NFL.com’s Chad Reuter came out on Friday with his final seven-round mock draft before Thursday’s 2023 NFL Draft. Let’s check out his haul for the New York Giants.
Round 1 (No. 25) — Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Daniel Jones gets a downfield weapon in Hyatt, who can work outside or slide inside, depending on how the Giants want to utilize him.
Hyatt is a truly interesting selection at this spot. The Tennessee speedster was more commonly connected to the Giants earlier in the draft cycle. Maybe the fact that his name has not come up more often recently is just “group think” regarding players like Zay Flowers and Jordan Addison.
In Reuter’s mock, Flowers, Addison and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are off the board. Annoyingly, and perhaps something to watch in the real draft on Thursday, Reuter had the Kansas City Chiefs jump the Giants, moving from No. 31 to No. 24 in a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, to select Flowers.
It is also worth noting that Reuter leaves TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston on the board to choose Hyatt.
Reuter also bypasses cornerback Emmanuel Forbes, who goes No. 31 to Jacksonville.
Round 2 (No. 57) — John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
Maybe Giants GM Joe Schoen is serious about Ben Bredeson, Jack Anderson, J.C Hassenauer or Shane Lemieux being able to start at center for the Giants. More likely, that is what Schoen has to say until the Giants actually draft a prospective starter.
There is a lot of discussion about the value of drafting a center early, with many thinking that the Giants will just go ahead and select Schmitz [Prospect Profile] at No. 25. Here, Schmitz is the first center off the board. Joe Tippmann lasts until pick No. 65 in Round 3, landing with the Houston Texans.
The only thing that might give me pause about selecting a center here is that Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders is still available. In Reuter’s mock Sanders goes No. 59 to the Buffalo Bills.
Round 3 (No. 89) — Derick Hall, edge, Auburn
An interesting choice here by Reuter to go with an edge defender. Hall [Prospect Profile] is a player I am not that familiar with. Chris writes:
Hall projects as a designated pass rusher to start his career, with the upside to win a starting job early in his rookie contract.
Hall has a great blend of size, leverage, length, athleticism, and competitive toughness for the NFL. He also has the versatility to play in pretty much any defensive system commonly used in the modern NFL. Hall can rush from a 2 or 3-point stance, as well as play as an edge rusher or blitzing linebacker. He wasn’t asked to reduce inside and rush as a defensive tackle in the tape viewed, but his natural leverage (ie: his 6-foot 2-inch height), play strength, and explosive first step should make that a possibility.
He has a few limitations and probably shouldn’t be asked to regularly drop into coverage, or play from a tight alignment that forces him to take sharp angles into the backfield.
That said, he is a very good athlete apart from some slight lower-body stiffness. As mentioned before, Hall is explosive off of the snap, has very good long speed, and is agile enough to take inside routes to the quarterback. He gives great effort in pursuit and plays with a high motor all game long. He didn’t have as much production as his traits would suggest, but he might blossom on an NFL defense.
Round 4 (No. 128) — Riley Moss, CB, Iowa
By taking Hall at No. 89, Reuter missed out on cornerbacks Jakorian Bennett, Jartavius Martin, Clark Phillips III, Kei’Trel Clark, Kyu Blue Kelly, Mekhi Blackmon, Garrett Williams and Starling Thomas V. He finally adds much-needed cornerback competition for the Giants by selecting Moss here.
There are some who think the 6-foot-1, 193-pound Moss will end up at safety. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein says:
An instinctive cornerback with good size and play strength, Moss will need to prove he has the speed and durability needed for the next level. He has issues recovering quickly when beaten from press or at route breaks. Ballhawking instincts and soft hands are a big part of his game, as is his physicality at the catch point and as a tackler. He has CB3/4 potential in a zone-based defense, but could find reps at safety in the future if a team believes he has the frame for it.
Round 5 (No. 160) — Chris Rodriguez Jr., RB, Kentucky
Rodriguez is a 6-foot, 217-pound back. 33rd Team says:
Chris Rodriguez is a powerful downhill runner, but he lacks speed and elusiveness. He is going to have to win a roster spot with his run skills, because he lacks the length and speed that teams covet on special teams.
Matt Waldman of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio says:
A fleet-footed back with hip mobility and short-area quickness, Rodriguez reminds me of Spencer Ware but without the upper-echelon power or the initial acceleration. Rodriquez can break tackles and generate a push, but not at an elite level.
He’s a promising pass protector who can handle twisting defensive linemen. He’s also a competent receiver whose default method of catching the ball is with his hands.
Although his athletic ability is mostly committee and reserve level, Rodriguez makes effective decisions as a gap and zone runner and should have appeal as depth for a variety of NFL teams because he’s quick, powerful, and contributes effectively on passing downs.
Round 5 (No. 172) — SirVocea Dennis, LB, Pittsburgh
Reuter’s mock finds the Giants taking yet another of their annual late-round fliers on linebacker help. [Dennis Prospect Profile]
33rd Team says:
SirVocea Dennis is a linebacker who owns good awareness and quickness to cover underneath. When paired with speed to cover up the seam or sideline to sideline, those two traits become a big reason for his success. He needs to be kept clean to be effective against the run, lacking neither size nor strength to take on and shed blockers as a part of his game.
Looking at Reuter’s mock, Stanford wide receiver Michael Wilson went No. 174 to the Las Vegas Raiders. I would not have minded that pick for the Giants in this spot, even with Hyatt chosen in Round 1.
Round 6 (No. 209) — Jon Gaines II, G, UCLA
33rd Team ranks the 6-foot-4, 303-pound Gaines as an “eventual starter” in the NFL. That’s a nice get at pick 209. 33rd Team says:
Jon Gaines has a solid combination of size, frame and athleticism for the guard position. He is more of an athletic technician rather than a physical mauler, but he is an intelligent player who understands his assignments and often looks to help when he has no direct threat in front of him. He is better in pass protection than in the run game and shows good quickness with the ability to move laterally and get back into his pass-blocking set with ease.
He has a good anchor and base to stop pass rushers lined up against him. His hands are regularly accurate and timely, delivering his blow in the defenders’ strike point on time and in rhythm. He shows solid redirect ability when recovering from pass rushers’ counter moves.
Gaines tends to play tall and will get his chest over his toes and lean, causing him to lose balance. He has average pop in his initial punch and the ability to move defenders at the line of scrimmage and the second level in the run game, but he will lose blocks when his hands slip off his defender — which happens more frequently than it should.
Overall, Gaines is a solid athlete and talent with good intelligence, projecting as a mid-round pick.
Round 7 (No. 240) — Sean Clifford, QB, Penn State
This one is a bit of a head-scratcher for me. Reuter leaves TCU quarterback Max Duggan (No. 252, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) on the board to choose Clifford. The NFL Mock Draft Database has Clifford, ranked No. 360 on its consensus big board, going undrafted.
Round 7 (No. 243) — Ronnie Bell, WR, Michigan
Bell is a 5-11, 191-pound receiver who ran only a 4.54-40-yard dash, 37th percentile among receivers. 33rd Team says:
Ronnie Bell is a slender-built, speedy receiver with good quickness. He can get behind defenders and take the top off the defense. Bell needs to improve his hands and strength to become a reliable receiving option.
Round 7 (No. 254) — PJ Mustipher, DT, Penn State
Reuter gives the Giants a 6-4, 320-pound player who could add some depth to their defensive line rotation. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein says:
Mustipher was a high-character leader for the Nittany Lions and brings good thickness to the position. He’s a little too gradual off the snap to create stress for blockers and fails to control the action with force or hand usage. Mustipher’s below-average athletic profile and limited impact on games will make it difficult for him to work his way onto an NFL roster.