, yes or no on Jackson?
The New England Patriots came calling here, and I swapped the No. 2 pick in the second round (34th overall) for Nos. 11 (43rd) and 31 (63rd). That gave me three second-round picks.
No. 7 (39th) — Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
No. 11 (43rd) — James Daniels, C, Iowa
Time to address the offensive line. I could have also taken Pitt offensive tackle Brian O’Neill where I took Miller. For me, that was a coin flip.
Of Miller, NFL Draft Scout says: “Miller has the raw size, strength and movements that give him a chance in the NFL. He showed steady progression this past season as a junior, but pass rushers will eat him up until his mechanics and discipline improve.”
Daniels is NFL Draft Scout’s top ranked center. “The 2018 center class is a significantly better group than last year, which only resulted in five centers total being drafted. This class could double that with a few legitimate plug and play options. Daniels isn’t necessarily one of them, needing to iron out some wrinkles in his game before he can be counted on as a full-time starter in the NFL. Due to his rare blend of body style and athleticism, however, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him drafted earlier than most of his well-known peers as he possesses the highest upside of the bunch.”
No. 31 (63rd overall) — Mike Gesecki, TE, Penn State
Not a need, but I couldn’t pass on the player after his impressive Combine. Look at this spider chart:
Let Pat Shurmur and Mike Shula figure out how to use him.
I sent the second pick in this round to the Miami Dolphins for thir third-round pick (No. 9) and a fourth-round selection. My wheeling and dealing his left me with two third-round picks
No. 9 (73rd) — DaShawn Hand, DL, Alabama
From NFL Draft Scout, does this sound like a player James Bettcher could use?
“Pardon the pun but Hand may “fit like a glove” in the NFL as he possesses the bulky frame and power to slide inside to defensive tackle, as well as the straight-line speed and balance to handle attacking off the edge, offering creative defensive coordinators quite a bit of versatility.”
No. 32 (96th) — Rashaan Gaulden, CB, Tennessee
Some depth in the secondary. NFL Draft Scout actually lists him as a safety. NDS says: “Gaulden needs to mature his discipline, but his play speed, toughness and heart are all NFL quality and foundation traits that pro coaches can mold. He can likely play outside corner, but Gaulden did his best work on tape when at the nickel cornerback position, playing inside.”
So, this round turns out to be the big payoff in my swap fest. I end up with four picks in this round, giving me nine total in Rounds 2-4.
No. 2 (102nd) — Darius Leonard, OLB, South Carolina State
Another athletic linebacker for a rebuilt defense.
No. 5 (105th) — Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Kind of like finding Wayne Gallman in the fourth round a year ago. Useful player.
No. 15 (115th) — Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State
A 6-foot-4, 220-pound target for Eli Manning? Yes, please.
“Long target with good size and functional speed. Ateman played in a vertical offense that took advantage of subpar secondaries in his conference and should fit into a West Coast offense as a pro. His frame and ball skills give him instant credibility as a jump ball threat in the red-zone while he continues to hone his skill set. Ateman should be an early backup with a chance to climb the ladder on the depth chart.”
No. 23 (123rd overall) — Kemoko Turay, EDGE, Rutgers
There seems to be a them emerging here. Athletic pieces for Bettcher at linebacker and on the edge.
“Explosive edge defender with the coveted traits of an NFL pass rusher. Turay is still behind on feel and skill in that area and will need to develop a go-to move and a workable counter to beat NFL tackles. However, his ability to chase and tackle could translate right away.”
Only one pick here and I’m taking the long view.
No. 2 (139th) — Brett Toth, OT, Army
NFL Draft Scout says:
“With impressive performances at both all-star games, Toth proved that he is a legitimate NFL-caliber offensive lineman worth of mid-round consideration. The fact that he still has a two year commitment to serve, however, could leave teams hesitant to invest a draft pick.”
I think I put myself in position where I can take a flier here and wait on a guy like this.
How did I do here, Giants fans? Remember, this is just a scenario for discussion. We will get down to brass tacks and see exactly how I would go about the real draft as we get closer.