Giants Mock Draft: Who Are the Experts Projecting to New York?
A lot of NFL experts peg defense as a necessity for New York in the upcoming draft while others feel Big Blue may want to bolster the tight end spot.
The first pick will be an important one for the Giants, as GM Jerry Reese has found success in the first round the past few years.
So who should the G-Men be targeting?
Here's a look what the experts are projecting for your New York Giants' first-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Mel Kiper, ESPN
The Pick: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
In his latest mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper has the G-Men selecting LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft (ESPN Insider access required).
It was just a year ago at this time when we considered the pass rush a major strength of the Giants, with an emerging Pierre-Paul and veterans Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. But while JPP is now among the best 4-3 defensive ends in the league, the latter two will both be north of 30 by the time the draft arrives -- Umenyiora may not be around next season, and it could be the final year for Tuck in New York. If the Giants want to keep the defensive line a strength, a proven, high-motor defender with pass-rushing skills such as Montgomery would make a lot of sense.
Montgomery is a solid defensive end, but I think there are better DEs in the draft for New York to target.
While I do agree that New York should target a DE in the upcoming draft, I'd rather see the Giants go after Ezekiel Ansah, who was the MVP of the 2013 Senior Bowl.
New York could definitely do worse with its first-round selection, but I think there are better options with the 19th pick.
Gil Brandt, NFL.com
The Pick: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt continues the defensive trend for Big Blue, pegging Notre Dame ILB Manti Te'o as New York's first-round pick, saying:
The Giants need linebacker help, and Te'o is the kind of player they like, his rough showing at the BCS Championship Game notwithstanding.
I'm a fan of this pick.
A lot of fans may remember Te'o as the player who failed to come up big in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, but they conveniently forget that Te'o was one of the best linebackers in college football for the three months prior.
Te'o possesses excellent range vs. run and is one of the best wrap-up tacklers in the upcoming draft.
New York would be lucky to have Te'o fall to No. 19 in the draft.
Todd McShay, ESPN
The Pick: Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
You had to know McShay wasn't going to agree with Mel Kiper's first-round pick for the G-Men. Here's what McShay has to say about 6'3", 237-pound linebacker Alec Ogletree (via ESPN Insider):
The Giants could also address needs at offensive tackle, cornerback, tight end or defensive en here, but if Ogletree's character checks out he is a steal this late in the first round. He is one if the best pound-for-pound athletes in the class and has the range to chase plays from sideline to sideline.
Clearly the experts are honing in on the defensive side of the ball, and I couldn't agree more.
Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree has excellent speed for a player his size and closes quickly to deliver big hits on the ball carrier.
With time, Ogletree would be an upgrade over Chase Blackburn or Mark Herzlich.
Rob Rang, CBS Sports
The Pick: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Rob Rang of CBS Sports jumps to the offensive side of the football, projecting the Giants look to bolster the tight end position in the upcoming draft.
On paper the Giants appear to have filled the hole at tight end with veteran Martellus Bennett and young developmental types in the wings. But Bennett is a free agent. Ertz, 6-6, 252, has the size and speed to challenge defenses down the middle, forcing defenses to think twice about providing help on the outside to cornerbacks attempting to stop Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.
To be frank, I'm not a fan of this pick for the Giants.
Martellus Bennett is coming off a career season for the Giants and displayed excellent chemistry with Eli Manning.
That's certainly not a knock on Zach Ertz, but the Giants should be focusing on defense in the first round.
As long as the Giants re-sign Bennett—which should be a main priority—there's no need for the Giants to spend a high pick on a tight end.
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
The Pick: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Our own draft expert Matt Miller has the G-Men focusing on the linebacking corps with the first pick:
The New York Giants can't pretend that their defense is fine. It's not. The front office, led by Jerry Reese, must address the holes soon if they hope to make a return to the playoffs.
Kansas State inside linebacker Arthur Brown isn't a physically-imposing player, but at 6'1" and 231 pounds, he's big enough to handle the impact he'll see as a middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense. With two big defensive tackles in front of him clearing the way, Brown is free to roam and attack the backfield. That's what he does best.
Any pick that's going to bolster the defense—especially at linebacker—is a solid pick in my book.
Brown has excellent sideline-to-sideline range and is one of the most reliable tacklers in the upcoming draft.
He was a durable player at Kansas State and could immediately come in and make an impact for the G-Men in 2013.
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