New York Giants 7-Round Mock Draft: Post-Combine Edition
New York Giants Look To Fill Needs Through 2014 NFL Draft
After a disappointing season that ended with just seven wins, the New York Giants are staring at the biggest roster turnover they have faced in Tom Coughlin’s tenure with the team. With the NFL salary cap now expected to exceed $132 million, the Giants could be looking at up to $40 million in cap space if they want to cut a few overpriced veterans and restructure/extend Eli Manning. This is good news, because the team has needs to fill at arguably every position aside from safety and quarterback. General manager Jerry Reese will need to devise a two-pronged attack to address these needs in both free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft.
Based on how the free agent market is expected to play out, the Giants should be left with just a few needs by the time the draft rolls around. Reports have surfaced that the Giants will look to spend at the offensive guard position in free agency. They need to take that a step further, and add a center and potentially a swing tackle before the draft. I offer my idea for a center here, by proposing the criminally underrated Brian De La Puente, free agent from the New Orleans Saints. In this mock, operate under the impression that they added one starting guard and one center in free agency.
Another position equally as important to address in free agency is cornerback. Last year’s projected starter Corey Webster, who ended up missing most of the season to a series of undisclosed injuries, was let go of a few weeks back. The only viable cornerback on the roster behind starter Prince Amukamara is Jayron Hosely, who has disappointed up until this point in his career. The Giants should add one free agent cornerback in free agency and one in the draft. My pick, as I mentioned in a previous piece, is Tarrell Brown. He would be a great value addition in free agency.
The Giants dealt their seventh-round pick in this draft in a mid-season trade for Jon Beason. While some have speculated that they will receive a conditional draft pick, that hasn’t been announced yet so we will have to wait to hear more on that prospect.
Other positions of need can be matched with Reese’s best prospect available approach in the draft based on how the draft board plays out. You will find several of those needs, some greater than others, address in the following mock.
One area that the Giants need to focus on in this draft is finding players who are NFL-ready right away. Too many draft picks have been spent on prospects who needed time to develop and never panned out. In the past, this has led to way too many street free agents starting meaningful games in the middle of the season. Without further ado, above is my first attempt at mocking the Giants’ draft.
Dan Schneier is a New York Giants writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @pff_dansc, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network through Google.
Round 1, 12th Overall – Mike Evans, Texas A&M (Wide Reciever)
Before Mike Evans blew up the NFL Combine, I was calling for the Giants to draft him with their first-round pick back in January. Nothing has changed. Evans posseses the skill-set that has meshed perfectly in the past with the type of quarterback that Eli Manning is. He used the Combine to display acceleration and straight-line speed that many were unaware of. You can find my full scouting report on Evans here.
Round 2, 43rd Overall – Xavier Su-a-Filo, UCLA (Guard)
Xavier Su-a-Filo opened eyes when he ran the second fastest forty-yard-dash among all guards.(5.04 seconds). If you watched him play at UCLA, he should have already been on your radar. Su-a-Filo excels in pass protection and is one of the better guards to come out in a while in that regard. He played some left tackle in his freshman season with UCLA, and has proven that he can be fine if moved across the formation. He presents a perfect mix of need and talent for the Giants in round two.
Round 3, 74th Overall – Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (Cornerback)
Watch any Florida State game and when you focus on the defense, Lamarcus Joyner will stand out immediately. On the game film, he looks like a first-round pick every time he steps on the field. His NFL Combine forty-yard dash and measurable in height and weight will likely render him a third-round pick. Joyner is a quick-twitch athlete with great hips and the ability to shut down most slot receivers. The best attribute Joyner brings is his leadership and football IQ—a strong argument can be made that he laps the field at cornerback with his intangibles.
Round 4, 109th Overall – C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa (Tight End)
As far as I’m concerned, C.J. Fiedorowicz is the most underrated prospect at his position and maybe in the entire draft. At 6-foot-5, 262 pounds, with a 4.76 forty-yard dash to his name, he projects as the prototypical two-way tight end who can block and also serve as a threat in the passing game . Let’s compare him to fellow tight end prospect, Jace Amaro, who many believe should be a first-round pick. Amaro, at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, with a 4.74 forty-yard-dash has almost identical measurable to Fiedorowicz. Amaro may have the college production to his credit, but he also played in a wide-open offensive scheme that featured quick-passing and an up-tempo offense—the opposite of the system Fiedorowicz played in at Iowa.
Round 5, 140th Overall – Jack Mewhort, Ohio State (Tackle)
The Giants met with Jack Mewhort at the NFL Combine for a formal interview, which shows early signs of interest. The media loves to harp on one point, and many people have pointed to Mewhort’s game film against Buffalo when top prospect Khalil Mack dominated him. However, put on all of his other game film and you will see right tackle who has the size, football IQ and production to play right away in the NFL.
Round 6, 171st Overall – James White, Wisconsin (Running Back)
James White, who made my top five late-round prospects that the Giants should target, fits a perfect combination of need and value in the sixth round. The Giants need White because he is already a plus pass protector who can step in and play if injuries strike yet again. White is a great value at 171st overall because he can catch out of the backfield, pass protect, and he is great vision in addition to underrated burst and quickness.