2013 NFL Draft: Expect the Unexpected From the Giants

John Fennelly , Lead Writer

The first round of the NFL Draft is tonight, and Giant pundits and fans are flooding the internet with their predictions. The projections are all over the board. I have been bouncing around a few names myself, but this might be the most wide-open draft we’ve ever seen, so be prepared for some surprises.

The Giants will select 19th. That is not a spot Jerry Reese is comfortable with. He said he’d actually prefer to be further down the order. Less pressure, and less margin for error.

The good part: Most of the teams drafting in front of the Giants are the teams that perennially make mistakes. I won’t say which ones, but let’s say they can keep their Januarys open. These teams will probably make mistakes again tonight, leading to some big talent to tumble down the order.

Some things to consider: Dallas selects directly ahead of the Giants. Many don’t see that as a big deal, but just watch. They could end up stealing the player the Giants want. Just a hunch. San Francisco has 13 picks and there is no way 13 rookies are making their roster. They will be vigorously trying to trade up and they will come out of this draft much stronger, if that’s even conceivable.

Who the Giants probably won’t take in Round One:

Alex Ogletree LB, Georgia - He has the talent they crave, but he’s not the kind of kid they usually take. I know he’s young, but a DUI and a failed drug test may keep them away. Plus, he didn’t kill it at the combine and does not project as a MLB in the NFL, which is what the Giants need right now.

TEs Tyler Eifert or Zach Ertz - The Giants have three TEs on the roster (Brandon Myers, Adrien Robinson and Bear Pascoe) that they currently have no plans on releasing. They never carry four TEs. I like both players, but there is no room at the inn for either at this point.

DJ Hayden CB, Houston - Perhaps if they were drafting after 26 or so. The kid is a great talent and an amazing story, but at 19, they have to pass.

Who they could surprise us with in Round One:

Menelik Watson OT Florida St - A large, menacing man (take it from me, I met him yesterday) with long arms and quick feet. Still a bit raw and is already 25 years old, but that may not scare the Giants.

Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame - Every other team in the league (with the exception of New England and Pittsburgh) will have difficulty containing the media frenzy. The Giants will not. They will control the message from Day One. My issue is his ability. Is he worth the 19th pick?

Justin Pugh OL Syracuse - Not sure he’s the ideal pick in my book, but we know the Giants are interested and he won’t be around in Round Two. I think they will have better options in front of them tonight.

Eddie Lacy RB Alabama - A longshot, especially because the Giants just took a RB with their top pick last season (David Wilson). Lacy is a powerful, low-center-of-gravity back who the Giants can pair with Wilson, who I’m not sold can carry the load as a No. 1 back. I know many are sold on Andre Brown, but we still have to see what Andre Brown can do in a 16-game season. That has yet to happen. The Giants may not be sold that he can play a whole season. Lacy needs to shore up his pass protection and receiving skills, but what a backfield the Giants would have if they took him. Chances are slim, however.