Good morning New York Giants fans!
Happy Saturday and welcome to Week 15 of the 2022 College Football season. Of course, Championship Weekend was last week, and we only have one game on the schedule today, the annual Army-Navy game (CBS - 3 p.m.).
So instead of trying to follow Joe Schoen around the country or highlight interesting games, I decided to take a stab at a mock draft. In fact, I decided to play off one of the questions asked of Ed for this week’s “5 Questions” with Bleeding Green Nation. That question was with regards to the decisions the Giants need to make about Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley — and who Ed would pick if the Giants could only re-sign one.
What the Giants do with Jones and Barkley will define their off-season strategy for 2023 and for years beyond.
I decided to draft with each of those scenarios in mind.
In the first mock, I have the Giants either signing Jones to a second contract or opting to roll with Tyrod Taylor and develop a mid-round quarterback. Either way, they’re using their high picks to try and improve the team through the draft.
In the second mock, the Giants have decided to let Jones seek his fortune elsewhere. Instead of signing Jones to a multi-year contract, the Giants to use their cap space to address their roster at large. Things like extending Andrew Thomas, Dexter Lawrence, and Adoree Jackson, as well as re-signing Julian Love, Darius Slayton, and Saquon Barkley (if he’d accept a reasonable contract). I would also look into adding to the receiver room with a player like JuJu Smith-Schuster or Allen Lazard.
Meanwhile, Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll are going to use the draft to get “Their Guy” at quarterback.
Let’s see how the two turned out.
Mock 1 - No trades
For this scenario I have the Giants standing pat with their natural pick. I was hoping a top corner or receiver would drop to me in the first round, but no such luck. So instead I took Torrence, who recently declared for the draft. Torrence is, to put it plainly, an absolute unit. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound guard plays to every inch and ounce of his size. He has power in spades and would form a formidable pairing with either Andrew Thomas or Evan Neal.
Michael Mayer is simply a no-brainer at 54th overall — in fact, I almost didn’t pick him at all because him being there was probably just an artifact of a draft simulator being weird. Mayer also recently declared for the draft, and he is a true “complete” tight end. Not only is he already a very good blocker, but he’s also a dangerous and productive receiver.
Xavier Hutchinson is something of a sleeper right now at wide receiver. He has good size at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and is already a savvy route runner. He can release off the line of scrimmage against man coverage and bead corners down the field with his size, quickness, or technique.
Finally, I helped out the defense with Stanford’s Kyu Blu Kelly. Kelly has the length and hip fluidity to play in press-man schemes, as well as the route recognition to play zone coverages. Perhaps most importantly, Kelly is able to perform against top competition, which should serve him well in the NFC East.
Mock 2 - Trading up
For this scenario I traded from 23rd overall up to 10th overall, sending the Atlanta Falcons the Giants’ first- and third-picks in 2023 (23rd and 86th overall picks), as well as their first- and third-round picks in 2024. I might have been able to get away with less, but wanted to make sure I was able to secure the trade.
I ran 10 first round simulations (computer only, no picks on my part) before doing this mock to see just how high I had to jump to have a reasonable shot at one (or more) of the top quarterbacks. Will Levis was available at 10 in nine of the test runs, while Anthony Richardson was available in three (he went ninth overall three additional times). Neither Bryce Young nor C.J. Stroud fell past six in any of the simulations. So, after 10 runs, it looked as though if I wanted any shot at one of the top QB prospects, I would have to go up to (at least) the 10th overall pick.
I’m not sure if I would have picked Levis or Richardson if I had the choice between both. Levis is the more polished of the two and still brings impressive physical traits, while Richardson is definitely a project but also has the kind of physical traits we haven’t seen since Cam Newton was coming out of Auburn.
One point working in Levis’ favor is Wan’Dale Robinson’s presence on the Giants’ roster. Robinson played with Levis at Kentucky, and pairing young quarterbacks with skill position players with whom they already have chemistry has become a popular way to accelerate their development.
Elsewhere, I wanted to add an interior offensive lineman, cornerback, or linebacker in the second and third rounds. However the board just didn’t shake out in my favor this time around, either.
So I continued to add weapons for the Giants’ offense. Dalton Kincaid is a big and athletic receiving tight end who could pair with Daniel Bellinger for a dangerous 12 Personnel package. Kincaid needs development in the blocking aspect of TE play, but his athletic upside is considerable and Mike Kafka knows how to turn an athletic tight end into a weapon.
A.T. Perry is a big (6-foot-5, 215 pound) receiver who has a background in track and basketball as well as football. He has the speed to eat up open field as a deep threat, as well as the agility, football IQ, and hands to work as a possession receiver. He might not be a “Number One” receiver right away, but his tools would be much appreciated in the Giants’ offense.