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Kiper-McShay 3-round mock draft: Giants get Ickey, and what else?

Let’s see what the ESPN duo collects for the Giants

NFL: APR 26 2018 NFL Draft Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

You’re tired of mock drafts. We know. Discussing them, though, is the name of the game right now as we await next week’s 2022 NFL Draft. That is especially true when Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN combine to go three rounds, which they have now done.

With the ESPN duo alternating picks and not making any trades, let’s see how this works out for the New York Giants.

Round 1 (No. 5) — Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

Picked by Kiper, who says:

Andrew Thomas looked better in 2021, but the Giants still need a tackle opposite him — and the best one in the class is still here at No. 5. New GM Joe Schoen would be sprinting to turn in the pick card if the board fell this way.

Valentine’s View: All three tackles — Ekwonu, Evan Neal of Alabama, Charles Cross of Mississippi State — were available. Kiper chose Ekwonu. I won’t argue with any of them in this spot.

Round 1 (No. 7) — Jermaine Johnson II, Edge, Florida State

Picked by McShay, who says:

Hutchinson, Walker and Thibodeaux went 1-2-3, but Johnson is also worthy of a top-10 pick, and the Giants have a glaring issue at edge rusher. This would be a great start to the draft for the Giants, checking off a pair of boxes with their first two picks.

Valentine’s View: This pick would not be my favorite. With Sauce Gardner off the board to the New York Jets at No. 4, offensive tackle already taken care of, and both Kayvon Thibodeaux and Travon Walker already selected, I would look for a trade partner here.

Johnson is a nice player, but there are too many questions about whether or not he can be an effective pass rusher in the NFL. I just wonder if he will have a career that justifies this pick. Push comes to shove, even though it flies in the face of the positional value argument, I’m taking Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton here.

Round 2 (No. 36) — Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor

Picked by Kiper, who says:

If the Giants address their offensive and defensive lines with picks Nos. 5 and 7, they can move on to find a safety or linebacker here. Pitre is physical against the run and has some range in coverage.

Valentine’s View: Again, not my favorite option here. It’s a popular choice in multi-round mock drafts and Pitre might even go earlier than this. I just worry about Pitre’s fit and versatility because, while he is listed as a safety, he was purely a slot cornerback at Baylor.

There are several guys on the board here I would be inclined to pick before Pitre. Those include:

Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M; Quay Walker, LB, Georgia; Travis Jones, DT, UConn; Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida; Skyy Moore, Wr, Western Michigan; George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Round 3 (No. 67) — Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming

Picked by McShay, who says:

With Blake Martinez coming off a torn ACL, why not get some insurance at inside linebacker? Muma tied for the FBS lead in tackles last season (125).

Valentine’s View: Muma, Leo Chenal of Wisconsin and Troy Anderson of Montana State all have their fans. McShay makes Muma the first of the inside linebacker trio to come off the board. Anderson (74th, Atlanta Falcons) is my favorite, but I won’t argue. For Chenal fans, he went 75th to the Denver Broncos.

Round 3 (No. 81) — Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA

Picked by McShay, who says:

I love this guy’s traits. Woolen is a former receiver who is still learning the cornerback position, but he ran a 4.26 in the 40-yard dash at the combine at 6-foot-4. Tack on the explosion demonstrated by a 42-inch vertical jump and some incredible 33⅝-inch length, and you have someone who could develop into a star with time.

Valentine’s View: Woolen is a guy I haven’t studied a whole lot, but I love the swing on a player with upside to over-perform his draft slot here. As defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has indicated, the more good cornerbacks he can collect the better. I know this draft has yet to address tight end or running back, but I think there is enough depth at those spots to find useful players on Day 3.