Numbers Driven NFL Mock Draft Has New York Giants Selecting Javon Hargrave In First Round
By Neal Lynch
James Cobern of NFL Spin Zone decided to take the purely numbers driven approach to his mock draft, “a mock based purely on the players with the highest chance of not busting in the NFL based on age, athleticism, production and various physical characteristics.” With that methodology, Cobern projected the New York Giants to select Javon Hargrave, defensive tackle from South Carolina State, with the 10th overall pick.
Cobern compared Hargrave’s numbers to former undrafted free agent, current Washington Redskins D-end Chris Baker – who had six sacks last season – and former second round Raiders pick and current Chicago Bears D-end / linebacker Lamarr Houston (8 sacks this past season), adding:
"“[Hargrave] looked like a dominant player…completely dominating the pre-draft process at the East West Shrine game and the Senior Bowl…The Giants scheme just so happens to need a 3-tech that can be explosive up the middle to aid their pass rushers. Hargraves fills that 3-Tech (need) with his explosiveness and speed.”"
Sports Illustrated ranked Hargrave 45th on their big board of the top 50 NFL Draft prospects.
From Hargrave’s NFL.com profile:
“…the 2014 and 2015 Associated Press All-American and MEAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 ranked third in the FCS with 16 as a junior — a whopping six against Bethune-Cookman, a figure that tied the FCS single-game record — and 13.5 more this fall. He also had 45.5 tackles for loss over those two seasons.”
Back in late January, before the Scouting Combine, NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah reported that Hargrave was among the standouts in the week of practice leading up to the East-West Shrine Game, noting:
"“South Carolina State defensive tackle Javon Hargrave has been the best player here. He has an excellent combination of quickness and power. He dominated the one-on-one drills.”"
Hargrave scored a grade of 5.41, which means he’s projected to be a backup or eventual starter. That number was 21st among interior defensive linemen.
With the First Pick
NFL Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein had this to say:
"“Raw, but athletic one-gap penetrator who dominated his level of competition with effort and quickness. Credited with 16 sacks and 23.5 tackles for losses, Hargrave has the ability to play on the other side of the ball, but the jump in talent and size could be challenging for him. Hargrave is better than a “project,” but he will require patience and much more coaching to realize his potential.”"
Fellow analyst Chad Reuter called Hargrave one of the most explosive players in this year’s draft, adding:
"“Yes, Hargrave spent his career beating offensive linemen who weren’t able to earn major college football scholarships. But even against better players, his quickness off the ball and pure power inside made stopping him a difficult task. Hargrave isn’t as tall or long as some teams desire inside, but frankly, the low center of gravity is a plus when trying to send your opponent backwards. Some defensive line coach will pound the table for his team to select the All-American due to his enormous lower body, which provides both explosiveness and stoutness.”"
NFLDraftScout.com has Hargrave ranked 11th out of 200+ defensive tackles.
Mike Renner and the team of draft analysts at Pro Football Focus compared Hargrave to Earl Mitchell from the Miami Dolphins, writing the following in their profile on Hargrave:
"“Pure one gap guys that will give unathletic linemen fits. Hargrave has all the tools to be an interior pass-rusher…offers more athleticism on the interior than almost anyone else, but he’s raw and limited at this point. He’ll be a third-down guy right away that you hope can develop into an every-down player in time.”"
Senior Analyst Gil Brandt reported that there were reps from 23 teams at South Carolina State’s Pro Day, but only four teams had their defensive line coaches in attendance: Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tennessee Titans. So, it appears the New York Giants aren’t interested.
What’s ironic about Cobern’s numbers driven mock draft is it’s supposed to protect teams against a bust, yet why would Big Blue spend such a high draft pick on a mid-to-late round prospect? Even more damning are the comparisons to other players who either went undrafted or were scooped up in the second or third round.
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Moreover, the G-Men shouldn’t use the 10th overall pick on such a raw, one-dimensional, one-gap guy, especially when they have Damon Harrison, Johnathan Hankins, and Jay Bromley. If he falls to the second or third round, the New York Giants can give this pick more consideration, but there are bigger needs that have to be addressed on Day 1.