From Matthew Cohen, SNYGiants contributor:
I’ve never been a fan of guessing a single player that the Giants will pick on the grounds that it’s impossible to know who will be available when they pick. As I’ve noted previously, I believe that the Giants will pick the highest impact player.
I’ve broken down the players I think will go in the top 10 as well as the next 12 after that. I briefly discuss whether each player would be a good fit for the Giants.
The Top Ten
QB Geno Smith – someone will reach for a quarterback, they always do.
LT Luke Joeckel – vying with Fisher for the top tackle spot – he’ll go early
LT Eric Fisher – vying with Joeckel for the top tackle spot – he’ll go early
LT Lane Johnson – the third tackle on the board will go early as well; teams need to protect their quarterback’s blind side
DE Ezekiel Ansah – The success of JPP will result in Ansah getting picked early
DT Star Lotulelei – athletic defensive tackles go early
DT Sharrif Floyd – Vies with Lotulelei to be the first defensive tackle taken
OLB Dion Jordan – his upside will make someone forget Vernon Gholston
OLB Barkevious Mingo – another big upside athlete with so-so statistics
CB Dee Milliner – top corner on the board will go early
I’d be surprised if any of these (other than maybe Smith) is available at 19 but I’d be thrilled with anyone other than Smith, Jordan and Mingo.
The Next 12
QB Matt Barkley – someone will reach for him or Nassib; it won’t be the Giants.
RT DJ Fluker – the top right tackle on the board – I can see the Giants picking him if Werner and Carradine are gone (or if they don’t like them) and if Warmack and Cooper are gone. He’d be a solid, NFL ready starter and team with a (hopefully) healthy Snee to give the Giants the push they like on the right side in the running game.
G Chance Warmack – he’s a potential all pro and NFL ready. The Giants like to run the ball and having a powerful guard to get a push would be a great addition.
G Jonathan Cooper – Roughly as good as Warmack although without the Bama rings. Again, a solid pick.
WR Tavon Austin – My gut is that someone who needs a wideout will draft him (or Patterson) in the top 22. I don’t think that the Giants will draft a small receiver at 19.
DE Bjoern Werner – high effort player with a proven track record. Doesn’t seem to have the athleticism that the Giants usually look for at the position but would be a solid addition to the Giants’ defensive end rotation.
DE Cornelius Carradine – I think that his athleticism makes him more of the Giants’ type of player. If teams get comfortable with his health issues (ACL tear), I think that he’s gone by 19.
DT – Sheldon Richardson – Unless the Giants see him as a premium pass rusher, I don’t see them picking Richardson in round 1.
LB Jarvis Jones – I think that he’s too slow to play in space in the NFL as an outside backer in a 4-3. Combine that with his health issues and he could slide. I don’t know if he would be a fit for the Giants. He’s on the short and light side to play defensive end and might be too slow to play outside linebacker. It’s easy to get excited about him because of the sack statistics but my gut is that he goes to a 3-4 team.
CB Xavier Rhodes – He has the size that the Giants like in their cornerbacks.
CB Desmond Trufant – He doesn’t have great ball skills and Perry Fewell loves his turnovers. Still, this wouldn’t be an awful pick.
S Kenny Vaccaro – Looks like a solid safety. Is that really how the Giants want to spend a first round pick? I’d rather get a solid corner if one is available.
Selected Other Players I Don’t Think That the Giants will Pick and Why
TE – Zach Ertz, Tyler Eifert – I don’t think that either of these guys is a potential game changer (although they seem like solid starters) and the Giants seem content to patch at tight end with free agents while they take chances on lower round draft picks (e.g. Robinson).
WR – Cordarrelle Patterson – too many question marks to be a good value at 19.
DE – Damontre Moore – character issues make him not a Giants kind of pick, at least in round 1.
ILB – Kevin Minter, Manti Te’o – Since the Giants moved to a 4-3, linebacker has not been a premium position for them. I don’t think that either of these players has enough upside to have the Giants make them a Round 1 draft pick.
I’m reasonably comfortable that one of the 7 players in the next 12 that I like (Fluker, Warmack, Cooper, Werner, Carradine, Rhodes and Trufant) will be available at 19 when the Giants pick. There are always 3-4 surprises in the top 20. I can see a wide receiver get picked by a team that really needs one. There are some solid defensive tackles behind Lotulelei, Floyd and Richardson as well. Nassib could also crack the top 18.
The Giants only need 2 players that don’t make sense for them to go in the top 18 to guarantee that at least one of the 7 players that make sense for them is on the Board at 19.
I think that Giants fans will be reasonably happy with the Giants’ 2013 first round pick. Moreover, I think that there is a very good chance that the Giants 2013 first round pick will contribute in 2013.