By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: In my final mock draft, I will not include trades as GM Dave Gettleman will utilize all 12 picks in this draft after the mega trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns for safety Jabrill Peppers, a 1st round (#17) and a 3rd round picks (#95). Although I firmly believe Gettleman will be the most active GM in this draft and will package picks to move up in the draft and/or trade for a current player. Therefore: Here is my final mock draft that I believe the Giants will do and not what I believe they should do in the 2019 draft:
Key Additions: Kevin Zeitler (OG), Jabrill Peppers (S), Golden Tate (WR), Markus Golden (OLB)
Key losses: Odell Beckham Jr. (WR), Olivier Vernon (OLB), Landon Collins (S)
Round 1 (#6)
The Pick: Ed Oliver (DT/DE) Houston-6’2/290: I believe Bosa, Allen, Q. Williams and D. White will be taken by the 5th pick in my final mock draft. However; if one of them should fall to the Giants, Gettleman will have a tough decision to make. Assuming that’s not the case, Gettleman selects Defensive linemen Ed Oliver over Defensive Ends Rashan Gary and Montez Sweat. Oliver can play anyway along the defensive line and will be utilized the same way former Giants great Justin Tuck. Oliver is strong, quick and has an endless motor and never gives up on a play. Oliver has been compared to Rams All-Pro Aaron Donald and that might be unfair for Oliver right now, however; he does have all the attributes to be a force in the NFL.
Alternate Pick: Rashan Gary (DE) Michigan-6’4/285: : Gettleman could go with Montez Sweat here, but opts for the explosive edge rusher in Gary. Gary is suited to play in the Giants 3-4 defense with his ability to stop the run and rush the passer. Gary’s overall athletic ability didn’t translate the production that many NFL teams thought it should have at Michigan. However; many scouts believe that Gary has an extremely high ceiling and will be an elite threat on the edge in the NFL.
Round 1 (17) From Cleveland ****I can see the Giants trading back with this pick if certain prospects are still on the board. However; since I’m not projecting trades in my final mock draft; here’s the pick****
The Pick: Daniel Jones (QB) Duke-6’5/225: Gettleman opts for Eli Manning’s successor with the 17th overall pick in quarterback Daniel Jones. Gettleman and the Giants grade Jones very highly overall and if they do decide to pass on Josh Rosen in a trade, then selecting Jones would be the option, if available. Jones will have the luxury to watch and learn behind Manning and take over in 2020.
Alternate Pick: Jonah Williams (OT) Alabama-6’5/305:With Andre Dillard and Jawaan Taylor off the board, Gettleman selects arguably the most polished offensive tackle in the draft in Jonah Williams. Williams’s technique is nearly flawless; which makes up for his shorter arm length. Williams would step right in the starting right tackle spot and possibly replace Nate Solder in a couple of years at left tackle.
Round 2 (#37) ****I can see the Giants making a play for Rosen here, However; since I’m not projecting trades in my final mock draft; here’s the pick****
The Pick: Kaleb McGary (OT) Washington-6’7/320: With Taylor, Dillard and Williams off the board, the Giants select Kaleb McGary in the 2nd round. McGary is very similar to Giants left tackle Nate Solder in size and style of play. McGary is extremely athletic for his size and mobile. McGary utilizes his strong hands and footwork to neutralize opposing rushers. McGary should start from day one and complete the Giants offensive line.
Alternate Pick: Rock Ya-Sin (CB) Temple-6’2/190: Ya-Sin has all the tools to be a successful cornerback in the NFL. Ya-Sin has length, quickness, speed and likes to play physical against the run and pass. Ya-Sin will compete with Sam Beal for a starting spot and then replace Janoris Jenkins (released-cap casualty) in 2020
Round 3 (#95) From Cleveland
The Pick: Ben Banogu (OLB) TCU-6’4/260: Banogu played both the defensive end and outside linebacker positions at TCU and played both extremely well. Banogu rated in the top 5 among defensive ends at the combine; he’s a solid run defender and an excellent pass rusher. Banogu can also handle pass coverage responsibilities and will give the Giants another defensive playmaker in this draft.
Alternate Pick: Josh Oliver (TE) San Jose State-6’5/260: Oliver has a high ceiling and needs to improve his blocking skills; which many NFL scouts believe he will. Oliver would be a welcome addition to the Giants offense; especially in seam routes that the Giants have gone away from in recent years with their Tight End. Oliver’s combination of size, speed and athletic ability will improve the Giants red zone efficiency.
Round 4 (#108)
The Pick: Jamel Dean (CB) Auburn-6’2/208: Dean got the attention at the NFL combine; that featured a 4.30 in the 40 yard dash. Dean also had a solid career at Auburn and a very productive 2018 campaign. Dean’s size and speed combination will give the Giants much needed talent and depth at the cornerback position.
Alternate Pick: Tyree Jackson (QB) Buffalo-6’7/245: This could be a reach for Gettleman, but Jackson’s potential upside could be too much to resist in the 3rd round. Jackson has the size and is extremely mobile as he can extend the play or run for additional yardage if needed. Jackson’s biggest asset is the cannon attached to his right shoulder as he can make any throw on the field. Jackson needs time to develop; which works well with the Giants plans with Eli Manning and also Head Coach Pat Shurmurs history of developing young quarterbacks. This pick could be a diamond in the rough or a pebble in the sand, but worth making.
Round 4 (#132)
The Pick: Daylon Mack (DT) Texas A&M-6’1/330: Mack is disruptive and plays extremely physical. Mack utilizes his low center of gravity to get under most offensive linemen pads and has a high motor. Mack is an excellent run defender and can also occasionally penetrate and put pressure on the quarterback. Mack adds great value on Day 3 for the Giants and will be a welcome addition for their defensive line.
Alternate Pick: Jalen Jelks (OLB) Oregon-6’6/255: You can never have too many pass rushers and the Giants certainly need depth at the edge position. Jelks has a long frame and should add more muscle (10-15 lbs) and play comfortably at 265-270 lbs. Jelks plays quick by utilizing his long arms and deceptive strength to win most of his one on one battles. Jelks will be utilized as a DE and OLB by Giants to add depth and production at both positions.
Round 5 (#142)
The Pick: Drew Sample (TE) Washinton-6’5/260: Giants are happy with current Tight End Evan Engram and what he can do on the field. However; there’s one area on the field that Engram struggles in and that’s blocking. Sample is an extremely proficient run/pass blocker and can make the routine catches. Sample is not flashy, but will provide steady play and would replace current Tight End Rhett Ellison possibly after June 1st if the Giants decide to release him for additional cap savings of $4.5M.
Alternate Pick: Ross Peirschbacher (OC-OG) Alabama6’4/305: Pierschbacher is a solid interior blocker who can get to the second level quickly. Peirschbacher has excellent footwork and extremely agile to be an effective blocker in both the run and pass. Peirschbacher’s versatility to play multiple positions will add value to this pick.
Round 5 (#143)
The Pick: Khalil Hodge (ILB) Buffalo-6’1/240: Hodge has an explosive first step and make plays anywhere on the field. Hodge is equally effective against the run and in pass coverage; which makes him a 3 down linebacker. Hodge is an efficient tackler and plays with a high motor that many NFL teams covert. Hodge would add depth to the Giants inside linebacker position and possibly replace either Olgetree or Goodson in time.
Alternate Pick: Chris Slayton (DT) Syracuse-6’4/315: Slayton was extremely productive at Syracuse and one of the main reasons Syracuse had success in 2018. Slayton can handle two gaps and has a powerful quick first step off the line. Slayton can also exhibit a little pass rushing skills; which will interest many NFL teams.
Round 5 (#171)
The Pick: Michael Deiter (OC-OG) Wisconsin-6’5/320: Deiter can play all three positions along the offensive line and could eventually be the future center for the Giants. Deiter is strong, mobile in open space and displays sound technique.
Alternate Pick: Te’von Coney (ILB) Notre Dame-6’0/240: Coney is extremely mobile and can make plays sideline to sideline as equally as in the trenches. Coney is an efficient tackler and anticipates the play well. Coney is more advanced as a run defender than in pass coverage. However; scouts believe he will develop into a 3-down linebacker.
Round 6 (#180)
The Pick Jazz Ferguson (WR) Northwestern State-6’5/225: Ferguson is the brother of Louisiana Tech Jaylon Ferguson and possesses similar athletic traits as his brother. Ferguson is a big body receiver who can create space with his deceptive speed and also win the battle for the ball against smaller defenders. Ferguson is excellent after the catch and will help the Giants in the red zone.
Alternate Pick: Emmanuel Butler (WR) Northern Arizona-6’3/220: Butler has size, speed and is extremely athletic. Butler has excellent hands and catches the ball well in traffic. Butler also does a good job gaining yards after the catch and will provide the Giants with depth at the wide receiver position.
Round 7 (#232)
The Pick: Devine Ozigbo (RB) Nebraska-6’0/225: Last round picks are worth taking a gamble on and GM Dave Gettleman does so with the selection of Devin Ozigbo. I’m not sold that the Giants GM and Head Coach are comfortable with running back Wayne Gallman as Saquan Barkley’s backup, although I do believe they are high on running back Robert Martin, so this pick could go in a different direction. However; for now Gettleman gets a running back in this mock draft that runs hard and gains extra yards after 1st contact. Ozigbo would be the perfect complement backup for Barkley and would be able to provide the tough yards; especially in short yardage situations or on the goal line. Minimizing the wear and tear of your star running back Saquon Barkley should be a priority.
Alternate Pick: Sterling Sheffield (OLB) Maine-6’1/240: Sheffield is all about speed and quickness; which he utilizes well. Sheffield is very physical and is equally productive against the run and in pass coverage. Sheffield will add depth to the Giants linebacker group and also contribute on special teams.
Round 7 (#245)
The Pick: Isaiah Johnson (CB) Houston-6’3/205: Johnson played in the shadows of Defensive Tackle Ed Oliver in Houston, so it’s easy to see why many mock drafts have him going very late on Day 3. However; when you watch him perform on the field, you have to like what you see. Johnson plays hard on each down and is very physical. Johnson has good speed (4.4) and utilizes his long arms to disrupt passes thrown his way.
Alternate Pick: Jamal Peters (CB) Mississippi State-6’2/218: Peters played cornerback in college, but could transition to safety in the NFL or at least be utilized at both positions in certain packages. Peters is very physical and is solid as a press corner, but needs to be more consistent in his decisions on coverage assignments. However; there’s a lot to like about Peters and taking a chance with a late Day 3 pick like Peters would be worth the risk as Peters could add depth in the secondary and on special teams.
Final Thoughts: In my final draft, Gettleman uses all 12 picks in the draft, which I believe in reality, he’ll package a few to trade up and/or trade for a player. Gettleman addresses many of the teams needs, but will look to add more during the UDFA phase to fill in the rest of the roster. Gettleman has a history of finding hidden gems during the UDFA phase (Andrew Norwell). If the Cardinals are committed on trading Rosen, the Giants should have interest as will a few other teams (Redskins, Chargers, Patriots and possibly the Raider). So this is going to be a nail bitter for Giant fans as the 2019 NFL draft unfolds. Hopefully; Gettleman can draft at least 4 starters from this draft and also add depth to the roster. A lot has to fall into place for the Giants and GM Dave Gettleman for this draft to be as successful as 2018.