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Giants Draft: Who Might Be Available at No. 10? (Part 2)

Yesterday, we explored four of the top names rumored to be in play for the Giants’ tenth overall pick in Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft.. Today, we’ll look at the other top names, as well as speculate a few long shots, that the Giants may consider once they’re on the clock.

Georgia LB Leonard Floyd

It’s no secret linebacker remains the Giants’ most pressing defensive need, so Floyd might be the perfect fit for a Giants defense that seems to be trying to replicate the pass rush success of years past.

UCLA’s Myles Jack remains the prospect with seemingly the highest ceiling at the position, but he could very well be off the board by the time the Giants pick at No. 10. Even if he’s not, Jack is still not a lock to be taken by the Giants because of the questions surrounding his injured knee, though the Giants have been reported to be okay with it.

Georgia LB Leonard Floyd (Photo: AP).

Georgia LB Leonard Floyd (Photo: AP).

Floyd comes with no major injury history, and could be an even better fit for the Giants’ defense than Jack. At Georgia, he was a prolific all-around defender, totaling 17 sacks in three seasons and enjoying success when asked to drop back in coverage.

Standing at 6-6, he profiles as a massive outside linebacker who will be utilized to rush the passer early and often. His 33″ arm length should make him a forced to be reckoned with when coming off the edge, and he should fare even better if he bulks up his 244-pound frame.

Rather amazingly, the Giants have not drafted a linebacker in the first round since they selected Carl Banks in 1984. But with a huge need at the position and players like Jack and Floyd possibly available with that pick, we could see that streak come to and end on Thursday night.

Ohio State LB Darron Lee

Lee is also a candidate to be the first Giants linebacker taken in the first round in 32 years.

The 21-year-old took the field for just two seasons with the Buckeyes, but made his presence known. Lee played a big role during Ohio State’s 2014 championship season, totaling 80 tackles in 15 games, with a whopping 16 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks.

He continued to excel last season, notching 60 tackles (11 for loss) and 4.5 sacks in the Buckeye’s 13 games. Over the last two seasons, Lee has proven to be a key piece of one of the nation’s better defenses.

Ohio State LB Darron Lee (Photo: The Plain-Dealer).

Ohio State LB Darron Lee (Photo: The Plain-Dealer).

Lee has the speed NFL teams look for in a weak-side linebacker, and his days as a high school quarterback have gifted him with impressive change-of-direction skills. He is a threat to make a big play no matter where the ball is headed as he uses his speed and agility to rush the quarterback, but can also drop back in coverage and make a play there.

The only downside to Lee’s game is his size, as he stands at just 6-1. While he has a knack to overcome them, he is often challenged with mismatches when lining up against a tight end or offensive lineman. At times, he has struggled with his tackling.

Regardless, Lee represents an upgrade over what the Giants have now. If Big Blue is set on taking a linebacker at No. 10, they will have an interesting decision to make if Lee, Jack, and Floyd are still on the board.

Oregon DE DeForest Buckner

Buckner had always been a strong pass rusher for the Ducks, but really exploded onto the scene last season, and has turned himself into a surefire top pick.

Last season, Buckner posted career-highs in tackles (83), tackles for loss (17), and sacks (10.5), which is even more impressive when you consider he played in fewer games in 2015 (13) than he did when Oregon reached the national championship game in 2014 (15).

It’s hardly hard to point out any weaknesses in Buckner’s game. He has NFL size and physique, elite pass rushing ability, and long arms and blazing speed that make him a supremely talented tackler.

Oregon DE DeForest Buckner (Photo: USA Today).

Oregon DE DeForest Buckner (Photo: USA Today).

For that reason, it’s tough to see Buckner making it to the Giants at No. 10. Draftniks have Buckner going anywhere from third overall to the early teens. Where Buckner ends up going may rely on where fellow top defensive end prospect Joey Bosa of Ohio State ends up. If Bosa goes before Buckner, and other top teams pass on him, it might be hard for the Giants to pass up on him with the tenth overall pick.

Buckner may seem like an odd fit now with Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon set to start at the end for the Giants in 2016, but many felt the same way when Pierre-Paul was drafted when the Giants already had Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Mathias Kiwanuka. If the Giants draft Buckner, he could be the long-term defensive end of the future with Vernon when/if JPP walks after the season.

Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves 

Another odd fit who the Giants could go for is Hargreaves.

The fit seems difficult mostly because the Giants have two highly priced veterans (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins) locked in to the starting job right now. But with DRC turning 30 earlier this month, the Giants may wish to look for an insurance policy, even though he is signed through 2018.

At Florida, Hargreaves was a three-time First-Team All-SEC selection and two-time All-American. He is a pure playmaker with great feet, strong tackling abilities is not afraid to stay in tight coverage on a receiver and go after a jump ball.

Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III (

Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III (Photo:

Unfortunately, Hargreaves’ competitiveness can get the best of him, as his desire to go for a jump ball can leave him vulnerable if he misses, and he lacks the closing speed to recover from a mistake early in a play. Also hurting his draft stock is the poor performances he had last year’s SEC Championship game against Alabama and Citrus Bowl against Michigan.

Hargreaves won’t beat out Florida State CB Jalen Ramsey to be the first DB off the board, but he will undoubtedly be the second, and should be selected right around when the Giants draft. The Giants may think his upside is too high to pass on, and allow him to learn behind the veterans during his rookie year.

Long Shots

The following players have been linked to the Giants during the draft season, whether through rumors or visits/workouts, but appear to be long shots to be taken with the tenth overall pick. Some will likely be off the board by then, some might be a reach, and some might not be a logical fit. Still, we know never to say never, so let’s take a look at some under-the-radar possibilities.

Ohio State DE Joey Bosa

At one point, Bosa was thought to be the top overall prospect in this draft. Now, he has seen his stock fall a bit thanks to concerns over a one-game suspension from last season and the rise of Buckner. Still, it would be utterly shocking to see Bosa fall to No. 10, and he would be a steal for the Giants if available.

A Wide Receiver

With Rueben Randle in Philadelphia and Victor Cruz’s status a huge question mark, the Giants are hurting for depth at wide receiver behind the phenomenal Odell Beckham Jr. Especially in Ben McAdoo’s West Coast offense, some have thought Ole Miss’ Laquon Treadwell or Baylor’s Corey Coleman could be in play for the Giants to match with OBJ. The mocks for both receivers are all over the place, with some having them taken in the top ten, and others putting them in the 20s or even 30s. Treadwell especially is an intriguing fit, but with OBJ locked in for the foreseeable future, the Giants don’t need to waste their top pick on another receiver. I would expect them to target a receiver in the middle rounds.

Other Defensive Linemen

In recent days, I’ve seen Clemson DEs Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd, as well as Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins mocked to the Giants. After spending huge money on the defensive line in the offseason, I would think the Giants won’t push for that position with the tenth pick unless Buckner or Bosa fall into their hands. Of the three, I think Rankins is the dark horse to be taken at No. 10.

Memphis QB Paxton Lynch

When your team’s quarterback just turned 35 a few months ago, it’s fair to wonder when/if the team will pull the trigger on bringing in his future replacement. But when your team’s quarterback has never missed a start and is coming off two of his most productive seasons, those talks can wait. There’s no doubt Lynch is talented, and he should be one of the most interesting players in the draft to watch after Cal QB Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz (likely) come off the board at 1 and 2. And the Giants could be in the market for a project/back-up with Ryan Nassib entering the final year of his rookie deal. But with so many holes to fill, the Giants likely won’t use their top pick on a player they don’t expect to play for at least a couple years.

Don’t forget to check back in throughout the end of the week and the weekend for more coverage on the Giants’ 2016 draft.

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