New York gets to fill tons of needs with all of the picks it has acquired from the Bills. This, however, is an instance in which the team has the luxury to take the best player available, and that would be Marcus Davenport.
The Giants don't need an edge rusher right now, but that hasn't stopped them in the past from making picks like this. Besides, it doesn't sound like Olivier Vernon will be on the team much longer.
Davenport is a highly athletic edge rusher who has been generating tons of buzz lately. He could be a top-15 pick with a strong pre-draft process.
New York didn't address a need with the first pick it acquired from Buffalo. This is a case where the Giants are plugging a huge hole, however. They acquired Alec Ogletree in a trade, but he's not enough. Another talented linebacker needs to be obtained, and Rashaan Evans certainly qualifies as one.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Ronald Jones II, RB, USC
Shane Vereen is an impending free agent, so the Giants will need a new running back. Orleans Darkwa, Wayne Gallman, Paul Perkins... all of these players are pedestrian. New York needs an upgrade here, and it would get that with Ronald Jones, who could be chosen in the first round.
Rd. 2, Pk. 24
Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
Rd. 3, Pk. 2
Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T
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. Using two picks on tackles in the first two days makes sense.
Rd. 4, Pk. 2
M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina
Eli Apple clashed with the previous coaching staff. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is gone. The Giants will have to find some help at cornerback.
Pick change; previously Dante Pettis, WR
Rd. 5, Pk. 2
Nic Shimonek, QB, Texas Tech
If the Giants pass on a quarterback in the opening frame, they'll likely take one in Rounds 3-5 as a developmental project.
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 should grab their heir apparent to Eli Manning. Manning is declining, and New York would be making a terrible decision not to take a potential franchise quarterback when it has a chance. Taking Saquon Barkley could easily make the Giants mediocre and have them stuck in the middle of the first round in quarterback limbo with either second-rate prospects or veteran retreads. It doesn't make sense for the Giants not to take their quarterback of the future when they are picking this high. But it sounds like they could be inclined to go with Barkley or Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, so I could easily be changing this pick soon. Stay tuned.<br> <br>
WalterFootball.com was first to report that Rosen would enter the 2018 NFL Draft, and he made his public announcement in the first week of January. In 2017, Rosen completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,717 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The junior was up-and-down over the season with highs and lows, including at least one concussion. He 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 into 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, 226-pounder has serious arm talent with field vision and pocket presence. Rosen has well documented concerns with his intangibles. Team sources told me Rosen made efforts to be a better teammate over the last year and half and showed progress there. Some general managers have told me about their concerns about him being a partier so Rosen will need to ease some doubts during his pre-draft interviews and visits. There also are durability concerns with Rosen after he missed seven contests over the past two seasons and was knocked out of a few games as well.<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.
Barkley is one of the most dynamic running backs to enter the NFL in the last decade. He's built like a brick house, with an extremely thick/muscular lower body. On inside runs, he's quick to press the line of scrimmage before stopping, sorting and then exploding through the hole. When he decides to bounce the ball outside, Barkley has an incredible lateral burst. He's at his best on stretch runs. When he puts his foot in the ground and drives upfield, his suddenness is exceptional. He rarely drops his shoulder on contact, but his lower-body strength allows him to power through tacklers, and he also possesses a violent stiff arm. He has elite home-run speed and can make defenders miss at the second and third level without gearing down. Barkley's a versatile weapon in the passing game, capable of splitting out wide and running receiver routes with ease. He has natural hands. He's also reliable in pass protection, displaying both awareness and willingness. Overall, Barkley is capable of becoming the best player at his position very early in his NFL career.
The Giants should grab their heir apparent to Eli Manning. Manning is a shell of his former self, and New York would be making a terrible decision not to take a potential franchise quarterback when it has a chance. It sounds like the Giants are strongly considering Saquon Barkley or Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson and taking another shot at winning with Manning. With Barkley off the board, I think taking a potential franchise quarterback is going to win out over taking a guard, even one as good as Nelson. <br> <br>
In his final season with USC, Darnold (6-3, 221) had issues with interceptions and decision-making. He also said he had issues with confidence at one point. Darnold is an accurate passer without an elite skill set, but he has developed good anticipation, feel and timing. Darnold is a rhythm thrower who would fit best in a West Coast system to maximize his ability to throw accurately in the short to intermediate part of the field. He also can throw accurately on the run. Routinely, Darnold can use his feet to buy time while keeping his eyes downfield and delivering accurate passes while under pressure. In every game at USC, Darnold would make some impressive throws that were very rare for a college quarterback. <br> <br>
In 2017, Darnold completed 63 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. A general manager, who scouted Darnold in person during 2017, told me that they like the "it factor" that Darnold displays. That general manager thinks there's nothing wrong with Darnold's throwing motion or arm strength, and that Darnold has some similarities to Philip Rivers. Other scouts feel that Darnold is a good prospect with the ability to be a plus starter, but they don't think he's elite, and on tape, they say he is not better than Mitch Trubisky and Deshaun Watson were before the 2017 NFL Draft. In speaking with general manager in early January, he thought Darnold was worthy of a top-10 pick. <br> <br>
Darnold was very impressive as a redshirt freshman in 2016 and impressed evaluators even though he wasn't being graded yet. Along with a quality skill set, teams like his intangibles and moxie. Darnold completed 67 percent of his passes in 2016 for 3,086 yards with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The 6-3, 221-pounder led USC on a nine-game winning streak to end that season.
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.
The Giants upgrade their offense with a feature back. <br> <br>
Guice is averaging 5.5 yards per carry in 2017, totaling 1,026 yards with 01 touchdowns so far. He has 14 catches for 82 yards as well, but LSU doesn't really use its backs in the passing game. For a lot of this season, Guice has been slowed down by a knee injury.<br> <br>
With Leonard Fournette in and out of the lineup with an ankle injury in 2016, Guice (5-11, 212) took advantage of a larger than expected workload to have a breakout season. As a sophomore, he averaged 7.6 yards per carry for 1,387 yards with 15 touchdowns. Guice had nine receptions for 106 yards as well. He put together some massive games that season with 252 yards versus Arkansas and 285 yards rushing against Texas A&M.