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7-round New York Giants mock draft: No quarterbacks early, lots of trades late

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Let’s see what you think of this scenario

NFL: Combine
Montez Sweat
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 NFL Draft is less than three weeks away. With that in mind, here is a seven-round New York Giants mock draft scenario for you to consider.

Ground rules: As you are picking apart my choices, here is how I approached this draft and what I was aiming to accomplish. Remember, my aim in doing these over the past couple of years has been to paint potential scenarios — not necessarily to nail every pick the Giants will make. Quite honestly, I’m not aiming to be “right.” It’s seven rounds — that’s not happening. I’m aiming to make you consider possibilities.

Here, the first ground rule was no quarterbacks the first two days. If I could find a Day 3 guy to compete with Kyle Lauletta, fine. The second ground rule — no trades until after the 37th pick. The third ground rule — after pick No. 37, move around the board to give an example of how the Giants could use the eight Day 3 picks they currently have.

I used Fanspeak’s simulator for this since the one at The Draft Network does not allow trades. I selected the most recent Big Board from Matt Miller of Bleacher Report. In making choices, I tried to stick as closely as possible to player’s Miller’s board showed within range of whatever pick I was making.

Round 1 (No. 6) — Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State

Passed on: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa; Ed Oliver, DL, Houston; Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan; Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama; Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

We see this non-quarterback scenario unfold quite often for the Giants in mock drafts, and it could be the one GM Dave Gettleman looks at on draft day. Football Gameplan’s Emory Hunt told me on Saturday’s Valentine’s Views podcast other day that Oliver should be the clear pick in this scenario. Oliver, though, is not the common pick for the Giants here and despite his insane Pro Day workout numbers I don’t believe he would be the choice.

This likely comes down to Sweat, Gary and Taylor. Sweat vs. Gary is almost a coin-flip and, to be honest, I go back-and-forth when I mess around with various mock draft scenarios. I’ll go with Sweat, the same pick at No. 6 I made in a mock draft simulation a month ago. To my knowledge, Sweat is a guy who has had the Giants attention since well before he dominated at the Senior Bowl and crushed the Combine. He would give them a guy who could stand up on the edge in their base 3-4 and put his hand in the ground when they go into four-man fronts.

Here is what Chris wrote in naming Sweat a Senior Bowl riser:

Sweat’s is a name with which Giants fans should be getting familiar. The Mississippi State edge rusher had the first big highlight of Senior Bowl week when he demolished an offensive lineman for what would have been a sack. He never really slowed down, and several have commented that he was the best prospect on the property. Sweat has the size and length the Giants covet at 6-foot-6, 252 pounds, with 35 5/8 inch arms, and shows the ability to win with speed and power. Sweat was so good that those in attendance speculated that when he got a reduced workload in Thursday’s practice, it was to give other players a chance.

Round 1 (No. 17) — Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Passed on: Hockenson; Gary; Jeffrey Simmons, DL, Mississippi State; Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Kind of amazing to me that Hockenson and Gary are still on the board here. I doubt either of them will be available at 17 in the real draft.

Hewing as closely to the Miller board as I could, Taylor had to be the choice, though. He could be the best offensive tackle in the class (Jonah Williams’ fans will argue), and he is a plug and play starter at right tackle for the Giants.

Chris says:

“ ... it’s safe to say that a big, powerful, and long right tackle fits the New York Giants.

“There are precious few areas of concern with Jawaan Taylor, and most of them are with his ability to play with consistent technique. Even with his inefficient hand usage, tending to bring them a low, wide, and late, and inconsistent knee bend, leading to high hips, Taylor is an impressive tackle. At times he moves far more quickly and fluidly than a player listed at 335 pounds has any right to.”

The Draft Network’s Joe Marino says “Taylor offers a rare blend of mass, length, mobility and power that make him an ideal starter at right tackle.”

Round 2 (No. 37) — Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

Passed on: D.K. Metcalf, Hakeem Butler

I was really, really tempted to select the 6-foot-3, 228-pound Metcalf or the 6-6, 225-pound Butler here to give the Giants the big wide receiver they could use to complement Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate. Instead, I stuck to what I think has to be a major draft focus for the Giants — adding as much top-tier defensive talent as possible.

After his Senior Bowl work, Chris wrote that Adderley “might just have worked himself into the first round.”

The Giants Antoine Bethea to play free safety, but he will be 35 and they need a long-term solution. Adderley is a player who might not fall to 37 in the draft, and I felt the value was too good to pass up.

Here is Jon Ledyard of The Draft Network on Adderley:

One of the most exciting things about being a draft evaluator is finding players like Adderley that you never expected to be anything special, yet they blow you away on tape. The toughest thing about Adderley’s evaluation was finding a weakness, as he appears to be a top-notch athlete with exceptional short-area quickness and fluidity, while also possessing the ability to open up and cover ground with speed and range as a single-high safety.

He’s incredibly physical, bringing the fight to everyone on the field without sacrificing technique or responsibility. I think he’ll check in around 205 pounds with an ideal build for a deep safety, yet also perfectly sized to slide into the slot against all types of receivers when a team needs that role filled as well. The only real question mark with Adderley is the level of competition he faces, as he wasn’t targeted a ton and will need to adjust some to the speed of the NFL game. His traits and intangibles seem to be perfectly in line with the top safeties in the league today, and as long as he checks boxes at the Senior Bowl and Combine, Adderley will likely be a top 15-30 player on my board.

Round 3 (65, via trade) — Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson

Trade: Sent Round 3 pick 31 (95th overall) and a future Round 3 pick to Arizona Cardinals for first pick of Round 3.

Here is where the fun began. Remember, my rule for this draft was no moving around the board until after the 37th pick. When I saw that Lawrence was still available I actually started trying to finagle a trade to get him mid-way through the second round.

To be honest, this is a guy I believe will be in play for the Giants as early as the 17th pick. As good as the Clemson defensive line was, there are evaluators who believe this 342-pound monster in the middle is the guy who made all the players around him on that defense better.

Chris wrote:

Every defensive scheme needs a good nose tackle, so yes, Lawrence fits in their defense. However, he could be so much more than just a nose tackle.

While many will look at his 6-foot-4, 340-pound frame and picture him clogging running lanes and holding up guard/center double-teams, he is also capable of lining up as a 3-technique or 5-technique depending on down, distance, and sub packages. Lawrence did not get a chance to perform a full combine workout after straining a quad running a 5.05 second 40-yard dash, but that and his game tape is enough to prove his athleticism.

Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst says:

Lawrence flashes the ability to be a big, dominant and disruptive force in the middle of the line when focused on his game. He must learn to do the little things well on every snap, which will only make him a better football player and help him achieve his incredible upside potential.

Round 3 (88 via trade) — CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State

Trade: Sent Round 4 pick 6, Round 4 pick 30 and Round 5 pick 5 to Detroit Lions for the 24th pick of Round 3, 88th overall.

I never like the idea of targeting specific positions in specific rounds, but I was determined — as I think the Giants will be — to add a cornerback at some point in the draft. Watching MIller’s board as Round 3 unfolded I thought Oruwariye was clearly the best remaining corner, and thought there was enough value there to use some of the Day 3 assets at my disposal to make a move.

Chris wrote, in part:

With his size and strength, Oruwariye has the ability to be disruptive early in plays when in press-man coverage. He wasn’t in press-man often in college, but when he was, he showed a solid jam to throw off timing and releases. He is also capable in zone coverage, particularly when he can position himself over the play drive back down toward the ball. Between his awareness and clean “click and close” footwork, Oruwariye can be legitimately explosive when driving on the ball and routinely broke up plays at the catch point by separating the receiver from the football.

Teams will have to be careful in how they match him up. For all that Penn State has been producing elite athletes of late, Oruwariye is not among them. He is a good athlete, particularly for a 6-foot-1 5/8, 205-pound cornerback, but if a receiver is able to win early, he will struggle to recover.

Pauline wrote:

Oruwariye has the measurables and ball skills to be a starter at the next level but needs to polish his game and improve his fundamentals. He should see the field in nickel situations early in his NFL career and has the tools to develop into a starter on Sundays.

Round 5 (139, via trade) — Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M

Trade: Sent two fifth-round picks (4 and 33) to Arizona Cardinals for first overall pick of Round 5.

My moves up the board for Lawrence and Oruwayire left me without a fourth-round pick. I was flabbergasted to look at the board when the fifth round began and see that McCoy, a player commonly considered a Day 2 value, was still available. I packaged my two remaining fifth-round picks to move up a get McCoy, a tremendous value at a position where it is debatable to either Jon Halapio or Spencer Pulley will be the long-term answer for the Giants.

Chris wrote:

In theory, McCoy would likely be a good fit for the Giant’s offensive scheme. He is a versatile center who has the athleticism to excel in a zone blocking scheme while also having the functional strength to play in a man-gap scheme -- even more-so due to the athletic requirements when gap runs ask the center to pull.

McCoy is solid in pass protection, standing up well to power rushers while also having the foot speed and quickness to match up on more athletic speed rushers or blitzers.

McCoy’s experience at center, starting 36 consecutive games, would also be good for a team looking to improve their line as quickly as possible. He has seen a lot playing in the SEC, and should be well-equipped to take over the duties of calling protections and communicating with his linemates.

NFL: Combine
Ryan Finley
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Round 6 (180) — Ryan Finley, QB, N.C. State

Full disclosure: When I set the ground rules for this draft I was not going to select a quarterback at all. I do, however, have a suspicion that if the Giants don’t select a quarterback early in the draft as a potential heir to Eli Manning they could well select one late as competition for Kyle Lauletta. I didn’t look at Finley and think “heir to Eli,” but I did look at him and think the Giants might see him as value at this late stage of the draft. So, I altered my “no QBs at all” plan.

I think Finley checks a lot of the same boxes Lauletta did entering last year’s draft, and could easily be one of those quarterbacks Giants coach Pat Shurmur would like to coach.

Pauline wrote:

Smart, accurate passer with limited arm strength. Patient, keeps his eyes downfield and easily locates open wideouts. Displays outstanding pocket sense and awareness, feels the rush and gets outside the tackles to make throws on the move. Goes through progressions, always looks to be in control of the situation and buys as much time as necessary for receivers ... Finley was graded as the top senior quarterback in the nation coming into the 2018 season, but his play leveled off and even regressed in some areas last year. He’s a game manager who needs pieces around him, as Finley is unable to carry a team on his shoulders.

Round 7 (232) — Damarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss

Remember back in Round 2 when I was tempted by Metcalf and Butler? I do believe the Giants need to add a wide receiver, especially one with size. Lodge isn’t huge, but is nearly 6-foot-2 and weighs in at 202 pounds. He has had some collegiate production, and offers tools worth taking a late flier on.

Pauline wrote:

Lodge offers next-level size and has flashed ability but has shown too much inconsistency the past two seasons to be anything other than a late-round choice. He comes with an upside, but Lodge must step up his game in camp this summer.

Round 7 (245) — Johnnie Dixon, WR, Ohio State

A speed flier here. Dixon ran a 4.41 40-yard dash. His spider chart shows comparisons to Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard.

SB Nation’s Land Grant Holy Land considers Dixon “a bit of a wild card” in the draft. With the 245th pick, I will roll the dice.

Final thoughts

I turned 12 picks into eight, and tried to keep in mind the Giants’ “value” mantra. I’m sure you all think I screwed this up in some way, shape or form. So, have at it in the comments.