For the third year in a row I have the pleasure and privilege of being involved in #MockOne, the best and most realistic (at least in my opinion) twitter based NFL mock draft. Founder Brandon Nall has put together a truly fantastic experience for any NFL draft enthusiast and fan.
The basic premise is that each team is represented by fans or bloggers of that team, with one ultimate “GM” and the others acting as “assistant GM’s” to mimic a true team war room. The draft is a full seven rounds and includes trades between teams, just as with the real draft. This year I was asked to be an assistant GM for the Giants along with @jason_bergmann. Playing the part of Jerry Reese is @EyeoftheGator.
Dec 28, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Taylor Lewan (77) against the Kansas State Wildcats during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Now that you understand what #MockOne is, lets get to what you are all here for, to find out who we ended up drafting with the 12th pick. We decided to continue rebuilding the Giants offensive line by selecting Taylor Lewan, T, University of Michigan. The 6’7, 309lb tackle oozes with talent, size, and athleticism. He is a prototypical left tackle who can step in if Will Beatty continues to struggle or eventually gets injured again. Lewan is tremendous in pass protection and will help to keep the franchise, Eli Manning, upright. Lewan would be a great fit in a zone blocking scheme which new Giants offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo, could look to utilize. Some off the field character concerns ultimately caused Lewan, who is a top 10 talent, to fall to us at 12.
Nov 2, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) is called for a roughing the passer penalty after a hit on Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Sefo Liufau (13) at Rose Bowl. UCLA defeated Colorado 45-23. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
A couple of other targets we had in mind were snatched up before we chose, such as Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh), Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M), and Anthony Barr (LB, UCLA). We also were tempted to move up to #8 to grab Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M who was one of the highest rated players on our board and we were surprised to see him slip that far. We were not the only team thinking this as the Dolphins swooped in and put us in a bidding war with the final price being too rich for our blood. It should be noted that we were in a heated argument over Barr in our war room. Our GM was pounding the table for him, while I still believe he is a much better fit in a 3-4 defense and his potential floor worries me. In the end, though, the Bengals ended up trading in front of us at #11 to take him.
Nov 9, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive tackle Zack Martin (70) blocks at the line of scrimmage against Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Shakir Soto (52) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The other players on our board who were considered at #12 were Zack Martin (OL, Notre Dame), Eric Ebron (TE, University of North Carolina), and C.J. Mosley (LB, University of Alabama). While Martin’s versatility to possibly play all five offensive line positions is intriguing, and could sway actual Giants GM Jerry Reese to prefer him to Lewan, we liked the upside Lewan offered long term at left tackle better. Ebron could certainly be a dynamic weapon in McAdoo’s new offense, but the twelfth pick might be high for a guy who doesn’t show a consistency in his game and still needs a lot of polish. While Mosley could be the dynamic three down linebacker Giants’ fans have been longing for the last couple of years, we just didn’t believe the positional value warrants a pick this high unless the player is truly special.
Make sure to keep following along with #MockOne, either on Twitter, or the website. I will be doing one of these write ups for all of our picks throughout #MockOne and I can’t wait to see all of your comments and who you would have taken, so let me hear it below!