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NFL mock draft: BBV’s Nick Falato projects Round 1

Who does Nick select for the New York Giants

NFL Combine
Joe Schoen faces an interesting choice in Round 1. What decision will he make?
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The 2023 NFL Draft is less than one week away. This draft lacks Blue Chip talent, which makes predicting selections more difficult. In a welcomed fashion, the Giants don’t have a top-eleven selection heading into the draft for the first time since 2017 when Big Blue selected Evan Engram at pick No. 23.

Brian Daboll’s success was an excellent unexpected springboard for the franchise. Joe Schoen will look to add the necessary pieces to allow Daboll to maximize success once again. However, unless the Giants trade up, they’ll have 24 selections before they pick. New York hasn’t picked this late since the 2012 draft where they selected David Wilson at pick No. 32.

In Thursday’s press conference, Joe Schoen stated that he feels “pretty confident” about the availability of players the Giants will like at pick No. 25. There are a lot of smoke screens about the top of the draft that could throw everything off. Still, let’s hope to get some of these correct. Here’s my predictive 2023 first-round mock draft with trades:

Pick 1: Carolina Panthers — Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

The Carolina Panthers traded significant capital to move up for their quarterback of the future. Bryce Young is the clear-cut top prospect coming out of the draft, despite his diminutive size for the quarterback position. DraftKings betting odds are at -1600 for Young to go first overall.

Carolina has cycled through quarterbacks like Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. New owner David Tepper desperately wants a franchise quarterback, and new head coach Frank Reich is a great coach to assist Young, as the talented young Heisman Trophy winner transitions to the pros.

Pick 2: TRADE! Las Vegas Raiders — C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

The Houston Texans need to get a signal caller for their quarterback room. However, rumors have circulated from plugged-in analysts like Adam Schefter and Lance Zierlein - who hosts a radio show in Houston - about the possibility of the Texans forgoing quarterback at two. Schefter recently reported that Houston could go with their highest-rated defensive player for their new defensive head coach DeMeco Ryans, which likely means their open to trade.

I used the Rich Hill trade value chart. The No. 2 pick is worth 717 points, and the No. 7 pick is 426 points. The Raiders also trade picks No. 38, 70, and 109, which collectively brings the value of the picks to 683. The Raiders also include their 2024 fourth-round pick.

The Derek Carr era in Las Vegas is over, and Jimmy Garoppolo was signed to a three-year with no dead money after the 2023 season. Stroud’s precision at all three levels of the field and his ability to operate with good timing and rhythm meshes well with Josh McDaniels' offense.

Is it unlikely that a team like the Raiders with many holes trades this much capital for a quarterback with Garoppolo on the roster? Maybe, but we’ve seen crazier things, and maybe the presence of Stroud will constrain Mark Davis’ desire to fire McDaniels if the Raiders struggle because Garoppolo can’t stay healthy.

Pick 3: Arizona Cardinals — Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama

The Cardinals would love to trade back and accumulate more picks to replenish this barren roster, but there were no eligible suitors for the asking price. Arizona could use anyone and they found one of the more productive edge rushers in recent memory. Anderson will help new head coach Jonathan Gannon establish a pass-rushing identity that he enjoyed with Philadelphia. Anderson is the first piece to that puzzle, and he can operate as Gannon’s Haason Reddick.

Pick 4: Indianapolis Colts — Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

The Colts have been linked closely with the former Penn State transfer. Levis’ 2021 season with Wan’Dale Robinson in Liam Coen’s offense was the pinnacle for the 23-year-old signal caller. He threw for 2,827 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2021 and regressed in 2022 while dealing with a significant foot injury.

Levis is my quarterback five of the players I have watched. Still, the Colts sent their entire staff to his Pro Day. Although I see a beautiful fit with Shane Steichen and Anthony Richardson, the Colts went in Levis’ direction here.

Pick 5: Seattle Seahawks — Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech

It wouldn’t be the first time that John Schneider selected a Red Raider in the first round (Jordyn Brooks, 2020), and Wilson’s profile can fit in an even or odd front; Pete Carroll and Schneider have targeted players of his build in previous drafts. Wilson is 6-foot-5, 271 pounds, with 35 5/8” arms.

Wilson ranked top-10 in all the FBS with a 22.3% pass-rush win rate. Seattle needs trench help; Georgia’s Jalen Carter was certainly an option, and Seattle doesn’t typically shy away from character issues, but Wilson fills a void.

Pick 6: Detroit Lions — Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Witherspoon’s mentality is perfect for the Detroit Lions. If there’s any cornerback who loves some kneecaps, it’s Witherspoon; his physical nature and safety-hitting style will entice head coach Dan Campbell, and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn desperately needs a CB after losing Amani Oruwariye in free agency, and trading Jeff Okudah to the Falcons earlier this month.

Adding Chauncey Gardner-Johnson helps the Lions' secondary, but they need assistance on the outside to push Emmanuel Moseley and Cameron Sutton. Witherspoon isn’t the biggest, but he’s sticky in man coverage and excellent in run support. Detroit will love him.

Pick 7: Houston Texans — Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Trade down with the Raiders

The Texans traded back and still landed a signal caller who does not have many snaps under his belt (395 total pass attempts in college), but is a rare athlete with a lot of upside. Houston is in a developmental phase. They need assets to help this roster, and they need young exciting players to help reshape the identity of their franchise for head coach DeMeco Ryans.

Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik has only coached offense since 2019 with the 49ers. He was a defensive coach under Mike Shanahan in Washington at a young age from 2011-2013 when Robert Griffin III was the quarterback. Slowik has also worked with mobile quarterbacks Brock Purdy and Trey Lance with the 49ers.

Quarterback coach Jerrod Johnson was the Texas A&M QB from 2008-2010 where he rushed for 16 touchdowns. Richardson can be much more than a rushing threat, but a young progressive coaching staff could figure out dangerous ways to maximize his athletic capabilities along with second-year back Dameon Pierce.

Pick 8: TRADE! New York Jets — Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State

The Jets jump from pick No. 13 to pick No. 8 to secure their top tackle in front of the Chicago Bears. The Jets had to surrender pick No 43 but received pick No. 113 in return. The Jets may likely have to trade their 42nd pick for Aaron Rodgers, but that situation has yet to be resolved.

The Jets need to find an answer at offensive tackle for Aaron Rodgers or whoever their signal caller happens to be in 2023. 2020 first-round pick Mekhi Becton has struggled to stay healthy his entire career. Securing the left tackle position is imperative for the Jets, and Paris Johnson has the capability to be a franchise left tackle with some positional versatility.

Pick 9: Chicago Bears — Jalen Carter, IDL, Georgia

Flip a coin between Carter and Park Ridge, Illinois native Peter Skoronski, the offensive lineman from Northwestern. Carter’s off-the-field concerns allowed him to fall to pick No. 9 in this mock, but he’s arguably the best player in the draft. He consistently forced offenses to pay attention to him, and his ability to get upfield and penetrate from the three-technique position is invaluable.

Bears’ second-year head coach Matt Eberflus runs an even front where the three-technique is crucial. Eberflus had the luxury of employing DeForest Buckner when he was the Colts’ defensive coordinator. With the Bears, Eberflus’ defense lacked pass-rushing juice - Carter immediately upgrades the team’s ability to get after the quarterback. The Bears only had twenty sacks last season; that ranked last and Carter - if dialed in - will be the necessary disruptive force for Eberflus and Alan Williams’ defensive unit.

Pick 10: Philadelphia Eagles — Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The Eagles could have bolstered the trenches, as Howie Roseman is one to do, but finding a long-term solution to the aging James Bradberry and Darius Slay was too difficult to pass up. Both Bradberry and Slay have no guaranteed salary beyond the 2024 season, and both players are already more than 30 years old.

Many expect Gonzalez to go before the Eagles' selection. The Eagles improve the longevity of their secondary by adding the 6-1, 197-pound long 20-year-old who has the potential to be a Pro Bowl player in the NFL.

Pick 11: Tennessee Titans — Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

I wanted the Titans to add an offensive tackle here, but they just signed former Eagles’ first-round pick Andre Dillard to a three-year, $29-million deal - that isn’t exactly chump change with second-year player Nicholas Petit-Ferer handling right tackle duties. However, the current offensive linemen they do have under contract are either ineffective or underperforming, and franchise left tackle Taylor Lewan is no longer with the team.

Despite the contract to Dillard, I’m still bringing versatile OL Peter Skoronski to Nashville. Skoronski’s 32¼inch arms rank in the 4th percentile for tackles; he has the feet and positioning to play tackle despite his limitations but kick him inside and the Titans have a very capable and effective guard.

Pick 12: Houston Texans — Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa

The Texans go defense with their second pick to help shape the unit in Ryans’ image. The 49ers had a deep pass-rushing rotation. Van Ness is not nearly as technically sound or savvy with his hands as Nick Bosa was coming out of Ohio State, but the Iowa product is only 21 years old with 11-inch hands and more than 34-inch arms.

Van Ness never started a game at Iowa, for he was a Redshirt-Sophomore, but he amassed 13.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss in two seasons before entering the draft. His best football is ahead of him, and proficient defensive coaches like DeMeco Ryans could develop Van Ness to reach his high potential.

Pick 13: TRADE! Pittsburgh Steelers — Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

The Steelers call Terry Fontenot and work out a deal that sends pick No. 80 and a 2024 fourth-round selection to Atlanta to allow Pittsburgh to jump up four spots.

The Steelers starting cornerbacks are 32-year-old Patrick Peterson and Levi Wallace. They’re desperate for long-term solutions at the position. Stopping passing attacks led by Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert must be at the forefront of Pittsburgh’s mind, and Deonte Banks is an excellent coverage cornerback with good size and length.

Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin has ties with the Maryland program through his son Dino Tomlin. He is reportedly smitten with Banks' profile. This trade-up and selection could break Joey Porter Jr.’s, heart, but Banks is an excellent player who would fit Teryl Austin’s defense perfectly.

Pick 14: New England Patriots — Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson

The Patriots are upset about the Steelers trading up for Banks, who is a perfect fit for Bill Belichick’s defense that has to cover Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Garrett Wilson twice a season. Still, applying pressure on quarterbacks will affect the opposing offense’s ability.

Murphy is a 6-4, 268-pound edge with just under 34-inch arms at 21 years old. Patriots' defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington had a meeting with Murphy at the combine and was at Clemson’s Pro Day. Murphy’s first step, length/size, and versatility fit the identity of a Patriots’ edge defender; plus, Josh Uche and Anfeerne Jennings are free agents at the end of the season. They wanted Banks and were close to pulling the trigger on Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but they go Myles Murphy here.

Pick 15: Green Bay Packers — Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

I have a feeling Smith-Njigba will go much higher than pick No. 15. Still, the Packers are a solid fit for the Buckeye. Green Bay added Christian Watson in the second round last year and landed Romeo Doubs in the fourth. With Aaron Rodgers halfway out the door, and Jordan Love presumably taking over, finding a reliable precise route running safety blanket to man the slot is a necessity for Love’s comfort.

Tight end is a commonly mocked direction at pick No. 15, and that makes sense. However, this draft is very deep at tight end. Sure, Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer or Utah’s Dalton Kincaid would be excellent in this spot, but Smith-Njigba falling to this pick is a great situation for Green Bay and Jordan Love. The Packers typically encourage size/speed thresholds at wide receiver, but an exception is made for Smith-Njigba because of everything he could offer this offense.

Pick 16: Washington Commanders — Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Jack Del Rio’s defense has received solid play from 2021 third-round pick Benjamin St. Juste, and Kendall Fuller is a solid player with versatility, who can align in the slot. Still, overall the secondary could use upgrades on the outside, and Porter Jr. is primed for that task. At the combine, Porter Jr. mentioned he’s had extensive discussions with the Commanders.

He’s a great fit for Del Rio’s match defense because of his processing, length, and ability to click & close on routes in front of him. Porter Jr. will join fellow Nittany Lions Jahan Dotson, Shaka Toney (who was just suspended), and Tariq Castro-Fields in Landover, Maryland.

Pick 17: Atlanta Falcons — Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Trade down with the Jets and Steelers

The Falcons spent money on their defense, adding Jessie Bates III, David Onyemata, Calais Campbell, and Bud Dupree while trading for former Lions’ top-five pick Jeff Okudah. There are few teams in the top 20 who would make a selection like the one above. The Eagles could be one because the infrastructure in place is sturdy, and the Falcons are the other because...well...Arthur Smith.

Atlanta had the most rushing attempts of any team last season, despite ranking 26th in total plays. They ranked second in rush percentage behind Chicago. Atlanta has Tyler Allegier and an older Cordarrelle Patterson on the roster, but Bijan Robinson could be the best running back prospect to come into the NFL since Adrian Peterson in 2007. Head coach Arthur Smith with Bijan Robinson is fun to envision and could help the development of second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder. Some may hate selecting a running back in the first round, but it’s easier to justify after trading down twice.

Pick 18: Detroit Lions — Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron, T.J. Hockenson, and now Michael Mayer - Detroit continues to lean toward their tendency of selecting tight ends in round one. However, these aren’t the same Lions of yesteryear. Detroit narrowly missed the playoffs in 2022, and the play-action passing attack of Jared Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown ranked second in total yards last season.

The play-action game was efficient and explosive, in part, because of a potent rushing attack behind a very solid offensive line. Guard Jonah Jackson is a free agent at the end of the season, and Brad Holmes may look to find his replacement. Still, the roster is barren of starting tight-end talent, and Mayer helps the Lions off play-action and as a blocker. It’s a deep tight-end class, but Mayer’s floor, mentality, and blocking prowess fit Detroit. The suspension of wide receiver Jameson Williams also puts a priority on adding reliable pass catchers.

Pick 19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

The Buccaneers could go in many directions with this selection, but finding a left tackle to allow Tristin Wirfs to focus on the right side is a great scenario to address in round one. The departure of longtime tackle Donovan Smith had to be addressed. Jones is a strong, toolsy offensive tackle who will help the Buccaneers' rushing attack while protecting whoever their signal caller is for the 2023 season.

Jones is 6-5, 311 pounds with 34¾-inch arms and he ran a sub-five second 40-yard dash time. He played 930 snaps at left tackle for the 2022 national champions and 428 snaps at left tackle for the 2021 national champions. In this scenario, the Buccaneers could secure their bookend tackles as they continue to rebrand their roster after the Tom Brady era.

Pick 20: Seattle Seahawks — Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

Seattle deployed 12 personnel at a league-high 40% rate last season, and they ranked second in 13 personnel behind the Titans. Former 2019 Broncos’ first-round pick Noah Fant was included in the Russell Wilson trade; Pete Carroll and Seattle desire a move tight end who can dangerously attack defenses off the play action.

However, Fant is set to be a free agent after the 2023 season. He’s dealt with injuries throughout his career and gave Seattle 497 yards on 41 catches with four touchdowns last season. Kincaid would be an upgrade over Fant, and the former Ute may be the best overall pass catcher in this draft class. Kincaid would quickly become Geno Smith’s best friend and would help complete one of the more precarious passing offenses in the NFL.

Pick 21: Los Angeles Chargers — Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia

The Chargers are upset about missing Kincaid, who would add a creative element to their offense with Gerald Everett on the last year of his deal. However, Smith can slide into Brandon Staley’s defense and add juice behind Joey Bosa and an aging Khalil Mack.

Staley’s front seven players need to be aggressive in terms of defending the run. At 6-2, 238 pounds, it appears like Smith would not be great in that area, but the tape says different. Smith is a very physical explosive player who can win high side and threaten as a pass rusher. His hand technique developed from 2021 to 2022 before he suffered his pectoral injury; there’s room for growth with his hand deployment, but his combination of violence and athletic ability would be welcomed in the Chargers’ defense.

Pick 22: TRADE! Atlanta Falcons — Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

The Baltimore Ravens had only two picks in the top 123. After the selection of Nolan Smith, Eric DeCosta picked up Terry Fotenot’s phone call; the latter felt comfortable trading up after two trades down, and his previous experience with New Orleans suggests he isn’t shy to trade up if he loves a player. The Ravens acquire pick No. 43 (Falcons received this from the Jets earlier), No. 75, and a 2024 third-round pick. The Ravens would eventually reunite D.J. Turner with Mike Macdonald at pick No. 43.

The Falcons added Bijan Robinson to assist their rushing attack and help second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder, after an aggressive spending spree in free agency. Pouring their last three first-round picks into skilled position players on offense should give Ridder a fighting chance in a weak NFC South.

Drake London and Flowers would be two explosive young playmakers who would punish defenses focused on stopping Arthur Smith’s rushing attack led by new running back Bijan Robinson. Flowers adds a different element to the offense, and he could effectively operate as a “Z” or in the slot.

Pick 23: Minnesota Vikings — Jordan Addison, WR, USC

The 2021 Fred Biletnikoff winner joins Justin Jefferson after the release of longtime Viking Adam Thielen. Addison is a precise route runner understands the nuance of how to uncover against man and zone coverage. He would complement Jefferson well as the number two receiving threat in Kevin O’Connell’s offense. Joe Schoen is now gripping his chair with the Giants selection on deck.

Pick 24: Jacksonville Jaguars — Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

Branch is the perfect fit for the Jaguars defense under defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell. The Alabama product an handle a variety of responsiblities from playing the post, deep-half, robber, nickel, and he can handle box duties. Branch was an elite tackling presence in the SEC for years. He is the necessary chess piece for Jacksonville’s secondary that will take that young defensive unit to another level.

Pick 25: The New York GiantsSee below

It’s not the best situation for Joe Schoen. Branch, Addison, Flowers, and Nolan Smith were the last four picks. The Big Four cornerbacks are all gone, but they still have interesting choices that can help this roster. Here are players that interest me to some degree, and will likely interest the Giants at pick No. 25 in this scenario:

  • WR: Quentin Johnston, Cedric Tillman, Jalin Hyatt
  • IOL: John Michael Schmitz, O’Cyrus Torrence, Joe Tippmann
  • IDL: Bryan Bresee, Calijah Kancey, Adetomiwa Adebawore (Edge)
  • LB: Drew Sanders, Trenton Simpson, Jack Campbell
  • DB: Emmanuel Forbes, Keele Ringo, Julius Brents, DJ Turner, Cam Smith, Tyrique Stevenson

I would entertain a trade down in the situation, but for the sake of the mock draft we must make a selection in the first round. Generally speaking, I would be okay with several choices above. I have pounded the table for Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes, but it is rich to select a 166-pound CB in the first round. Still, I trust his tape.

Adding talent to the defensive line is imperative at some point in the draft. Few players in the league have the quickness, hand technique, and ability to slip blocks like Kancey. The Aaron Donald comparisons are rich, but Kancey would be a valuable asset as a pass rusher in Wink Martindale’s pressure scheme. There’s prognostication with Bresee, but his flashes are like a 1930s camera - they’re bright. The thought of him with Andre Patterson is enticing.

New York is linked to John Michael Schmitz, and I love his talent. There are no real flaws in his game; might not be the sexiest selection, but one that has a very high floor. Sanders pass rushing ability could be leveraged well in this defense, but he was atrocious at the tackle point last year, with a 19.6% missed tackle rate. He’s a project at linebacker, but wouldn’t need to be the MIKE with the presence of Bobby Okereke; that argument applies to Trenton Simpson, who can also rush the passer, but may be more equipped as a sub-package coverage linebacker as he develops at linebacker.

Ringo’s tape is frustrating, but there are few cornerbacks with his size and linear speed. He’s not the most fluid, but he’s only 20 years old and he was one of the top recruits a few years ago. Julius Brents freak athletic testing (explosives and agilities) should also be explored.

Adetomiwa Adebawore is one of my dark-horse picks for the Giants. Freak athlete, not tall but incredibly long like Azeez Ojulari. Great character and very versatile skill set that could assist both the EDGE and defensive line rooms.

The pick: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

This is a draft of outliers, and I get the concerns. The Giants had six interceptions last season, tied with the Raiders for last in the NFL. Forbes had 14 interceptions and 17 passes defended in the SEC with a less than 60% completion rate through his college career. His six career pick-sixs is tied for an FBS record.

Am I slightly concerned about his frame - YES! However, there’s holes or questions in everyone’s profile listed above other than the interior offensive lineman. I like John Michael Schmitz, Tippmann, and Ohio State’s Luke Wypler. However, I can wait until Day 2 and possibly trade some of our seven Day 3 selections to move up for one if necessary.

Pick 26: Dallas Cowboys — O’Cyrus Torrence, IOL, Florida

It took everything for Jerry Jones to not sprint Drew Sanders’ and Quentin Johnston’s cards up to the podium. Dallas is following the Howie Roseman model of adding good football players to a strong offensive unit. The Cowboys have a pair of 32-year-olds in Zack Martin (RG) and Tyron Smith (LT) slated as starters. Smith missed the majority of last season with an injury, which is an issue that’s plagued the talented tackle for several seasons.

Rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith is slated to start left guard. Torrence has experience at both guard positions. He could be the heir to the right guard spot once the versatile and accomplished Zack Martin decides to hang the cleats up, or he could start at left guard with Tyler Smith assuming left tackle. Either way, Dallas receives a good strong football player who fits their identity at pick No. 26.

Pick 27: Buffalo Bills — Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

2021 third-round pick Spencer Brown struggled in 2022, surrendering 50 pressures. Both guard spots could be upgraded for the Bills, and Wright has displayed versatility; Wright played 27 collegiate games at right tackle, 13 at left tackle, and two at right guard His massive 6-5, 330-pound frame, along with his brute strength suggest he could play guard if asked.

Josh Allen needs some protection up front, and the rushing attack of Buffalo can improve - Wright can help both of those issues. The Bills had Wright in on a Top-30 visit, and the fit does make sense.

Pick 28: Cincinnati Bengals — Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

Two running backs in round one, what am I doing? Well, Gibbs specialty is out of the backfield as a receiver. Joe Mixon has one foot out the door if he does not acquiesce to the Bengals pay-cut demands. In total, the Bengals dropped back to pass the seventh most in 2022. They also ranked third in running back targets.

The Mixon situation is murky. Samaje Perine departed in free agency and is now a Bronco. Jahmyr Gibbs would complement the rest of the offense well and would be a true asset for Joe Burrow on passing downs.

Pick 29: New Orleans Saints — Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern

Double A Battery as some have called him is an insane athlete with great length who should be in first round consideration. The Saints need defensive line help with Cameron Jordan aging, David Onyemata departing in free agency, and Adebawore can play end in an even front, technique in an odd front, OLB in an odd front, or technique in an even front.

He ran a 4.49 40 at 282 pounds with a 1.55 10-yard-split. He has just under 34-inch arms with gigantic hands at 6-1. His movement skills pop on tape; while he wasn’t the most productive, prognosticating his traits to the next level when defenses aren’t focusing on him is exciting. There’s still development that could ensue that would unlock his very high potential.

Pick 30: Philadelphia Eagles — Bryan Bresee, IDL, Clemson

The Eagles drafted Christian Gonzalez at pick No. 10 in this mock draft, and now they land the former number one recruit from the 2020 cycle. Bresee has overcome a lot of adversity through his time at Clemson; he tore his ACL, had a kidney infection caused by strep throat, and lost his younger sister to cancer.

Bresee’s burst onto the scene in 2020 as a true freshman, but only flashed in his final two years because of all the adversity. Still, he has elite size, good body control (when he keeps his center of gravity low), and is an explosive versatile player. Howie Roseman loves to add players to the trenches. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham aren’t getting any younger. Bresee will assume their mantle once they decide to retire.

Pick 31: Kansas City Chiefs — Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

The final pick in the first round is the smooth moving 6-4, 316-pound tackle who started the last two years at Oklahoma. He mostly played left tackle, but took snaps on the right side. Orlando Brown Jr. is now on the Bengals, but the Chiefs signed Jawaan Taylor from Jacksonville. Taylor can assume right tackle duties - as he did in 2022 - while Harrison plays on the left side.

Final thoughts

I tried to deviate slightly from consensus with this mock draft while maintaining logic and reason. I also wanted to make the Giants selection difficult - I hope I accomplished those goals, but roast me like peanuts on 7th Ave. if I failed. Here are my clear omissions that I should be mocked relentlessly for in the comments:

Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
Calijah Kancey, IDL, Pitt
Mazi Smith, IDL, Michigan
Will McDonald IV, Edge, Iowa State
B.J. Ojulari, Edge, LSU
Keion White, Edge, Georgia Tech
Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State
Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

Plus, there were no centers or linebackers selected.

Coming away with Forbes may be viewed as a less than ideal scenario. He is my CB4 in this class; however, I don’t believe he gets out of the first round if the Giants don’t select him at pick No. 25. I may be wrong, and would love to get him at pick No. 57, but I don’t think that’s likely.

Depth and starting outside cornerbacks are still important for the Giants. Adoree’ Jackson might not be wearing blue too much longer, and both Flott and Robinson remain uncertain. Martindale’s scheme is predicated on pressure - it break’s pipes. It would be great if that pressure forced quarterback’s into bad decisions where opportunistic players can take the football away. Forbes can and will do that at the NFL level - I just wish he was a little heavier.