by Craig J. Santucci @NYGiantsRush
I Hate Mock Drafts
The exercise of executing a mock draft always leaves me asking, why? I don’t understand the fascination with them. Pushing that magic button only creates false hope or absolute frustration on draft day. The Giants will not select what your mock draft is reporting unless you execute it so many times that you have every scenario covered.
Just because I find them useless, this should not encourage you to stop pressing those mock draft buttons. However, I did my first and only break down of those first 11 picks without any simulator. I just used realism and common sense.
The picks are in:
Pick #1 – Jacksonville Jags. Player: QB Trevor Lawrence. The Jags have had a decade of bad quarterbacks. A beloved ex Florida Head Coach and a Clemson QB is a perfect match. This spells major tickets and merchandise sales for the Jags for a decade. This is the most efficient start to a new team rebuild. This is a no-brainer.
Pick #2 – New York Jets. Player: OT Penei Sewell. Sam Darnold is either a draft-day trade or he stays. But look at the numbers. He was the 8th most sacked QB. Darnold was 32nd in passing TDs, but 26th in passing attempts. If you don’t throw the ball enough, how can you expect to score? It’s apparent they can’t leave Darnold in the pocket to throw downfield, because he’s on his back. Darnold needs time a big-time receiver, but I see them drafting the anchor to protect whoever the QB is in 2021 and the future. He doesn’t throw interceptions in chunks even with a crap line. He threw fewer interceptions than a bunch of playoff QBs and quality starters including Brady, Murray, Mullens, Wilson, Cousins, Goff, Bridgewater, Lock, and Ryan. Sewell starts the building process as a cornerstone to the future. Will a rookie coach take a new QB?
Pick #3 – Miami Dolphins. Player: WR Ja’Marr Chase. Very similar to the New York Giants, The Dolphins have no playmakers at the receiver position. They have the money to land Kenny Golladay and still draft Ja’Marr Chase which would give them a formidable duo for years to come. No one knows what Tua really is, but right now he is ranked 30th in passing TDs (next to Jones). If you combine Fitzmagic and Tua’s attempts they would jump from 32nd to 7th. While combining Fitz and Tua’s TD isn’t the right move here, they would still be ranked 19th. Tua and his accuracy need help, and contested balls could become an issue for a young QB. Chase is an elite receiver and doesn’t lose 50/50 balls.
Picks #4 – Cincinnati Bengals. Player: OT Rashawn Slater. Rookie QB Joe Burrow was lost to a knee injury 10 games into the season. He was sacked 32 times in 10 games, ranking him the 10th most sacked QB. For example, the Offensive Rookie of the Year, QB Justin Herbert played 5 more games but was sacked the same amount of times (32). Burrow was on pace to throw the least amount of interceptions with over 500 attempts. This kid can ball, but not when he is on his back. He needs protection. Slater starts on day one.
Pick #5 – Atlanta Falcons. Player: CB Patrick Surtain Jr. The Atlanta Falcons defense is bad, but it is not their run defense (6th). The Falcons defense gives up more passing yards than any other team in the NFL (4697 yards) and is ranked at the bottom in giving up completions (425). This is a no-brainer. Surtain has three years of college experience and is not afraid of contact. At 6’2 202lbs he is built for press coverage, physical and will thrive on the outside. Matt Ryan is not the issue.
Pick #6 – Philadelphia Eagles. Player: WR Jaylen Waddle. The Philadelphia Eagles need a new Offensive line badly, however, with the trade of Carson Wentz, the Eagles management and good ole Howie Rosen are in complete denial that Wentz was not the problem. Carson Wentz was sacked 50 times in 12 games. That is 4x a game. You can’t win in the NFL unless you can protect the QB. Rosen and the Eagles want Jalen Hurts to succeed so badly to prove they are right, they will draft the Alabama speedster, Jaylen Waddle. Which is also a position of need.
Pick #7 – Detroit Lions. Player: LB Micah Parson. Detroit’s new head coach Dan Campbell was a former New York Giant Tight End. He has played with some great defensive players and watched his 2000 New York Giants team get crushed in the Super Bowl to a superior Baltimore Ravens “All-World” defense. The Lions are at the bottom of the league in almost every defensive category. In fact…the Lions in 2020, gave up the most rushing TDS (27) and the most passing TDS (38). Parson is by far the best backer in college football and can play inside and outside. As we saw with Blake Martinez, a great run-stuffing linebacker is a great foundation. Parson wears Silver and Blue. There is also a Detriot Lions legendary linebacker now in the front office.
Pick #8 – Carolina Panthers. Player: QB Zach Wilson. Zack Wilson has shot up the board with coverage from every sports news outlet in the country. The Panthers picked “seven” defensive players in 2020. The offense will be the focus in 2021 and Wilson will be the focus for the Panthers at Pick #8. Bridgewater has two years left on his contract and could be the perfect mentor for Wilson. Bridgewater is in the middle of the pack for attempts and completions but drops to 24th for TDS. They need a dynamic down-field passer who can improvise. Wilson’s passing game has greatly improved from 2019 and will work great with McCafferty as the workhorse.
Pick #9 – Denver Broncos. Player: CB Caleb Farley. Denver gave up the 5th most “rushing” TDs in the league in 2020 and 8th most yards. They needed Micah Parson (Lions). So with the “best player available” concept, and because there is not a “big man” upfront worthy of this spot…Caleb Farley becomes a Bronco. Farley is a tall and rangy guy with speed. He opted out in 2020, so he should fresh and ready to rock this Fall in Denver. With Fant and Jeudy in the stable, you can only hope Lock figures it out.
Pick #10 – Dallas Cowboys. Player: DE Gregory Rousseau. While I might think this is a huge mistake, Dallas deserves to gamble and lose. The Cowboys paid DeMarcus Lawrence a ton of money in 2020 ($105MM) for 6.5 sacks and 58 tackles. It’s a nice year…but not for the highest-paid defensive end in the game. Dallas can not stop the run, so they need more lengthy athletic guys upfront. They will look for Rousseau to play inside and outside. A splashy pick for Dallas all while rolling the dice on a player that had one good year, one injured year, and one opt-out year.
Pick #11 – The New York Giants. Player. WR DeVonta Smith. The Joe Judge and the Alabama connection appears once again. The New York Giants do not score enough points. Sterling Shepard can not be the sole producer week in and week out. Smith “the Slim Reaper” will come in and immediately give Daniel Jones a completely new threat at the short, mid, and deep range. He is an elite pass catcher and has fluid, route running ability.
For those who love the quick slant from Beckham, Smith can produce with quick strides inside and be at full speed in two steps. He is smooth in and out of breaks and has exceptional balance along the sideline. His size may need to be addressed. Adding 5 to 10 pounds of lean muscle would only help with the day-to-day grind. He has shown the ability to catch the deep ball, gracefully tiptoe the sideline, catch in traffic, take a receiver screen 40 yards, and double move the best DB’s in college football.
Just in case you are wondering…yes, he can return punts and kicks.