I’m going to be honest. This 7-round mock draft for your New York Giants annoyed me. Rather, the New York Jets annoyed me. They had to go and trade for the No. 3 overall pick AFTER I had already run this mock and written it. Meaning, of course, that I had to do this one over again.
So, here goes. By the way, I used the most recent talent board from Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, and tried to select from within the top 10-15 choices presented on that board.
Round 1 (No. 2) — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
In this mock, I end up staying at No. 2. Considering the potential haul available in draft picks via a trade down, it really makes no sense to stay in the two hole unless you take a quarterback. In this case, the Cleveland Browns took Josh Rosen No. 1 overall. That left me the guy I have thought all along was the top quarterback in this class, Sam Darnold.
Let me be honest here. Using the ‘Fanspeak’ simulator I made multiple efforts to create a trade with the Denver Broncos, holders of the No. 5 overall pick. I couldn’t make it work, so I just went with the top quarterback on my board.
Some of you will hate it, but if the Giants stay in this spot the pick seems like it almost has to be a quarterback. The Jets gave up a trio of second-round picks (two this year, one in 2019) to move up. That would be hard to pass on.
Other players considered: RB Saquon Barkley, QB Josh Allen, OG Quenton Nelson
Round 2 (No. 41) — James Daniels, C, Iowa
This is where things began to get interesting. I accepted a trade with the Oakland Raiders for the ninth pick in Round 2 and the 11th pick in Round 3. I took center James Daniels, a first-round talent on most boards, to help solidify the middle of the offensive line.
Daniels is a fluid mover with tremendous initial quickness to win positioning on most every zone block he’s asked to make -- both on the first and second levels. His height, weight and arm length numbers at the Combine will be critical in either solidifying his draft slot or potentially dropping him a round. Some teams might see him as a zone-only center, but he may be strong enough to fit in with other blocking schemes. He needs to get stronger, but he’s a plus run blocker and pass protector with a chance to become a Pro Bowl starter.
Other players considered: G Austin Corbett, DL Harrison Phillips, OT Brian O’Neill, OT Tyrell Crosby, EDGE Arden Key
Round 3 (No. 66) — Dante Pettis, WR, Washington
I just couldn’t pass on the combination of receiving and returning ability. Pettis set an NCAA record with nine punt returns for touchdowns in his collegiate career, averaging 14.2 yards per return.
Solid secondary receiving option who has spent time on his craft and has the ability to attack and uncover on all three levels. Pettis lacks physicality and could struggle to handle in-your-face press corners, so he may see snaps from the slot. While his punt return talent solidifies his draft standing, his ability as route-runner combined with his smooth pass-catching should give him a long, solid career.
Other players considered:
Round 3 (No. 80) — Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
I sent the 11th pick of Round 3 (75th overall) to the Houston Texans for the 16th and 34th picks in the third round.
With my first of those two picks from the Texans, I’m taking massive offensive tackle Orlando Brown. Yes, Orlando Brown of the awful Combine performance. He has dropped way below where he was initially expected to come off the board. Bad Combine, good player. A massive 6-foot-8, 345-pound blocker who is difficult to get around, lousy Combine or not. I will happily put him in competition with Ereck Flowers and Chad Wheeler at right tackle.
Tackle with rare size and length whose massive frame can work for him in pass protection and against him in the run game. Brown will be tough for some evaluators to back because his footwork isn’t always pretty and his athletic ability is below average, but he typically gets guys blocked and he clearly understands how to use his size and length to his advantage. Brown’s physical traits and nasty demeanor give him a chance to become a good starting tackle on either left or right side.
Round 3 (No. 98) — Josh Sweat, EDGE, Florida State
This is my second pick from the deal with Houston. The spider chart tells you what you need to know about Josh Sweat. This is a little bit of a swing for the fences pick, because it’s based purely on athleticism and potential.
Sweat has the length, frame and athletic qualities to fit right in as a 3-4 SAM or rush linebacker, but he needs to go to school with a position coach or a talented veteran to help unlock his pass rush potential. Sweat’s initial quickness and issues with contact balance could hinder his ability to play with his hand down. He has the ability to become a decent NFL starter but there is a wide disparity between his ceiling and floor thanks to concerns surrounding the current and future health of his knee.
Round 4 (No. 105) — Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
Weird. A second straight Florida State player. A corner with some upside. Thought about running backs Nick Chubb and Nyheim Hines here.
Press corner with long arms and disruptive qualities but lacking in foot quickness and makeup speed. McFadden put together a highlight reel of impressive interceptions with NFL-caliber ball skills, but his ball production dropped sharply this year. McFadden has cover talent and makes life miserable for receivers when he’s contesting catches, but inconsistencies in coverage and as a tackler have hurt his team. He has starting level talent as a bump-and-run corner but may need help over the top.
Round 5 (No. 138) — Shaquem Griffin, LB, Central Florida
Because he was right near the top of the board, and I could. He’s missing a hand, but he’s a heckuva player.
Here is part of what Chris wrote in his profile of Griffin:
It’s easy to look at Griffin as a “feel good” story, but that sentiment is almost insulting to Griffin the football player. He is, simply put, a great football player. ...
The Giants should think long and hard about drafting Griffin. Not only is he a great player at a position of need, his speed and talent is a natural fit in James Bettcher’s defense. Perhaps more importantly, his personality and obviously indomitable will would be huge in a locker room that was left fractured by a bad year and disinterested head coach.