Well, here it is. The last of my simulated 7-round New York Giants mock drafts for 2018. These have been fun for me, and I hope educational for you.
I have tried each week to present scenarios — not necessarily to be correct or to do what I believe I would do. But, to show different ways the 2018 NFL Draft could turn out for the Giants.
This week, I’m trying to stick to as realistic a scenario as possible. I turned down all trade offers, stayed with the six picks the Giants have and built at least the first three picks in a way in which I honestly believe they could turn out.
I used the Bleacher Report (Matt Miller) big board for this one. Enjoy!
Round 1 (No. 2) — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
I wasn’t going to be a hypocrite here. In this ‘Fanspeak’ simulation, the Cleveland Browns took Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen No. 1 overall. I have said many times that I believe Darnold is the top QB on the Giants’ board and that they will — or at least absolutely should — select him if he is there. So, in Dave Gettleman-esque style, it was 28 seconds to the podium — maybe less since I’m 10 years younger — to turn in the card.
The NFL Draft Report says:
There is no questioning Darnold’s pedigree, but there are a few “chips” appearing on his blue chip armor - poor ball security and questionable deep throws into traffic that have resulted in costly interceptions. Still, he is a humble type who works hard at his craft, displaying that Philip Rivers quiet gunslinger’s attitude. He hits the playbook more in a day than Mark Sanchez will do in a lifetime, but those turnovers seem to show more Carson Palmer comparisons. Hopefully, that can be fixed quickly. His high ceiling is as one of the NFL elite, but if 2017 is to be the norm, he will fall into the Blake Bortles realm.
Other players considered: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State; Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame; Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State; Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Round 2 (No. 34) — Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
There was no “28 seconds to the podium” dash here. I can come up with solid reasons to select on of the players on my “other players considered” list below. Offensive line, cornerback, linebacker and edge-rusher are all spots on the Giants’ roster that need to be supplemented, and the players below could do that at their respective positions.
Considering my pre-disposition to select offensive linemen, it was insanely difficult for me to pass on the linemen below — especially Hernandez. Still, I had to do what I thought was the best thing to give Eli Manning a chance to succeed in 2018.
I drafted his probable successor in Round 1, passing on Barkley. I felt like the best thing to do was get Manning the best play-maker left on the board here — and that’s Michel.
The NFL Draft Report believes Michel could have an Alvin Kamara-like impact.
In his prospect profile of Michel, Chris wrote that “Michel is one of the most well-rounded running backs in the draft.”
If Dave Getttleman the Giants have this choice Friday night, an offensive lineman wouldn’t be a surprise. Neither would the selection of edge rusher Lorenzo Carter.
Other players considered: James Daniels, C, Iowa; Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas; Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA; G Will Hernandez, UTEP; G Austin Corbett, Nevada; LB Lorenzo Carter, Georgia; LB Malik Jefferson, Texas; CB Mike Hughes, Central Florida
Round 3 (No. 66) — Brian O’Neill, OT, Pitt
There had to be at least one hog molly in this draft. In the real draft a few days from now, it wouldn’t shock anyone if there are multiple hog mollies selected for the Giants by Dave Gettleman.
Here, I chose the top-ranked tackle on the board. O’Neill offers immediate competition at right tackle for Ereck Flowers, and perhaps the long-term potential to move to the left side when Nate Solder begins to slow down in a couple of seasons.
The NFL Draft Report calls O’Neill “the best athlete in the 2018 NFL Draft offensive tackle class.”
In his prospect profile of O’Neill, Chris wrote that “his athleticism is obvious upon watching him, and he could probably start in the NFL right now. However, it’s also easy to see how much upside he still has.”
Other players considered: Braden Smith, G, Auburn; Arden Key, LB, LSU; Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State; Dante Pettis, WR, Washington; Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State; Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma; Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State; Lorenzo Carter, OLB, Georgia
Round 3 (No. 69) — Lorenzo Carter, OLB, Georgia
Couldn’t not pull the trigger on this one. I think a team, perhaps even the Giants, might take Carter as early as the top of the second round. Pass rush is at a premium, and while under-productive in college Carter has the potential to provide it. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher would do a little happy dance if the Giants snagged this guy.
The NFL Draft Report compares him to Chandler Jones:
While he is not the pass rusher that Jones is, at least he is not the “lone wolf” refusing to play within the system like Collins was as a Patriot. Carter is an excellent athlete with exceptional speed and quickness for his projected NFL position – strong-side outside linebacker.
Round 4 (No. 108) — Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College
I don’t think I have selected Yiadom in any other 7-round mock I have done. Fact is, this one was all about the draft board and how it relates to the Giants’ roster. I would have loved to select Shaquem Griffin, by now everyone knows he’s one of my favorite player in the draft. I already took Lorenzo Carter, though. Despite all the veterans they signed, the Giants still need a young corner with upside after losing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Ross Cockrell. Yiadom was right at the top of the draft board, and this pick gives them that.
NFL Draft Scout says:
Yiadom will have some struggles with sophisticated route-runners, but he has the press skills, play speed and disruptive timing at the catch point that make him an attractive development prospect.
Other players considered: Shaquem Griffin, OLB, Central Florida; Michael Dickson, P, Texas; Tegray Scales, LB, Indiana
Round 5 (No. 139) — J’mon Moore, WR, Missouri
Once again, not a player I expected to pick or a direction I thought I would go in. Still, sticking to the board I was presented with and considering what I have already done — and not done — I thought a good-sized receiver with potential was a nice get here.
The Giants do have a need for receiving depth after releasing Brandon Marshall. The picture beyond Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and probably Cody Latimer is anything but clear.
NFL Draft Scout says:
Moore isn’t often mentioned as a candidate to be the first senior receiver drafted but few possess a more intriguing combination of size, speed and production against top competition. He does run a bit hot and cold in the most important phase of being a receiver - simply catching the ball - but his raw athleticism and improved focus in 2017 suggest that Moore’s best football could be ahead of him, warranting Day 2 consideration.
Other players considered: Dimitri Flowers, FB, Oklahoma; Kevin Toliver, CB, LSU; Fred Warner, LB, BYU; Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T