Sep 17, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive tackle Ricky Wagner (58) blocks during the game against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Soldier Field. Wisconsin defeated Illinois 49-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Next Year In Mock Drafts

For the second ever installment of ‘This Week In Mock Drafts’ for GMEN HQ I featured Andrew Perloff of SI.com and his mock draft for the 2012 NFL Draft that was released in May of 2011. That’s almost a year before the 2012 NFL Draft took place!

Anything can happen when a mock draft is released that early and pretty much everything did. Looking back at his first 2012 mock draft here were a few highlights:

  • The Giants were picking 20th overall
  • Andrew Luck went 1st overall… to the Buffalo Bills
  • Landry Jones and Matt Barkley went in the top 5; neither entered the draft
  • Vontaze Burfict was selected 28th overall by Browns; he went undrafted

It’s easy to fault Perloff for all his mistakes but that’d be no fun. He knew as well as anyone reading his mock draft that producing a way too early mock draft wouldn’t stand the test of the time but he did one anyway. If you want to check out each of his picks from his first 2012 mock draft then go on right ahead.

Since I enjoyed reading Perloff’s mock draft so much last year I went looking to see if he had typed one up for the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft, and to my joy he did! So, how about we have at it and see what Perloff’s 2013 crystal ball has in store for the GMEN in regards to next year’s draft?

Before we delve in though let me forward you Perloff’s note about how his draft is: “ordered by predicted finish in 2012. Picks 1-20 are based on standings, while picks 21-32 are based on order of elimination from playoffs.”

Now that the Surgeon General’s warnings are out of the way let’s talk about where Perloff projects the Giants and that’s at the 20th overall spot in the first round, which is the exact same spot he had the GMEN picking last year and which also means he sees the Giants yet again missing the playoffs. Of course the Giants didn’t miss the playoffs and actually ended up winning the Super Bowl so maybe this is a good sign.

Who does Perloff see the Giants taking with the 20th overall pick? Last year it was Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams, who ended up being selected in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft that just passed. This year Perloff has the Giants taking an offensive tackle again and this time it’s Ricky Wagner from Wisconsin; here’s what Perloff had to say about him in his mock draft:

“The Giants go best player available and continue to rework their line with the next breakout offensive line star from Wisconsin.”

Just like drafting an offensive lineman last year made sense to most mock drafters, including Perloff, it makes just as much sense this year. The tackle positions will be up for grabs this year and it’s no lock that Will Beatty will be given his starter’s spot back after being put on the I.R. last year due to an eye injury. Beatty, David Diehl, former 4th-round pick James Brewer and incoming rookies Brandon Mosley and Matt McCants will be in the mix for the tackle spots and nothing will be settled when it comes to the Giants’ O-line until the end of the pre-season.

So, projecting an offensive lineman is the safe route to take by Perloff, as the Giants will eventually have to address their O-line weakness early in the draft at some point so why not 2013?

If you want to know more about Ricky Wagner we can tell you that he’s 6’6, 322 pounds, is a redshirt Senior, was an All-Big Ten consensus honorable mention back-to-back years and was a left tackle starter for all of the Badgers’ 14 games in 2011. The Badgers saw a couple of their key cogs on the O-Line drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft with guard Kevin Zeitler going to the Bengals at 27th overall in the first round and center Peter Konz being taken by the Falcons in the second round. Wagner could have followed their footsteps and entered the 2012 NFL Draft, where he probably would have been taken pretty high but he chose to return for one more year of college football.

Wisconsin has provided the NFL with some quality offensive linemen in recent years such as Gabe Carimi (drafted in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft), Kraig Urbik (3rd round, 2009), and (Joe Thomas, 3rd overall pick, 2007). Wagner might be next in the line of Badger O-linemen to play and start in the NFL and he might even see his name called in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft; perhaps even higher than 20th overall.

However, we still need to remember that it’s May of 2012 and the 2013 NFL Draft isn’t until April of next year. Who knows what can happen between now and then and it’s best not to think about Wagner in a Giants uniform just yet, even if he would be a nice addition.

What do you think GMEN HQ readers? Would you like to see Wagner suit up in a Giants uniform one day? If not Wagner who do you have your eyes set on for the 2013 NFL Draft? Is it too early to start talking about the 2013 NFL Draft? Let us know in the comments section.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft 2013 Nfl Mock Draft Andrew Perloff Andrew Perloff 2013 Nfl Mock Draft Giants Mock Draft Mock Draft New York Giants Mock Draft Nfl Mock Draft Ricky Wagner This Week In Mock Drafts

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