John Fennelly, Lead WriterCharlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com posted his latest mock draft yesterday. These mocks get more interesting by the day. This one isn’t too bad, especially if the Giants can land Jake Matthews in the first round. But truth be told, we need draft day to get here, pronto. Everyone’s getting a little antsy. Here’s Campbell’s picks and analysis followed by my comments…
Round One: 12. OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Campbell: “The Giants need to get Eli Manning straightened out and re-establish their run game. Thus, the organization continues the rebuilding of its weak offensive line. If New York drafts a left tackle, Will Beatty would move to right tackle and Justin Pugh would slide inside to guard where the team needs some youth. Matthews would be a great value and a big upgrade at left tackle.”
Fennelly: No kidding. Matthews slipping down to No. 12 is something I just can’t fathom. I think he’s way too good a player to drop down this far, but stranger things have happened. Just another scenario of teams at the top making mistakes by taking players way too high, allowing some real quality to slip through. Should this occur, Jerry Reese will be doing cartwheels down Paterson Plank Road.
Round Two: 43. DE/OLB Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State
Campbell: “Lawrence had a slow start to the 2013 season, got red hot in the middle, and then didn’t record a sack in the final four games. Still, he amassed 72 tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, one pass batted and three forced fumbles for the year. In a six-game strectch, the junior recorded nine sacks. Lawrence (6-3, 251) needs to add weight to stay at defensive end in the NFL, or he will have to move to outside linebacker. Thus, returning for his senior year would have been a good move and would have given him a better shot at being a first-round pick.”
Fennelly: Don’t know a whole lot about Lawrence, but I do know the Giants have had success with pass rushers named Lawrence in the past. However, there is a lot of buzz both ways right now about this kid. He’s being touted as a “high ceiling” guy and a “tweener”. Uh, oh. I don’t see the Giants taking him simply for those reasons. John Mara would turn a certain shade of red. They’ve gotten burned too often by underclassmen with similar resumes. I think they”ll go with a player who can provide more of an immediate impact here.
Round Three: 74. CB Philip Gaines, Rice
Campbell: “Even though the Giants signed Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, they could use some depth at corner and have shown interest in Gaines….Gaines (6-0, 193) was a star of the Combine and used the opportunity to really help his draft stock. He blistered the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds and did well in the field drills. The senior had 36 tackles with four interceptions and nine passes broken up in 2013.”
Fennelly: If I were a GM in this league, I would take a secondary player every year with one of my top three picks. They come, they go, they get injured and you just can never have enough. This kid would provide depth and eventually challenge for a larger role. Since the Giants use five DBs on the majority of their defensive snaps, they need fresh legs. No problem with this pick.