Mock drafts will continue to pour out until we get to draft night, and we will continue to bring you the most notable ones. ESPN’s Todd McShay released a two-round post- free agency mock (Insider content) draft late Monday night. Like Mel Kiper Jr.’s mock draft last week, McShay’s does not include trade scenarios, but it does illustrate an interesting dilemma in which the Giants might find themselves.
4th Overall - Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
New York has three options in my mind here at No. 4: The Giants can trade out of it, they can look at one of the excellent offensive tackles on the board or they can draft Simmons as a do-it-all linebacker. General manager Dave Gettleman will hear some interesting offers, but because I’m not doing the same with this mock, I’m going with Simmons. Remember, the Giants allowed 28.2 points per game last season, third worst in the NFL.
36th Overall - Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
I really want to give the Giants an offensive lineman, but there just isn’t any form of value here. And with other needs, I won’t force it. Instead, let’s hand them Mims to join Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate and Darius Slayton. He has great size and speed, allowing him to challenge defenses both over the top and in the red zone.
First thought is that we need to accept the context of this draft. By not mocking trades, McShay is excluding scenarios that might be particularly beneficial for the Giants. Even though we know that trades will happen and that makes any trade-less mock draft inherently inaccurate (as though the purpose of mock drafts was to be accurate). But predicting trades is messy in any year, and avoiding the whole mess just makes sense given the circumstances surrounding this year’s draft.
Now on to the actual picks.
I would be of two minds if this scenario came to pass. The first is that Simmons and Mims are good players at positions of need. Simmons would solve the Giants’ chronic problem of a weak and slow linebacker unit, as well as give Patrick Graham a huge number of new and unique options for deploying his defense and countering offensive concepts and packages. Mims would give the Giants a receiver with rare athletic traits and, potentially, the kind of outside receiving duo the offense they are likely to run requires to function properly.
But on the other hand, this draft fails to address the Giants two (or three, depending on how general you want to be) most pressing concerns. Those are, of course, pass rusher and offensive line — right tackle or center.
In this scenario, the Giants could have drafted one of Mekhi Becton, Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills, or Tristan Wirfs at fourth overall and still have taken Zack Baun in the second round. Likewise, they could have selected Ezra Cleveland, Prince Tega Wanogho, Lucas Niang for offensive tackle — or Lloyd Cushenberry III or Tyler Biadasz at center — in the second round.
I do appreciate that McShay stuck to his board and drafted for value. However, the Giants’ board will likely be influenced by their own needs, at least in part.
In my own recent mock draft I split the difference by pouncing when Chase Young fell to me at fourth overall, but reaching slightly to select Cleveland, who has significant upside but needs work.
Did McShay do the right thing by taking better players at positions of lesser need, or should he have taken players with lower grades to fill more pressing needs? The answer to that one would likely be in the eye of the beholder and determined by how the season plays out.