New York Giants Day 2 Draft Primer
Thus, it's no wonder that general manager Jerry Reese, in his comments made to reporters after the selection of Beckham, said of Day 1, "I think it went well for us."
The selection of Beckham was a mild surprise to me, only because I thought they might wait until later in the draft to take a receiver and instead try to grab one of the top offensive tackles if any were left—and Zack Martin of Notre Dame was there—in order to beef up the offensive line.
Anyway, here's a more detailed look back at Day 1 and a preview of what might still be to come on Day 2.
Day 1 Recap & Analysis
After putting a heavy focus on their defense during free agency, the Giants began to add some young talent via the draft to address their broken offense, adding receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (5’11”, 195 pounds) out of LSU in the first round.
Beckham is not only an outside receiving threat, he's also a guy who can return kickoffs and punts.
“He has great speed, he’s polished, he’s talented, he has big hands, he has played at the top of the level in college football,” head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters during a press conference following the Beckham selection.
“His head coach speaks very, very highly of him as a worker in addition, as a great example to the other receivers, so we felt like this is someone who would help us a great deal to put the ball in the end zone, be a guy that we can count on to help us score some points, be another weapon that we can utilize as a wide receiver but in addition we can certainly feature him in the kicking game as well.”
Beckham’s primary role will be to provide some firepower to the Giants' receiving game that, last year, was ranked 19th in the NFL.
He’ll line up as an outside receiver, which will allow Cruz to continue to work from the slot where he’s been most effective, catching 561 of his 998 yards and three of his four touchdowns last season from the slot, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Coughlin is optimistic that Beckham can come in and be a Day 1 starter.
“I think you take that position right now with every guy that comes in the door. They better all contribute right away, whether it be on special teams, defense, offense, whatever it is they’re going to be…there’s no waiting around in this game today.”
Updated Needs for the New York Giants
What positions might be on the Giants' radar in Day 2? Here's my updated look at five of those needs.
General manager Jerry Reese might think it’s time for one or both of Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell "to develop and play."
The question he needs to ask himself, though, is if he's really willing to roll the dice on the third time being a charm for Robinson, whom Reese famously called "the JPP of tight ends," and Donnell, who has all the physical tools but who just hasn't put it all together yet.
If he is and/or if he's comfortable going into the season with the only tight ends currently on the roster with any kind of starting experience being Daniel Fells and Kellen Davis, both older veterans on one-year contracts, then maybe this position isn't as much of a need as I think it is.
The Giants surprised by not grabbing Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin, who went four picks later to the Cowboys. However, that doesn't mean the Giants are content with their offensive line situation.
Guard Chris Snee is on target to return from surgeries to both hips and an elbow, but it would be foolish for the team to gamble on him making it through a 16-game season.
Some depth to challenge James Brewer and Brandon Mosley is sure to come at some point in this draft, and that point could be Day 2, especially if they can get a guard/center type.
The Giants need help at both defensive end and defensive tackle. If they can get one player to do both, preferably someone who's an end but who can move inside on passing downs as Justin Tuck used to be able to do, all the better.
I didn't initially include this position in my mock draft only because I thought they might be able to get by with what they have at outside linebacker, which is Jameel McClain, Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams.
However, only McClain, projected to be the strong-side starter, is under contract for 2015, while both Paysinger and Williams, who last year rotated at the weak-side spot, are both set to be unrestricted free agents.
The Giants probably won't keep both of those two—and there's no guarantee they'll keep either, especially if Williams, who was thought to be the next man up at the position, has been inconsistent.
If the Giants want to look ahead, now might be a good time to add another linebacker to the mix in order to get him ready for a potentially bigger role in 2015.
The Giants surprisingly didn't bother to extend Antrel Rolle, who is coming off a Pro Bowl season. Of course, Rolle isn't getting any younger—he'll be 32 by the time the 2014 season ends.
While there's no reason to think that he can't continue to play at a high enough level to eventually warrant another contract, will the Giants face a situation with Rolle next year like they did with Justin Tuck?
If that's not enough of a concern, Will Hill is reportedly facing a third league-imposed suspension as a result of yet another failed drug test.
Per both Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger and Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, if Hill doesn't win his appeal, which general manager Jerry Reese confirmed is ongoing during his pre-draft press conference, the third-year safety could very well be done with the Giants.
Top Day 2 Targets
Here's a look at three targets each in Rounds 2 and 3 that might be worth considering.
OT Morgan Moses, Virginia
The Giants didn't address offensive tackle in the first round. Might they look at the 6'6", 314-pound Moses, whom NFL Draft Scout projected as a borderline first- or second-round pick?
DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
Don't necessarily discount Jernigan, who, per Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, failed a drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine, from potentially being in the mix. The Giants like to have big bodies in their defensive front, and the 6'2", 299-pound Jernigan has just that.
RB Bishop Sankey, Washington
The Giants can't count on David Wilson this year, and the rest of the depth behind projected starter Rashad Jennings is shaky on paper. Sankey (5'10", 209 pounds), has the vision, quickness and feel for the position, making him a very intriguing option if he's there at No. 43.
TE Troy Niklas, Notre Dame
Injury issues that affected his pro day could cause his stock to tumble. If healthy, his versatility would be hard to pass up for Ben McAdoo's new offense.
RB Charles Sims, West Virginia
Projected as a low third- to high fourth-round pick, the Giants might not want to wait until the fourth round to get this receiving threat out of the backfield.
C Travis Swanson, Arkansas
If the Giants are looking to add more competition at the center spot, they might want to see about adding a player in this round. Travis Swanson (6'5", 312 pounds) is an intelligent and durable player who could offer good value at this spot.
What Are the Experts Saying?
Let’s take a quick look at who the experts are forecasting for the Giants on Day 2.
Tom Coughlin will appreciate Sankey's no-nonsense approach and three-down reliability.
The Giants are almost certain to take a running back in this draft. Where they spend a draft pick will provide a good enough clue as to just how realistic it is for David Wilson to return from neck surgery this year.
Bishop Sankey is a player that I contemplated for my more recent mock drafts; however, I can’t see them spending a second-round pick on a running back (I’m still thinking fourth round for this position).
Dane Brugler, NFL Draft Scout: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
If the Giants don't land Aaron Donald in the first round, Jernigan in the second would be a nice consolation prize.
According to a report by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Jernigan was one of 10 players who either tested positive for drugs or had a diluted sample during the NFL combine.
Jernigan’s agent, Sunny shah, told the Orlando Sentinel that his client had hydration issues, which, Shah noted, “When you’re in the league and you have a diluted sample, it’s a fail.”
That issue aside, if the Giants are looking at a defensive lineman in this round—and I personally think it might be too early to look that way—they probably are going to want a player that is versatile enough to play inside and outside.
Matt Miller, B/R: Kevin Norwood WR Alabama
Miller didn't elaborate on his projection, but it would seem that with the Giants grabbing Odell Beckham, Jr. in the first round, they'll likely go in a different direction in Round 3.
Predictions for Day 2
After a busy first round across the league, the Giants front office should now have a feel for how Day 2 might be shaping up. Here's a look at some predictions that could play out for the Giants in Rounds 2 and 3.
The Giants Might Explore a Trade
In each of their last three draft classes, the Giants have been without their full set of original draft picks because of a trade.
In 2013, they gave up a fourth-round pick to get QB Ryan Nassib. In 2012, they were without a fifth-round pick, having traded that to Cincinnati before the draft to acquire linebacker Keith Rivers. And in 2011, they were also without their fifth-round pick after trading that to Minnesota to acquire backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels and return specialist Darius Reynaud.
This year, the Giants won't have their seventh-round pick, having given that up to get linebacker Jon Beason from Carolina last fall. I have a hunch they might trade away one other pick to move up at some point during these last two days in order to get a player they really want.
The Giants Will Draft a Tight End
With Eric Ebron being the only tight end to go in the first round, there should be plenty of options for the Giants to choose from on Day 2.
Some names to keep an eye on include Notre Dame's Troy Niklas, Texas Tech's Jace Amaro, Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Iowa State's C.J. Fiedorowicz and Georgia's Arthur Lynch.
Updated Giants Mock Draft
Here's an updated look at what I think might happen the rest of the way for the Giants.
Round No. 2, Pick No. 43: OT Morgan Moses, Virginia
I still think the Giants are going to add a tackle from this draft, and since Virginia's Morgan Moses is still on the board, I wouldn't be surprised if the Giants make a move to get him if he's there when the 43rd pick comes up.
ESPN analyst Todd McShay, in a mock draft he published in late April, picked Moses to go to the Giants in Round 1, noting:
It feels like I'm the only guy who likes Moses this high in the draft, but these are my picks, so I'm taking him here. Guys who don't like him as much focus on the fact that he underachieved early in his career, but he has matured a lot, and I thought his tape in 2013, when he played left tackle, was much more impressive than his 2012 tape, when he was playing right tackle. Pass-rushers need to take a cab ride to get around his length.
Round No. 3, Pick No. 74: TE Troy Niklas
While the Giants continue to hope for Larry Donnell and/or Adrien Robinson to develop at tight end, a candidate who offers a lot in the way of versatility at this position is Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas (6’7”, 270 pounds), NFL Draft Scout’s fourth-highest rated tight end.
Again, if versatility is a theme on offense—and that certainly appears to be the case—it’s only logical that the Giants try to add as many players to that side of the ball that can do multiple things.
Niklas is one such player, a guy who can play H-back, be an in-line blocker, be a third tackle in pass protection and who can line up wide and be a receiver.
Round No. 4, Pick No. 113: RB Charles Sims
Continuing with the versatility theme in this draft, West Virginia’s Charles Sims (6’0”, 214 pounds), could very well offer offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo the versatility he seems to want in his players.
Sims might not be fully there yet as a between-the-tackles running back or as a pass-blocker, but he does offer value as an outside runner and, especially, as a receiver out of the back field.
Round No. 5, Pick No. 152: S Craig Loston
As mentioned in my look at the updated needs on this team (Slide 2), the Giants safety situation has become paper-thin thanks to the unsettled status of Will Hill.
Meanwhile, Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps will all see their respective contracts expire after this season. Because of that, the Giants might do well to come away with a safety from this draft.
LSU's Craig Loston (6'1", 217 pounds) is a hard hitter who, per NFL Draft Scout, has good instincts for the position and "rare acceleration and explosion as an open-field hitter."
Round No. 5, Pick No. 174 (Compensatory): DT Anthony Johnson
The Giants currently have four defensive tackles on their roster with NFL experience, and two of those four are 30 or older.
A potential boom-or-bust player at the defensive tackle position is LSU’s Anthony Johnson (6’3”, 308 pounds), who, if he can refine his pass-rushing technique and improve his pad level, could potentially become a part of a defensive interior rotation.
Round No. 6, Pick No. 187: DE Cassius Marsh
A solid value pick whose versatility—yes, there’s that word again—might be appealing is UCLA defensive end Cassius Marsh (6’4”, 252 pounds).
Marsh can play both defensive tackle and defensive end, and he plays with a nasty disposition. His versatility could offer defensive coordinator Perry Fewell a lot of new options should he want to again experiment with some different multiple-front looks, as he did for a bit last summer.
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