NFL Draft: Giants will be torn over who to select in Round One

The Giants will select twelfth in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft and will be at the mercy of the eleven teams in front of them. Normally, they would take who falls to them and move on.

But this year, there is an usual abundance of talented players. This draft goes several rounds deep so at No. 12, they will be getting more than just a talented player. They’ll be getting a difference-maker.

Our colleague Michael Cohen takes a guess at some of the difference-makers the Giants could have a chance to select in Round One:

Five Players That Will Be Gone By the time select at No. 12…

300px-NFL_Draft_2010_-_team_staffers5Jake Matthews, Greg Robinson, (OT) – Top tier left tackles go early.
Sammy Watkins (WR) – The top wideout on the board will certainly be gone.
Jadeveon Clowney (DE) – Don’t believe the haters – he’s got freakish athletic skills and will go in the top five.
Khalil Mack (LB) – Incredible three-down linebacker who can rush the passer. He’ll be long gone at 12.

Players that could be gone by 12 that make no sense for the Giants…

Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel (QB) – I must admit that I’m not 100 percent sure that all three of the Big Three will be gone by 12. All of the Big Three have question marks. Teams seem to be reaching less for QBs lately. It’s a reasonable bet that Jacksonville and Cleveland will take a QB with their picks. Will famed ex-defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer take the plunge in Minnesota? Will Houston really pass on one of the elite defenders to draft a QB that is not a surefire top 10-15 NFL QB? I’m not convinced. If one of the quarterbacks slips to 12 (and beyond), that means that another player in the Group of Seven below will be taken ahead of the Giants.

The Group of Seven: the remaining elite players that might be around for the Giants (that make sense)

Taylor Lewan (OT) – I’m not sure about his recent criminal charges but, at present, given his clean record, I’m willing to guess that it won’t be a major hit to his draft stock. If Lewan is available at 12, I’d be thrilled to see the Giants pick him. Pairing him with Pugh would give the Giants a solid pair of linemen for the next 10 years.

Eric Ebron (TE) – I’m not sure that this is the most exciting pick at 12. Ebron has talent but unless he reaches Gronkowski/Graham levels of production, you are not going to get as much production out of a tight end as you will a top tier wideout. Of the 24 1,000 yard receivers last year, only 1 (Graham) was a tight end. And let’s face it, with Ebron, you are drafting a receiver who can block a little, not a mauling blocking TE who is also a great receiver. I’d be fairly surprised to see the Giants draft a tight end here but he’s been mocked to the Giants so I’m including him.

Mike Evans (WR) – Big, strong, good speed, played very well against top competition, he’s a great pick here. Not so much because he has the highest upside of the top receivers other than Watkins but because his floor is much higher. I’d be thrilled to see him paired with Cruz and Randle.

Aaron Donald (DT) – Honestly, if he is as good as his billing, this would be my favorite pick. Why? Getting a defensive tackle who can rush the passer is like getting green vegetables that taste like steak (you have to have veggies, but don’t generally expect them to taste that great). Defensive tackles are supposed to be big slow guys who plug up the middle and stop the run. If you can get one that can rush the passer, it’s a gift. Defensive tackles are generally blocked by big and slow guards and centers; if you have a fast defensive tackle, you create huge matchup problems. Adding Donald would be a huge help to an otherwise-anemic Giants pass rush. Putting him on the same side of the line as JPP on passing downs would create matchup nightmares for defenses.

Anthony Barr (LB) – The Giants don’t generally draft linebackers in the first round because they focus on generating a pass rush from the defensive end position. Having said that, Barr has a tremendous combination of quickness, strength and speed and would instantly help the Giants’ pass rush. Is he still learning the game? Yes. But he’s a guy who is still learning the game who had 13.5 sacks in 2012 and 10 in 2013 against elite competition. He should be able to learn to play strong side linebacker on run downs and move down to end in the NASCAR formation on passing downs. Assuming the Giants could modify their schemes to utilize him, this could be a great pick. Also, please recall that Paysinger and Williams are free agents after 2014, so the Giants will need to fill some holes at linebacker.

Darqueze Dennard, Justin Gilbert (CB) – The Giants are stocked at corner in 2014 but only 2 of them are signed past 2014 (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Trumaine McBride). The Giants will need a second corner in 2015 and beyond and grabbing another top cornerback would create an elite tandem in the Giants’ secondary for several years.

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Lewan seems to be a safe pick that no one can really critique considering the shape of the offensive line after last season.

Ebron has also created a groundswell. The Giants need a TE and he’s the top one on the board. It’s almost a no-brainer when you think about it.

You know how we feel about Mike Evans. His presence in the Giants’ offense could be the key to the castle. A pitch-and-catch playmate for Eli. He could be the NFL’s next great impact receiver, which leads me to believe he won’t be around at 12.

Donald is another no-brainer. A guy that could become the glue to their defense. He would give the Giants a solid backbone up the middle of the field along with Jon Beason and the solid safety group.

I would safely say the back seven of the defense will not be addressed in the first round. Some see the Giants taking Anthony Barr, but unless they realign their defensive scheme to feature his abilities as a pass rusher, I don’t think it’s a good idea (see Clint Sintim).

Both of those corners are excellent prospects, but the Giants just signed DRC, Thurmond and McBride so I doubt they would take them over any of those other players.




53 comments
Omar Nunez
Omar Nunez

I think that the minute Evans gets picked ahead of them, they should trade down in the round and get as many picks as they can.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

Here's a scenario that could happen in the draft. It is very possible that one of the 3 QB could fall out of the top 10 and possibly be available at #12 when the Giants select. With Manning here and Nassib, who the Giants feel is a bona fide 1st round talent, would need to do one of two things here:

1. select the BPA or

2. trade down in the 1st round with a team needing a QB such as; Arizona at #20/Cincinnati at #24/ or Cleveland at 26, if they don't select one with their #4 pick for an additional pick in round 2.  

If this scenario did happen, I would like anyone to chime in and give their opinion on what they think the Giants should do.

fast_eddie
fast_eddie

This question is to all the commenters here: just out of curiosity, outside of Clowney and the QBs, if you had your choice of any single player in this years draft for the Giants to choose, who would your top pick be?

I personally am torn beyween Greg Robinson, Khalil Mack or Watkins. Thankfully its not up to me. Just wondering what you guys thought..

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

The more I read and review all the players that could be available for the Giants. The more I'm convinced that they will not draft Eric Ebron. He is a tweener (Wr/TE) doesn't have tremendous size (6'4/250) for a TE and doesn't have blazing speed (4.60) against most safeties in the league. Is not a good blocker and despite the new system for the Giants, the TE stills needs to block. Draft is very deep at the TE position and the Giants could draft one through rounds 2-4 and be very happy.

fast_eddie
fast_eddie

I don't see Jerry Reese trading up...or down for that matter. In my opinion the Giants will most likely draft Lewan, Evans or Donald with the 12th pick. I could be wrong, but that's how I feel at this point in time. If we get either of those 3 players I wouldn't complain...I believe all 3 are potential impact players that could help us almost immediately. Whatever happens, I'm really looking forward to the draft this year...

jaymanjay
jaymanjay

Honestly, my two favorite first round selections would be Lewan or Evans. But honestly I'm am getting nervous about what will actually be there to be selected when the giants are on the clock.

As giants fans we all have to hope that three teams in the the top 11 fall in love with manziel, bortles, and bridgewater. If not we might not get a shot at any of these guys.

Another fear we draft Donald because there is no one left to draft. People keep trying to convince the world he is the next Sapp, but the fact is that if he was so dominant this guy would be a top three pick because dominant DT are that valuable but he is not. In this scenario I trade down and draft a zach Martin or kelvin Benjamin and pick up an extra pick.

mcfly
mcfly

Ill keep it simple: Donald or Lewan. Football is won in the trenches.

Jeff Comerford
Jeff Comerford

I think there is a better chance of the giants trading up to get robinson then there is of them drafting lewan.  Giants tend to avoid potential character issues - and now there are 2 things that he has been accused of.


Evans would be my top choice (assuming they don't trade up) followed by Ebron.  However, I am not opposed to them trading down and stocking up on choices in a very deep draft.  The Giants could use multiple players - and there is no one player in this draft that the Giants could take that will win the division for them.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

been reading a lot of negative reports on Donald regarding his lack of size (6'1/285) for a DT. However; once you watch him on films and realize how explosive and strong he is off the ball and the endless motor he has in pursuit; you realize that this kid is for real.  He reminds me of John Randle and Warren Sapp, short and thick, but very quick feet and extremely strong. If anyone believes that this kid is all hype and will be a bust, please stop watching football, because you would be wrong. If Donald is available at #12 and the Giants select him, I wouldn't have a problem with that at all. With Joseph and Tuck gone, JPP a year removed from back surgery which affective him last season. With only Hankins, Kuhn and Jenkins on the DT depth chart. The Addition of Donald would give the Giants a combination of speed and power on their DL that would create mismatches to opposing OL.

carlton
carlton

Mike evans is who we are pickin .Cruz and evans with our west coast off we are going to rule SUPERBOWL HERE WE COME!!!!!!

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

Mike Evans 1, Mike Evans 2 then mike Evans 3....that's my top 3. Ok seriously, I am cool with any of these 6, in no particular order.

Evans, Ebron, Lewan, Donald, Dennard or Gilbert.

I would never draft a DT this high unless he is Warren Sapp-esque. Can't go wrong with OT or CB here as both spots need long term help. The TE is hard to judge because we don't know how a TE it's. Plus with solid options still in FA for TE, is rather take the TE in round 2. But to me, Mike Evans has all the tools to be great and he is 20. To me, that's what picking at 12 is all about. So if they pass on him, I will be very disappointed. But any of those other 5 would be good fits and improve the Giants, so I won't complain.

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

Re Sintim: It's hard to learn a lesson from just 1 player.  Sintim had issues other than the Giants' defensive scheme.  The Giants did use Kiwanuka as a strong side linebacker/DE. Barr is arguably better suited to that role than Kiwanuka who is more comfortable at DE.  Top tier pass rushers are very, very hard to find and the Giants like to draft them in round 1.  Unfortunately, there is a big drop off at DE after Clowney  this year.  If the Giants can use Barr at the SAM on 1/2 and DE on 3rd and he's a great pass rusher, it's not a dumb pick.  The Hawks grabbed Bruce Irvin in round 1 and he was a situational rusher.  Barr has the skill set to be more than that.

As far as the corners, the Giants only have 2 corners signed after 2014.  Smart GMs plan for a 4-5 year cycle and the Giants don't play rookies that much.  So if they draft a corner, he could slide into the #2 slot in 2015 and play there for 4 years.  Obviously, all else equal, I'd rather see them grab Evans or Donald but that may not be an option.


I think that arguably, there is a talent drop off after the Group of Seven.  It's possible that one of the 3 QBs slips and Lewan, Evans, Donald and Ebron are gone at 12.  If that's the case, the Giants would have to 1) choose from Barr and the corners, 2) trade down or 3) potentially reach.  Unless they can get a good package for trading down, I'd rather see them grab Barr or a corner than reach.

spider43
spider43

@Michael Stewart  ....  I don't think I would trade down past #20. The #20 pick would have to be my limit, because I would want to get my hands on WR Benjamin or CB Dennard at that point, and I don't know if either player will fall that far, especially with the Steelers and Jets looking to add WR or CB help.

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

Fire Jerry stress because there is not a single player at 20 or 24 that fits what they could get at 12.

spider43
spider43

@fast_eddie  .... For me... Watkins, Mack, Robinson...  or Watkins, Robinson, Mack.  But obviously, Giants won't get a sniff at any of these guys. You are right that Reese won't trade up or down, so we're stuck with whoever slips. I am hoping big time that all 3 QBs are taken in the Top 10, because that's the only way the Giants will be guaranteed somebody decent to pick at #12.

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

Mike Evans...can't teach size and perfect for what Eli does best. Watkins if this team is looking to be more of a quick screen type offense.

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

@Michael Stewart  "Of the 24 1,000 yard receivers last year, only 1 (Graham) was a tight end."

If you can get a wide receiver, you get the wide receiver, all else equal.

The question is, if Lewan, Donald, Evans and Barr are gone, do you draft Ebron or a corner?

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@jaymanjay Donald reminds many (including myself)  of Sapp and John Randle. Both were not drafted in the top 10, let alone in the top 5. both are hall of famers. look at the tape of Donald on youtube and then give an evaluation.

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

@jaymanjay  There are a lot of impact players at the top of the draft.  Teams like quarterbacks, tackles, ends and wideouts as well.  Donald may slip to 12.

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

@jeff comerford  The Giants draft their share of non boy scouts like every other team.  Let's not kid ourselves.

JamesWS
JamesWS

@Jeff Comerford  Which is why the Giants brought in Plaxico Burress, Antrel Rolle, Will Hill, Peyton Hillis, DRC, etc.?

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@Peter Sinapi Aaron Donald has the tools to be just as good as Warren Sapp. you and I debated often on this topic (1st round). You are leaning towards Evans and I am leaning towards Donald. I think both of us have selected quality players that will come in as rookies and contribute. It should be fun to see what transpires.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@JamesWS Murray is a gifted QB, however; the Giants have many needs and that extra 5th round pick is essential. They should pass on a QB this year.

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

I felt the same way the other day. He could be our Rodgers type where he could sit for 3 years. Of course, that's assuming Nassib is not a solution. And that they are serious about turning the page on Eli sooner rather than later.

spider43
spider43

@Matthew Cohen  .... I really don't think all of Evans, Donald, and Ebron will be gone by #12. I do think Evans won't be there, possibly Lewan as well. I also think the possibility is real that one of the three QBs could slip to 12, which means that one of Donald or Ebron won't be available either (that would probably be worst case scenario). I don't think Reese would want his hand "forced" to pick Ebron, and so he would probably look to trade down a bit if he could find a willing trade partner.  But since everyone and their brother wants to do the same thing, Reese will be forced to pick someone at #12. No one wants to give up draft picks this year with such a quality draft as this one.

spider43
spider43

@Peter Sinapi .....  If Benjamin or Dennard would be there at #20, I would do it. The problem is, you don't know if they would be. That would be a big risk for Reese to make that trade... on the other hand, perhaps a CJ Mosley would be a nice consolation prize (since he's been slipping), and having an extra 2nd or 3rd round pick could translate into more OL or DL depth, possibly even a decent TE.

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

@Peter Sinapi Yeah well that's not the point.  The question is can you get someone almost as good and also another good player with the 2nd round pick you'd get as a part of the trade.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@Matthew Cohen @Michael Stewart if all those prospects you mentioned are gone by time the Giants select. That would most likely mean that perhaps a QB has slipped out of the top 10.. Not sure if Reese drafts BPA which could a CB or select the next tier player for a certain position. or perhaps trade down for an extra pick. I am praying that this scenario doesn't happen.

mcfly
mcfly

If both are gone I would try to trade the pick for a 1st next year or trade down for more picks

Jeff Comerford
Jeff Comerford

@Matthew Cohen  Lewan allegedly threatened a woman his roommate raped about going forward with the charges, and supposedly beat up two fans after a game.   This is closer to sociopathic than just character issues.

Jeff Comerford
Jeff Comerford

@JamesWS @Jeff Comerford  No one ever thought Burress was a bad team mate.  His issues were focus - and not off the field (gunshot aside).  Will Hill - once again, more self destructive, then a threat to others (in or out of the clubhouse).  Peyton Hillis - signed for minimum - could be cut at any time.  Thought he was worth more than he was.


Lewan - threatened a woman who was alledgedly raped by his room mate about going forward with the charges.  Also - beat up 2 opposing teams fans.  Don't you think there are major differences between the people you mentioned, and Lewan?

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

If Donald = Sapp and Evans = AJ Green...i'd take either of them very happily.

spider43
spider43

@Michael Stewart....  I can see Manziel dropping out of the Top 10 unless someone decides to trade up for him. If that happens (manziel dropping), that will be bad news for the Giants, because it means one less elite player they will have a crack at picking. The only positive about Manziel dropping to the Giants pick at #12 is if some team wants to end his slide there and trade up to the Giants #12 pick to select him. Should Manziel drop that far, the Giants might want to seriously consider trading that pick.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@Matthew Cohen @Michael Stewart @Peter Sinapi Based on most of the mock drafts and reports, it seems that Evan would be the one selected before the Giants turn. Teams like Buffalo and Detroit have been linked.  Based on mock drafts and reports, the following players have been linked as being drafted in the top 10:

Clowney

Robinson

Bortles

Manziel

Watkins

Mack

Matthews

Evans

Lewan

Barr

Now it's possible that Donald replaces one of the these players if a team feels strongly for him. If that is the case, the Giants are going to get a very good player regardless. I think it boils down to either Lewan or Donald

Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen

@Michael Stewart All I'm saying is that while CB is not the sexy choice and won't help the Giants in 2014, if Gilbert or Dennard are top tier corners, the pick makes sense given the lack of signed corners after 2014.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@Matthew Cohen @Michael Stewart If evans, ebron, Lewan and Donald are all gone by time the giants select. GM Reese would have a very difficult decision to make: draft BPA or Need? I see your point and I would think that if all the players go before #12, then a quality player (hopefully not a QB) falls into the Giants lap.