What up BBV. I expect we will have our new GM hire by the middle of next week, and I suspect the HC to come soon after. Personally my ideal pairing is Joe Hortiz and Jim Harbuagh, and as such, I made a mock draft in an attempt to channel that vein. I'm gonna say this right now, my first round pick is probably going to cause arguments, but the draft in totality may earn some forgiveness, and I drafted under the assumption we got my top FA target in Ryan Jensen. So remember, and I can't stress this enough, in this draft scenario, I already addressed Center.
So let me start by saying I traded down twice. I went from 5 to 8 and ATL sent me their 2nd and 5th, and then I went from 7 to 14, sending getting Baltimore's 2. ATL took Karlaftis and the Ravens took Booth.
1) Evan Neal, OT, Alabama- One of, if not the top OL prospects in the class, with Ekwonu. Neal easily slides in at RT, and he reminds me a lot of Orlando Brown. Thomas and Neal combine to give us an elite pair of OTs, akin to what the Ravens had for a few years with Stanley and Brown. You can do a lot on your OL with a pair like that.
1) Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt- Ok, now here is where some teeth gnashing will come. Let me start with, I traded down before taking him, and got an additional pick to work with. But there is also this, Pickett brings a lot to the table that you like. He is a great decision maker, handles himself very well in the pocket, his accuracy is top tier, while he doesn't have a rocket for an arm, it has good juice regardless, and he has serious moxie. Anyone watching that fake slide knows that. I know a lot of chatter will be that we don't have the surroundings for a rookie QB, or this is a bad QB class. Well look, when it comes to surroundings, things turn around quick, for example, remember at the outset, my top FA target is Ryan Jensen, and I operated as if we signed him, and I took Evan Neal earlier. So we have 3/5's of an OL, and it isn't out of the question that Bredeson improves to league average. Also, I have 5 day 2 pick, 3 in the second round. There will be plenty of opportunity to continue stocking the cupboards. As to the talent of this class, again, I don't agree with this being a bad QB class. I think it lacks a Joe Burrow, but Pickett can certainly be a Justin Herbert. A guy most had no real big expectations of, or had questions about, and boom. Also, final point, we are going to take a QB early in either this draft or in next year's draft. We need to be very comfortable with that reality.
2) David Bell, WR, Purdue- There are a lot of questions about our WR room. Good points to cut Shepard post 6/1, Slayton isn't all that, and both Golladay and Toney are in and out with injuries. Bell has the ability to produce early and develop into a top end WR. Bell alone won't solve the woe at WR, but he gives us great depth with our without Shepard.
2) Darian Kinnard, iOL, Kentuckey- back to the trenches, and with a favored prospect of mine. Kinnard works on his hands and he could be a beast at guard for us.
2) Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State- remember, I'm going to create an environment where a young QB can thrive and I'm going to do it fast. Walker is a VERY talented back that with the OL I just rebuilt, can make life easy for our young QB. Best thing to make a QB's life easy? A running game. Early on Walker will be an early down back who should be in a rotation with Booker, but as he develops, he can very easily become a 3 down featured back, and the beast all Giants fans prayed Barkley would become.
3) Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State- I was getting ready to show the defense love, but then McBride was still on the board. This was an easy move, as McBride is going to be the next stud TE, like Mark Andrews or George Kittle.
3) Damone Clark, ILB, LSU- Finally turning my attention to the defense. One of the big needs on this side is a linebacker with speed. Clark checks that box, and has some good film imo. Not sure what happens with Martinez, but the depth with or without him isn't great. Clark upgrades the middle of our defense in a hurry, and provides us with a WILL linebacker we haven't had in a while.
4) Brenton Cox Jr, EDGE, Florida- To continue bolstering the defense, I add another EDGE to the group. Who knows if Zo is back, and Xman could be cut to save some money. That leaves us with Ojulari, Roche, and Ellerson Smith. The first two impressed, Smith hasn't gotten on the field yet. Had I been able to, I wouldn't have waited so long to address the pass rush, but that's how it happens sometimes. Cox provides depth, and has real nice length. There is potential here, and with development we could have a steal.
4) Thayer Munford, iOL, OSU- back to the OL with some real nice depth. Munford is a proven player on that line, and has a bit of versatility. We have some great starting talent, but need to keep the pipelines stocked with depth. Munford helps.
4) Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada- another WR, and Doubs made some big plays. The trusted weapon of Carson Strong, can develop into the same for Pickett.
5) Jack Jones, CB, Arizona State- I wasn't about to ignore the secondary, and while Jones isn't star caliber, he is battle tested, and should provide nice depth for what is a low key solid Giants DB unit.
5) Damarri Mathis, DB, Pitt- I round out the draft with one more DB. I gave him that label because he played corner in college, but given his athletic profile, and skill, may profile better as a safety. He can also contribute to the STs, as could Jones and Doubs.
So this is my mock. Even with 12 picks, I couldn't hit everything. iDL, might be a need, but hopefully we keep Austin Johnson and kick that need for next year. I went hard on the OL, 3 picks, and in this scenario we already signed Jensen to be our Center, and that is something that can't be understated. We need to sign a quality vet in FA. We can't have Thomas be the longest tenured player, we need someone that knows what it means to win in this league.
I would have loved to give the defense more impact capital, but the board didn't shake out that way. Where I took Bell, I would have taken a pass rusher, but none made sense at that point, and where I took Walker I was gonna take Drake Jackson, and poof. Such is the draft.