Rather than doing your typical mock draft for the New York Giants, this article will change things up a bit. Each slide will give a scouting report on a number of players that are possibilities for that pick.
I have assessed the Giants needs as tight end, offensive line, running back, corner, linebacker, defensive tackle, and kicker, in that order.
The Giants could end up adding picks when the compensation selections are unveiled, but for now just know that the Giants have a pick in every round, and it is the last pick in each round.
With that said, here is the new and improved mock draft style.
In order to fully grasp what I'm doing in each slide, you have to first understand what I believe the Giants' biggest needs are.
Tight end and offensive line are the top needs by far. They lost Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum to torn ACLs in the Super Bowl and neither are expected to be 100 percent healthy during the 2012 season.
The offensive line was obviously good enough to win the Super Bowl, but they were pretty bad at times during the regular season. David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie took huge steps backwards and will likely not be starters in the 2012 season. The Giants will likely be looking for an interior offensive lineman first and foremost, since they like James Brewer to be able to take over at one of the tackle positions at some point. Why not now?
Dwayne Allen, Clemson: Dwayne Allen is the consensus No. 1 tight end right now and for good reason. He was not completely utilized at Clemson (how often have we heard that about a tight end in college?), but his talents will allow him to become a serious weapon for whoever drafts him.
The tight end position is much more important in the NFL, and Allen is of the new mold—crazy athletic, creates huge mismatch problems and can block better than people give him credit for. Allen would be the starter right off the bat and give Eli a weapon over the middle and a security blanket.
Coby Fleener, Stanford: Fleener was a great weapon for Andrew Luck at Stanford. The benefit you have from drafting a guy like Fleener is he was well-coached and played in a pro-style offense under Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw.
Fleener may not have the athleticism that Allen has, but the drop off in talent is minimal. Fleener can stretch the field and work the seems already, which is what you want a tight end to be able to do in the NFL these days. He is also a terrific red zone threat, catching 10 touchdown passes in 2011.
David DeCastro, Stanford: David DeCastro is one of the better interior lineman prospects to come out in a long time, meaning the Giants would definitely have to trade up if they wanted him. It would be worth it, but we know how Reese is about trades.
Still, DeCastro is a monster that would instantly improve a unit that finished dead last in rushing in 2011. David Diehl was a disaster at left guard and it is clear the Giants are not willing to let Mitch Petrus take over a starting job.
Not only is DeCastro a dominant force inside, but he was a terrific locker room presence. If the Giants made a move for him, it would only be because they want him starting straight away.
Cordy Glenn, Georgia: Glenn is not as much of a sure thing as DeCastro, but he showed flashes of brilliance at Georgia. He also had bad games, such as the one against Boise State, but that can happen to the best of players.
Glenn's size ( 6'6'' 346 pounds) will allow him to be an intimidating run-blocker inside. Pat Flaherty should be able to shore up any weaknesses Glenn has and develop him in to a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
Peter Konz, Wisconsin: First off let me say—I know Konz played center at Wisconsin. In all likelihood, Konz will be gone by the time the Giants pick at 32, but how much earlier is the question. If Jerry Reese just has to give up a 3rd or 4th rounder next year to move up and get Konz, he might do it.
Konz was a monster at center for the Badgers and he played in the Big 10 where they fancy their defenses. He gives the Giants flexibility in that he could play left guard, or he could start at center and let David Baas move over the left guard, where he played some with San Francisco.
This could be one of those value picks as well if Konz somehow makes it all the way to the Giants—Reese likes to take the best player on his board and Konz does help fill a need as well.
Kelechi Osemele OG/T, Iowa State: Osemele is coming off an excellent year playing left tackle for the Cyclones this season, but at the NFL he can play both tackle and guard, which the Giants will definitely appreciate. Osemele would most likely get the start at left guard if the Giants went with a tight end in the first round and got him in Round 2.
Besides Osemele's versatility, he has long arms and moves his feet well. He uses his weight well and is a power run blocker, something the Giants desperately need.
The Giants would then be in the market for a running back. Polk is someone who I've liked for a long time. At 5'11", 224 pounds, he is a compact runner who runs very well between the tackles. He also gives the Giants something they haven't had since Tiki Barber—a good pass-catcher out of the backfield. He had 31 receptions for 332 yards and four touchdowns in 2011.
Bobby Massie OT, Ole Miss: If the Giants are not comfortable with James Brewer at right tackle, which they very well could be, then Massie is a good option as a replacement.
Massie projects well as a right tackle at the next level as he possesses great strength, and his best attribute is run blocking. He is a capable pass blocker and been a starter in an SEC offense since winning the job his freshman year in 2009.
I love SEC prospects, especially linemen, as they are tested week in and week out.
Orson Charles TE, Georgia: There is a bit of a fall off after Allen and Fleener, but Charles is still an excellent tight end option if the Giants choose to go another direction in round one.
He finished 2011 with 45 receptions for 574 yards and five touchdowns, but is not the blocker the first two tight ends are. If he can add some muscle and become a better blocker, he will be a good option at the next level.
Doug Martin RB, Boise State: While you may question the level of talent Doug Martin played against in the MWC, he still put together a fine season at Boise State.
He finished with 1,299 yards and 16 touchdowns and could be the eventual successor to Ahmad Bradshaw when he calls it quits. Martin also brings the ability to be a return man—although the Giants took return specialist Jerrel Jernigan in the third round last year, they didn't feel comfortable with him throughout the season.
Travis Lewis OLB, Oklahoma: If the Giants do not retain Osi Umenyiora, that creates a hole at the strong linebacker position with Mathias Kiwanuka moving back to defensive end. If that happens, expect Jacquian Williams to step in.
Williams played very well for a rookie this season and that very well could be the case, But if Travis Lewis is available in round three, I don't see the Giants passing. Lewis might have been a first round pick in 2011, but came back for his senior year. He broke his foot in practice and it seemed to affect him this season.
However, if he can show (either at his pro day or the combine) that he has no more lingering effects, then I'll be talking about him in round two at that point. For now, he remains a third round grade for me.
Emmanuel Acho OLB, Texas: Acho was a terrific leader for the Texas defense this season, leading them in tackles with 102. He was also able to record 13.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, five passes defended and one forced fumble.
Texas defensive players usually project well at the next level and Acho definitely fits that bill. He is a good blitzing linebacker and could give the Giants some versatility by rushing the passer on occasion.
Tank Carder ILB, TCU: The two-time Mountain West defensive player of the year is one of my potential sleeper candidates in this year's draft. The Giants could have a problem at inside linebacker if Jonathan Goff does not re-sign.
I love Chase Blackburn, but I don't see him as the inside linebacker of the future. Carder has good instincts, is tough and is a good tackler. He could use some work as a pass defender, but you can say that about all the middle linebacker options for the Giants. Clearly they just want someone who can stop the run and Carder can be that guy.
Coryell Judie CB, Texas A&M: With Aaron Ross, Terrell Thomas and Will Blackmon all potential free agents, the Giants could be looking for secondary depth when the draft comes around.
Judie missed several games in 2011 due to injury, but in 2010 he looked like he could be a second round pick. He has terrific man coverage skills and great instincts, but can he be durable at the next level? Judie also brings the returner element to his skill set—he had two kickoff returns for touchdowns in 2010.
Jamell Fleming CB, Oklahoma: Another player who has good instincts and already has good man coverage skills that can translate to the next level. Needs to improve as a tackler, but in coverage he does not give up much separation. If the Giants are looking for someone to be the nickel corner, Fleming could challenge whoever for that spot right away.
Josh Chapman DT, Alabama: Chapman does not offer much from a pass rushing stand point, but that could not be more perfect for him. The Giants like to bring out their big defensive tackles on pass rushing downs anyways.
Most see Chapman as a run-stuffing nose tackle in a 3-4, but he could be a backup for Linval Joseph while providing a boost to their run defense, which was questionable at times in 2011.
Travian Robertson DT, South Carolina: Robertson was projected to go a bit higher than this prior to the 2011 season but his senior year was disappointing. He is still an OK talent with some upside that Jerry Reese could be interested in.
With the Giants probably losing Rocky Bernard and Jimmy Kennedy (losing is used loosely, they could just choose not to re-sign them), they will be looking to add some DT depth behind Linval Joseph, Chris Canty and Marvin Austin.
Tony Jerod-Eddie DT, Texas A&M: Jerod-Eddie is just the type of defensive tackle the Giants like to have around. Not necessarily a dominant run-stopper, but can make plays and get pressure up the middle in passing downs.
He is athletically gifted and could be a great situational player in giving the starters some rest.
Cameron Chism CB, Maryland: Again this all depends on how many secondary players the Giants can re-sign this off season, but I wouldn't put it past Reese to add another corner regardless.
Chism had a good game against Miami and looks like he can be a solid nickel corner for the Giants. Chism recorded seven interceptions over the past two seasons as a starter for Maryland.
Jack Crawford DE, Penn State: Another pass-rusher? Knowing Jerry Reese, I wouldn't be surprised to see him sneak in another defensive end late in the draft.
The Giants rode their pass rush all the way to the Super Bowl and it makes perfect sense to try and find the next sleeper pass-rusher. Crawford finished the season strong for Penn State, but only finished with 6.5 sacks in 2011. He has a lot of potential but has yet to live up to it. Maybe playing along side Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck could get the best out of him.
Adrian Cole ILB, Louisiana Tech: Every year, someone finds a late-gem linebacker in the draft and Cole could be one of those guys. He finished with 127 tackles, 13 for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and three blocked kicks.
Obviously you have to question the level of competition in the WAC, but he did win defensive player of the year in the conference.
Philip Welch K, Wisconsin: As much as we all love Lawrence Tynes for kicking the Giants to two Super Bowls with overtime field goals in the NFC Championship, the fact remains the Giants do not trust him past 50 yards.
Welch did not kick much in 2011 as Wisconsin was always scoring touchdowns, but he was 4-of-8 from 50+ in his career. Welch could be long gone by this pick, but you never know with kickers and punters.
Randy Bullock K, Texas A&M: I know, I know, I'm seemingly biased when it comes to my Aggies, but maybe it is because this is one of the random years when Texas A&M actually has a bunch of players that can be drafted. I really like the three Aggies I scouted for this article.
Bullock maybe most of all. The guy has a huge leg and is deadly accurate. He has improved so much since his freshman year and looks to have a career at the next level. Amazingly, he was 12-of-14 in the 40-49 yard range this season.
Greg McCoy CB/KR, TCU: McCoy looks to be more of a return specialist than anything, but in a pinch he could be a solid backup corner. He has good vision in the return game and could allow the Giants to let Will Blackmon go and let someone like McCoy take over the return duties.
One thing scouts will like about McCoy is his blazing speed, which could help him be a late-round steal if someone can develop his corner back skills.