I recently participated in a mock draft with 31 other national bloggers/writers from around the NFL. I was asked to represent the Giants at No. 9. (draftseason.com, March 5).
I took Nebraska DE/LB Randy Gregory (6 foot 6, 240 pounds).
The offensive line need is still great, but the defense was one of the league’s worst in 2014. At No. 9 the best player available will be on defense, so GM Jerry Reese will jump on Gregory. Gregory is the type of player the Giants need to get back to the pressure-based system returning DC Steve Spagnuolo wants to implement. With Jason Pierre-Paul returning, the Giants have one top DE in the fold, but they could use another. Damontre Moore, Kerry Wynn and Robert Ayers are all promising but the Giants are looking for a real stud in the front seven to anchor their defense.
In picking Gregory, I bypassed Iowa OL Brandon Scherff and West Virginia WR Kevin White, two players I really like. Scherff is the type of lineman who would go a long way in the Giants' initiative to take back the trenches. White is a receiver who has it all: size, speed, hands, etc.
But the Giants need tackles, and many believe Scherff is better suited to guard at the pro level. How many times have we seen the Giants draft a player and then not play him at his natural position? Too many, and that is why I don't think taking a guard at No. 9 is an effective use of the pick.
White would add another dimension to an already powerful passing attack. With OBJ and Rueben Randle already too much for most secondaries to handle, White would put the Giants' offense over the top. And that is without Victor Cruz, who may or may not be ready for the start of the season.
Gregory, to me, is the answer for the Giants in the first round. Granted, he is raw and a bit underweight, but he's got a great skill set. I know we've heard that before, but in this case, they have a chance to mold JPP 2.0. The Giants can always Gregory up and get him stronger.
There is also the chance he might be gone before the Giants get a shot at him. The Redskins, who hold the fifth overall pick, are rumored to be hot for Gregory. If that is the case, the Giants may go in a different direction. This draft has loads of talented players and at No. 9, the Giants will have their pick of the lot.