This is an updated version of my 2011 NFL mock draft for the New York Giants with some changes after the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine
The Combine always seems to throw a curveball to everyone's mock draft, and it has done the same to mine, but mostly in the middle to late rounds.
The Giants have some holes to fill along the offensive line and at outside linebacker, so they will do what they've always done and look to get those players in the draft.
They also might have to find a replacement for Ahmad Bradshaw or Brandon Jacobs, as it's becoming evident that the Giants might not be able to justify keeping them both for financial reasons.
Feel free to comment on any of the selections and I'll be sure to elaborate on anything I didn't make clear in the slideshow.
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The Giants are getting old at every spot on the offensive line and, more importantly, both the starting center and left guard are coming off major surgeries.
Rich Seubert had major knee surgery after dislocating his knee cap in the season finale and Shaun O'Hara had the first of two foot surgeries to repair lingering problems he had all season long that caused him to miss 10 games.
I think it's safe to say that with the Giants' obvious emphasis on building their team from the trenches, coupled with the fact that this is a position of need, they will look for an interior lineman with this selection.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a better one than Pouncey, who was an All-American right guard while playing next to his brother Maurkice (you know, the starting center for the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers) and an All-SEC selection in his only season as the starting center.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Giants got Pouncey and he started right away—he is that type of talent.
*Changed Pick from Ryan Williams.
Bruce Carter looked very good at the Combine and fits well in the strong-side linebacker spot in the Giants 4-3 scheme. He did 25 reps on the bench press, which was good for sixth-best among all linebackers.
He has tremendous athleticism for his size and excellent sideline-to-sideline speed. Carter keeps great contain on outside running plays but can sometimes get bullied by bigger, stronger blockers.
The Giants will more than likely need an outside linebacker to replace Keith Bulluck, who said he would rather retire than play in a part-time role again.
Carter possesses elite pass-coverage skills for a linebacker and a high football IQ, however he is coming off an ACL injury he suffered in November, so the team that drafts him will likely have to see some kind of progress in terms of rehab before they take a chance on him.
Despite that, he is a hard worker with great talent that would be a first-round pick if it weren't for his injury concerns.
The Giants will take the best player available and Carter should be there at this point.
The Giants are getting old all along the offensive line and if they select Barksdale, they will have two young, talented tackles to build on with he and William Beatty, their second-round pick in 2009.
While the Giants could potentially wait and draft a tackle in the first or second round of the 2012 NFL Draft—indications are that that position will be much deeper next year—I believe the technique and footwork Barksdale displayed at LSU means he has the potential to be an elite tackle at the next level, despite his middle-round draft grade.
He doesn't have great strength, so he will have to improve that or he will be dominated by bull rushers at the next level.
This pick all depends on how much they value Shawn Andrews as a viable option at left tackle. He protected Eli Manning well when he had the opportunity, but his run blocking was very bad.
*Changed Pick from Casey Matthews
(from previous article)
"The days of Brandon Jacobs in the Giants' backfield could be numbered. His up-and-down season was well chronicled and it ended on a down note, despite him having a terrific second half of the season as the starter.
He cussed out reporters as he was cleaning his locker and the Giants organization, known for its desire to rid the team of guys who don't want to be there, may have to oblige Jacobs if he wants to leave.
If they happen to hold onto Jacobs, then they have the task of signing Ahmad Bradshaw to a new contract, which could prove to be difficult with how great his season was. The Giants already have a ton of money invested in other franchise players, so if it is about money, the Giants might not be able to match offers from other teams.
Either way, the Giants will more than likely be looking for a running back—DJ Ware is not the answer."
As of yesterday, the Giants made Ahmad Bradshaw a restricted free agent with a second-round tender, so the likelihood of them either keeping both Jacobs and Bradshaw or trading Jacobs and drafting a younger back with upside becomes a high possibility.
If it were me, I would oblige Jacobs' deep desires to play elsewhere as the full-time starter and take a guy who, by all accounts, could be even better than Jacobs.
Fannin has many similarities with Jacobs, the best of which is he is a big back with elite speed.
Despite weighing 231 pounds, Fannin was the second-fastest running back at the Combine with a 4.38 40-yard dash.
He was also the third-string running back for the Tigers this season—as was Jacobs at one point in his college career before transferring—but may have caught the eyes of several teams as a late Day-Two steal.
*Change Pick from Ronald Johnson
Jordan Cameron plays big like a tight end but runs like a wide receiver. He may sneak into the earlier rounds with his Combine performance, but at the moment, he remains a later-round prospect.
This is mainly due to the fact that he lacks any sort of blocking ability whatsoever, but the Giants have Kevin Boss and Bear Pascoe to take care of that.
Cameron was the best tight end at the Combine—other than maybe Virgil Green. He was in the top five of every single workout tested.
He showed elite athleticism for a tight end, running a 4.59-40, displaying a 37'' vertical and 9'11'' broad jump as well as fantastic agility, finishing at the top of the list of tight ends in the three-cone drill and both 20-yard and 60-yard shuttle.
He is a project that can be molded into a big weapon across the middle, something the Giants have lacked since losing Jeremy Shockey.
*Changed Pick from Shaun Chapas
I read a few scouting reports on Sherman that claimed he doesn't have good enough strength to be a lead blocker at the next level.
Well, him leading all running backs with 32 reps on the bench press doesn't really back that statement up.
Sherman is a traditional blocking fullback with a mean streak. He looks to punish people and plays all the way through the whistle.
He won't be a threat in the passing game, which is fine because the Giants never use the fullback as a pass receiver.
(Well, when the fullback isn't a converted tight end they don't.)
The Giants need a blocker to replace Madison Hedgecock, who has gone from one of the better blocking fullbacks in the league to an afterthought due to his subpar 2010 season that was plagued by injuries.