Lance Zierlein and Chad Reuter of NFL.com have undertaken the ambitious project of mocking the entire draft, round by round. How did they manage with the eight picks Jerry Reese will have at his disposal this weekend?
No. 9 Overall: Danny Shelton, NT, Washington
Notable players still available: OL Brandon Scherff, OL Andrus Peat, WR DaVante Parker, OL La’el Collins, RB Todd Gurley
This is a pick I cannot fault, and one I can see Jerry Reese making. As Seattle best demonstrated last year, the Giants had an awfully hard time defending the run and nothing would work toward fixing that more than grabbing the big space eater from Washington. The Giants have made it a point historically to grab height-weight-speed freaks on the defensive line and Shelton could be the next example.
The question is whether it is the best value. There are serious questions about whether Shelton can be a three-down player, and free agent pickup Kenrick Ellis should already give the Giants a viable two-down run stuffer.
Upgrading both lines should be on the agenda, but I would instead pay attention to the offensive side. I see on the board a day-one right tackle that allows Pugh to kick inside, and a potential left tackle down the road depending on the future of Will Beatty.
My Pick: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
No. 40 Overall: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
Notable players still available: TE Maxx Williams, WR Devin Smith, WR Jaelen Strong, OLB Eli Harold, S Demarious Randall
The Giants no doubt could use an infusion of blue chip talent at the linebacker position, so Kendricks is a sensible pick. What Jerry Reese will look to do in contrast is a different story.
The Giants need a safety badly. Randall from Arizona State is a fast riser and could be a logical fit. I love the depth of passing weapons that should be available for the Giants in round two though, and I think getting Eli Manning a larger quantity of talented targets is key.
My Pick: Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
No. 74 overall: Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU
Notable players still available: S Derron Smith, S Jaquiski Tartt, OLB Hau’oli Kikaha, S James Sample. OL Ali Marpet
I really like this pick for the Giants. Hunter still has a lot to figure out on the field but his physical gifts compare favorably to the draft’s top pass rush prospects. In round three, it’s a risk worth taking.
This could be the spot where the Giants address safety, but the value simply is elsewhere.
My Pick: Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU
Day Three Picks
Round 4 (108): Mark Glowinski, OL, West Virginia
Round 5 (144): Justin Cox, FS, Mississippi State
Round 6 (186): Malcolm Bunche, OT, UCLA
Round 7 (226): Rory Anderson, TE, South Carolina
Round 7 (245): Titus Davis, WR, Central Michigan
The overall strategy of this particular draft class is defense first, offense second. While I think this mock draft hits needs with value for the Giants, I would prefer to see a commitment with the top picks to building around Eli Manning while he is still showing he can play at a high level. The day three picks are logical: more offensive line depth, a safety and developmental weapons in the passing game. I would imagine however the Giants would take a shot late on a developmental quarterback prospect such as Sean Mannion or Brandon Bridge, as well as take another shot on a linebacker at some point on day three.