Just when you thought you couldn't stomach another mock draft or prospect profile, here is yet another article on the topic.
However, I decided to take a slightly different approach this time around.
After exhaustive research and combing through numerous mock drafts from every corner of the Internet, I have compiled a list of targets for the first five rounds of the draft that may be available when the Giants pick.
I then proposed two alternate plans the Giants may follow based on their greatest needs and best players available at the selection.
It goes without saying that there is a possibility that some of the higher rated talent will fall to the Giants, as it does every draft. Also, there is the possibility the Giants will move up to get players they really covet.
However, this analysis is made with the presumption that the Giants will stay put, and players will be selected based on how they have been drafted in the numerous mocks around the web.
I will refrain from giving a prospect profile on any of these targets since you all can go to anyone of the gazillion websites out there to get info on any of these players.
Please post a comment on any alternate paths the Giants may take in selecting from this pool of players, and let me know of any players I may have missed. Without further adieu:
Round One Targets (in no particular order):
RB- C.J. Spiller
LB- Rolando McClain, Sean Weatherspoon
DB- Earl Thomas, Taylor Mays, Kyle Wilson
OL- Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Maurkice Pouncey
DT- Brian Price
As I said in my preamble, these are all of the possibilities for the Giants first pick, but only some of them are realistic if they stay put and don’t move down.
As indicated by the pick, option one involves taking a potential starting middle linebacker, which I believe is the consensus most pressing need for the Giants. Both of these guys are the only first-round graded talent that can possibly meet that need.
Forget about the idea that 15 is too high to take Weatherspoon.
I subscribe to the theory that players of similar grades are not significantly better or worse than one another. Duh! (This of course is predicated on the prospects being graded and grouped correctly in the first place, which after all is the name of the game).
Thus, the 15th pick isn’t going to be light years better than the 20th pick. Therefore, if ‘Spoon is good enough to take in the 20s, it's not fatal to take him at 15.
Another way to think of it is: no one is going to see C.J. Spiller as a reach at 15, but is Spiller going to be light years better than ‘Spoon? Probably not, if at all.
If ‘Spoon turns out to be the next Lance Briggs, who he is most often compared to because Briggs can play in any one of the three LB positions, then getting him at 15 was a steal. In any case, 15 might be at the higher end of where Weatherspoon can go, but it’s not unrealistic or a reach.
Also, forget about taking Weatherspoon over McClain if both are available because ‘Spoon fits Fewell’s scheme better. McClain is the consensus best LB, never mind MLB, and good, smart players can play in any scheme given the proper coaching.
McClain fits that description perfectly. This debate is a lot like the Nicks/Britt debate last year. Like last year, we went with the highest rated player at the consensus position of need. Like last year, Giants can take their pick because both players will be solid starters in the league.
The other consensus glaring need for the Giants is the woeful play of the defensive backfield, especially the play of the safeties. The memory of Brees, Rivers, Warner, and (insert quality QB here) shredding the Giants secondary still haunts my hours of R.E.M. You can never have enough quality DBs.
You can literally have six DBs on the field at once, and with the way the NFL is going, this will be more of a necessity than a luxury. Not to mention you need depth to battle injuries, which was the single most fatal failure of last year’s personnel decisions.
You simply cannot count on players staying healthy (see Aaron Ross and Kenny Philips). So it's great that we acquired Antrelle Rolle and used a bunch of high draft picks on DBs. I say keep ‘em coming.
Enter Earl Thomas. Mike Mayock of NFL.com has him as the highest rated safety, even over Eric Berry, and he will probably be available at 15. Earl Thomas is a perfect selection because he is so versatile, possesses excellent ball skills and instincts, and excels in both zone and man coverage.
Much like Antrelle Rolle, he can play CB, and drop down in the box to cover speedy slot receivers, which allows us to use more blitzes.
The concerns about Thomas’ size are offset by the fact that Kenny Phillips is our prototype safety with size and run stopping ability, and he is still penciled in as the starter. Furthermore, Michael Johnson, and dare I say, C.C. Brown, are “in the box” safeties.
Therefore, Earl Thomas provides insurance in case Philips doesn’t come back 100 percent, and if Philips is back, Thomas can contribute as a nickel or dime DB and on special teams as he develops into a starter. This would possibly allow the Giants to cut Antrelle Rolle’s big salary in a few seasons.
I can hear the critics already; what about RB, OL, and DT? Simply put, these positions are not as big a need as LB or DB/S, and they can be fortified with comparable players in later rounds.
Anyone think Anthony Davis from Rutgers or Mike Iupati from Idaho is significantly better than Vladimir Ducasse from UMass? Anyone, think Brian Price, DT from UCLA, is light years better than Lamar Houston from Texas, or Arthur Jones out of Syracuse?
At both of those questionable positions, the Giants have starting quality depth, and only seek to add youth and perhaps some competition to push the entrenched starters. Not so much at LB, especially MLB.
And as I began, you can never have enough quality DBs. Stay tuned for Part Two of this article, http://bleacherreport.com/articles/372932-new-york-giants-2010-nfl-draft-targets-part-two