By: Vin D’Anton
Tonight is the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft; just another date on the NFL calendar where football fans find an excuse to sit around their TV for three hours plus. Also, it’s a great way for the NFL to do what it does best…make money!
Speaking of doing what they do best, that’s exactly how it’s been for the New York Giants front office during the Jerry Reese era. Anyone who reads this site knows how much I praise Reese and his ability to build through the draft more than free agency. Other teams known for that have been the Colts, Steelers and Packers. (You can say the Patriots but they’ve been hitting it big in free agency since 2007).
You can never predict what Reese and his staff will do in the draft because they draft the best player on their board, which is how it should be. So just a heads up, don’t be surprised if I get none of these correct when it’s all said and done.
Here is a complete mock of the 2013 Giants Draft:
Round 1 (Pick 19): Alec Ogletree ILB Georgia: Since Jesse Armstead, the Giants haven’t had a great linebacker. Giant fans will make the argument for Michael Barrow and Antonio Pierce, but I wouldn’t say they were “great” linebackers.
Since December, I’ve had dreams of Manti Te’o playing middle linebacker for the New York Football Giants, but the more I thought about it (and I made the decision this morning), the more I realized Ogletree is the guy. The Giants need to rebuild the linebacker corps and where do you start? The middle. You can move him to outside if you really believe in Mark Herzlich and Dan Connor to clog the middle.
A handful of scouts actually think that if he’s drafted by a team with the 4-3, he should moved to the outside. He needs to tackle better because he’s prone to lunge at guys. He is a raw talent and I trust the Giants coaching staff to coach him into being a great player. The most important thing I’ve read in scouting reports is that he is “Best at closing on the edge, when running backs looks to bounce outside or the quarterback scrambles out of the pocket.”
You’re going to need him when you play the Eagles because who knows what that whack job Chip Kelly has up his sleeve. Oh, and then there’s RG3 and if you looked at the Giants schedule, he will be back for both games against the Giants (I’ll thank the NFL on Perry Fewell’s behalf).
If they take Te’o, you get a guy who is one of the smarter players in the draft and great tackler; but do you want the luggage?
If they want to go offensive tackle here, then at least give me L.S.U.’s Kevin Minter in the second round.
Round 2 (Pick 49): Terron Armstead OT Arkansas Pine-Bluff: Some of you may be scratching your heads and some of you may think they’re better off taking him in the third round. I don’t think he’ll be there then. If Syracuse’s Justin Pugh is here, they’ll take him, but he won’t be. Mike Mayock actually has the Giants taking Pugh in the first.
Armstead is an amazing athlete. He was All-SWAC in football and eight-time SWAC champ in track and field. Scouting reports say he is “light on his feet in pass protection…” and anyone who can help protect Eli Manning is vital! He extends his arms well to keep pass rushers at bay, is not overwhelmed by stunts and does a good job selling fakes, screens, etc.
With a guy like David Wilson who can bounce outside, why not have a tackle that has a 4.71 40? I know speed isn’t everything but speedy tackles succeed in the NFL. He can get bull rushed and has obviously had weaker competition but he’ll have JPP, Justin Tuck and others making him better in practice. With David Diehl most likely gone next year, you have to take a tackle here, and why not give Armstead a year to learn? He’ll get playing time cause one of the tackles are most likely to get hurt.
Round 3 (Pick 81): Sanders Commings CB Georgia: Right off the bat, you love his size ; 6-0, 216 pounds but the 4.41 40 isn’t too sexy. With his size though comes slower quickness, but he’s good at press coverage and bumping receivers off their routes.
Round 4 (Pick 116): Lavar Edwards DE L.S.U: Just another pass rusher for the “bullpen.” In a conference call with Mel Kiper Jr., he said, “A guy that is very underrated is Lavar Edwards from LSU. He should not take a backseat to anybody that’s going in that third, fourth round discussion. Lavar Edwards is a very underrated player out of L.S.U., played in the shadow of (Barkevious) Mingo and (Sam) Montgomery.”
Edwards had seven sacks this past season and 20 in his four years at L.S.U. He was a rotational guy there and we all know how much the Giants love rotating guys. He’s very experienced but lacks athleticism. What helps is that he is an interior pass rusher and the Giants can’t get enough of that, especially on third downs.
Round 5 (Pick 152): Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina: Here’s my “reach” pick. Every football fan remembers the horrific knee injury Lattimore suffered. They also know how he would have been a top ten, if not five, pick in this years draft. Coaches are afraid to draft injured guys, and those players need a coach that will emotionally support them. Tom Coughlin is that coach and he will rally around Lattimore. Since 2007, when Coughlin tweaked his coaching style, the players have come to adore him.
He has quick feet and great vision, on top of being a guy who will plow through tacklers. He is a hard worker, which is already proven after coming back from a knee injury in 2011. Can he do it again? Why not take a chance?
Round 6 (Pick 187): Brandon McGee CB Miami (FL): Has nice size (6-0, 197) and speed for the position. Never lived up to the hype at Miami after being a top cornerback recruit. Also can get beat vertically on top of needing to be better with hand and body positioning.
Round 7 (Pick 225): Braden Hansen OG B.Y.U.: He proved he can play more than just guard when he moved to center for the game against Hawaii last season. Nice size at 6-5, 310 pounds and is durable; he tied a school record with 52 consecutive starts.
*Round 7 (Pick 253): Charles Johnson WR Grand Valley St.: A Division II receiver who is confident he’ll go in the third round, but many mocks don’t even have him being drafted. The Giants like to take receivers that are projects and that’s what Johnson is. In two seasons at Grand Valley, he had 31TDs and 2,292YDS. He wasn’t invited to the combine but excited everyone at his pro day with a 4.38 40. On top of that, he’s 6-2, 215 pounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is taken earlier because teams go nuts over gems like him, but Reese should look at him if he’s available.