Version 7.0 of my New York Giants mock draft will be the final one before NFL free agency shakes up how we think about draft priorities. This is good because, while I am trying to paint some different scenarios and select some different players for discussion, I am well aware that some of these mock drafts are beginning to look similar.
Round 1 (No. 25) — Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Here we go again. Without knowing what the Giants do in free agency or the trade market, I just have to take a swing at getting them an impact wide receiver. I am a big fan of Zay Flowers and I am always tempted to select him here, but his physical limitations (arm length more than height/weight) and similarity in likely usage to Wan’Dale Robinson give me pause.
I look at Hyatt and I potentially see Darius Slayton — only even faster and with better hands. There will be a learning curve in the NFL for Hyatt because of the way Tennessee played offense, but the tools are there. Hyatt is the 11th-ranked prospect on the 33rd Team Big Board. They compare Hhyatt to DeVonta Smith of the Philadelphia Eagles and project him as a Year 1 starter:
Jalin Hyatt is dynamic and polished, who is as good of a receiver as he is an athlete. Hyatt is ready to make an impact immediately for whoever drafts him due to his skillset and top-end speed.
Players passed on: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida; Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina; Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College; Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas; Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
Round 2 (No. 57) — John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
I would like to see the Giants come out of this draft with an interior offensive lineman capable of becoming a long-term answer for the team at center. I really like Joe Tippmann of Wisconsin and Luke Wypler of Ohio State if I were to select a center a tad later in the draft.
Schmitz is generally considered the top center in the class, and he is usually not on the board at No. 57 when I do mock drafts. Here, he is. I would be happy with Tippmann or Wypler later on, but I’m not going to outsmart myself and miss out on possibly adding a long-term answer at center.
Schmitz is a highly consistent zone-scheme center with decent size. He is well-schooled in all phases of the run game. He consistently uses the proper footwork and angles to find early positioning and has the tenacity to finish blocks at a high rate. He has plus football intelligence and makes the calls for his offense. His drive power is average and he can be hit-or-miss getting to second-level targets. Schmitz lacks length and his edges will get a little leaky in pass protection from time to time, but his overall technique and teamwork in the run game should create a plug-and-play opportunity in the pros.
Players passed on: Steve Avila, G-C, TCU; Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa; D.J. Turner, CB, Michigan
Round 3 (No. 89) — Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
The way the board broke here, this is either linebacker or tight end. I am honestly not thrilled with the linebacker choices. Kraft is a pure upside play, a 6-foot-5, 254-pound small school player who can run, can catch the ball away from his body and would team nicely with Daniel Bellinger.
33rd Team ranks Kraft as the No. 3 tight end in this draft class and the No. 33 prospect overall:
Tucker Kraft is a raw player who is a better athlete than a football player at this point. He will need to fine-tune his game but has the ability to do so. If put in the right situation with good coaching he can be a really good player at the next level.
Players passed on: Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa; Dayian Henley, LB, Washington State; Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon; Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama
Round 3 (No. 100) — Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse
Garrett Williams is a player I was on earlier in the draft process, but have been shying away from due to the torn ACL he suffered in the middle of the 2022 season.
I took him here for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I do like the player. I’m not a fan of Alabama’s Eli Ricks, and drafting Darius Rush of South Carolina week after week is Dullsville.
So, something different. The ball skills, something the Giants could use in the secondary, displayed by Williams in the highlight reel below will get your attention:
The scouting report on Williams from 33rd Team will also get your attention They have Williams as the No. 7 cornerback and No. 34 overall prospect in the draft class:
Williams has first-round talent and tape, but due to injury concerns could slide deeper into the draft. An NFL team could get a potential steal in the third or fourth round. If not for his slight frame and injury concerns coming off an October ACL injury, he would earn an even higher grade.
Players passed on: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama; Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama; Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma; Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
Round 4 (No. 128) — Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
I am a big fan of Cincinnati wide receiver Tyler Scott, but look at the list of players passed on and you realize this seems like a sweet spot to draft a running back. I also was tempted by Kendre Miller of TCU here.
I would like to see the Giants draft a back at some point. First, Saquon Barkley could use a better backup than Matt Breida or Gary Brightwell. Second, Barkley is currently on the franchise tag and that raises the possibility he won’t be a Giant after 2023. So, it might be time to start looking toward the future.
Here is Chris’s full scouting report on Johnson.
I’m curious which running back people would like to see if the Giants select one at this point in the draft.
Players passed on: DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas; Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina; Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati; Zach Evans, RB, Mississippi; Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn; Kendre Miller, RB, TCU