Well it's mock draft time again. This is my last installment of the mock draft for the New York Giants unless something changes next week.
I feel pretty good about my mock from last week so there are going to be no changes besides one in the later rounds.
To recap, the Giants have big time needs at offensive line, linebacker and tight end, so this draft will look to address those needs while also adding depth at key positions.
Here we go.
I've started to warm up to the idea of the Giants spending this pick on Anthony Castonzo, not only because he has ties to Tom Coughlin (Coughlin used to coach BC), but also because he is a very talented and durable player. He started three straight seasons at left tackle for the Golden Eagles.
Castonzo plays with a mean streak and is the best pass blocker of this year's class. If you need any proof, just watch the video of him against top 10 pick Robert Quinn.
The Giants have David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie as their current tackles, who will be 31 and 32 when the season gets under way. They still have one, maybe two good years left in them, but Castonzo will be the left tackle for the future.
In the very near future, Castonzo can move inside and play left guard if the Giants don't get Rich Seubert healthy in time for the start of the season. Shaun O'Hara is expected to be back healthy by the time training camp is scheduled to take place, so they won't need to reach for one of the second-round prospects at center here.
It is very possible that the Giants could use their first two picks on offensive linemen. General manager Jerry Reese has shown in the past that he places a huge emphasis on making the Giants one of the top teams along the line of scrimmage.
It's a reason they've been consistently good over the past few years; they've had elite defensive and offensive line play.
I really would like to see the Giants take Bruce Carter here, but I don't see him making it this far in the second round. They could also take a defensive tackle if they have any doubts about retaining Barry Cofield, who has stated publicly he will not sign the one-year tender offer he received prior to the lockout.
Hudson is an insurance policy for Rich Seubert, who is entering his 11th season coming off major knee surgery that won't allow him to begin running until late July.
He is also a damn fine player who the Giants could groom into the starting center at some point down the road. He won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy two years in a row—given to the ACC's best offensive lineman—and was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2010, drawing only one penalty flag all season long.
Hudson will be taken after Mike Pouncey, but he has the potential to be just as good, if not better.
The Giants have a need at fullback and tight end, but could kill two birds with one stone by drafting Stocker in the third round, allowing Bear Pascoe to remain the team's starting fullback.
He wasn't used all that much in the Vols' offense, but had a very solid season in 2010 and looked like one of the better athletes at the position at the combine. He improved his 40-yard dash time at Tennessee's pro day and is considered by many to be the second best tight end in the draft.
However, I see teams being enamored with Jordan Cameron and Kyle Rudolph's athleticism, so I believe they will both be taken before Stocker. Not many teams will be looking for a tight end in the first two rounds, so Stocker falling here is very possible.
Homan is the perfect fit for what the Giants are looking for in an outside linebacker; someone who can come in and be an immediate impact player on the strong side of the defense who is a terrific run stopper.
I can't figure out why Homan is a day three prospect, other than teams are worried about the concussion he suffered in 2008 and the turf toe injury that kept him out of most of the 2007 season.
These are not injuries to be worried about, as he mostly played through them—other than turf toe since the team medically redshirted him that year. He is a very tough player and will be a great asset to the already good Giants defense.
In 2009, he played the full season and had 108 tackles, two sacks, and five interceptions and was second-team All-Big Ten. In 2010, he missed two games with a sprained foot but still registered 72 tackles, two forced fumbles, one sack, one interception and was awarded first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Homan showed great toughness playing through all these injuries, and was a vocal leader for the Buckeyes in 2010; he is a steal in this round.
McElroy doesn't have the best arm, the quickest feet, or the fastest release, but he does have the smarts and decision making ability that most teams covet from their quarterbacks.
He nearly aced the Wonderlic test, scoring 48 out of a possible 50 points, by far the best in the class. He also proved during his career at Alabama that he was smart on the field as well, making smart throws and rarely turning the ball over.
In his two years as the starting quarterback, he threw 37 touchdowns to only nine interceptions, as well as a completion percentage of 60.9 and 70.9. Oh yeah, he also won a national championship.
In those 27 games, he threw more interceptions than touchdowns only twice, and this was against SEC defenses.
The Giants seem to like the qualities he possesses, ones that aren't exactly measurable at the combine, and have met with McElroy already and had him work out for them.
Seems to me they will try and get him if he is available in Round 6.
Buster Skrine is a developmental project at corner at best, but his 4.29 40-yard dash time at the combine looked pretty sweet. His coverage skills are average at best, but I imagine Perry Fewell could teach the kid a thing or two.
If anything else, he provides the Giants with a return man with blazing speed that can change a game with one play.
Pick Change from Aldrick Robinson
I've had Ronald Johnson mocked in the sixth round before but made a change because I thought he might be picked earlier, but it doesn't feel like that is the case any more.
Johnson offers more talent at the wide receiver position than Robinson while still bringing that element of helping in the return game.
He is fast and quick and a good route runner, and can be a backup plan in case Steve Smith does not come back 100 percent in 2011.
Matt Dodge was terrible last season and may have cost the Giants the game against the Eagles when he inexplicably punted the ball to DeSean Jackson rather than out of bounds, despite being told to do the latter.
He claims that the snap was high and therefore his priority was to avoid the blocked punt, which caused him to forget about where he needed to punt the ball and just got it off.
He actually shouldn't have even been in that position considering the Giants blew a 21-point lead in eight minutes.
However, he was awful in more than just that game. So often he would boom the ball from his own 30 and kick it into the end zone, but then from his own 10 he would shank it 25 yards and give opponents great field position.
He also almost never pinned teams deep when he was punting from around midfield. Basically it was a perfect storm of suck.
The Giants will either draft one of the top guys or sign someone as a free agent after the draft; either way they are going to have a battle for the position during camp.