I had the Giants trade up for a quarterback earlier in the season. They no longer have to do that, as they can pick the top signal-caller the Browns don't want.
Eli Manning turns 37 in January, and he's in obvious decline. The Giants will likely have a new front office, so they'll want their own franchise quarterback.
Josh Rosen was once the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he was passed by Sam Darnold, and maybe even Lamar Jackson. Darnold has struggled, so that's no longer the case with him. However, NFL coaches and owners are wary of the sort of things Rosen has discussed to the media, and his open views could hurt him. Scouts have told us that his teammates don't like him either, so that's a major strike against him. And for the cherry on top, even if his high school coach criticized him. However, Rosen's epic comeback against Texas A&M almost certainly has helped repair his draft stock a bit.
Rd. 2, Pk. 3
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
Shane Vereen is an impending free agent, so the Giants will need a new running back to perhaps complement Orleans Darkwa. It's unclear if Darkwa is even good enough to be the starter, but he's the best the Giants have. That would change with Bryce Love, who has shown some dynamic play-making ability as Christian McCaffrey's replacement.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Connor Williams, OT, Texas
The Giants obviously need to do something about their poor offensive line. They've suffered countless injuries this year, but they still wouldn't be very competitve if everyone were healthy because of their poor blocking.
Connor Williams has taken a dive in this mock draft update as a result of Charlie's report in the NFL Hot Press that teams have a mid-round grade on the Texas tackle.
The Giants wanted Jack Conklin last year, and he didn't make it to their pick. I think the same thing could happen this year with Garett Bolles. If Bolles is off the board, I think the Giants could look to upgrade their linebackers with a player like Reddick, Jarrad Davis or Zach Cunningham.
I've surveyed sources at teams, and they believe that Reddick will go somewhere in the first round. I personally am skeptical that he should go in Round 1 because he has a grand total of three practices and an exhibition game at his NFL position. I also agree with some scouting sources who believe it is a lot easier to transition by moving closer to the line of scrimmage rather than backing off of it. The position change is why some teams gave Reddick mid-round grades. Still, Reddick has a lot of teams that like him, so he should go in the first round.
Reddick (6-1, 237) was an edge rusher in college who has to move to outside linebacker in the NFL. He showed that he can make that switch at the Senior Bowl as he flew around the field and was constantly around the ball. Still, sources with teams say that Reddick is a real project for the NFL and will take time to develop at linebacker considering he has no game experience there. In 2016, Reddick totaled 65 tackles with 22.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes broken up. He was an excellent edge rusher, yet there were times where he got destroyed in the ground game.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
The Giants could use more talent at tight end. Jerry Reese likes freak athletes, and Engram's 4.4 speed as a tight end could be dynamic in New York's offense.
Engram is a dangerous receiving weapon. The 6-foot-3, 236-pounder is a fast, athletic tight end who can hurt defenses vertically. He has the speed to get separation and is dangerous with the ball in his hands. Engram needs to add weight for the next level and get better as a drive blocker, but he already shows good intelligence and effectiveness with cut blocks at the right spot. Engram has a good attitude and tries hard as a blocker.
Engram amassed 65 receptions for 926 yards and eight scores in 2016. Against Florida State and Alabama, he showed that he is a dynamic receiving tight end for the NFL in the mold of Jordan Reed. Engram totaled 120 yards on nine receptions with a touchdown against the Seminoles and nine catches for 138 yards and a score versus the Crimson Tide.
Engram had a slow 2015 with only 38 receptions for 464 yards and two touchdowns. In his first two years, he was excellent for Ole Miss. Engram caught 38 passes for 662 yards with two touchdowns in 2014. He was a dangerous receiving threat who carved up Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State that season. As a true freshman, he caught 21 passes for 268 yards with three touchdowns.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Caleb Brantley, DT/NT, Florida
The Giants could use an interior defender after losing Johnathan Hankins in free agency. Brantley could be a steal.
Brantley totaled 31 tackles with 9.5 for a loss, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 2016. He was very disruptive with his quickness at the point of attack and was superb against Tennessee and Georgia. The 6-foot-3, 307-pounder used his agility to fire through his gap and routinely achieved penetration into the backfield. He is a dangerous interior pass-rusher.
Brantley flashed a lot of disruption at the point of attack as a redshirt sophomore in 2015. He totaled 29 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks that season. While 6.5 isn't a huge sack total, it is a quality number for an interior defender, and Brantley showed the potential to be a three-down defender in the NFL.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
The Giants get some offensive line competition.
Johnson (6-7, 298) has athletic potential, but he needs a lot of work. He lacks strength and doesn't generate any push in the ground game. Johnson ties up his blocker, but is not a force at the point of attack to push a defender out of their gap. In pass protection, Johnson has the athleticism to protect against speed rushers, but he is weak at blocking inside moves and gets bull rushed too easily. Even undersized speed rushers have success when bull rushing him. Johnson is a finesse player who needs development, but he has natural size and athletic ability to work with.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Ben Gedeon, ILB, Michigan
The Giants grab a linebacker to compete.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Joe Yearby, RB, Miami
The Giants could use a speed back to pair with a more physical runner.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Rashaad Coward, DT, Old Dominion
The Giants grab some interior defensive line depth and hosted Coward on a visit.
The Giants still could use more tackle help for their offense. Here's a bookend to go with Ereck Flowers. <br> <br>
McGlinchey was very impressive at left tackle for the Fighting Irish in 2016. He looked natural in pass protection, and one wouldn't have thought that he wasn't playing the position before last season. <br> <br>
McGlinchey has excellent feet to get depth in his kick slide and cut off speed rushers. As a run blocker, McGlinchey can get movement at the point of attack. He flashes heavy hands to push defenders out of their gaps and open holes for his back. McGlinchey also has a nice ability to bend at the knee, and that in combination with his feet, keeps him from having to reach after edge rushers. His performance in 2016 protecting DeShone Kizer is evidence that McGlinchey is a future starting left tackle in the NFL and a first-round pick. <br> <br>
McGlinchey (6-7, 310) is a tough run blocker and has been part of a good Notre Dame line for years. In 2015, he showed well as a right tackle and had a more physical style of play than former Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley. The one area that McGlinchey really needs to improve is his repeated problem with false starts.
It may be confusing as to why Barkley, who in my view could be the best player in this class in any other scenario, would slip all the way to pick 9, but it ultimately comes down to need. The Browns, Niners, and Jets all will value QB over skill positions; and the remaining teams either have their franchise RB (Ajayi, Howard/Cohen, Johnson, Gordon) or have a massive need on the other side of the ball (Colts). The one team in the top ten who doesn't have that luxury, or really any hang up about grabbing a RB? The Giants, who have arguably the worst run game in the NFL right now. The Eli transition, which is likely coming sooner rather than later at this point, is going to be a whole hell of a lot smoother with what looks like one of the best RB prospects to come out in recent memory, and considering who some of those other prospects were in the last several classes, that's certainly saying something.
The Giants have starting center Weston Richburg, along with guards Justin Pugh and D.J. Fluker, heading into free agency. Even if Richburg is re-signed, New York could easily be in the market for more talent at guard. They also need tackle help. If they draft a left tackle, they could move Ereck Flowers to the right side. <br> <br>
Williams is out indefinitely after tearing a knee meniscus and straining some other ligaments against USC. In speaking with one general manager, he said he thinks Williams is overhyped and clearly needs to spend a lot of time in a weight room for the NFL. Williams had a moderately disappointing showing in the 2017 season opener against Maryland. He allowed a few pressures and had plays where he allowed defenders to gain leverage on him. He also had two critical holding penalties in the fourth quarter, including one that negated a successful conversion of a fourth-and-14 situation. <br> <br>
Williams (6-6, 290) started at left tackle as a freshman and sophomore for the Longhorns. He was a steady pass protector and a consistent run blocker. Williams has good length, quickness and athleticism. It would be good to see him become stronger and show more heavy hands.
Unless Davis Webb has really impressed them behind the scenes, the Giants would probably look to grab their heir apparent to Eli Manning if they end up picking this high in the 2018 NFL Draft. <br> <br>
On the year, Rosen has completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,620 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He had a mixed game against Memphis with a painful pick-six in the second half that was huge for the Tigers pulling off the upset. Rosen had a legendary performance in UCLA's 2017 season opener versus Texas A&M, leading one of the greatest comeback wins in college football history, turning a 44-10 third-quarter deficit to a 45-44 win. <br> <br>
Of the top quarterback prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft, Rosen has the best mechanics and is the most natural pocket passer. He throws a tremendous ball and can really spin it with his powerful arm. Rosen's tight spiral helps him to get his passes through tight windows and beat good coverage. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder has serious arm talent with field vision and pocket presence. Scouts who have done advance work on the 2018 prospects have told me that Rosen has questionable intangibles with how he gets along with his teammates and his leadership skills for the NFL. <br> <br>
Rosen had an impressive debut as a freshman in 2015, completing 60 percent of his passes for 3,670 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. As a sophomore, he completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,915 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in six games before suffering a season-ending injury.
Unless the Giants fix their offensive line in free agency, they're going to need more talent up front. <br> <br>
Brown (6-8, 360) is a massive blocker who has been a physical blocker for the Sooners. He opened a lot of holes for Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine in 2016. Brown has done the same for others as a starter over the past few seasons. Brown uses his strength and physicality to toss a lot of defenders to the ground as he can be a flat-out bully on the field. However, he needs to improve his pass protection for the NFL. Some team sources say they don't see Brown as a first-rounder; they think he will be a second-round pick and a starting right tackle at the next level. He also could be a big guard, but his height is less than ideal for throwing lanes on the inside.