2014 NFL Mock Draft: 5 Likely First-Round Picks For New York Giants
2014 NFL Mock Draft: New York Giants' 5 Likely First-Round Picks
For the New York Giants, the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft provides the team with an opportunity to obtain one of the blue-chip players on their draft board. This year, the Giants have the 12th overall pick in the draft, their highest picks since 2004 when they infamously drafted Philip Rivers with the fourth overall pick in a sign-and-trade deal for Eli Manning.
Current draft experts expect no less than four quarterback selections in the first 10 picks, an added bonus for a Giants team that is currently committed to Manning as team starter and Ryan Nassib as a developing backup. Chances are that some of the best skilled position players will still be available when the Giants are scheduled to pick.
Currently, the Giants currently have unaddressed holes at various spots on the offensive line. They are also in dire need of additional depth at cornerback, wide receiver, tight end and running back. The Giants will attempt to strengthen some of these positions before the draft through 2014 NFL free agency. However, if they lose high-profile unrestricted players like Jon Beason, Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck through free agency, the Giants will have to target draft-day replacements at linebacker and defensive line.
Giants fans, despair not. There is a silver lining to the negative picture painted above. New York's current porous roster allows them to select the best player available. The 2014 NFL Draft is loaded with premier talent and the Giants will assuredly get a dynamic player with the capability to make an immediate impact. Here's a list of five players the Giants are most likely to select in the first round come draft day.
5. Eric Ebron
At 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, Eric Ebron is an imposing playmaker with god-given speed. He has the hands and physical ability to vertically stretch the field and create a lethal target for Eli Manning. Under the tutelage of new Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo, Ebron will be given an immediate opportunity to shine. McAdoo is largely responsible for the development of Jermichael Finley at Green Bay and at only 20-years old, Ebron's potential far exceeds that of Finley.
4. Taylor Lewan
A hard-nosed physical left tackle who excelled in the physical component of the NFL Combine, Taylor Lewan's draft stock has risen substantially in recent weeks and he has been linked to the Giants in many recent mock drafts. Lewan's combination of overpowering size at 6-foot-8, 309 pounds, and athletic ability translates well into the NFL, where he has the ability to be a week one starter with any organization. Although he seems like a perfect fit for a Giants team with a decrepit offensive line, Lewan's off-field baggage might weigh heavily against him.
3. Anthony Barr
Given the Giants' recent tendency to avoid using early draft picks on linebackers, this selection looks unlikely on paper. But Anthony Barr isn't an everyday, run-of-the-mill linebacker. He's a superb pass-rusher and playmaker with the speed of a running back. Barr has both the quickness to chase down mobile quarterbacks and the tenacity and motor to devour pocket-passers. If drafted by New York, Barr will simultaneously stabilize the Giants inconsistent pass rush and provide the team with a fear-inspiring presence absent since the days of Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson and Carl Banks.
2. Mike Evans
The likely departure of Hakeem Nicks will leave the Giants with an impotent passing attack. At 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, 20-year-old Mike Evans has the potential to change all that. Evans is fast and plays with a punishing physical style, overpowering and outmuscling opposing cornerbacks. Evans would provide Eli Manning with both the No. 1 wideout of the future and a dependable red zone target, missing since the days of Plaxico Burress.
1. Jake Matthews
Originally predicted as a guaranteed top-five pick, Jake Matthews has recently been supplanted by Greg Robinson as the best tackle in the 2014 NFL Draft. It now seems plausible, albeit still unlikely, that the cousin of Green Bay Packer linebacker Clay Matthews III will slip to the Giants. If he does slide to pick No. 12, the Giants would be foolish not to select him. Matthews is the most technical and polished of all the offensive linemen in this year's draft. In his junior season, many experts considered Matthews superior to his teammate Luke Joeckel, the No. 2 overall selection in last year's draft.