The 2019 NFL Draft is almost here. Mercifully, that means a temporary end to mock draft madness — until it starts up again for the 2020 draft. Let’s offer one more 7-round New York Giants mock draft scenario.
Full disclosure: Before I even start this mock I know that I am taking Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick. Is that what I would really do if the choice were mine? Probably not. I’m doing it here, though, for a couple of reasons.
First, increasingly it looks like Dave Gettleman and the Giants might. Second, we’re painting scenarios with these mocks. We haven’t looked at one with Jones at the top. Let’s do that and see how it plays out.
Round 1 (No. 6) — Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Told you what I was going to do. Did it. Yes, Dwayne Haskins was still on the board. Drew Lock, too. Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen and Devin White were not.
Round 1 (No. 17) — Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Deve Gettleman predicted that no matter what there would be good players available at 17. Here, he’s right. Lots of good options here. None of these would really, in my view, be wrong. I will take the difference-making linebacker.
Passed on: OT Andre Dillard, OT Jonah Williams, Edge Clelin Ferrell, DL Christian Wilkins, CB Byron Murphy, WRs Hakeem Butler, N’Keal Harry
Round 2 (No. 37) — Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
After taking a quarterback at No. 6 my instinct tells me the picks at 17 and 37 are more likely than not to be defense.
Why Lawrence? Remember during his pre-draft press conference when Gettleman was asked about players on defense with a “dog mentality?” He talked about linebacker Alec Ogletree and safeties Jabrill Peppers and Antoine Bethea. The hog-mollie loving Gettleman didn’t mention any of his interior defensive linemen, and both he and Pat Shurmur have made it plain they want to add to this group.
Forget Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins and anyone else on that Clemson defense. There are those who believe the guy who actually made everyone better in that group was the 342-pound Lawrence, a monster in the middle who also has pass rush potential.
There are, in truth, a number of good possibilities here. Gettleman was right that the early parts of this draft are “thick” with players.
Passed on: WR A.J. Brown, S Nasir Adderley, DL Jeffrey Simmons, OC Erik McCoy, CBs Justin Layne and Rock Ya-Sin
Round 3 (No. 95) — JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
Admittedly, I’m hunting for an offensive tackle, an edge rusher and a cornerback. Wide receiver is on the list as well, though, and the way the board falls here the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Arcege-Whiteside is the value play. So, some help for Eli Manning. Oh, and Jones, too,
Round 4 (No. 108) — Will Harris, S, Boston College
As near as I can tell, what defensive coordinator James Bettcher really wants at the safety position are players who can be used interchangeably — sometimes deep, sometimes in the box, sometimes in the slot. Harris seems to fit the description.
Round 4 (No. 132) — Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma
Value meets need. The top-rated offensive tackle still on the board, in a range where he should be considered value.
Round 5 (No. 142) — Darius Slayton, WR, Auburn
To borrow a Gettleman word, we have reached that point of the mock draft where the TDN board is always “thick” with wide receivers. Here, I take a developmental speedster.
In other mocks I have chosen DeMarkus Lodge of Mississippi and Travis Fulgham of Old Dominion in similar spots. There are a number of receivers to select from here, all with pros and cons.
Slayton’s 4.39 speed and upside are intriguing. Besides, he’s a guy we haven’t talked about yet.
In his draft guide, Dane Brugler of The Athletic says:
“Slayton has inconsistencies to his game, but he is much more than simply a speed demon, showcasing fluid athleticism and length to make catches outside his framework, projecting as a high-upside developmental receiver.”
Round 5 (No. 143) — Michael Jackson, CB, Miami
Had to come out of the draft with at least one corner. Jackson is a solid 6-foot-1, 200-pound corner reputed to have good ball skills, which should appeal to Pat Shurmur.
Round 5 (No. 171) — Lamont Gaillard, C, Georgia
Some competition for Jon Halapio and Spencer Pulley. The highest-rated center, a need position, left on the board.
Round 6 (No. 180) — Elijah Holyfield, RB, Georgia
The Giants might be looking for a running back to replace Wayne Gallman as the caddy for Saquon Barkley, and it would make sense if that were a power back who could handle some of the short-yardage chores. Draft Network says the 215-pound Holyfield brings “eye-popping power to the contact point.”
Round 7 (No. 232) — Austin Bryant, Edge, Clemson
Don’t ask me how Bryant is still on the board here. He is, though, and that’s good enough for me.
Round 7 (No. 245) — Jordan Brailford, Edge, Oklahoma State
With 12 picks and not having taken an edge rusher until this round, I’ll take another swing at that spot.