You had to know Mel Kiper wasn’t going to let fellow ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay have all the fun. One day after McShay released a three-round ‘Grade A’ mock draft showing the picks he would make as GM of the NFL’s 32 teams, Kiper has done the same.
Here are Kiper’s picks for the Giants:
Round 1 (6): Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Round 1 (17): Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Round 2 (37): Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State
Round 3 (95): David Long, CB, Michigan
Since I’m playing the GM of all 32 teams here, I’m going based on what I would do. And if I were running the Giants, I’d do anything necessary to get my quarterback of the future. Eli Manning is 38 and mediocre by any statistical measurement you can find. Don’t miss out on Haskins, who can be the future at the position. Now, the Giants have other needs -- their roster is among the worst in the league -- but they are in the beginning stages of a rebuild. Start that rebuild with a quarterback.
New York is desperate for edge-rushing talent, and Ferrell would help. That’s the pick it got from Cleveland in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. (I think I’d still rather have OBJ.) The Giants have two good slot receivers in Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard, and McLaurin, who averaged 20 yards per catch last season, could be an outside receiving threat. Near the end of Round 3, the Giants can get an intriguing corner in Long.
Kiper and McShay agree that they would select Haskins for the Giants if the choice was theirs to make at No. 6. Increasingly, though, we keep hearing that while Haskins is the choice the draft community believes the Giants “should” make picking the best defensive player on the board is the choice it is believed the Giants “will” make.
It comes back in large part to Kiper’s use of the world “rebuild.” GM Dave Gettleman and the Giants won’t use the word.
“We’re building. The object of this is to win as many games as possible every year. We’re building. We were 3-13 when I took over. We were 5-11 last year -- 12 of those games were by a touchdown or less. We’re building,” Gettleman said. “I don’t understand why that’s a question. Really and truly, you can win while you’re building. They’re not separate pieces.”
Taking a quarterback with the sixth overall pick likely doesn’t help the Giants on the field in 2018. Taking one of the premier front seven defensive players in a class loaded with talent in that area does.
Would the Giants take a quarterback at No. 6? Sure, if they were unanimous on who that player should be. I have said many times that I just don’t believe that to be the case with the Giants. I think there is a difference of opinion, and that makes it difficult to select a player who would become the leader of your franchise.
As for the rest of Kiper’s picks, edge rusher (Ferrell), wide receiver (McLaurin) and cornerback (Long) follow a fairly predictable A-B-C approach of filling needs. The only thing Kiper doesn’t get in those first four picks is a right tackle.