The New York Giants are approaching the 2018 NFL draft quickly, and decisions must be made to set up the franchise for the future. Does that decision involve USC quarterback Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, or Penn States’ Saquon Barkley? We shall find out soon enough.
At this point in time, the Giants could venture down several attractive paths in the draft; analysts have them picking everybody and their mother. So, with our final mock draft before the big day, let’s make this fun and interesting.
I find that the more basic the mock draft is the more boring, which ultimately wastes both of our time. With that being said, enjoy a draft that you ‘haven’t’ seen a thousand times over.
With the No. 2 overall pick, new GM Dave Gettleman and the Giants choose…. Nobody! They make a last second trade with the Buffalo Bills and collect both of their first-rounders (12 & 22), a second round pick, and a 2019 first-rounder. The Giants give up their No. 2 overall spot and a third rounder.
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Wow, the Giants just added three first-round picks in two years, and add to their current draft totals of just a measly six picks.
Now, they have seven going into Thursday, with four of those picks in the first two round.
With the 12th overall pick, Big Blue selects Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. They add an NFL ready safety and corner that can play a versatile role on the defense, addressing a position of “need.” The Giants cut Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and allowed Ross Cockrell to walk in free agency, which set them up with a deficiency at CB. They signed a few under the radar guys, but nobody that truly stood out. They are investing far too much in Eli Apple, to be quite frank.
Having Fitzpatrick battle with third-year safety Darian Thompson ultimately elevates both of their games and allowes Fitz to swing to corner on specialized plays. The Giants now have a solid front three, linebacker corps, safety mix, and options at cornerback. Balance is the priority of the new regime, and adding Fitz only follows that mantra.
At No. 22 overall, the Giants make one of the most surprising moves of the draft… They take Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. The mobile quarterback breaks every rule the Giants have ever implemented at the quarterback position, but it’s a choice that ultimately helps them ten-fold in the long-run. They grab a franchise quality QB and allow him to sit behind Manning for a year.
Worst case scenario, Jackson and Webb both stand out and provide quality at the QB position. Webb would then be useful as a trading piece.
Why do I think Jackson would excel with the Giants?
The Giants have brought in head coach Pat Shurmur, also known as the “quarterback whisperer.” He’s made the likes of Brandon Weeden, Case Keenum and others into serviceable quarterbacks. Keenum was undrafted and made it to the AFC championship game in 2017. Shurmur uses players’ strengths and formulates schemes to fit their abilities.
With Jackson at the helm, Shurmur can help shape him into a pocket passes first and a runner second. A Russell Wilson type of player if you will. He has the ability to throw and can easily escape the pocket to extend the play with his legs.
Even Michael Vick expressed his belief in Jackson, even going as far as to say he’s a far better prospect coming out of college than he ever was. We all know how great Vick was in his prime. With more refinement and professional coaching, Jackson could be one of the most lethal players in the league for the next decade.
This is a very underrated move for the Giants, who would be receiving a player with insane potential and the coaching staff to help him.
This is the round the Giants make their moves on the offensive line. With two second round picks (32 and 53), the Giants are n good shape to address the most stripped unit on the team.
Right off the bat, they take Will Hernandez if there at No. 32 (Isaiah Wynn if Hernandez is off the board). This is where they really find their value. With the 53rd pick in the second round, Gettleman gets arguably the biggest steal of the draft on the OL. He snags Billy Price, who drops due a torn pec that he suffered at the NFL combine.
Price is a technical master – he was seen teaching other college prospects how to appropriately place their hands at a camp. He’s a bullish player with Pro Bowl potential. He can be a similar player to that of Justin Pugh. Price is naturally a center but could easily make the transition to guard. At 6-foot-4, 312 pounds, Price has a solid frame and is one of the most excellent lineman at the point of attack. He’s vicious with tremendous explosiveness. He should easily be able to replace Pugh on the line.
Since the Giants traded away one of their third-round picks, they will have to use their lone selection wisely. They still have needs at running back and linebacker, so finding the best value will be their course of action here.
There are still players such as Rashaad Penny and Nick Chubb on the board at running back, but several linebackers are still in the mix as well. LSU’s Arden Key and Iowa’s Josey Jewell are two interesting prospects.
Key is a long, tough linebacker that earned second-team ALL-SEC honors as a full-time starter in 2016. He racked up 12 sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss among 56 stops with three forced fumbles. He exploded onto the scene in a big way, but took some time off in 2017 to deal with personal issues. He had surgery last year and missed the first two games of the season.
In eight games, Key managed 33 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, four sacks, and a forced fumble. Not “jump off the wall” stats, but there’s room for improvement. His potential is there given his 2016 campaign, meaning he could be a steal in the third round.
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The Giants might like his upside enough to take a risk on him. He’s a perfect 3-4 defender as he can also line up as an edge rushers at 6-foot-6, 238 pounds. Unfortunately, that risk comes with consequences and his personal issues make him too much of a liability.
The Giants pass on the linebacker at the last second and snag San Diego State running back, Penny.
Penny has great size for an every-down NFL running back. He’s 5-foot-11 and weighs in at 220 pounds. He’s a very agile back with the ability to make tacklers miss. He has short strides which aids his agility but doesn’t have that next gear “breakaway speed.” Penny is a hard runner and gives it his all on every play – a very Gettleman-esque selection.