It’s the time we’ve all been waiting for. From April 28-30 in Chicago, Ill. the NFL Draft will be conducted and your favorite team will welcome in new members.
You may love or hate your new running back, cornerback, lineman, etc., but that’s the fun of it. Speculation and guesses and mock drafts have filled the internet, radio, and TV regarding on who each team will pick. You’ve seen opinion pieces and analysis on why or why not a certain player fits a team.
And by now, you’ve probably seen my first three tries at putting on my General Manager cap and drafting for the New York Giants. Some might argue any New York Giants fan can do a better job at drafting than Jerry Reese himself. But, that is an argument for another day, like here.
So, for the last time, we use Fanspeak.com’s “On the Clock Mock Draft Simulator” and Fanspeak’s big board to conduct a full mock draft for Big Blue.
It is unclear who Reese will select in the first round, or even whether he is thinking offense or defense. It all depends what happens in front, and the same can be said for any of the Giants six picks. Reese has never traded down (only up), but with needs at multiple spots, maybe that’s exactly what New York needs and does. But, without further a do, and without any trading, let’s get drafting.
Round 1: DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon
Buckner is considered the best, or at least top two (behind Joey Bosa) for best defensive end in the draft. I don’t think Buckner falls to No. 10 as the Ravens are a possibility at pick six or San Francisco at seven. One of the key factors is if linebacker Myles Jack drops as well due to his knee concerns. But, the 6-7, 290-pounder falls into the Giants lap, they will be very happy. Buckner finished 2015 with 10.5 sacks, 17.0 tackles for loss, and 83 total tackles. New York just signed Olivier Vernon to a big contract and brought back Jason Pierre-Paul back on a one-year deal, but who knows if he is in their plans long term. Finding someone long term like Buckner would be ideal. I’m sure defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo would be ecstatic. (Other options available: Ronnie Stanley OL, Leonard Floyd OLB, Shaq Lawson DE)
Round 2: Jason Spriggs, OL, Indiana
With a big need at finding a stud right tackle, the Giants take Jason Spriggs out of Indiana in round two. Spriggs is a big 6-6, 300-pounder who started four years at left tackle. According to cbssports.com, Sprigs was a semifinalst for the Outland Trophy and was “charged with only two sacks allowed in 431 called pass attempts and had 72 knockdowns in 972 snaps” a year ago. Spriggs is athletic but needs to get stronger, but can be a steady guy who excels at run blocking and pass-pro for Eli Manning. (Other choices: Safeties Karl Joseph, Keanu Neal, Darian Thompson or OT Shon Coleman)
Round 3: Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State
The simulator still had Ohio State safety Vonn Bell available, and myself and the Giants draft heads would love to take Bell in the third round, but I believe he will be gone in the second so that is why I did not select him. Instead, I have the G-Men taking his teammate, and another need, in linebacker Josh Perry. Perry isn’t the flashy five-star recruit, but in 2014 he led the Buckeyes with 124 total tackles. While he doesn’t have superb speed, he is said to have a non-stop motor, and 6-4, 254-pounder would add depth and potentially start for New York. Reese has neglected the linebacker position for some time (besides drafting Devon Kennard a couple years ago) and had to sign free agents last year and this year. As you can imagine, they struggled and the Giants could use some help.
Round 4: D. J. White, CB, Georgia Tech
Cbssports.com says White is best perhaps suited for nickel, and that is what the Giants need right now. With the NFL becoming more and more pass friendly, teams need more and more defensive backs and guys who can cover. White can do that. In his three years as a starter for the Yellow Jackets, White racked up 157 tackles, recorded 21 broken up passes. and 11 (seven interceptions and four forced fumbles). White is only 5-11 and could struggled against bigger receivers, but is experienced and can provide depth behind Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Round 5: Tajae Sharpe, WR, UMass
Sharpe is from my hometown of Piscataway, N.J. and can be a local hero playing about 40 minutes north on the Turnpike. I personally saw Sharpe make play after play in high school, and two jump out at me right off the bat. Against Elizabeth in a state sectional final, Sharpe soared high and out jumped and muscled a deep ball from the defender for a long touchdown reception. Then, in a separate playoff game against Hunterdon Central, Sharpe laid out for a ball in the end zone, and the Chiefs eventually won that game in overtime.
The 6-2, 194-pounder left UMass with school records for single game receptions (15), single-season receptions (111), career receptions (277), and career receiving yards (3,486). Sharpe does need to get stronger and is said to use his body to much, but is great value here in the fifth. Can be a good compliment to Odell Beckham Jr. Victor Cruz, Dwayne Harris and others for the Giants.
Round 6: Tyler Marz
Quite honestly, I wasn’t too sure which way to go with New York’s last pick in 2016. They could take another defensive lineman (because they love defensive linemen/pass rushers), an offensive lineman for depth, a running back, a tight end, a safety, or corner. But, I chose Tyler Marz, an offensive lineman out of Wisconsin. Marz is a giant 6-6, 315-pounder that can play either tackle or guard in the NFL. The Giants might not take Marz or another offensive lineman, but the former Badger started 40 straight games and can get it done if called upon.