For this Mock Draft I will list my prediction, the GM’s likely selection, and what I believe fans want to see.
RD 1 Pick 19
Kel: Kenny Vaccaro FS TEX – Vaccaro has grown on me the past few weeks and his speed on the back end of the defense is just what the Giants need. If he can sneak past STL and DAL the Giants should run the card to the podium. Kenny Phillips had lost his sideline-to-sideline ability after the knee injury & the Giants need that in a starting safety. Brown was good but he is built more for the Giants 3 safety look on nickel downs. Vaccaro is the best player for the Giants in this draft.
Giants: Bjoern Werner DE FSU – Werner is the one player that has a top 10 grade that could easily slip back to 19th in the draft. He does everything well but nothing spectacular. He would be able to add depth and youth to the pass rush but with Kiwi moving back to DE permanently I think Werner would be a wasted pick at this point.
Fans: D.J. Fluker OT ALA – Giants fans want offensive line help first and foremost. We all know LB is a priority but fans want to know that Eli Manning will be kept upright and that David Diehl will be firmly planted on the bench by week 6. Fluker was an amazing run blocker but his pass blocking skills were worse than fellow Bama OT Andre Smith’s when he came out. A 1st rounder on a RT with pass blocking issues is a wasted pick in my opinion.
RD 2 Pick 49
Kel: Arthur Brown LB KSU – Brown was the heart and soul of K-State’s defense. He was as valuable as QB Colin Klein and he used his spectacular speed to play on every down. The Giants could easily turn the defense over to him in a year, whether he’s playing MLB or replacing Boley at WLB.
Giants: Arthur Brown LB KSU – For the exact reason I stated above the Giants will take Brown. He is a Giant’s caliber person and player; plus he would get to play his younger brother Bryce twice a year.
Fans: Zach Ertz TE STAN – Adding weapons for Eli Manning can never hurt. Ertz is the second best tight end in this draft and quite possibly the most NFL ready. Stanford’s pro-style offense makes it easy for Ertz to slide right in and contribute.
RD 3 Pick 81
Kel: Barrett Jones OG/C ALA – The Giants need offensive line help and why not take the most versatile lineman in this draft. Jones was All-American at all three offensive line positions during his career at Bama and the Giants could use that flexibility this season. Whether Jones steps in at RT for Diehl or just plugs in for the first injured player, he is a great piece for this team. Eventually, I can see him leading the offensive line from the center position and giving Eli Manning a natural leader on the line.
Giants: Oday Aboushi OT UVA – Oday has all of the measurable wanted in an offensive tackle and Virginia is known for producing talented offensive lineman. The Giants will groom him to be the right tackle of the future; and by future I mean week 8.
Fans: Tank Carradine DE FSU – Fans want that dominant defensive line back. They don’t want to waste another first round pick on a DE though. So why not select the player who was widely considered the best FSU D-lineman before his knee injury. Carradine is built in the same athletic mold as Osi and JPP. His speed and acceleration is top in this class when healthy and he is a great value at this point in the draft.
RD 4 Pick 116
Kel: Marcus Lattimore HB SCAR – Lattimore is the best running back in this draft, period. If he is anywhere near 100% in the next two seasons this is a steal at this point. Lattimore would overtake Wilson as the premier back in NY but could be a more than serviceable 3rd down back until then. His pass blocking skills and hands out of the back field gives the Giants a weapon they haven’t had since Tiki or maybe further back than that.
Giants: Alvin Bailey OG ARK – Bailey adds more depth to the Giants offensive line and offers an eventual replacement for Boothe. Bailey is perfect for this selection but I could see other higher ranked guards sliding back and falling to the Giants here. It’d be perfect if Jones fell here to the Gmen and they had their RT and Center of the future in back to back rounds.
Fans: Jonathan Bostic LB FLA – Bostic’s 4.50 40 yard dash confirmed his exceptional athletic ability. The Giants could choose him here and let him get his feet wet in special teams before becoming a starter. Bostic lead Florida’s defense beautifully all season and was a huge reason they made a BCS bowl appearance.
RD 5 Pick 152
Kel: Chris Faulk OT LSU – Faulk is my #1 RT prospect in this draft. The key is watching his 2011 film before his ACL tear. He was a dominant run blocker and was constantly improving on his pass protection. HE is more skilled than D.J. Fluker and has shown better results against the same SEC competition.
Giants: - Bacarri Rambo FS UGA – Rambo drops like many of the Georgia prospects because of off the field issues. Rambo though brings an added sense of agility and play making ability to the secondary. His body type is prototypical for an NFL safety and he can learn a lot about maturity from Antrel Rolle, a player that was immature and morphed into a team leader.
Fans: OC Khaled Holmes USC - Holmes was a top center prospect entering the season but struggled against Pac-12 competition all year. He showed good flashes in 2011 though and the fan base really never liked David Baas in the middle of the line. They are always looking for his possible replacement.
RD 6 Pick 187
Kel: Sanders Comings CB UGA – Comings is similar to Rambo in that he has perfect size for his position. Comings showed the ability to match up with taller receivers and the toughness to come up and tackle. The Giants gets a tailor fit gunner for their special teams units and a possible upgrade over Corey Webster in a few years.
Giants: Sanders Comings CB UGA – See the above reasons.
Fans: T.J. McDonald SS USC – McDonald had a huge name for a few years at USC and never fulfilled his true potential. A big hitter, fans would love his style of play and aggressiveness.
RD 7 Pick 225
Kel: Ace Sanders WR SCAR – Sanders replaces Wilson as the team’s primary returner. His speed was a game changer for South Carolina and he is a great teammate to boot.
Giants: Levine Toiolo TE STAN – The Giants get a 6’7” 280 lb run blocking tight end. He seems like the perfect late round piece for this team and can bolster a running game that has been shaky at best. Eli would also love to have him as a target during red zone possessions.
Fans: Kenjon Barner HB ORE – Barner was dynamic at Oregon and his multidimensional game would fit well in NY. The Niners selected LaMichael James last season and by playoff time he was one of their best offensive weapons.
RD 7 Pick 253
Kel: Denard Robinson WR MICH - I choose Robinson because eof his ability to lead the scout team in the spread option game. No NFL QB is harder to pick up in the option read than Denard and chasing him around all week would make RGIII seem of average speed.
Giants: Gerald Hodges OLB PSU – Hodges is just a filler pick that can add depth to a slim linebacking corps. I thought the Giants would make a run at McClain in free agency but obviously character plays an enormous role in their type of player. Hodges showed his dedication to his program by staying at Penn State, which speaks volumes about his character.
Fans: OLB Joe Kruger ORE – Kruger is the younger brother of Paul Kruger and why not take a risk with the younger brother of a legit outside linebacker. At least fans will know his name when he is selected.