With both the Senior Bowl and Combine in the books, we’ve reached a perfect time for an updated mock draft. As usual, we’ll go pick by pick to make sure we discuss each pick thoroughly enough, and as usual, we’re assuming I’m the GM, so I’m not making picks based off who I actually think will go where, but rather who I’d take with the slot. And no, no trade scenarios because they’re infinite.
Here’s a quick rundown of our draft so far: no. 1 Houston Texans (Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina), no. 2 St. Louis Rams (Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M), no. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars (Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville), no. 4 Cleveland Browns (Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M), no. 5 Oakland Raiders (Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn), no. 6 Atlanta Falcons (Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan), no. 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson), no. 8 Minnesota Vikings (Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State), no. 9 Buffalo Bills (Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo), no. 10 Detroit Lions (Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M) and no. 11 Tennessee Titans (Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA). With the 12th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, who do the New York Giants select?
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama.
Yes, we just re-signed MLB Mark Herzlich and pulled SLB O’Brien Schofield off the market, but that’s not going to cut it. A linebacking corps consisting of Schofield, Herzlich and WLB Spencer Paysinger would be the worst in the NFL by a landslide.
Mosley is one of the safest linebacking prospects to come along in years. He’s a very instinctive and well-disciplined player who can quickly diagnose plays (what would you expect from a Nick Saban disciple?). He’s tough and athletic with enough speed and coverage skills to play weak side, but also has the strength and run-stuffing abilities to play the middle or strong sides.
He’s got the accolades, the skill set and the mind set that are just too much to pass up, especially at a position of dire need. I really believe he could be the heart and soul of our defense for the next decade.
My plan with him will be to start him on the weak side, re-sign Jon Beason to play the middle and let Herzlich and Schofield fight it out during camp for the strong side. In a year or two we’ll cut Beason and push Mosley over to the middle.
There were quite a few others I considered with this pick. Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State) is the best pure cover man in the draft, and you can never have enough of solid cover men in todays passing world. Zack Martin (OT, Notre Dame) reminds me exactly of our first round pick from last year, Justin Pugh, who had a stellar campaign at RT for us. Martin could play the blindside, or has the skills to play at a very high level inside when Chris Snee leaves after this upcoming season.
I also considered Marqise Lee (WR, USC) and Aaron Donald (DT, Pitt). Lee is as polished of a wide out as there is in the Draft, and QB Eli Manning can never have too many weapons. Donald would pair nicely with Johnathan Hankins (2nd round pick last year) as our DT combo for the future, and provide us with a pass rushing presence up the middle.
And I also considered strongly Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, the best cover safety in the Draft. I’m done with Will Hill and the headaches he creates off the field, and Jairus Byrd, the best safety on the market, just signed a big deal with the New Orleans Saints. Clinton-Dix would pair nicely with Stevie Brown, whom we just re-signed.