Another day, yet another mock draft scenario to discuss for the New York Giants. This time, ESPN’s Todd McShay is up with an interesting two-round mock [Insider only]. Let’s get to what McShay does with his three selections for the Giants.
Round 1 (No. 5) — Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
New general manager Joe Schoen would be off to a really, really good start to his tenure if he gets this lucky. A run on pass-rushers to begin the draft leaves Ekwonu for the Giants at No. 5 overall. He brings versatility, power, length and quickness, and he’d be opposite Andrew Thomas to form a solid duo to keep NFC pass-rushers in check.
Valentine’s View: For perspective, the first four picks in McShay’s mock went like this:
- Jaguars — Aidan Hutchinson, edge, Michigan
- Lions — Travon Walker, edge, Georgia
- Texans — Kayvon Thibodeaux, edge, Oregon
- Jets — Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
The Giants have their choice of Ekwonu, Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal, Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross, Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton.
As always, zero problem with the selection of Ekwonu. Neal might be safer because he’s an easier right tackle projection, but this pick is a home run. Most evaluators currently seem to think Ekwonu has the higher ceiling.
Round 1 (No. 7) — Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
The Giants already checked the offensive line box with Ekwonu, but Southern California wide receiver Drake London could help boost the offense. However, with some uncertainty around James Bradberry’s future in the Big Apple, Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner would make sense. And while the top three pass-rushers are off the board, Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II fits. But the Giants’ depth chart at safety is light, and adding someone with Hamilton’s size, range and ball skills to the back end could change the way offenses game-plan for New York. Logan Ryan was released, and pairing Hamilton with Xavier McKinney (five interceptions and 10 passes defensed last season) would be an excellent last line of defense.
Valentine’s View: For perspective, again, McShay gave the Carolina Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett at No. 6.
By now, I think anyone who has been paying attention to Big Blue View knows what I’m about to write. Given this choice, I would take Sauce Gardner. Given what we at Big Blue View believe Wink Martindale needs, I want the potential shut-down cornerback before the multi-dimensional, do everything safety.
That said, I also think Hamilton is absolutely worth the pick here. I think the safety position is insanely important in today’s NFL, and Hamilton can do everything from drop down in the box to play single high at a high level. I don’t want to hear about his 40 time. I really could care less how fast guys run in shorts. Watch the way Hamilton plays — watch how fast he diagnoses and reacts, how fast he gets to the football, how often he is in places he has no business being in. There is nothing slow about his game. His game is lightning fast.
In the end, I believe he will have a career that would justify being picked this high in the draft.
Round 2 (No. 36) — Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
Moore’s combine performance was impressive, and there might not be a more elusive pass-catcher in the class once the ball is in his hands. No Giants receiver had more than 521 receiving yards or three touchdowns last season. As an aside, Arnold Ebiketie would be a good pick here, too, if he were still available.
Valentine’s View: My $.02 is this is early for Moore. He is a 5-foot-10, 195-pound slot receiver. Drafting Moore might not bode well for the futures of Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney, but initially I would wonder how you would use all of those guys.
Moore is the No. 11 ranked wide receiver in Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio Draft Guide. Waldman says:
“Moore displays big-play ability on vertical shots and red-zone targets when matched up one-on-one. He’s also proven tough enough to win in the middle of the field in traffic. The raw skills are there for Moore to develop into a starter, but he must build on his press-release and route techniques, improve the suddenness of his breaks, and address the width of his hands at the catch point when using underhand technique with targets away from his frame.”
I would be really tempted to take Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam in this spot. Other players available I would think about here include, but aren’t limited to:
George Pickens, WR, Georgia; David Ojabo, edge, Michigan; Travis Jones, DT, UConn; Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
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