Giants 2013 Mock Draft: The Smartest Pick New York Can Make at Every Spot
Whether you want to accept it or not, the New York Giants' defense is in a rebuilding stage.
It shouldn't be a lengthy stage, as the Giants only need a few pieces to return to the defensive glory the franchise is accustomed to.
I've made a decent amount of changes to this mock from the one that I put together last week, but the idea is still the same: defense.
Here's my updated Giants 2013 mock draft.
Round 1: Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU
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The New York Giants are clearly in need of help at the corner position—Corey Webster has been torched more than a piece of burnt toast—and the first round of the draft is where they'll likely find it.
If FSU's Xavier Rhodes is still available, the G-Men must spend the No. 19 pick on the 6'2" cornerback.
Rhodes sported three interceptions during his junior campaign this season and often drew the responsibility of locking down the opposing offense's No. 1 wide receiver.
If Rhodes isn't available, I think the G-Men should target N.C. State's David Amerson, who I had the Giants taking in the first round of my mock draft last week.
New York's defense ranked 28th against the pass and allowed 26 aerial touchdowns, which ranked tied for 19th in the NFL.
Round 2: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
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If you think the Giants don't need help on the offensive line, you're sorely mistaken.
David Diehl has proven that he can no longer play at a Pro Bowl level, as the Giants' offense sputtered at times this season due to inconsistency—inconsistency that stemmed primarily from the offensive line and injuries to Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks.
Eli Manning took some big hits this season and New York's offense can't continue peeling its quarterback off the turf because of a weak offensive line.
D.J. Fluker has been instrumental in Alabama's offense, leading to a 16th-ranked rushing attack and a quarterback (A.J. McCarron), who threw for 30 touchdowns and a mere three interceptions.
At 6'6", 335 pounds, Fluker is a more than suitable replacement for Diehl at the RT position on the Giants' offensive line.
Round 3: William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
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The Associated Press (h/t Fox News) has already reported that Michigan State defensive end William Gholston will forgo his senior year and enter the NFL draft, making him a prime target of many NFL teams.
With Osi Umenyiora's time likely over in New York, Gholston seems like the perfect fit for the Giants' defensive line.
CBS Sports projects that the 6'7" DE will go in the third round, and if the G-Men are lucky enough to still see Gholston on the board, they must snag him.
Gholston's pass rushing moves could use some work but with teammates like Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul, I like his chances of becoming an improved pass rusher.
He has the size and physical skill to fit into the Giants' 4-3 defense and would undoubtedly bolster their defensive line.
Round 4: Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama
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Nico Johnson was great against the run for the Crimson Tide this season and could bring that talent to New York next season.
The Giants ranked 25th against the rush this season and lacked superior play from their linebackers, leading to a 31st-ranked total defense.
Johnson showcased his abilities against LSU on Nov. 3, accumulating 12 total tackles in an Alabama victory.
Chase Blackburn is a suitable middle linebacker—in my opinion—but the Giants could do better.
I'm not saying Johnson is going to come in and start for the G-Men, but he could be groomed into a starting role eventually and would provide depth for the linebacking corp.
Round 5: Daimion Stafford, FS, Nebraska
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I had Nebraska's Daimion Stafford as the Giants' fifth pick in my first mock draft and I'm sticking to it.
If the Giants' secondary continues to struggle, Antrel Rolle will continue to see more time at corner, meaning New York needs help at the safety spot.
Stafford is a freak of an athlete, which is exactly what Giants' GM Jerry Reese loves. CBS Sports reports that Stafford boasts 4.5 speed and is no stranger to laying big hits on guys over the middle.
The 6'1" FS intercepted four passes for the Cornhuskers this season to go with a sack and at least seven tackles in 10 out of 14 games.
Round 6: Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State
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You can tell me all you want that the Giants don't need another RB, but you can never have enough depth at any position, especially one that takes continuous pounding throughout the season.
With the constant injuries to Ahmad Bradshaw and the serious injury suffered by Andre Brown, it's sensible for Big Blue to target a running back in the draft, especially a late-round gem like Kerwynn Williams.
Williams is similar to Darren Sproles, as evident by his 1,500-plus rushing yards and 45 receptions this past season.
He ranked 11th in the nation in terms of rushing yards (1,512) while scoring 15 TDs on the ground and another five in the passing game.
Williams boasts 4.4 speed (via CBS Sports) and will be an asset to any team looking for a balanced RB.
Round 7: Dustin Hopkins, K, FSU
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Lawrence Tynes kicked the Giants to two Super Bowl championships but his inconsistent play down the stretch warrants a kicking change in New York.
Tynes made 33-of-39 this season but missed at least one field goal in three consecutive games from Week 13 to 15.
FSU's Dustin Hopkins would be the perfect replacement for Tynes, as the kicker connected on 25-of-30 field goals, including 5-of-6 from at least 50 yards out.
The senior kicker ranked tied for second in the nation in terms of field goals made and would definitely be worth a seventh-round pick for the Giants.
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