By Michael Stewart/@golferbad

2019 NFL Draft: 1st Edition Mock Draft

Introduction:  The New York Giants will have 9 picks in the 2019 NFL draft and plenty of needs; especially along the offensive and defensive lines. This first edition of my mock draft will show what I believe the Giants could do with their 9 picks (Alternate picks included). This mock draft will be before any free agent signings, and the NFL combine; and pro days which will have an effect on the final outcome of the draft. Also, this mock draft will not project any additional picks through compensation or trades. So let’s get started:

1st round (Pick #6)

The Pick: Dwayne Haskins (QB) Ohio State 6’3/220: For now, I’m going with the popular pick here for the Giants as the top 5 targets for GM Dave Gettleman’s are all off the board. Haskins has shown quality attributes to be a difference maker with a strong arm, accuracy, good decision making, pocket awareness and the ability to extend the play if needed with his legs.

Giant fans will have to wait until at least 2020 to see their new quarterback in action unless Manning and the Giants falter or is injured in 2019. If Haskins has a solid combine, we could see a team look to trade up to get him and leapfrog the Giants.

Alternate Pick: Rashan Gary (DE) Michigan 6’5/285:  Gary’s stock is rising and could move up after a solid combine. For now, he goes to the Giants with the 6th overall pick. Gary fits the 3-4 Defense perfectly with his blend of run stuffing ability and getting to the quarterback. Many scouts believe Gary will be more effective as a pass rusher at the pro level than he was in college.

Gary has extreme explosiveness for his size and always seems to be around the ball. Gary’s ability to play anywhere along the defensive line will help bolster the Giants lack of production in 2018.

2nd round (#37)

The Pick: David Edwards (OT) Wisconsin 6’7/315: Edwards continues the long line of offensive linemen to come out of Wisconsin. Edwards could start at right tackle as a rookie and add much-needed help. Edwards is a solid pass defender and also excels as a run blocker. Edwards should anchor the right side of the line for the next decade.

Alternate Pick: Will Grier (QB) West Virginia 6’2/215.  If there’s a flurry of quarterbacks taken in the 1st round, the Giants GM Dave Gettleman might consider taking the gunslinger out of West Virginia in round two. Grier had a solid season in 2018 and displayed many of the attributes (arm accuracy, decision making, pocket awareness, poise, and anticipation) that NFL teams covet.

Grier has enough mobility to extend the play if needed and has a quick release. Grier is not at the top of the list among 2019 group quarterbacks in terms of arm strength, but he makes up for it by excelling in other areas (mentioned above).

4th round (#101)

The Pick: Nate Herbig (OG) Stanford 6’3/336: Herbig has tremendous size and strength in the trenches. Herbig is extremely mobile and very efficient in open space as a blocker. Herbig’s technique is sound with strong hands and quick feet; which seems to always be in the right position. Herbig stays low to the ground and is equally effective in both the run and the pass.

Alternate Pick: Hakeem Bulter (WR) Iowa State 6’6/225: Giants need size at the wide receiver position and Hakeem Butler fits the criteria. The Iowa State star could move up the draft with a solid combine, but for now I’ve got him going in round 4 and to the Giants. Butler has tremendous size and moves fluidly with deceptive speed and great hands. Butler is not afraid to catch the ball in traffic and can stretch the field on occasion.

4th round (#127)

The Pick: Amani Hooker (S) Iowa 6’0/210: Hooker plays very physical and has a nose for the ball. Hooker is an excellent tackler in the open field; which the Giants will welcome as their previous two safeties were not (Thompson and Riley). Hooker can be effective as a traditional deep zone safety, in blitz packages or can line up in the box and defend the run.

Alternate Pick: Montrae Hartage (CB) Northwestern 5’11/195: Hartage has a nose for the ball and plays physical. Hartage can lineup man to man or play coverage equally well and is effective in winning the battle for the ball. Hartage has good football instincts and will provide much-needed depth along the secondary for the Giants.

5th round (131)

The Pick: Corbin Kaufusi (DE) BYU 6’7/290: Kaufusi will more than likely be the oldest rookie coming out the 2019 draft (25 years), but that shouldn’t scare off GM Dave Gettleman in round five. Kaufusi has amazing size and has surprising speed; which he utilizes well with an endless motor. Kaufusi is ideal in the 3-4 defensive schemes as his combination of run stuffing ability and also getting to the quarterback will add much-needed value to the Giants defense.

Alternate Pick: Michael Deiter (OT) Wisconsin 6’5/320: Giants go to offensive linemen University of Wisconsin and select Michael Deiter. Deiter is big and strong with a solid lower base and uses his hands well to create separation from opposing defenders. Deiter is a bit more polished as a run blocker than a pass defender. However; all indications point to him developing well as an all-around offensive tackle.

5th round (132)

The Pick: Ed Alexander (DT) LSU 6’2/330: Alexander had a solid season for the Tigers in 2018. Alexander is a solid run stuffer and can penetrate behind the line of scrimmage to pressure the quarterback.  Alexander played the nose tackle at LSU in a 3-4 defensive alignment, so he should acclimate well at the Pro level. The Giants run defense suffered once they traded away Damon Harrison, so it would make sense to find a defensive tackle like Alexander on day 3 of the draft.

Alternate Pick: Mike Bell (S) Fresno State 6’3/205: Bell has playmaking ability and is a tackling machine. Bell uses his size along with exceptional speed to shut down opposing receivers. Bell plays very physical and has an endless motor.

6th round (166)

The Pick: Isaiah Johnson (CB) Houston 6’3/205: Johnson is a productive tackler with good size and speed to match. Very aggressive in coverage and excels in man to man as well as in zone coverage. Johnson has a non-motor and plays until the whistle and anticipates well. The depth in this draft on the defensive side will produce day 2 talent selected on day 3.

Alternate Pick: Donald Parham (TE) Stetson 6’8/240: This will be the surprise pick in the draft for the Giants, as I believe tight end Evan Engram is on a short leash. Parham is a former basketball player who is just scratching the surface on his potential as a tight end. Parham has long arms (wingspan 7 feet) and extremely large hands (10.75) which should make him a red zone threat.

However; don’t dismiss Parham’s ability between the 20-yard lines as he is fearless up the middle and usually wins battles in traffic for the ball. Many scouts believe that Parham can improve as a blocker well enough to be a 3 down tight end. Parham long body frame could easily add an additional 20-25 pounds for added strength without limiting his mobility or quickness.

7th round (197)

The Pick: Joe Giles-Harris (ILB) Duke 6’2/240: Harris plays with one motor and that’s high speed. Harris can go sideline to sideline to make plays and is a tenacious tackler. Harris would be an excellent fit in the Giants 3-4 defensive scheme and would be a solid pick on day 3.

Alternate Pick: Olive Sagapolu (DT) Wisconsin 6’2/345: Sagapolu’s best attribute happens to be an area the Giants struggled in once they traded away Damon Harrison. The Giants gave up over 125 yards per game against the run in 2018 and plugging Sagapolu in the middle will help to eliminate teams from running up the middle. Sagapolu can cover two gaps effectively and give his teammates the ability to make plays around him. Sagapolu is purely one dimensional (run stuffer) which is why he falls to round seven in the draft.

7th round (208)

The Pick: Jackson Barton (OT) Utah 6’7/315: Barton played left tackle for Utah and could play both tackle positions at the next level. Barton has excellent footwork and utilizing his long arms to keep the separation between him and the defender. Barton stays on his blocks well and is effective in open space as a blocker. Barton is effective equally as a run blocker and pass defender. Barton has a blue-collar mentality and plays hard until the whistle.

Alternate Pick: Joe Bachie (ILB) Michigan State 6’2/230: Bachie is a no-nonsense old school mentality linebacker with an endless motor; who does the little things and the dirty work needed to help a team win. Bachie excels in clogging the running lanes and is a stellar tackler. Bachie fits best in a 3-4 scheme and at this point is more of a two-down linebacker.

Final Thoughts: The drafts still a ways away and a lot will happen between now and then. Even at this point, I expect to see four quarterbacks taken in the 1st round with teams such as the Giants, Jaguars, Broncos, Bengals, Dolphins and Redskins could be looking for their next franchise quarterback in the 1st round. Also, don’t discount the Patriots as they could snatch a quarterback before the end of the 1st round as well.

This 1st edition mock draft will certainly change once free agency begins and the combine and pro day workouts are completed. GM Dave Gettleman will most likely have 11 picks available as it’s expected he will receive two additional picks via compensation. However; don’t expect the Giants to use all 11 picks via the draft as Gettleman has been known to use picks to package together for either a current player in a trade and/or to move down in the draft. Look for my 2nd edition mock draft in about a month; which will reflect what transpires from now until then.