A lot has gone down since last week’s edition of ‘This Week In Mock Drafts.’ Amy Winehouse died, Jack Layton had to take a leave of absence due to a cancer scare as federal minority leader of the NDP, and Colby Rasmus was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.
It was most definitely a busy week. I guess I should mention there was also some NFL related happenings too. Mainly that the lockout came to an end! Finally.
That’s considered big news around these parts, right? Now that that’s out of the way let’s talk about some NFL mock drafting…
One of the points I’ve been stressing throughout all these mock draft features is that we can’t really put much stock into these picks since the NFL and NCAA football seasons haven’t started yet so we don’t what players will emerge as first round talents or what NFL teams will look like.
Well, we now have a little sense of what teams will look like since teams can now sign free agents, make trades, cut players, and do whatever they want with their rosters.
When it comes to the Giants they’ve already started to make some changes that may affect next year’s draft. They brought in one of the top undrafted rookies in LB Mark Herzlich, lost DT Barry Cofield to the Redskins, cut FB Madison Hedgecock, DT Rocky Bernard, OT Shawn Andrews, OG Rich Seubert, and OC Shaun O’Hara, moved LT David Diehl to LG, signed OG/OC David Baas from the 49ers and re-signed DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka.
It’s been a busy few days for the Giants and GM Jerry Reese. As you can see from the above transactions list that the offensive line has gone through a major overhaul. The whole left side and middle of the line will look completely different.
As it stands right now the starting 2011 offensive line for the New York Giants looks like this:
LT –Will Beatty
LG – David Diehl
C – David Bass
RG – Chris Snee
RT – Kareem McKenzie
That left tackle position is the only one not set in stone. Beatty has the upper hand on 4th round rookie pick James Brewer but the Giants might go out and bring in a veteran free agent to fill in that spot since Beatty hasn’t really proven himself worthy yet of starting at LT for the Giants. They could also pick up a guard and move Diehl back to LT if they don’t like the looks of their left tackle options. We’ve still got some ways to go in free agency.
That brings us to this week’s installment of ‘This Week In Mock Drafts.’ With all that offensive line talk it would be a good segue to feature a mock draft in which the Giants took an offensive lineman. If only I had the power to make such a thing happen… Oh, wait, I do!
Chris Ransom over at Mock Draft Mania, a site you should check out if you love all sports and mock drafts, has put up his latest three round 2012 NFL mock draft, dated July 18th, and has mocked an offensive lineman to the Giants in the first round.
The offensive lineman Ransom has going to the Giants in the first round, at 30th overall, would be Kelechi Osemele out of Iowa State. The 6’5, 354 pound mauler has been getting raves from anyone you talk to about him.
Osemele has been predominantly a left tackle at Iowa State for the Cyclones but he originally came to the team as a guard so he has the versatility to play either guard or tackle in the NFL. Most scouts envision him as a guard or right tackle once he reaches the main stage.
When interviewed for a profile, Osemele was asked about his switch from guard to tackle and had this to say: “We needed a tackle so I switch.” He went on to add: “Now, I am probably a better tackle but I feel more comfortable with my hand on the ground (at guard). I can go either way.”
While “I can go either way” is a very easy “that’s what she said” joke to make it’s also music to the ears of any NFL scout, coach or general manager. Having an offensive lineman who can play multiple positions along the line comes in very handy during the season. It gives teams somebody who can be plugged in anywhere in case of an injury and also means being able to free up a roster spot for another position.
If drafted by the Giants, Osemele could be the next Shawn Andrews, a player who brought value to the Giants, as he was able to fill in on the line at tackle or guard when asked to do so.
Osemele’s college career so far has been a pleasant one: he’s started 30 straight games and played in 36 of them, is on 2011 watch lists for the Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award, has been named one of the Cyclones’ co-captains, and was an All-Big 12 honorable mention.
A player moving to the right side of the line from the left is usually a sign of slow feet and that’s one knock on Osemele. Size and athletic ability can only take an offensive lineman so far and if you don’t have the speed to keep up with elite pass rushers in the NFL such as Julius Peppers or Dwight Freeney, you won’t be able to play the left tackle position in the NFL, which is the blind side for most NFL quarterbacks.
Still, being a first round talent in the NFL Draft is no laughing matter and Osemele has another season to improve his play and draft stock in preparation for next year’s draft. Some of the things he needs to work on are technique consistency and making sure his hands aren’t on defenders shoulders. Those should be addressed the more he plays next year and the potential he has now should only continue to grow. He might not even be available to the Giants if they were to pick 30th in the next draft.
In case you are wondering who was mocked to the Giants in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of this version of Mock Draft Mania’s mock draft they are Washington running back Chris Polk and Wisconsin Free Safety Aaron Henry.