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‘Things I think’ about the Big Blue View mock draft throwdown

Court is in session as Ed judges Tuesday’s trio of mock drafts

Michigan State v Northwestern
Rashawn Slater
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In more than 14 years of running Big Blue View, millions of people have sat in judgment of my work. Many — and you know who you are — haven’t been kind. I have rarely poked back, that’s not my job. I write, you have whatever opinion you have. It’s all good.

Today, though, I’m going to have a little fun.

Big Blue View contributors Chris Pflum, Nick Falato and Joe DeLeone on Tuesday posted a Big Blue View mock draft throwdown, each posting full six-round mock drafts. Today, I am going to sit in judgment of those mock drafts and tell you what I liked and didn’t like. I’m going to be a one-person Supreme Court, if you will.

Mock Draft Throwdown

Mock Draft Nick Falato Joe DeLeone Chris Pflum
Mock Draft Nick Falato Joe DeLeone Chris Pflum
Round 1 (No. 11) Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Round 2 (No. 42) Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Round 3 (No. 76) Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame Quincy Roche, Edge, Miami Josh Myers, iOL, Ohio State
Round 4 (No. 117) Jordan Smith, Edge, UAB Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
Round 6 (No. 197) Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson Elerson Smith, Edge, Northern Iowa
Round 6 (No. 202) Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa Austin Watkins Jr., WR, UAB

First, it’s clear from our poll results that the majority of Big Blue View community members favor Nick Falato’s mock with 59 percent of voters (1,489 of 2,526) choosing that as the one they liked most. It’s also clear that the mock draft put together by Chris Pflum received a thumbs down, with only 4 percent (102 voters) choosing that one as their preferred mock.

Full poll results are below.


Who’s mock draft do you prefer?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Nick’s Mock
    (1489 votes)
  • 37%
    Joe’s Mock
    (935 votes)
  • 4%
    Chris’ Mock
    (101 votes)
2525 votes total Vote Now

So, now for what I think.

I agree with our voters.

In order of preference, I would take Nick’s mock first, Joe’s second and aside from the home run pick of Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins in Round 2 I don’t want to go near Chris’s mock.

In all honesty, I would love either Nick’s haul of Rashawn Slater, Gregory Rousseau and Aaron Banks or Joe’s haul of Micah Parsons, Wyatt Davis and Quincy Roche in the first three rounds.

Let’s go round-by-round as I examine what I liked and didn’t like about each mock.

Round 1

Let’s start with something I didn’t like. At all. Jaycee Horn at No. 11? C’mon, Chris! You can’t be serious.

Now, I really like Horn as a player. He has size at nearly 6-foot-1, 205 pounds. He has long arms. He is aggressive. He ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at his pro day. Some people believe he is the best cornerback in this draft.

That, though, is the problem. He is a cornerback. Now, I know how Chris feels about Horn. I know he believes that Horn could be CB1 on the Giants by the time the contracts of James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson are up.

Maybe he’s right. And, to be honest, I generally advocate thinking long term — because the draft is generally about the long term rather than the upcoming season. In this case, though, cornerback is completely off my radar in Round 1.

The Giants have Bradberry and Jackson, with a boatload of money tied up in both players. They have Darnay Holmes and a bunch of safeties who can slide into the slot. Besides, Horn isn’t a slot guy. I am a firm believer that you can’t have enough good cover cornerbacks, but where the Giants are right now you can’t take a player at No. 11 who isn’t going to play as a rookie unless a) there is an injury or b) Jackson flops horribly.

Let’s face reality. The Giants are all-in for the 2021 season. Co-owner John Mara didn’t outright demand a playoff appearance during his media availability, but no one who listened to Mara — as I did — can believe he will be happy with anything less. That’s why the Giants committed to Leonard Williams. It’s why they paid above market prices for Jackson and Kenny Golladay.

Heads are probably going to roll — including the GM, the offensive coordinator, maybe the quarterback — if the 2021 New York Giants are not a winning team. You can’t pick a player who is purely a long-term investment and — unless something bad happens — probably won’t have a major impact on your 2021 season.

That’s why I love Nick’s pick of Slater and Joe’s pick of Parsons. Both are players who, if they are what scouting reports and my own eyes tell me they are, should be major impact players from the season’s first snap.

My mock draft simulations seem to somehow keep working out in ways where Slater isn’t available. To be honest, though, if he is on the board it would be difficult for me to pass on him regardless of what receiver or defensive player is available.

The importance of the offensive line to the 2021 season, and beyond, can’t be understated. As many resources as they have poured into it, in terms of both players and coaches, the work isn’t done. Drafting Slater could go a long way toward completing it. He could be immediate competition for three players — Shane Lemieux, Will Hernandez and Matt Peart. At the very least, he is a starting guard and quality insurance in the event Peart doesn’t cut it at right tackle. He’s really the perfect player for the Giants right now.

Parsons? He’s the best defensive player in the draft. He’s an immediate starter. He gives the Giants athleticism and play-making at linebacker that they haven’t had since Jessie Armstead. He helps the run defense, the pass rush and the pass coverage. Provided the Giants are happy with their checks on the character concerns surrounding Parsons, this pick is also a Round 1 home run.

Round 2

I love all three second-round picks the guys made! Zero complaints from me if any of these players are selected by the Giants at No. 42.

Chris absolutely redeemed himself with the selection of Zaven Collins at 42. Collins isn’t as fast as Parsons, but 4.67 in the 40 at 260 pounds is pretty impressive. He’s a monster in the middle. He can rush the passer effectively from the middle or the edge, defend the run and drop into zones and play the pass effectively.

Gregory Rousseau? There are those like Todd McShay of ESPN who still believe Rousseau would be worth the 11th overall pick. I’m not in that camp. Rousseau has tremendous tools, but whether he will be able to develop them is anyone’s guess. It’s not a gamble I would be willing to take at No. 11. At 42? All day.

Wyatt Davis is a plug-and-play right guard I would take all day if I’m not able to select Slater in Round 1. When it comes to the offensive line, my view is that the Giants have to come out of this draft with a starting-caliber guard who can challenge Lemieux and Hernandez. Davis can be that guy.

Round 3

Love the selections of Aaron Banks by Nick and Quincy Roche by Joe. I can take or leave Chris’s choice of Josh Myers.

Banks is a guy Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan believes is a first-round talent. I would take him in either the third or fourth round with the belief he could push for a starting role as a rookie. The fact that Nick doubled up on the offensive line with Slater in Round 1 and Banks in Round 3 is something I have no issue with.

If you have followed our draft coverage, you know that Roche is one of my favorite players in the class. Some of his athletic testing numbers are better than Rousseau’s, and he is a player I think could outperform this draft slot.

Myers is an interior offensive lineman who could play guard or center, and I know from his Myers prospect profile how high Chris is on him. I just don’t share the same level of enthusiasm for a player many analysts believe is limited athletically.

Round 4

Confession time. Round 4 proved to me that with only three weeks to go before the draft I still have homework to do. I haven’t studied either UAB edge rusher Jordan Smith, picked by Nick, or Pittsburgh defensive tackle Jaylan Twyman, selected by Joe.

I do like the idea of a mid-round defensive tackle to add to the rotation. It would be a very Giants-like thing to do, and probably a necessary one. I like Chris’s swing here at Marvin Wilson, a player who didn’t always play to his potential in college. It’s an upside play at a position of need, and I like it.

Round 6

More proof that I have homework to finish. I don’t know anything about Iowa wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette, selected by both Nick and Joe.

I love Joe’s flier on Clemson wide receiver Cornell Powell, though I question why he used BOTH of his sixth-round picks on receivers.

I am also a fan of Nick’s pick of Iowa tackle Alaric Jackson in Round 6. The Giants have tried the late-round tackle flier thing a number of times over the past decade without much success. I still have no problem with it. After all, when in doubt taking an offensive lineman is never a bad thing. You need more of them than any other position, so stocking up on options is never wrong. Nick took three of them in his six picks, and you won’t get a complaint from me.

Elerson Smith is an edge with upside. Chris hadn’t picked an edge in the first four rounds, and this is another upside play that I can get behind if an edge isn’t added earlier.

One final thought

None of these mock drafts addressed running back. Now, obviously you never force a pick just to fill a position. I believe, though, that the Giants will be looking to add another running back at some point and I’m surprised none of these three mocks touched on this position at any point.