I call this premature mockulation, that’s when people do NFL mock drafts in the summer. Right now it’s an interesting aspect to the total football picture. Since camp is open and the players are battling for roster positions we see who is going to make the team, who is injured and who eventually will be cut. In that way the mock draft of 2013 becomes more and more intensely interesting to me. You start to develop a big board of prospects that not only you think are great players but that will fill the needs of the team as it evolves through the season. It’s set on a parallel course until they cross paths and finally meet at the draft.
So here goes, for the first pick I think Reese will take Alex Okafor. He might not be available when the Giants pick, we missed out on Chandler Jones. Osi might be gone after this season, although he’s singing a different tune this summer. Reese will pick not one but two defensive ends, pure 4-3 types. Bigger is better and faster is even better than that. There are some big pure 4-3 defensive ends in this draft and I suspect Reese will look for someone that is in the 6-4 to 6-5 area and 260 pound range, a little bigger than those hybrid pass rushing DE/OLB types like Brandon Jenkins. I am counting on the Giants drafting last again or at least close to last. This draft will be much more defense oriented, the last one was mostly offense. Out of the seven picks only 2 were defense, the third and the seventh picks, the rest where offense. The Giants drafted two offensive tackles, a wide receiver, a running back and a tightend. I doubt they will draft much more offense unless a player falls into their lap Reese cannot pass on.
If you can go by early camp it looks like we have our MIKE, Mark Herzlich is playing like the guy who was supposed to be a #1 pick, he is flat out beating Chase Blackburn. He’s also showing his coverage skills which are so important in Fewell’s Tampa 2 like defensive schemes. He has the size to be a great run stopper like the old time middle linebackers, but he has coverage skills too and nobody will out work him period. Herzlich and Kiwi give the Giants the kind of size in their linebacker corps they haven’t had for a long time.
So in reality it is very premature to have a mock draft right now but kind of fun. I am picking a first choice for that round and then 4 other players who might be available or might be picked in the next round. So it’s a mix of BPA (best player available) and need. I hope we won’t need anything and the next draft will be one to just fill the talent pool. But injuries are already rearing their ugly head with Thomas and Boley’s hammy, who is next, I hope no one?
RD1 – Alex Okafor – DE – 6’4” 260 Texas – Although he probably won’t be there, his stock is rising and he might go top 20. We hope that the Giants are drafting #32 again. Even if they do draft #32 and miss on Okafor there will be a top notch pass rusher available there are so many coming into this draft. There are more DEs in the later rounds that are a little raw that can probably still get playing time as a rookie and be effective. Another possibility might be William Gholston, 6’6” 278 pounds from Michigan State, yes the bother of the Jets bust, he is the real deal though and might be Reese’s choice over Okafor. After watching film he can just destroy offensive lines. The thought of JPP and him as book ends would make a QB have nightmares like they did when they had to face LT.
If these guys are NOT there the consolation prize might just be Manti T’eo who seems to be rated as a late first round early second round pick. If T’eo can prove his athleticism he should be able to play any linebacker position. From what I saw of his play he should be a top 20 pick, if indeed he runs a 4.5 40 at over 250 pounds even more so. In 2013 the Giants will have JPP, an aging Tuck and maybe an old Osi at DE and that’s it. This is the draft to refill the pass rush cup, you can never have enough pass rushers right. There really isn’t anything on the roster that looks like more than average after JPP, Tuck and Osi. I think Kiwi will be playing some DE on certain downs and situations this season.
Here are my choices for first round picks if one is not there go to the next.
First choice – Alex Oakafor – DE – 6’4 260 Texas
#2 – William Goldston – DE – 6’6’ – 278 Michigan State – Might be better than Okafor in the NFL, he’s a big powerful man but moves like a smaller one, quick fast.
#3 – Manti T’eo – MLB – 6’2” 255 – Norte Dame – Cat like moves, takes great angles and is a technician.
#4 – Jonathan Banks – CB – 6’1” 185 – Mississippi State – Impressive CB that might be moving up the boards.
#5 – Luke Joekel – LOT – 6’6” 310 – Texas A&M – Could be a top 20 pick.
RD2 – Kenny Vaccaro – FS/SS – Texas 6’1” 215 – An underrated player, watching some film you come away impressed with his abilities. One of those is something that in my opinion a free safety in the NFL needs, to play the ball and quarterback like a baseball centerfielder. It’s the same mentality, you roam the field ready to make a play on the ball. It’s so much just plain talent that cannot be taught. He does this very well whether it’s against the run or pass. With the status of Phillips contract and the need for quality defensive backs he would be a perfect fit for the Giants the way they use the free safety. As pure free safeties go one of the best is TJ McDonald, he will not be there as well as some other outstanding safeties in this draft when the Giants pick in the second round. I think Vaccaro will be there, some rated higher are better strong safety types even though they are free safeties.
Unless the offensive line has a very bad year, I can see going for a tackle, this draft should provide a descent one even in the second round. The Giants are hoping that it’s not necessary to draft another offensive tackle after investing in three the last two drafts, Brewer, McCants and Mosley. Another possibility would be a WR, I have no doubt about Randle, Cruz and Nicks, it’s after that, there are question marks about the quality of those receivers. If Barden doesn’t show anything a prospect to look at is Da’Rick Rodgers from Tennessee, at 6’3” and 215 he reminds me of Randle a lot, maybe faster. Also a possibility is another corner back because of the Thomas injury. Along with pass rushers you could never have enough cover guys. One possibility is Tyler Sash’s old running mate at Iowa cornerback Micah Hyde.
#1- Kenny Vaccaro – S – 6’1” – 215 Texas
#2 – Da’Rick Rodgers – WR – 6’3” 208 Tennessee – He might end up being a first round pick.
#3 – Micah Hyde – CB – 6’1” – 185 Iowa – Played with Tyler Sash and together made for a great secondary at Iowa.
#4 – Jesse Williams DT – 6’4” 320 – Alabama – Another Alabama defensive player, good size and can move.
#5 – Ricky Wagner – OT – 6’6” 320 – Wisconsin – Highly rated OT that might go sooner.
RD3 – Malliciah Goodman – DE – Clemson 6’4” 278- Another pass rusher, yup, this kid is a monster, fast first step and a nonstop motor, he plays with a mean streak and intensity. He’s just a little raw but he was a one man wrecking crew at times. Seriously the Giants live and die with their pass rush, in 2013 who will be their defensive ends? JPP, an aging Tuck and nothing else, I figure Osi will be gone, he will want more money than Reese will pay him, maybe not right now he seems happy and wants to stay a Giants.
I have a feeling Reese knew this draft is loaded at DE so he let it ride, this is where he refills the pass rush cup. He’s not that tall but has long arms and gets off blocks well, knows how to use leverage and keep offensive lineman at a distance. A pure 4-3 defensive end that can also play the run and is a sure tackler. Another choice might be a TE and I think Alabama’s Michael Williams at 6’5” and 265 pounds is the block first TE the Giants are looking for, he might have a breakout year and end up going sooner though, maybe later, who knows right now.
#1 – Malliciah Goodman – DE – 6’4” 278 Clemson
#2 – Michael Williams – TE – 6’5” 265 Alabama – Looks bigger than listed, good blocker and redzone target.
#3 – Kevin Reddick – ILB – 6’3” 240 North Carolina – has upside and size to develop into solid MIKE or SAM.
#4 – Gerald Hodges – OLB – 6’2” 234 Penn State – Good prospect at linebacker.
#5 – Logan Ryan – CB – 6’ 190 – Rutgers – Underrated CB that makes plays.
RD4 – Bruce Taylor – LB – 6’2” 243 Virginia Tech – I don’t know if he can cover, most college linebackers can’t. I have written about this before, how college football does not prepare their linebackers for the NFL game and it’s a crap shoot drafting them. Watching this kid play you immediately see the aggressiveness you need in the NFL. He has a good motor and hits hard, a sure tackler that punishes the people he hits. He might move up the draft boards if he has a great season. I think the Giants made a mistake not drafting Nigel Bradham, the Bills did, I hope they don’t miss on Taylor, just don’t give him #56. He does have an issue with his right foot that will/might drop him to the 4th round or lower.
#1 – Bruce Taylor – LB – 6’2” 243 Virginia Tech
#2 –Blaize Flotz– OG – 6’4” 310 TCU – Nice size guard that might fit the Giants scheme.
#3 – Spencer Ware – RB – 5’11” 224 LSU – Good back that can run and catch the ball well.
#4 – Keenan Davis – WR – 6’2” 215 – Iowa – Sleeper player that might go a lot sooner in draft.
#5 – Jeremiah Attaochu – OLB – 6’2” 235 – Georgia Tech – Good looking prospect for the WILL.
RD5 – Dion Sims – TE – 6’5” 276 Michigan State – Sims has had issues during his college career. It looks like almost all college football players have had some type of issue and most of them do not continue into their NFL careers. These are young men who need to just plain grow up. So far the coaches have been impressed with Sims maturing and he might be ready to move to the next level, the NFL. He is a powerful blocker and suited to the Giants type of tightend.
#1 – Dion Sims – TE – 6’5” 276 – Michigan State
#2 – Le’Von Bell – RB – 6’3” 237 – Michigan State – Power runner that hasn’t been overused, might move up the board with a good 2012 season.
#3 – Cameron Meredith – DE – 6’4” 260 – Nebraska – Good looking DE with some moves.
#4 – Gabe Jackson – OG – 6’4” 320 – Mississippi State – Big guard but maybe not the Giants type of player.
#5 – Aaron Dobson- WR – 6’2” 205 – Marshall – Underrated receiver.
RD6 – Kaleb Ramsey – DT 6’3” 302 – Boston College– He played exrememtly well in 2010 but had injury issues in 2011 and did not play. Will he play up to his 2010 level in 2012, if not his stock will drop late in the draft. It’s a low risk high reward situation, similar to Giants Marvin Austin.
#1 – Kaleb Ramsey – DT 6’3” 302 – Boston College
#2 – Tyler Hoover – DE – 6’6” 290 – Michigan State – Very big, more of a DT with a frame that can add weight.
#3 – Seantrel Henderson – OT – 6’8” 343 Miami Florida – Tall prospect with some upside.
#4 – Sean Renfree – QB – 6’4” 225 – Duke – NFL style QB that maybe overlooked because of injury.
#5 – Marquis Jackson – DE – 6’3” 260 – Portland State – Interesting prospect with some upside.
RD7 – Marcus Coker – RB 6’ 230 – He looked like the running back Iowa needed, big strong and fast. Yet something happened and he was suspended for a bowl game, he lost or asked for his release from his scholarship to the school and moved on to a small school, Stonybrook in New York. I’m sure he will have a tremendous year there, he really outclasses that level of college play and in 2012 might dominate and help them go to a bowl game of some kind. He has the frame to even add more weight and looks like the type of back that will do well in the NFL. He doesn’t need a huge hole and accelerates well using minimal movement, he’s very efficient. He’s also a short strider, no wasted motion, just hits the hole and runs for daylight.
I think the Giants will need another back, I like Wilson and think he will be their #1 after this season because Bradshaw will be worn out, Scott hasn’t been the player I thought he would, DJ Ware is a journeyman and my man Martinek is unproven. Andre Brown is another unproven back who might just be a good 4th back on the roster. Coker will probably drop to the 7th round or even be a UDFA because of his history and now being small school player. After watching film from Iowa in 2010 I think he has the potential to be a really good back in the Giants scheme, he can catch the ball too, plus he has the size and power to block.
#1 – Marcus Coker – RB 6’0 230 – Stonybrook NY
#2 – Braxton Cave – OC – 6’3” 303 – Notre Dame – Underrated center who had some injury issues and like the Giants Jim Cordle might be forgotten about, was rated highly before his injury, has NFL size.
#3 – Montori Hughes DT 6’3” 328 – Tennessee – Martin – had some issues but looks like he has turned things around.
#4 – Quinton Dial DE/DT 6’5” 304 – Alabama – Has some upside as a prospect.
#5 – John Youboty – DE – 6’4” 258 – Temple – Another DE that has some ability.
It seems I learn something new about football every day. One of my favorite aspects to it is the draft, evaluating the talent and then seeing if you were right about the players. I have been wrong about so many and I wondered why. But it’s not only me, it’s everybody including the so called experts like Mel Kiper or the supposed true experts like the general managers of NFL teams. I would wonder over the years how in the hell did this guy get that job, I know I and so many others could draft better than him, yet he gets the big bucks. I think the worst had to be Matt Millen, who seems like a good guy just a terrible GM.
Talking about players I liked and was happy the Giants drafted, I liked Sintim and I think he never made it because of injury, I don’t think it was anything else. Not little things, severe injuries, two blown out knees for instance. I was so high on Barden, but I knew there was risk. I am very disappointed in him because I know he has the ability to be an outstanding receiver yet he just cannot make the grade. This is his time now to show what he can do, it’s the last year of his contract and this is it. What a shame, he reminds me so much of Plax on the field but lacks that killer instinct Plax had, Burress knew he was going to get that ball. Maybe its focus and attention to detail, I wish I knew I would sell that information because nobody yet can measure heart and love for the game of football.