Bear with me while I hold you in suspense for just a few sentences. Just in case you missed my first post on #MockOne and are wondering what it is, please check it out to get all of the details and to see who we ended up choosing for the New York Giants in the first round.
Now, for what you are certainly waiting for, as representatives of the New York Giants in #MockOne @EyeoftheGator, @jason_bergmann, and myself (@bigbluebloggers) chose Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State University. The 6’2, 300lb tackle from FSU posted a solid campaign in his only year as a starter with 63 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks. Jernigan is “country strong” with a solid anchor. He’s still young, will be a 21 year old rookie, and has very high upside, enough to be graded out as a first rounder in many places. However, he is a bit undersized and his athletic measurables were underwhelming at the combine (4.84 20-yard shuttle was second worst among DT’s). Hard to peg where he will fit in the NFL, played the nose in a 3-4 in college, but size would project him more as a 3-tech in a 4-3. His lack of explosion and solid anchor would make you believe he would be better suited at the 1-tech. I actually was out voted on this selection, as I feel the Giants are in need of a 3-tech DT who can get to the QB and shows more explosion than Jernigan. I understand his upside, but I think his skill set is more redundant, than complementary, to what the Giants already have at the position. A big issue with the Giants front four the last couple of years has been their inability to get pressure up the middle, allowing quarterbacks to step into the pocket and making the job of their defensive ends even harder. I would rather see the Giants go after Caraun Reid (DT, Princeton) or Will Sutton (DT, Arizona State) later in the draft if they don’t go defensive tackle early (Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh).
With all of that being said, you are probably wondering who would I have taken. Well, I had my eyes on Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech. At 6’5, 265lb’s Jace ran a 4.74 40-yard dash with a 4.30 20-yard shuttle. He has the size/speed combo that is prototypical of the new age NFL tight end. He plays more like an over-sized WR, as evidenced by his use in college. I believe Amaro is the type of “offensive weapon” that new Giants offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo, would covet in his offense. Most Giants’ fans will knock Amaro’s lack of in-line blocking skills that has been important to the Giants in years past, but as the NFL changes, so will the Giants offense. I believe the Giants would be lucky to get a tight-end with Amaro’s skill-set in the second round.
Some other players we had targeted, but who were selected before we picked were Kony Ealy (DE, Missouri), Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana), Ra’Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota), Louis Nix III (DT, Notre Dame), and Ryan Shazier (LB, Ohio State University). We were surprised to see Shazier drop to the second round and even had some internal discussions of moving up and getting him. As you can tell by some of our other targets, we really feel like the Giants need to get some defensive line help after losing Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck in free agency. Latimer is a player that I personally love and think would be a good fit for the Giants; however, I would not be surprised to see him sneak into first round come draft day.
As for other players we discussed who were available at 43, we were pretty locked in on either Amaro or Jernigan. I could see the Giants also being interested in one of the other tight ends, Troy Niklas (Notre Dame) or Austin Seferian-Jenkins (University of Washington). Niklas is a more well-rounded tight end who old time Giants’ fans would appreciate, while ASJ is size/speed freak. Wide receivers Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt), Davante Adams (Fresno St.), and Martavis Bryant (Clemson) are all intriguing players in the second round for the Giants. With this draft being deep at wide receiver, I wouldn’t be surprise to see at least one of these guys drop to the third. I could also see Giants GM, Jerry Reese, grab one of the top two centers in this draft: Weston Richburg (Colorado State) or Marcus Martin (University of Soutern California). The Giants look to be very weak at center on paper and Reese could certainly look to solidify the position for years to come.
I hope you are all enjoying this #MockOne series so far, and continue to follow along. Let me hear your comments below of what you would have done as the Giants GM!