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Chris’ final 7-round Giants mock draft: Giants get franchise QB and a defensive playmaker

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The Giants get a stud defender and their franchise quarterback in the first round

NCAA Football: Big Ten Conference-Football Championship-Northwestern vs Ohio State Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 NFL Draft is very nearly upon us, and it is just a matter of hours until the New York Giants are on the clock for the first time. Before Dave Gettleman turns in the Giants’ first card of 2019, there is just enough time for me to squeeze in my final mock draft of the 2019 draft process.

For my mock I decided to use The Draft Network’s mock draft machine with their predictive big board (the same setup as for the Big Blue View Draft-A-Thon). But for myself and my decisions, I stuck to the official Big Blue View Big Board that Dan Pizzuta and I created, as well as my own personal plan of attack.

So, without further ado, let’s get drafting!

Round 1

6) Ed Oliver (iDL, Houston)

Reasoning: Of the players available, Oliver is the most likely to have the greatest impact on the Giants’ team. He is already good, and should be even better in James Bettcher’s attacking one-gap defense. He still has things he needs to improve on, most notably his hand usage, but his incredible athleticism and power for his size will make him a threat to offenses from the start. Scheme fit isn’t an issue isn’t an issue as he has the ability to play on any down and distance in both three and four-man fronts. Oliver’s hand usage has him behind Quinnen Williams right now, but he has the upside to be a game wrecker for the defense.

Players Available - Jawaan Taylor (OT, Florida), Brian Burns (EDGE, Florida), D.K. Metcalf (WR, Ole Miss), Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State), Drew Lock (QB, Missouri)

17) Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)

Reasoning: I made this pick projecting a trade up by the Giants. Dave Gettleman gets his defensive stud at sixth, but if Haskins slips some, I would not be surprised AT ALL if the Giants use the 17th overall pick to trade up, perhaps back into the top 10, for their quarterback.

Haskins doesn’t have the mobility of the other quarterbacks in this draft class, but he makes up for it with ability in the pre-snap phase, excellent mental processing, and NFL-ready arm talent. He would likely benefit from a year of behind Eli Manning learning how to be a pro off the field and during the week. It would also follow along with the Giants’ theme of adding players who were Giants’ fans growing up (Jabrill Peppers and Golden Tate).

Players Available - Daniel Jones (QB, Duke), Jonah Williams (OT, Alabama), Montez Sweat (EDGE, Mississippi State)

Round 2

37) Justin Layne (CB, Michigan State)

Reasoning: It came down to Layne or Texas A&M center Erik McCoy for me. I really like McCoy, but the Giants defense is riddled with holes right now. Layne isn’t getting much talk at the national level, but the converted wideout checks a lot of boxes for the Giants. At 6-foot-2 and with 33-inch arms he has the length both James Bettcher and Dave Gettleman have shown a preference towards in defensive backs. He is also a good man coverage corner with plenty of athleticism. Finally, as a converted receiver he has good route recognition and instincts to go up after the ball in the air. Drafting Layne would give the Giants time to see what they have in Sam Beal and an eventual replacement for Janoris Jenkins.

Round 3

95) David Edwards (OT, Wisconsin)

Reasoning: This is about as automatic a pick as you’re going to see. The Giants need to upgrade their right tackle position, and Edwards is that. He is well versed in pro concepts after playing for Wisconsin and brings the kind of physical toolbox the Giants love in linemen. He is still new to the position after transitioning quarterback when he got to Wisconsin, but he is already a good run blocker and improving as a pass protector.

Players Available - Kelvin Harmon (WR, NC State), Darrell Henderson (RB, Memphis), Riley Ridley (WR, Georgia)

Round 4

108) Oshane Ximines (EDGE, Old Dominion)

Reasoning: The Giants need to upgrade their pass rush, and while Oliver is a good start, their edge rushers are shaky at best. Ximines should be a good fit in the Giants’ multiple defense, with the ability to play from a two or three-point stance. He isn’t an exceptional athlete, but he is solid and already has good hand usage to maximize his athletic ability. Ximines is also a good run defender who sets a good edge and is active in pursuit.

Players Available - Antoine Wesley (WR, Texas Tech), Sione Takitaki (LB, BYU), Riley Ridley (WR, Geogia), Jahlani Tavai (LB, Hawaii), D’Andre Walker (EDGE, Georgia)

132) Justin Hollins (EDGE, Oregon)

Reasoning: I’ll admit, I was torn between taking Ximines at solid value and reaching a bit for Hollins with the 108th pick. On our Big Blue Big Board, we have Ximines graded as a second-round value, and Hollins graded as a third — on the TDN board, they are 105 and 132 respectively. I decided to roll the dice that Hollins would last until 132 so I could double down, and he just made it.

While Ximenes is more of a technician than a special athlete, Hollins IS very athletic, testing out as fast, explosive, and agile. He has good length and flexibility to bend the edge, as well as a good first step. At a relatively lean 6-foot 5, 248 pounds, his run defense is based more on his ability to beat blockers than to stack them, so he might see early use as a pass rush specialist, but the Giants need his speed off the edge.

Available Players - Antoine Wesley (WR, Texas Tech), Justice Hill (RB, Oklahoma State), Ugo Amadi (S, Oregon), Max Scharping (OT, Northern Illinois)

Round 5

142) Antoine Wesley (WR, Texas Tech)

Reasoning: Wesley is a player I have been talking about for some time, and I was just hoping he would last to this pick after passing on him twice to address the pass rush in the fourth round. He isn’t one of the best receivers in the class, but he is definitely one of my favorites. He flashes superb hands and ball skills, but what makes him special (to me), is his route running for being a 6-foot-5 receiver. He is whip-thin and has a rare ability to drop his hips and make sharp cuts and carve out detailed routes. Wesley won’t physically dominate DBs, but between his ability to create separation with his routes and use his long strides to eat up open field, he is a threat.

Available Players - Ugo Amadi (S, Oregon), DaMarkus Lodge (WR, Ole Miss), Bobby Evans (OT, Oklahoma)

143) Ugochukwu Amadi (S, Oregon)

Reasoning: Another “sprint to the podium” pick for me. Ugo is another case where he might not be the best safety in the draft, but he is one of my favorites. He is undersized, but is an excellent cover safety who can play in both man and zone concepts. He is a high-IQ player who is great at parsing offensive concepts and reacting in zone coverage, while he also has a background as a cornerback and is capable in man coverage as well. Amadi is a competitive defender who attacks the ball in the air and doesn’t hesitate to get his hands dirty as a tackler. He also has upside as a punt returner after averaging 16 yards per return in 2018.

Players Available - DaMarkus Lodge (WR, Ole Miss) Trayveon Williams (RB, Texas A&M), Terry Godwin (WR, Georgia)

171) Ben Burr-Kirven (LB, Washington)

Reasoning: One of the last “My Guys” that I was hoping to leave the draft with. I could probably have waited to pick him to maximize value, but in reality, I probably wouldn’t take the chance that another team would snatch him up. Burr-Kirven ranks 203 on The Draft Network’s board, but he is my LB4 and I have him as a second round value. He is an instinctive tackling machine for the Washington defense and tested out as the sixth most athletic linebacker at the 2019 NFL Scouting combine and landed in the 84th percentile of SPARQ. He should be able to play both inside and weak side linebacker, and his instincts and athleticism more than make up for his size.

Players available - Rodney Anderson (RB, Oklahoma), Bryce Love (RB, Stanford), Hunter Renfrow (WR, Clemson)

Round 6

180) Michael Jordan (G/C, Ohio State)

Reasoning: It’s about time to double back around and pick up some depth for the offensive line. And let’s face it, if you have the chance to draft Michael Jordan, you draft Michael Jordan — you never know when you will need a clutch physics-defying dunk to save you from being enslaved by aliens.

Also, Jordan is a big, long, and versatile lineman with solid movement skills and plenty of pop behind his punch. And at 21 years old, he has plenty of upside to go with traits worth developing. At worst this is a no-risk depth pick, but it could turn into a tremendous value.

Players Available - Kendall Sheffield (CB, Ohio State), Preston Williams (WR, Colorado State), Bryce Love (RB, Stanford)

Round 7

232) Lil’Jordan Humphrey (WR, Texas)

Reasoning: This time both of my “targets” (such as they can be this late in the draft) are off the board in Bryce Love and Jalen Hurd. So I decided to go back and pick up another receiver in the hopes that one of the horde of players behind Sterling Shepard (and hopefully Golden Tate) will emerge. At this point in the draft you’re looking for SOMETHING that makes players stand out and possibly give them greater upside in your system. I went with Humphrey because of his size (6-foot 4 inches, 220 pounds), and ability to rack up yards after the catch in the open field and in the screen game. Given the other moves this year, that figures to be a major part of the Giants’ offense, so hopefully Humphrey can find a niche.

Also, doubling down on the Jordans.

245) Ulysees Gilbert III (LB, Akron)

Reasoning: As stated above, at this point you’re looking for something that sets a player apart and something your coaches can work with. Gilbert is an athletic off-ball linebacker who blurs the line between linebacker and safety at 6-foot, 225 pounds. His 4.51-second 40 and 7.03s 3-cone suggest a player who could be an upgrade over Tae Davis as a nickel linebacker. Likewise, his 1.51 second 10-yard split 39.5-inch vertical, and 10-foot, 6 inch broad jump suggest an explosive lower body as a blitzer. He will have to earn his way onto the roster as a special teams player, but given James Bettcher’s defensive scheme and Gilbert’s traits, there’s a chance he could find a role as a sub-package player.

Final Thoughts

First off, here’s the full list of my picks.

6) Ed Oliver (iDL, Houston)
17) Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)
37) Justin Layne (CB, Michigan State)
95) David Edwards (OT, Wisconsin)
108) Oshane Ximines (EDGE, Old Dominion)
132) Justin Hollins (EDGE, Oregon)
142) Antoine Wesley (WR, Texas Tech)
143) Ugo Amadi (S, Oregon)
171) Ben Burr-Kirven (LB, Washington)
180) Michael Jordan (G/C, Ohio State)
232) Lil’Jordan Humphrey (WR, Texas)
245) Ulysees Gilbert III (LB, Akron)

I do not expect the New York Giants to make 12 selections in this year’s draft. In fact, I would be less surprised at them making six picks than I would be them making 12. And as I said when I took Haskins at 17th overall, were trades an option, I probably would have traded up to secure my quarterback. If so, several of the players drafted after that wouldn’t be there. However, trades aren’t possible with The Draft Network’s machine, so I just rolled with it.

Coming in to the draft I had the strategy of wanting to acquire talent at premium positions and getting at least two pass rusher. I wound up getting three players to help the pass rush, as well as a pair of defensive backs who can either help keep the ball in quarterbacks’ hands longer or exploit mistakes forced by pressure. On the offensive side of the ball I got the Giants a player I hope will be their franchise quarterback in the long term, a right tackle for this year, and a wide receiver who can immediately slot in and help the offense’s biggest weakness. Even if the Giants want to run the offense through Saquon Barkley — and they do — they will need a player with the ability to stretch the defense and keep them from playing eight or nine men in the box every play, and I got that in Wesley.

Getting good depth and potential niche players late on Day 3 is the icing on my draft-cake.

Ultimately, I’m over the moon with this draft, and could have walked away happily after the fifth round.