Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Mock Draft: The New York Giants Select…

With Thanksgiving now in the rear view mirror, it’s time for some December NFL Draft prognostication. In the first installment of the FanSided Network Mock Draft, the Giants select… versatile Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley at #14 overall.  As I mentioned in an earlier piece from October 16th, if the Jints ultimately go the backer route it will be a historic occasion. It’s been a staggering 30 years since the Giants drafted a LB in the first-round, dating all the way back to Carl Banks in 1984.

What Mosley brings to the table:

Speed | He reportedly ran a 4.47 at Alabama’s camp this off-season.

Intelligence | Mosley digests information quickly; reading formations, diagnosing plays and possessing an innate feel for down and distance situations/playcalling.

Coverage | Aside from running well, he has clean lateral agility and freedom of movement. Mosley is comfortable defending in space.

Mosley racked up 14 tackles in the Iron Bowl, but it wasn’t a glistening performance by any stretch. Auburn ran the football 52 times, and Tre Mason and company frequently bypassed the Tide defensive line into the second level — opportunities for tackle accumulations were plentiful. There were quite a few occasions where he struggled to separate from blocks, often finding himself slightly out of position against the Tigers multi-facted running attack. Mosley overpursued an inside read to Mason in the first quarter which opened up the edge for a 45-yard touchdown scamper by Nick Marshall.

Nevertheless, Mosley is a lock to hear his name called in the top half of the 1st round. His versatility will allow him to meld into either a 4-3 (WLB) or 3-4 (MLB) defensive scheme. He’s a “safe bet” and ready to contribute immediately at a high level.

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  • Joseph Bulger

    JR’s not going LB in the 1st. He’ll bring back Beason, who’s doing a fabulous job at MLB, and go with Paysinger & Williams at SAM. Rivers will stay at WILL, and JR will pick up a LB in the mid to late rounds. If JR’s going defense with his 1st, it’s a Corner like Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard. The Giants secondary has another JR 1st rounder Prince, and another JR 1st rounder Ross (who never panned out, and is on IR anyway… probably won’t be back). Webster’s about done at Corner, and while Hosley’s gifted and improving, he’s best suited covering slot receivers, not Dez Bryant twice a season. If JR goes offense, it’s another lineman or WR. Eli has thrown more INTs than TDs behind his rapidly aging and persistently banged up line. JR’s 2013 1st round pick Justin Pugh is going to be a pro-bowler some day, but that’s not enough to replace Diehl and Snee. Even though Hakeem Nicks is in a contract year, Coughlin benched him against the Cowboys for not practicing… bottom line is those banged up knees and feet have cost him a step he may never get back, and he was never fast… a 4.63 40 at his combine… he may now be among the slowest WRs in the league, and he’s not beating single coverage anymore. He won’t be back. So on offense JR will pick Texas A&M’s Mike Evans to replace Nicks, or tackle Taylor Lewman from Michigan to keep Eli alive.

    • Adam Ganeles

      Evans would be a disastrous selection.. Lewan’s stock has taken a dip in recent months. Dennard will be a sold CB in the league.

      • Joseph Bulger

        Ok… and a better WR in this draft would be whom? USC’s Marqise Lee? He’s grading out at the bottom of the 1st or high 2nd, and the Giants will be drafting 12th-ish. Are you suggesting trading down to get Lee? Clemson’s Sammy Watkins? He’s projected to go 7th to Cleveland, or in any event well before the Giants select. Would be great if he fell to them. Stranger things have happened. But JR values tall WRs, witness Plaxico and Ramses Barden at 6′ 6″, so a 6′ 5″ Evans a “disastrous” pick for Eli? Why? Or are you saying go FA? Who? Anquan Boldin at 34 years old? Jeremy Maclin or Julian Edelman… both made of glass like Nicks? Eric Decker? As a #1 WR opposite Randel and Cruz? I’d go for bringing Manningham back over any of the other FAs because he knows the system and Eli knows him, so there’d be no learning curve. As for Lewan’s stock, it’s as good as Justin Pugh’s was before the 2013 draft, and stock doesn’t mean much when they get to the NFL anyway. Have you seen the PFF stats on the “sure thing” O-linemen taken in this past draft, ahead of Pugh? Top draft picks like Fisher, Joeckel, Johnson, and Fluker are all ranked toward the bottom of the 73 tackles in the league, and Pugh rates out higher per PFF than any of them but Fluker.

        • Adam Ganeles

          Personally, I don’t believe in Evans. His big plays have rarely come on traditional routes.. but rather a result of Manziel freelancing. His fluidity does not impress. Boxing out NFL corners will be a rude awakening..

          It would be a surprise to me if the Giants go WR in R1. With that said, Lee would like nice in a Giants uniform.. injuries have cost him draft slotting and enhanced his ‘value’.

          • Joseph Bulger

            You may be right, but after just now watching all of what’s available on YouTube, he doesn’t look like he can’t run traditional routes to me. Granted, YouTube’s not game tape, or anything like watching all his games. But I see a very tall kid with good hands and leaping ability, playing the sidelines very well, and who has a nose for the end zone. I wouldn’t be any more shocked if JR took Evans than I was when he took Nicks in R1. Lee looks good, but he’s the size of Cruz, and that’s not what the Giants are looking for. JR’s experiment with Ramses Barden didn’t work, but that doesn’t mean he’s no longer looking for a very tall receiver with good hands in the draft who’ll be ready in a year or two.

          • Adam Ganeles

            Fair point on Lee.. but he the ball skills of an outside receiver. He’s drawn comps to Marvin Harrison, which is interesting.. Not the Giants style though as you mentioned.

          • Joseph Bulger

            Who knows. I’ve been guessing what the Giants will do for years, and I’ve almost always been off. JR does have a few constraints that factor into his long range plan thinking, like the fact that Eli’s 32 next month, so he’s got 5 years give or take left in his current franchise QB (his brother’s 37 and Brady’s 36). So JR’s focusing on optimizing championship opportunities now. Get championships now, because when Eli leaves who knows how long it will be before they’ve got another Super Bowl MVP caliber QB. I think he’s doing that, with a lot of the team on 1 year show-me contracts. He needs OL-men, a #1 WR, a shut-down Corner who are not on the roster today.

          • Adam Ganeles

            Joseph — would you have an interest in contributing to the site during the off-season? You clearly have the pulse of the organization.. let me know.

          • Joseph Bulger

            Adam, thanks for asking. I’m not so sure I know as much as it might appear. But I guess following the Giants since my high school days in upstate New York in the early 70s gives me some perspective. As long as you’re not put off by my having lived in San Diego for the past 15 years, I could see my way to contribute periodically during the off season. I’ve always been a die hard Giants fan.