New York Giants Mock Draft and Big Board: Updated Day 2 Predictions
The suspense is over, but the fun is just beginning.
Giants general manager Jerry Reese still has five picks to make, including his crucial second- and third-round selections on Friday night. There are still a handful of needs to address, so he'll have to select wisely.
We have pulled Thursday's selections off our big board and created a new list of the top 100 players who are still available, then we modified our mock draft to reflect the selection of Apple in the first round.
Are the Giants on the right track after Day 1? Read on, and let us know what you'd like to see them do with their remaining picks in the comments section below.
Top-100 Big Board
A total of 31 players came off the board on Friday night. Below are the top 100 players who still remain unselected.
Positions of need are weighted more than other positions on this big board. Therefore, after the selection of Eli Apple in the first round, the remaining cornerbacks have all fallen down the list.
Jerry Reese and the rest of the Giants' brain trust won't stray far from their board in the coming rounds. It is a valuable tool, generated over months of scouting, that helps general managers and other members of the front office focus on the best player available when the draft starts to get hectic in the second and third rounds.
Here's what ours looks like:
|3||Noah Spence||DE||Eastern Kentucky|
|4||Emmanuel Ogbah||DE||Oklahoma State|
|7||Cody Whitehair||G||Kansas State|
|8||Michael Thomas||WR||Ohio State|
|16||Shilique Calhoun||DE||Michigan State|
|17||Pharoh Cooper||WR||South Carolina|
|18||Austin Johnson||DT||Penn State|
|19||Kendall Fuller||CB||Virginia Tech|
|21||Carl Nassib||DE||Penn State|
|22||Braxton Miller||WR||Ohio State|
|24||Joshua Perry||LB||Ohio State|
|26||Kenneth Dixon||RB||Louisiana Tech|
|27||Vonn Bell||S||Ohio State|
|28||Jaylon Smith||LB||Notre Dame|
|30||Le'Raven Clark||OT||Texas Tech|
|31||Nick Martin||C||Notre Dame|
|33||Chris Jones||DT||Mississippi State|
|38||Christian Westerman||G||Arizona State|
|40||Javon Hargrave||DT||South Carolina State|
|43||Adolphus Washington||DT||Ohio State|
|45||Rashard Higgins||WR||Colorado State|
|48||Landon Turner||G||North Carolina|
|54||Kamalei Correa||LB||Boise State|
|59||Nick Vannett||TE||Ohio State|
|61||C.J. Prosise||RB||Notre Dame|
|62||Joe Haeg||OT||North Dakota State|
|65||Roberto Aguayo||K||Florida State|
|66||Connor Cook||QB||Michigan State|
|67||Sheldon Day||DT||Notre Dame|
|68||DeAndre Houston-Carson||S||William and Mary|
|69||Miles Killebrew||S||Southern Utah|
|70||Will Redmond||CB||Mississippi State|
|72||Kevin Byard||S||Middle Tennessee|
|75||Darian Thompson||S||Boise State|
|77||Scooby Wright III||LB||Arizona|
|78||Willie Beavers||OT||Western Michigan|
|80||KeiVarae Russell||CB||Notre Dame|
|81||Justin Simmons||S||Boston College|
|84||Kyler Fackrell||LB||Utah State|
|88||Joe Dahl||G||Washington State|
|89||Jerrell Adams||TE||South Carolina|
|91||Matt Judon||DE||Grand Valley State|
|93||Aaron Burbridge||WR||Michigan State|
|95||Isaac Seumalo||G||Oregon State|
Pick 40: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
Although the Giants focused heavily on rebuilding their defense in free agency and used their first-round pick on a cornerback, they may stay on that side of the ball in the second round.
Reese probably wants to bring in a young pass-rusher, and there’s a decent chance that Emmanuel Ogbah will still be there when the Giants pick.
The 22-year-old has a lot of natural athleticism and is a good fit in New York’s 4-3 defensive scheme. He is a big defensive end at 6’4” and 273 pounds, yet he was still the second-fastest player at his position at the NFL Scouting Combine in February with a 4.63-second 40-yard dash.
In addition to his pure speed, Ogbah is also explosive. He was a top performer in the vertical jump (35.5 inches) and the broad jump (121.0 inches) at the combine in February.
Ogbah isn’t just a workout warrior, though; he is a highly decorated defensive end. The Oklahoma State product was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for his conference-high 13 sacks in 2015, leading to a handful of All-American honors.
The Giants need a defensive end of Ogbah’s caliber. They have Jason Pierre-Paul and free-agency acquisition Olivier Vernon in line to start on the edges, but there’s no proven depth behind them. Kerry Wynn did not record a single sack in 15 games played last season, and 2015 third-round pick Owa Odighizuwa only appeared in four games.
Ogbah would be a great addition to New York’s pass-rush rotation. He can help keep Pierre-Paul and Vernon fresh, while also serving as an interior pass-rusher in some sub packages.
Pick 71: Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
The Giants have to address the wide receiver position in the middle rounds of the draft. There are a lot of talented pass-catchers in this class, and Pharoh Cooper is a solid one who can probably be snagged in the third round.
Cooper isn’t the biggest receiver at 5’11” and 203 pounds, but he’s a big-time playmaker (remember: Odell Beckham Jr. is under 6’0”). In three seasons at South Carolina, he recorded 18 receiving touchdowns, four rushing touchdowns and four passing touchdowns. In 2015, the coaches in the conference named him first-team All-SEC as a wide receiver and as an all-purpose back.
In addition to his versatility on offense, Cooper was also a return specialist for the Gamecocks. His ability to make an impact in several aspects of the game leads one to believe that he is very coachable. That’s probably a result of being raised in a military family.
A player like Cooper is every coach’s dream, especially a forward-thinking coach with an offensive mindset. Ben McAdoo should have big plans for the 21-year-old if the Giants are lucky enough to land him in the third round.
Beckham has become one of the NFL’s best receivers without much help from his supporting cast. Victor Cruz has been injured for most of his professional career, and Rueben Randle (signed by the Philadelphia Eagles) was more of a liability than an asset during his tenure with the team. Cooper could be trusted to take better advantage of the opportunity to play opposite one of the league’s most talented pass-catchers in Beckham.
The healthy return of Cruz alone would take the Giants’ passing offense to new heights. With Cooper rounding out the starting trio of wideouts, quarterback Eli Manning should have no trouble posting career-best statistics for the third consecutive year.
Pick 109: Joe Haeg, OT, North Dakota State
After missing out on Jack Conklin and the other top tackles in the first round, the Giants must try to locate a starting-caliber prospect elsewhere in the draft. Unfortunately for them, the value and their pick might not align again until the fourth round, when they'll have the opportunity to scoop up Joe Haeg.
Haeg went to an FCS school, North Dakota State, but the Philadelphia Eagles selected his college teammate, quarterback Carson Wentz, with the second-overall pick. And there was nothing "small school" about his Combine numbers; he was a top performer in the broad jump (111.0 inches), three-cone drill (7.47 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.47 seconds).
At 6'6" and 304 pounds, the 23-year-old certainly has the size needed to thrive as an NFL right tackle. He also has the experience—albeit at a lower level of competition—with 61 collegiate starts.
The Giants desperately need one more quality blocker to round out the offensive line. They have spent high draft picks to secure starters at left tackle (Ereck Flowers, ninth-overall pick in 2015), left guard (Justin Pugh, 19th-overall in 2013) and center (Weston Richburg, 43rd overall in 2014). They may have also nailed a late-round pick, as 2015 seventh-rounder Bobby Hart is in perfect position to take over for John Jerry as the starting right guard.
All that remains is the right tackle position. Marshall Newhouse started 14 games there last year and left a lot to be desired. Veteran Byron Stingily was signed in free agency, but no one is pinning him to take over as the starter and excel.
Unless Indiana's Jason Spriggs falls to them in the second round, the Giants' only option may be to take a flyer on Haeg in the fourth. He is far from a sure shot, but it would be better to take a chance on him than to whiff on the position entirely in this draft.
Pick 149: Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple
In last week’s mock draft, we had the Giants taking Tyler Matakevich in the fourth round. Concerns about his physical limitations lead one to believe that he could be available in the fifth round—perhaps even later.
Regardless, the Giants should scoop up Matakevich in the fifth round. They need to draft a proven prospect at linebacker, and no one has a resume quite like this Temple product.
The 23-year-old recorded nearly 500 tackles in four seasons with the Owls, eclipsing 100 stops each year. He added 4.5 sacks and five interceptions as a senior in 2015, making him a clear-cut choice for the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
Although the 6’0”, 238-pound linebacker certainly lacks the desired athleticism, the Giants haven’t been fielding world-beaters at this position as of late. Even as a fifth-round pick, Matakevich could easily compete for the starting middle linebacker job. The current competitors—Jasper Brinkley, Uani ‘Unga, Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard—are all very beatable.
Matakevich, a collegiate All-American, is an intelligent football player and a natural leader. You can’t measure heart at the NFL Draft Combine, but he has plenty of it. For a team that’s always in search of a bargain at this position, the Giants can’t ask for much more in a middle linebacker.
Pick 184: Wendell Smallwood, RB, West Virginia
If the Giants address all their biggest needs in the first five rounds, they’ll have some flexibility with their last pick. In the sixth round, they should consider picking up a running back such as Wendell Smallwood.
The Giants aren’t hurting at running back; they have a capable committee spearheaded by Rashad Jennings. Even so, Smallwood could be a valuable addition.
Smallwood was a workhorse for West Virginia last season. He was the Big 12’s leading rusher with 1,519 yards, and he scored nine touchdowns. The 5’10”, 208-pound back also caught 26 passes for a total of 264 offensive touches in 2015.
The Giants would never count on Smallwood to carry such a large load for them, but he appears to be a more complete back than either Andre Williams or Orleans Darkwa. If picked up in the sixth round, he should give both of them a run for their roster spots this summer.
At the very least, Smallwood should find a landing spot on the practice squad. Late-round running backs are always worth a shot because it’s nearly impossible to predict which one will blow up once given an opportunity to play.
Smallwood is an intriguing prospect to consider in the sixth round.
*All Combine measurements courtesy of NFL.com.
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