New York Giants 2012 Mock Draft: 7-Round Predictions, Free Agency Edition
While the NFL free-agency period is far from over—and hopefully, the New York Giants still have some moves they will make prior to the 2012 NFL draft—Jerry Reese has already made a move that will impact the draft strategy come April.
He signed tight end Martellus Bennett to a one-year contract. After the losses of Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum to torn ACLs in the Super Bowl, tight end was a priority, and Reese went to action as soon as the new year began on March 13.
Not only that, but it is surprising that Reese has not made a move to get a free-agent offensive tackle. There are still some available, but perhaps he is confident with the group they plan on using next season.
What position the Giants will draft in the first round is anybody's guess.
That said, here is my most recent version of the 2012 NFL mock draft for the Giants.
Round 1: Mike Adams OT, Ohio State
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Mike Adams is the perfect, massive, dominating run blocker the New York Giants need to help fix a unit that finished dead last in the NFL in rushing the football.
At 6'7',' 323 lbs., Adams used his frame to bully opponents in the run game in college, and his skill set should translate well to right tackle at the next level.
The Giants need to find someone to replace Kareem McKenzie, whom they told to find another team. Adams is that guy.
The Giants could also draft a running back, linebacker or defensive end at this spot. It is likely they won't like any of the running backs left at this point, so linebacker or defensive end could be the pick. Jerry Reese has never drafted a linebacker in the first round, but if he did, Zach Brown or Dont'a Hightower could be the picks.
This draft is also laden with solid pass-rushers, so if the likes of Whitney Mercilus or Chandler Jones peak their interest, they could go that route.
Round 2: Chris Polk RB, Washington
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Despite Ahmad Bradshaw calling himself 100 percent healthy this week, the Giants still need to consider drafting a running back capable of being a solid backup and eventual starter when Bradshaw inevitably hits a wall in a couple years.
They also need someone better than DJ Ware behind Bradshaw if he gets hurt, which has happened in two of the last three years.
Polk is a strong running back who could help the Giants in short-yardage situations, something they've been pretty bad at over the years despite featuring a 260 lb. running back.
The Giants could add another pass-rusher here with Dave Tollefson out visiting other teams, or they could add a linebacker with Jonathan Goff doing the same. If Goff ends up signing with another team, it would likely mean the Giants try to find a middle linebacker in Round 1 or 2.
Luke Kuechly and Dont'a Hightower are really the only first-round grade middle linebackers, but I would be shocked if they aren't picked before the 32nd-overall pick.
I really like Boise State's Doug Martin, but he'll be taken before the last pick in the second round.
Round 3: Derek Wolfe DE/DT, Cincinnati
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Derek Wolfe is the perfect hybrid defensive tackle the Giants like to employ. He can play both inside and out, but with the Giants, he would primarily backup Chris Canty, who is also a converted defensive end turned defensive tackle for Perry Fewell.
Wolfe has been impressive throughout the draft process and had a solid 2011 season at Cincinnati, totaling 70 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.
Wolfe alongside Canty, Marvin Austin and Linval Joseph would form a dominant rotation at defensive tackle.
The Giants might actually consider adding another tight end if the likes of Dwayne Allen or Orson Charles fall this far. Also, they could add depth in the secondary with a safety.
Round 4: Ladarius Green TE, Louisiana Lafayette
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The Giants did sign Bennett, but that doesn't mean they should completely ignore the tight end position in the draft. If Green is available in Round 4, they could give Eli Manning a multitude of red-zone threats.
Hakeem Nicks, Martellus Bennett and possibly Green would be a nightmare for defenses inside the 20.
Green fits the mold of the next generation tight end, one with incredible size and athletic ability. He could add some bulk, but at 6'6'', 237 lbs and running a 4.52 40-yard dash, he will create matchup problems at the next level.
Bennett is going to be the starter next year, but the New England Patriots proved you can never have too many tight ends.
Round 5: Sean Richardson S, Vanderbilt
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The Giants could be looking to add safety help, having not re-signed Deon Grant as of this moment. Grant is a leader and fantastic locker-room presence, but entering his 13th season, he could be looking to call it quits after finally winning a Super Bowl.
Richardson is a strong run defender but could work on his ball skills—he had just one interception in college.
However, I love the fact that he was a three-year starter in the SEC, which is known for producing great defensive players at the next level.
The Giants took a flyer on Jonathan Goff in the fifth round in 2008; they could do the same with Richardson.
Round 6: Jack Crawford DE, Penn State
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With Dave Tollefson visiting other teams, Jerry Reese could be looking to add a pass-rusher in the draft. Given that it is not a paramount need, with Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora still on the roster, Reese can afford to wait.
There are a number of late-round pass-rushers who could turn out to be steals in the draft, and Crawford is one I like the most.
Though he didn't have much in terms of production (6.5 sacks in 2011), he showed flashes of being a capable backup in the NFL.
Round 7: Randy Bullock K, Texas A&M
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Lawrence Tynes in is the final year of his contract, and the Giants could be looking to replace him as early as this season.
Tynes will be remembered for kicking the Giants to the Super Bowl, twice, but his weak leg has hampered the Giants over the years.
His accuracy beyond 40 yards is not great, and his accuracy overall has dwindled the pass three seasons. He's gone from 84 percent in 2009 to 79 percent this past season.
Bullock has a huge leg and not only provides the ability to make kicks past 50 yards, but will be an upgrade over Tynes on kickoffs.
Even if the Giants plan to go with Tynes this year, bringing in Bullock would create competition, and he could win the job in training camp. Cutting Tynes would save the Giants from paying Tynes $1.3 million this season, with his cap number being $1.55 million.