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Invictus’ 7-round New York Giants mock draft: A dizzying amount of wheeling and dealing

How would Invictus draft as the Giants’ GM?

NFL Combine - Day 4 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I have been doing 7-round simulated mock drafts for the New York Giants for more than two months. The final one will appear this Sunday. In the meantime, I have asked several of our draft experts to offer their own Giants-only 7-round mock drafts using the Pro Football Network simulator. We will be running them throughout the week. This one is from former BBV contributor ‘Invictus’. — Ed V.]

Like a lot of the Pro Football Network mocks that will be presented, mine is no exception when it comes to trades. The trades that will be presented are all reasonable, but obviously the volume is not. The point is that in this draft, the real strength lies from picks 30 to 90 and you can get starting caliber players up and down the top 100. I wanted to maximize my picks in that area to show that, well, there are other rounds besides the first that can give you some really good players. Read on for the draft.

Round 1 (No. 12) — Andrew Thomas, OT, UGA

How did I get here? With trades, of course. That’s right, I made a trio of trades to obtain multiple Day 2 picks. The first trade I made was to the LA Chargers, who were pining for Tua Tagovailoa. I received pick Nos. 6 and 37 for the rights to sneak past Miami. I sent the Chargers the No. 4 pick as well as a fourth-rounder (No. 110) and the last pick in the draft, No. 255.

I then traded No. 6 to the Jaguars who wanted their pick of offensive tackle (they ended up with Tristan Wirfs) to obtain No. 9 overall and recoup a third-round pick, No. 73. Finally, I traded #No. 9 overall to the Raiders for No. 12 and their third-rounder, No. 80.

Trade recap
Giants gave up: Picks 4, 110, 255
Giants receiver: Picks 12, 37, 73, 80.

That leaves me with SIX(!) picks in the top 100, where I think the strength of this draft lies.

So at No. 12, who did I pick? Well, my favorite tackle in this draft, Andrew Thomas. Jedrick Wills was taken by Cleveland and he’d be the only other tackle I’d consider out of the “big 4” at this juncture. Thomas is a prototype left tackle with 36-inch arms who has experience on both sides with a nasty punch, was a team leader at UGA, and is exceptionally polished. I happen to think his balance issues in pass protection are more easily fixable than Wirfs or Becton and given the shortened offseason, you need someone with both great upside and who won’t hurt you if you need to play them right away. That’s Thomas.

Passed On:

Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Mekhi Becton

Round 2 (No. 36) — Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

This was a pretty easy pick for me. The Giants needed a center in the worst way. I am on a mission to fix the offensive line during this simulation and that’s what I aim to do. I got my blue goose left tackle, now to add to it the best center in the draft. Ruiz has some balance issues but he is a picture perfect fit for the offensive line. He’s a powerful mauler with really good movement skills and in a power offense, with Thomas and Ruiz leading the way, Saquon could hit 1,000 yards by Week 8.

Passed on

Zack Baun, Josh Uche, Laviska Shenault, Xavier McKinney

Round 2 (No. 57) — Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin

I traded away the No. 37 pick I got from LAC to LA Rams to pick up yet another third-round pick, No. 84. If you’re counting, I pretty much own the third round. I’m also quite blown away that Baun was available at this juncture.

On one hand, I can see it: He doesn’t have great length or size, isn’t a pure pass rusher, and just tested positive for a diluted sample at the Combine. That being said, he is too productive to not take here. He’s basically Kyle Van Noy and I’ll take that 100 times out of 100 at pick 57.

Passed On:

Laviska Shenault, Justin Madubuike, Isaiah Wilson

Round 3 (No. 73) — Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

There was just no possible way I could ignore this value in the third round. Laviska Shenault is dropping on a lot of boards because he didn’t run a good 40 time at the Combine. Nobody factors in the fact that he injured himself while running it. People are also pushing up players like Denzel Mims, Justin Jefferson, and Jalen Reagor over Shenault.

Shenault has three attributes that make him a killer weapon: Yards after catch ability, hands, and deep speed. The Giants love all of those things. He’s also built like a running back, so the best way to utilize him is the way the 49ers utilize Deebo Samuel. Just a really, really good wide receiver prospect.

Passed on:

Ashtyn Davis, Jeremy Chinn, Damon Arnette, Logan Wilson

Round 3 (No. 80) Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois

Chinn iwas really, really underrated for a lot of the year, but if you miss out on Isaiah Simmons, Chinn could be a tremendous backup plan. He’s 6-foot-3, 221 pounds and ran a 4.45. He’s a monstrous hitter with tremendous range. Instinctually, he’s a bit rough around the edges, but as a read-and-react player, he can fill many of the same slots that Isaiah Simmons would have filled. Excellent value at No. 80.

Passed on:

LB Logan Wilson, OT Matt Peart, OL Lloyd Cushenberry

Round 3 (No. 84) — Logan Wilson, ILB, Wyoming

I think I won the lottery with my first five picks, but Wilson at No. 84 represents reasonable value and, I think, a perfect scheme fit for what the Giants look for. He’s got decent size but instinctually is all there. All reports suggest he is incredibly smart and he plays very fast. He’s quite functional in pass coverage as well. He’s also a team leader. In all honestly, he is very similar to Blake Martinez and Ryan Connelly, so why wouldn’t the Giants be interested?

Passed on:

S Ashtyn Davis, WR Chase Claypool, OT Matt Peart, RB Zack Moss

Round 3 (No. 99) — Ben Bartch, OL, St. John’s

Bartch is an interesting player. He played in a lesser division but more than held his own at the Senior Bowl, where he opened up a ton of eyes. He’s got size at 6-6, 310 pounds and has a good amount of athleticism as a converted tight end. His sub-33” arms will make some wonder if he’s better at guard, but he’s got more or less the same frame and length as Nick Gates. I think he can definitely hold up at tackle and if the Giants are lucky, they could potentially have found a third offensive line starter in this draft.

Passed on: WR Chase Claypool, CB Cameron Dantzler, G Netane Muti

Round 5 (No. 150) — Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU

I wanted to get more weapons for Daniel Jones and get someone who’ll do some work as a blocker as well. Moss is the son of Hall of Famer Randy Moss but he does not possess his father’s athleticism or route running ability. He has an enthusiasm for run blocking which is important and he’s got really good hands. Needs a lot of work as a route runner and getting off blocks but hey, this is the fifth round and Moss provides solid value back here.

Passed on:

CB Dane Jackson, WR Quintez Cephus, OG Ben Bredeson

Round 6 (No. 183) — Damien Lewis, OG, LSU

Why yes, I am picking a fourth offensive lineman for this draft. The Giants basically have Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler as surefire starters. Nate Solder is probable. Nick Gates is an unknown. Cam Fleming and Spencer Pulley are replaceable. With Andrew Thomas, Cesar Ruiz, and Ben Bartch on board, you can at least take away Pulley. Add Damien Lewis as part of the competition. He’s a mauler and is someone that doesn’t have a lot of agility but a ton of power going forward. I have him with an early Day 3 grade, so this is value.

Passed on:

Tanner Muse, Trajan Bandy, Shaquille Quarterman

Round 6 (No. 202) — Larell Murchison, DT, NC State

Explanation: I traded away 218, 238, and 247 to move up 16 spots from the seventh round to the end of the sixth. The Giants will never use all 10 of their picks. The quartet of seventh-round picks are useful to try and target specific players.

In this case, I traded up to get Murchison. He’s explosive, with a 5.05 40-yard dash at 297 pounds and had plenty of production (12 TFL and 7 sacks last year) at defensive tackle. He’d be a sub-package player that would compete with RJ McIntosh, BJ Hill, Chris Slayton and Austin Johnson for spots on the team and/or reps.