The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine is just a week away — one more week until the top prospects meet with NFL teams, get poked and prodded, and go through all the on-field drills.
That also means that it’s time for another wave of mock drafts before we get players rising, or falling, thanks to their workouts in Indianapolis.
So it isn’t much of a surprise that former NFL scout and current NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah released his second mock draft of the year on Tuesday.
We’ve been keeping track of the trends for the Giants in the various mock drafts, but we also like to stop and take note whenever one of the big-name draft experts releases a mock. Not so much because they are any more accurate than everyone else, but their contacts around the league likely inform their choices and might give us insight into how the NFL feels about some players.
So let’s see who Jeremiah mocked to the Giants.
5 - Travon Walker, DL, Georgia
Walker is a unique talent because of his size, athleticism and versatility. The Giants need more playmakers on defense.
7 - via Chicago Bears - Drake London, WR, USC
The Giants seem very committed to giving Daniel Jones a fair evaluation in 2022. London has inside/outside versatility and he’ll be a monster in the red zone.
First, this is approximately a nightmare scenario for the Giants, at least as far as the offensive line is concerned. Evan Neal, Aidan Hutchinson, Kyle Hamilton, and Ikem Ekwonu, are all off the board for the Giants.
That leaves us with reaching for the third offensive lineman, or the Best Player Available (who fills a need). Jeremiah took the unusual step of naming Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker.
Personally, I’m very skeptical of this pick for a couple reasons. The first being that this seems way too high for Walker. He’s a good player, but he just had his best year and only managed 6 sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss. Now, maybe he’s just starting to blossom and that’s his absolute floor. But also, I’m not sure he really fits the Giants’ defense. Yes, they need EDGE help, but at 6-foot-5, 275 pounds (listed), and a game based more on linear power than fluidity, Walker is likely a down lineman in Martindale’s defense.
I’m going to take a step back and suggest that Jeremiah expecting Walker to have an impressive Combine and is more using this as an opportunity to get his name out there.
On to the second pick, the nightmare continues and Northern Iowa RT Trevor Penning is drafted by the Panthers at No. 6 overall.
So Jeremiah goes the “Cincinnati Bengals” route and drafts a wide receiver.
I wouldn’t actually hate this in principle. I’m on record as holding wide receivers in the same esteem as offensive tackles, EDGEs, and cornerbacks. Having players who can create separation, get open on time, expand receiving windows, catch the ball, and make plays is vitally important to modern offense. Just ask Joe Burrow or Matt Stafford.
Is London the best receiver in the draft? Well, his size and ball skills will certainly earn him fans, and the injuries to Jameson Williams and John Metchie III help too. London is big, athletic (he played basketball for USC too), and is certainly an upgrade over Darius Slayton. The Giants do need a reliable receiving option regardless of who is throwing the ball.
The way this draft works out would, of course, leave the Giants without a first round offensive lineman. The good news here is that the offensive line is deep this year.
- Players like Bernhard Raimann, Rasheed Walker, Max Mitchell, or Daniel Faalele could be Day 2 picks who are legitimate starters at right tackle.
- Zion Johnson, Sean Rhyan, Jamaree Salyer, or Darian Kinnard could start at either guard position.
- Johnson, Alec Lindstrom, Brock Hoffman, Luke Fortner, or Cole Strange could be potential centers for the Giants.
It’s easy to sit here and demand an offensive lineman (or two) in the top 10. But there’s no guarantee that the third, fourth, or fifth tackle off the board would be better than one drafted at the top of the second round.
If the Giants spend all three of their Day 2 picks on offensive linemen, they’re still addressing the OL.
I’m sure everyone reading this hates Jeremiah’s mock. But at the very least it gives us an opportunity to consider different players we haven’t seen mocked to the Giants a thousand times already.