Two weeks from now a whole new crop of rookies will join the ranks of the National Football League. In the runup to the craziness that is the NFL Draft, I’ve taken a stab at a couple of mock drafts for my beloved New York Giants. You can view previous mocks here and here.
Having two picks in the top 10 is a great thing for a cash strapped franchise with holes to fill all over the field. Because of their financial straits, the Giants will need to have a great draft if they hope to shorten the timeline back to relevance during this rebuild. With that in mind, I once again visited the PFF Mock Draft Simulator and tried to address as many of the most glaring needs as possible. Here’s how things shook out this time around:
Round 1 – Pick #5 – Evan Neal, T (Alabama)
While I believe there isn’t any way the Giants can truly screw up with this pick, I think I’m more and more wanting Neal to land in our laps. To be sure, the other top guys who may be available depending on how the first four picks unfold are exciting to imagine on the roster, but each new report I read about the tackle from Alabama gets me increasingly excited. There’s the Alabama pedigree, the absolutely massive frame, and the dominance as a run blocker. Keeping the QB upright AND opening holes for the RB to run through would be the ideal scenario for an offense that has been anemic and one-dimensional at best of late. I’m all aboard the #NealAt5 train!
Round 1 – Pick #7 – Derek Stingley, Jr., CB (LSU)
There’s been some talk of the Giants trading out of this pick in order to stockpile more draft capital down the road, which (depending on what they get in return) I wouldn’t hate. However, if they hold onto this pick, grabbing Stingley here would help shore up a secondary that may soon be without James Bradberry. If they do move on from the Pro Bowl corner, Stingley would immediately lessen the pain of losing their current #1 cornerback.
Round 2 – Pick #36 – Leo Chenal, LB (Wisconsin)
I grabbed Chenal in this spot in my last mock draft as well, and I had no reason to move off of him this time around. You keep hearing all the buzzwords around him – “leader”, “workhorse”, “intelligent”, “explosive”. All of it makes him a tantalizing addition to the linebacker room.
Round 3 – Pick #67 – Josh Paschal, EDGE (Kentucky)
There are multiple quality EDGE rushers available in this draft class. If Big Blue goes in another direction early on, there will still be solid options at the position in the middle rounds. With all of the hype surrounding the other options, having Paschal fall to the Giants here could prove to be a steal.
Round 3 – Pick #81 – Nick Cross, S (Maryland)
I’ve spent so much time wringing my hands at all the different scenarios at the top of the Giants draft that I’m not terribly familiar with the guys who will be around into the middle and late rounds. The thing that makes Cross stand out is his speed. He could potentially start out on special teams while he works to develop into a starter for the secondary.
Round 4 – Pick #112 – Jeremy Ruckert, TE (Ohio State)
Ricky Seals-Jones is currently the #1 tight end on the roster. I’m pretty sure I’ve never even heard of the guys behind him on the depth chart. The TE position has been less than stellar for a while now. Evan Engram didn’t cut it and Kyle Rudolph was only going to be a band-aid on a bigger problem with this offense. The biggest asset he has (even with limited film on him) is his hands. Apparently, he catches everything – which would be a HUGE upgrade for the Giants. Add in his willingness to stay in and block and I’m sold.
Round 5 – Pick #147 – Grant Calcaterra, TE (SMU)
I’m “taking a flyer” with this pick. As I said, the tight end position has been disappointing recently. Sure, I just spent my previous pick on a TE, but why not double up and see if either of them makes the cut? Calcaterra has dealt with adversity throughout his career, having transferred from Oklahoma. After that, he’d actually medically retired as a result of multiple concussions, only to return in 2021. He’s a size mismatch, which comes in handy in the red zone. His biggest negative, aside from the concussion issue, might be that he’s not the greatest blocker.
Round 5 – Pick #173 – ZaQuandre White, HB (South Carolina)
This pick hurts because I had such high hopes when the Giants drafted Saquon Barkley. After using the 2nd overall pick in 2018 on Barkley, his career has failed to truly reach the heights expected. Most of that has been due to injury as he’s been unable to consistently stay on the field. Even since his return, he hasn’t lived up to the hype. Part of the blame may also fall on a bad offensive line, so there’s still hope he’ll return to form, but if not it’s not a bad idea to bring in a possible replacement in the backfield.
Round 6 – Pick #182 – Noah Elliss, DI (Idaho)
Most people taken toward the tail end of the draft will have to work to earn a roster spot, and Elliss will be no different. He’s an imposing presence who has the potential to become a reliable lineman on Sundays. He’s also got some pedigree in the family. His dad, Luther, played for the Detroit Lions.
Put ‘Em In the Books
Well – with less than two weeks until we do it for real, this is likely my last mock draft. It’s been fun playing GM and seeing the potential out there for improving a roster that needs a lot of help. No doubt it’s going to be a tough process for GM Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll to get this team back to the postseason, but I’m confident that they’ll get us on the right path sooner rather than later. Thanks for indulging me over these last few mocks – I can’t wait to see whose names get called in Las Vegas at the end of the month!
- / 11 months ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.