2011 NFL Mock Draft: Final Predictions of All Rounds for the New York Giants
I know I said last Friday's mock draft was my final prediction, but I've come to realize that the possibility of the Giants getting the playmaking outside linebacker they need is much more of a possibility that I originally assessed.
You'll know who I'm talking about in a minute.
This has caused some of the draft to change up, but some of the picks will remain the same. The Giants have shown an incredible amount of interest in Mike Pouncey of Florida and Anthony Castonzo of Boston College.
Back in January, both of those guys probably would have been available at No. 19, but now it is uncertain if they will be there for the taking.
The Giants need to get younger on the offensive line, no question, but will Jerry Reese really stick to his guns by drafting the best players available when they pick?
I don't think he will; the Giants are ready to win right now and can't afford to be drafting players that won't help right away.
So with that said, let's take a look at the full round projections for the New York Giants.
Round 1, Pick 19: Anthony Castonzo OT, Boston College [No Change]
In my most recent mock draft, I have the Giants taking Mike Pouncey, but that is only because I have the Miami Dolphins trading down. If they do not trade down, most believe they will take Pouncey.
I also have several teams ahead of the Giants going defense rather than offensive tackle, so I really believe Castonzo will be available here.
He is a perfect fit to play left tackle for the Giants, and I've begun to welcome the idea of the Giants sliding David Diehl inside to left guard rather than drafting someone to play the position this year.
In the future they will need a dominant player to play left guard, but it can wait.
Castonzo has elite pass blocking ability and is very durable, which I love about him. He started three straight seasons for the Golden Eagles at left tackle.
Round 2, Pick 20: Bruce Carter OLB, North Carolina
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Pick Changed from Rodney Hudson
I once thought Carter was going to be taken by a team in the top of the second round, but now I realize that teams are shying away from him due to his knee injury.
He suffered a torn ACL in November that has made him unavailable to do running drills during this draft process.
However, the Giants took a chance on Keith Bulluck coming off ACL surgery last year, so it makes sense that they would do it again, especially given the incredible athleticism that Carter possesses.
Even if he is not 100 percent, 85-90 percent of Carter is better than 100 percent of most of the other outside linebacker prospects. He would be a first round lock if it weren't for his injury.
He allegedly ran a 4.39 40-yard dash while at UNC; that would have been the fastest ever for a linebacker at the combine.
Round 3, Pick 19: Luke Stocker TE, Tennessee [No Change]
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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 likely.
Round 4, Pick 20: Noel Devine RB/KR, West Virginia
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Pick Changed from Ross Homan
Ever since watching Noel Devine in college, I've wanted the Giants to draft him when he came out.
He offers something the Giants don't currently have: a home run threat out of the backfield in the passing attack and a great kick returner.
Now, Devine didn't do much returning in college because he was the work horse running back—he is one of the more decorated offensive players in WVU's history—but he shows the capability of being an elite return man with his moves in open space and he shows good patience and vision as a runner.
He did return kicks as a true freshman and averaged 23 yards per return.
He also has the potential to be a future third round running back for the Giants; he is already better than Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs as a receiver out of the backfield.
Round 6, Pick 20: Greg McElroy QB, Alabama [No Change]
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McElroy is a national champion, scored the highest on the Wonderlic test with 48 of 50 points, and makes great decisions and rarely turns the ball over.
He can be the backup for the future for the Giants with Sage Rosenfels entering the latter part of his career.
I'm not sure that McElroy will be anything more than a serviceable backup, but the guy holding the clipboard is one of the most important jobs on a pro football team.
His intelligence and ability to read defenses will help Eli Manning become an even better QB than he already is.
Round 6, Pick 33: Chykie Brown CB, Texas
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Pick Changed from Buster Skrine
With the Giants getting Devine (and the next guy, hint) they don't need to take Skrine as a developmental project who can help in the return game.
They need to add depth at the corner position, and Chykie Brown looked good at his Pro Day.
He ran a 4.37 40 and looked good in the drills, and he could be one of the steals of the draft with two of his secondary teammates from Texas being taken long before him.
Round 6, Pick 37: Ronald Johnson WR, USC [No Change]
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Johnson is someone who can be a contingency plan in case Steve Smith doesn't have a full recovery.
Although the Giants do have Ramses Barden and Victor Cruz, I see them as more of deep threats than slot guys.
Johnson is also a proven punt return man, so the Giants could use Devine in kickoff situations and Johnson on punts to drastically improve a return game that was not the same without Domenik Hixon, who is coming off ACL surgery.
Round 7, Pick 19: Derek Epperson P, Baylor [No Change]
Matt Dodge took a couple years off my life with how terrible he was, so you can bet the Giants will at the very least bring someone in to have competition in training camp.
Dodge showed off his huge leg at times, but didn't have the finesse that a punter has to sometimes show when he pins teams deep in their own territory.
Epperson is one of the top punter prospects in this year's class, and with free agency set to happen after the draft the Giants will likely use a draft pick on a punter if they want one. Undrafted free agents will have the same no contact rules as current free agents.