With the 2013 NFL Draft only 22 days away, I'd like to be able to say we're getting a better feel for what the New York Giants might plan on doing with that No. 19 overall pick. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
With so many holes on defense and still some room for upgrades on offense, the mock drafts, reports and rumors have been all over the map for Big Blue this spring.
Here's a rundown of where a collection of national writers and experts are leaning...
Bjoern Werner (DE, Florida State)
The Giants have to replace Osi Umenyiora and secure a long-term complementary pass-rushing weapon for Jason Pierre-Paul, and Werner fits that profile while being forecasted as a mid-first-round selection. And so naturally, more mock drafts have him going to the Giants than anyone else.
The dude led the ACC with 13 sacks in 2013, but he's also considered to be a solid all-around 4-3 end. He fits the Giants' mold and would have a chance to gain rotational reps right off the bat. I believe that if he drops to the No. 19 spot, there's almost no way the G-Men would pass.
The Giants have always liked productive defensive linemen that get after the QB and play the run. Werner has a good get off and has size. His 59 plays behind the line of scrimmage in 27 college starts are impressive. He would go earlier in the draft if not for a slow forty time at the Combine. This guy is a football player.
D.J. Fluker (OT, Alabama)
The Giants have had trouble at the right tackle position for several years now, and while David Diehl and James Brewer are options, I think they realize it's probably time to add another draft pick to the fray.
Fluker's advantage is that he's versatile and could even play some guard, but he won't do a whole lot for Eli Manning in pass protection, especially early.
Some might consider this pick to be a reach, especially with New York having so many needs on defense. The Giants could chase a right tackle in the second or third round, or they could pursue a free-agent to fill that hole. That's why Fluker is deep on my suggested draft board right now.
Fluker isn't athletic enough to play on the left side, but he has developed enough balance and footwork to hold up on the right. He carries his weight well, plays hard and doesn't show some of the scary traits massive right tackle prospects often bring to the table. And if the Giants are willing to take the likes of Chris Snee at No. 34 overall or Will Beatty at No. 60, why not a player like Fluker here? After all, over the past decade-plus no position has hit at a higher rate in the first round than offensive tackle.
Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas)
And yet another player the Cowboys and Giants seem to have in common in this draft. If their division rival doesn't pluck the draft's best safety away one pick earlier, I'd have no problem with the Giants spending the No. 19 pick on Vaccaro, who is particularly strong in coverage and could allow them to wave goodbye to Antrel Rolle in the near future.
The problem is that with Rolle, Stevie Brown, Ryan Mundy, Will Hill and Tyler Sash on board, the Giants aren't hurting too badly at safety. So if a top-tier pass-rusher is still on the board, this would seem like an odd selection.
After a season with some secondary issues, getting Vaccaro would be a coup for the Giants. He has the range and coverage ability to match up with NFL slot receivers and tight ends.
Tank Carradine (DE, Florida State)
Hundreds of prospects from hundreds of schools and two of the four most mocked players for the Giants played the same position in the same program.
Carradine is a slightly more exciting prospect than Werner, but he's not as strong in run defense and is a huge injury concern coming off a torn ACL in 2012. That's a big reason why he's not even on my board, but if the Giants are dead-set on going defensive end and Werner, Ezekiel Ansah and Sam Montgomery are gone, this could happen.
Despite being a one year wonder, if Carradine had not injured his knee against Florida he would likely have been a top ten pick, so the Giants take a gamble here based on need and great value.
The Giants know they wouldn't have won either of their recent Super Bowls without the pass-rush dominating the way it often did. They prioritize pass-rushers over all else, and with Umenyiora gone and Justin Tuck no longer very effective, I have little doubt they'll be leaning that way early in the draft.
I think it is odd, though, that we're not seeing a ton of cornerbacks being mocked to New York in Round 1. Sure, they brought back Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara is solid, but this team couldn't cover last season and there are some solid first-round-caliber corners in this draft class.
It'll be interesting to see how these and other mock drafts evolve over the next three weeks. Maybe Xavier Rhodes and Desmond Trufant will begin to get some love from the G-Men.