This version of my weekly New York Giants mock draft is a little different. First, because the moves made by Giants GM Joe Schoen via trade and free agency over the past week have perhaps changed the draft board somewhat for the Giants. Second, because in a desire not to be locked into the same big board week after week I used the Pro Football Focus mock draft simulator.
Round 1 (No. 25) — Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
Banks is one of my favorite possibilities at No. 25 in this draft, and it’s not just because I am a Maryland grad. It’s because he has first-round talent, the Giants need help at cornerback, and Banks appears to possess all of the athletic traits that defensive coordinator Wink Martindale loves.
Martindale has often talked about how important cornerbacks are to his blitz-heavy man-to-man cornerbacks on an island defensive philosophy. We will never know for sure, but I will always believe the Giants would have drafted Sauce Gardner a year ago if the New York Jets had not gotten there first. Here, I go with the the player I believe to be the best one on the board for the Giants at this point.
PFF says “Banks has all the physical traits of an All-Pro cornerback.”
PFF also says:
Where he wins: Mirror ability
Banks is sticky without needing to use his size. That’s a rarity for a 200-plus-pound corner. And it’s scary to think what he could become once he learns to use that size advantage consistently.
What’s his role: Versatile CB
Banks has the athletic skill set and tackling ability to wear many hats in a defense. His best role may even be a L’Jarius Sneed-esque “big slot” at the next level.
What can he Improve: Press technique
Whether it’s stopping his feet, getting overly anxious or being too comfortable with space between him and the receiver, Banks has a good deal to be cleaned up in his press technique.
I do wish Banks had more than two collegiate interceptions, and I do wish his pro comparison was someone who made more game-changing plays than Adoree’ Jackson, but I do love the tools and believe he is the right choice in this scenario.
Players passed on: Calijay Kancey, DT, Pitt; Brian Bresee, DT, Clemson; Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
Round 2 (No. 57) — Joe Tippmann, C, Wisconsin
Whether 2022 starting center Jon Feliciano is re-signed or not, I think this draft sets up for the Giants to add a player who could be their long-term starting center. I like Luke Wypler of Ohio State and Ricky Stromberg of Arkansas as later options, but I’m attracted to Tippmann’s athleticism and would be happy to see him as the pick here in the real 2023 NFL Draft.
PFF considers the 6-foot-6, 313-pound Tippmann a second- or third-round pick. PFF’s draft guide says:
Where he wins: Athleticism
Tippmann looks like a tight end on the move. I almost want to see how his hands are with how easily he runs with linebackers in space.
What’s his role: Center/guard
While he’s played only 11 snaps at guard in his career at Wisconsin, Tippmann could easily hold up there. Whatever the position, you want him to be able to get into space.
What can he Improve: Tighter hands
Tippmann has to protect his pads better in the NFL or he’ll get thrown off balance a ton. He’s not strong enough to consistently re-anchor.
Players passed on: Tank Dell, WR, Houston; Luke Wypler, C, Ohio State; Dayian Henley, LB, Washington State; Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa; Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
Round 3 (No. 89) — Tank Dell, WR, Houston
I am honestly not 100 percent certain about this pick for the simple reason that Dell is 5-foot-8⅜ and 165 pounds. There are more and more small players finding real success at wide receiver in the NFL, but none this small.
There are limitations to what Dell can do because of his size, especially when it comes to contested catches down the field. But, boy, the things Dell can do are impressive.
The Giants talk about wanting receivers who can separate, and boy, can Dell do that. Watch him play and you constantly see him leave confused cornerbacks all tangled up. His 4.49 40-yard dash speed is only 56th percentile, but this guy is dangerous when he gets the ball. Maybe he can pull away from cornerbacks so quickly because of his 1.49 10-yard split, third-best in the 2023 wide receiver draft class. He also has experience as a kickoff and punt returner.
Everyone is looking for speed and separation ability nowadays, and Dell ticks those boxes. Just know he comes with certain role limitations.
Round 4 (No. 128) — Moro Ojomo, DL, Texas
PFF calls Ojomo’s work as a run defender “pure teaching tape,” and we know how much emphasis Schoen is putting on improving the defensive line depth and the run defense. So, this pick made sense.
PFF also says:
Where he wins: Consistency
Ojomo’s work in the run game is pure teaching tape. His hands and hips fire in unison into pads snap after snap, which is why he graded so well in that regard despite being undersized.
What’s his role: 3-4 defensive end
Ojomo can be a difference maker in a two-gapping scheme while aligning head-up over tackles. That’s gaining more and more importance with light boxes in the NFL today.
What can he Improve: Pass-rush moves
Ojomo’s arsenal to get after opposing quarterbacks is relatively limited. His bull rush was effective enough that he didn’t have to develop many counters.
I thought seriously about UAB running back DeWayne McBride here. Until and unless the Giants get a long-term deal done with Saquon Barkley I will continue to think running back will be a priority for them in the draft. I just thought Ojomo offered more immediate value.
Players passed on: Michael Wilson, WR, Stanford; Ronnie Hickman, S, Ohio State; DeWayne McBride, RB, UAB
Here is how PFF graded my selections:
What do you think, Giants fans?