Though we are still in the peak of the free-agency period and the New York Giants are not done making moves, it is time for another mock draft.
Like the previous mock drafts, this version is unique in style. I will examine the best case and worst case scenarios for the Giants at each pick.
This mock draft will also reflect the signings the Giants have made so far, which have filled a couple needs.
Best Case: With the Giants signing of Martellus Bennett, tight end no longer becomes a dire need. With the first pick in the draft, the Giants need to draft an offensive lineman. Unless one of the top two running backs (Trent Richardson and Lamar Miller) fall to the Giants, the offensive line has to be the focus.
Worst Case Jerry Reese has said the team will always be looking for pass-rushers, but hopefully, that means later in the draft. If he goes best player available and does not address a position of need, it wouldn't be a disaster, but he would be neglecting the offensive line, which was one of the worst units in 2011.
Best Case: Assuming the Giants make the smart move and take care of the offensive line (unless they see a running back they like in round one), if one of the high second-round running back prospects fell to the Giants at the end of the round, it would already be a successful draft.
Doug Martin of Boise State, David Wilson of Virginia Tech or LaMichael James of Oregon would all be ideal.
Worst Case: The Giants ignore the running back position completely and try to find a gem later in the draft. I realize Reese found Ahmad Bradshaw in Round 7 and Brandon Jacobs was found in Round 4, but neither of them is very good without the other.
The Giants need a playmaking running back who can eventually take over for Bradshaw.
Best Case: If the Giants have not addressed the running back position by now, they can make a last-stitch effort to get one that can have an immediate impact here. Hopefully, that is not the case, and they should turn their attention back to the offensive line. The unit will not be fixed with just one player, and they should draft both a guard and a tackle, if for competition than anything else.
Worst Case: They ignore both the running back and offensive line positions and take a wide receiver or defensive back. With the signing of Terrell Thomas, Michael Coe and Justin Tryon, the secondary depth is no longer in question. I think we can also agree the Giants do not need a wide receiver.
Best Case: A stud defensive lineman falls to the Giants in Round 4. With Rocky Bernard and Jimmy Kennedy both free agents, the Giants would likely be looking to add defensive tackle depth at this point in the draft. They could also be losing Dave Tollefson to the market, so a pass-rusher could be a need by draft day.
Worst Case: In an effort to add depth to the defensive line, the Giants reach for someone they could have taken later. Jerry Reese loves pass-rushers, maybe to a fault, and he whiffs on later-round picks in an effort to find the next steal in the draft. That is a rarity, but it could happen.
Given that the Giants have (hopefully) addressed all of their major needs by now, the attention in the final rounds has to be focused on adding depth. The safety position depends on Deon Grant's free-agency status, the wide receiver position depends on Mario Manningham and the tight end position could still use another body.
Drafts are typically won or lost in the middle to late rounds. Evaluating these players is a grind, and Jerry Reese and his crew have done a terrific job over the years.
Best Case(s): The Giants like to go defense late in drafts and help their special teams unit. They did an amazing job of this last season, and I expect them to do the same this year. With the final three picks, the base case scenario I can envision is drafting a safety, defensive end and tight end. Every one of those positions would do well by having another body compete for a position in training camp.
Worst Case(s): The worst case I can see for these picks is if the Giants have not addressed their major needs and are attempting to fix problems with late-round gems. I'm not saying this cannot be done, but it goes without saying you are more likely to improve the offensive line with first and second day picks.
The Giants were able to put together a dominant offensive line with mostly late-round picks and Chris Snee in the past, but they should not bank on that happening again.
That said, pretty much all picks are a crap shoot. I have learned over the last several years to simply trust whatever Jerry Reese and his team end up with. It has not always worked, but his picks have panned out more often than not.