Written on 3/15/16*
The New York football Giants have splurged so far in free agency, signing the likes of defensive end Olivier Vernon, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and defensive tackle Damon Harrison on very first day last Wednesday which we talked about. They also added middle linebacker Keenan Robinson on a cheaper one-year deal and re-signed defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
With the additions of Vernon and Harrison and the re-signing of JPP, the Giants defensive line looks stronger. You have Vernon and JPP on the outside and “Snacks” Harrison and Jonathan Hankins on the inside. The key here is building solid depth.
The Giants could still use help on the offensive line to replace Will Beatty, and if a guy like Ronnie Stanley out of Notre Dame falls to pick No. 10, General Manager Jerry Reese could very well scoop him up and plug him at right tackle to round out the line.
So far, the Giants haven’t signed a wide reciever to help pair with Odell Beckham Jr., so a Day 2 selection could be in order.
Despite the signing of Jenkins, the Giants need talented depth behind the former St. Louis Ram and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie after losing 2011 draft pick Prince Amukamara.
Furthermore, the safety is still a position of need with only Landon Collins being the only dependable player on the roster with injuries affecting his backups.
Shortly after the NFL Scouting Combine, I put together a three-round mock draft simulation, and now I think it is time to update it a week after free agency began. Using Fanspeak.com’s On the Clock Simulator and fanspeak’s big board, I will be conducting a full six round NFL mock draft (Giants don’t have a pick in the seventh). The results are as follows:
In round uno, I chose stud Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. Hargreaves is considered the second best CB in the draft, and while I had the option of choosing DE Shaq Lawson out of Clemson or a top DT, I decided to grab cornerback depth. In the now passing league, you can never have too many corners. The 5-foot-11, 192-pounder picked off 18 passes as a Gator in three years.
In round two, I went back to the bread and butter for the Giants success – the defensive line. Even though the Giants signed Harrison and have Hankins, I have the Giants grabbing another Vernon, Vernon Butler, a DT from Louisiana Tech. The big 6-foot-3, 316-pounder had three sacks and an interception last year and had 13.5 tackles for loss in 2014. I figured not to wait to grab a defensive linemen and have to select from the lesser tiers.
In round three, I stay with the defense but go back into the secondary to take safety Darian Thompson out of Boise State. Thompson is a solid tackler (had 63 tackles last season and 71 the year before), while also being a play-maker behind the line of scrimmage (7.5 tackles for loss and one sack in 2015) and against receivers (five interceptions in 2015 and seven in 2014). Behind Jalen Ramsey of Florida State, Thompson is considered one of the best safeties in this year’s class.
In round four, this is more of a bias but I think can fit the bill in this range, is wide receiver Tajae Sharpe out of Massachusetts. Sharpe is a native of Piscataway, N.J. (my hometown), and was absolutely excellent at the collegiate level, catching 111 passes for 1,319 yards and five touchdowns as a senior. Sharpe can pair with OBJ on the outside with hopefully a healthy Victor Cruz in the slot and Dwayne Harris in the mix as well.
In round six, I had to take a linebacker as the Giants could use another middle or outside linebacker for depth. I grabbed Josh Forrest, an inside linebacker from Kentucky.
See my full mock draft selections for Big Blue below: