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New York Giants 7-Round Mock Draft: Defense, QB Addressed in First Round

The NFL Draft is a little over a week away, and one of the more intriguing teams entering Nashville is, of course, the New York Giants. General manager Dave Gettleman is a true man of mystery. Nobody knows what’s up his sleeves, as evidenced by his trade of Odell Beckham Jr. and the signing of Golden Tate.

Speaking of the Beckham trade, the Giants have earned the 17th overall pick from the Cleveland Browns which gives them a chance to add more talent to the roster. Maybe they’ll take a quarterback to eventually replace Eli Manning. Or they could choose to ignore the position altogether if the Giants are steadfast about Manning being the starter all season.

This year’s draft class is loaded with talent, so here’s how things can turn out for the Giants, with the help of The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Simulator.

Round 1

Pick 6: Ed Oliver, IDL, Houston

It’s no secret that the Giants pass rush was lackluster this past season. Now, with Olivier Vernon shipped off to Cleveland, the need for help at the line of scrimmage is a must for New York. Ed Oliver can attack in the interior of the line with his tremendous power and freakish speed. Let’s not forget he ran a 4.71 40-yard dash at Houston’s Pro Day. Oh, and he’s been compared to Aaron Donald. Expect the Giants to run up to the podium to make this pick.

Pick 17: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Let’s preface by saying that waiting to draft your starting quarterback of the future is not the wisest of strategies. However, that’s what the Giants appear to be doing with the 17th pick. If that’s the case, Dwayne Haskins is well off the board by then. Yet, the belief is that some teams rank Drew Lock higher than his Ohio State counterpart. Lock has a rocket arm that has been compared to Patrick Mahomes, while also possessing mobility that many teams will be fond of. The one red flag against Lock is his decision-making, which was evidenced against top programs like Georgia. Lock won’t be rushed into game action, which gives him time to finetune his game.

Round 2

Pick 37: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

The Giants’ offensive line is almost complete, with right tackle being the lone void. Dalton Risner provides the same nastiness that Will Hernandez does, in terms of not being afraid to get into it with opponents. Risner’s strong suits are in pass protection, which is something Manning will certainly be appreciative of. Not to mention he looks up to Nate Solder, who could serve as a mentor to Risner. Gettleman loves his “hog mollies,” and he’ll get one as his starting right tackle with his second round pick.

Round 3

Pick 95: Oshane Ximines, EDGE, Old Dominion

New York’s main struggle on defense came from the lack of pressure on the edge. Bringing in Oshane Ximines would certainly help the Giants. Ximines benefits in a 3-4 defensive scheme as an outside linebacker, which is exactly what defensive coordinator James Bettcher runs. While a bit undersized, Ximines makes up for it in speed and hand technique. In his four years at Old Dominion, Ximines 51 tackles for loss, 32.5 sacks, and 11 forced fumbles. Given some time to develop, Ximines could turn into a pivotal piece on New York’s defense.

Round 4

Pick 108: Mecole Hardman Jr., WR, Georgia

The Giants lack a true outside wide receiver with the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. In a deep wide receiver class, Gettleman chooses Mecole Hardman with his first pick in the fourth round. While a bit light in terms of weight, Hardman has been called one of the more explosive receivers in the draft. He exhibits great speed, which complements his strengths on vertical routes. Hardman can become a trustworthy target alongside Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram. You can line Hardman up anywhere and he’ll make an impact.

Pick 132: Will Harris, S, Boston College

The Giants starting safety corps consists of Jabrill Peppers and 34-year-old Antoine Bethea. With the latter’s NFL career nearing an end, New York has to address the strong safety position in life after Landon Collins. Will Harris possesses the size for an NFL safety, and owning great speed, as evidenced by his 4.41 40-yard dash. Along with man coverage expertise and football IQ, Harris could be New York’s strong safety of the future, and they land him late in the fourth round.

Round 5

Pick 142: Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma

Despite Nate Solder being locked into a massive contract, the Giants have to find his eventual replacement. The Giants can find his successor in the form of Bobby Evans, who exhibits excellent athleticism and mobility at 312-pounds. There will be a transition period for Evans, but sitting behind Solder could do him wonders and set him up to be New York’s starting left tackle of the future.

Pick 143: Corey Ballentine, CB, Washburn

The starting cornerback duo in Week 1 will likely be Janoris Jenkins and Sam Beal. After them, there’s not much depth on the roster. Ballentine has got NFL teams buzzing with his speed, which allows him to keep up with receivers. While at Washburn, Ballentine has recorded 146 tackles, five interceptions, and four forced fumbles. Ballentine would certainly provide a spark in New York’s defensive backfield.

Pick 171: Elijah Holyfield, RB, Georgia

Saquon Barkley is the unquestioned starting running back, with Wayne Gallman being the only backup on the roster. Back during New York’s Super Bowl-winning seasons, they had a powerhouse back to inflict their will on the interior of the defensive line. Elijah Holyfield fits the bill perfectly. The son of “The Real Deal” Evander Holyfield literally dragged tacklers for extra yardage, averaging an impressive 6.7 yards per carry as a starter last season. Barkley and Holyfield could become one of the most dangerous running back duos in the NFL.

Round 6

Pick 180: Cameron Smith, LB, USC

The linebacker corps was far from perfect last season, where plenty of mistakes were made. Enter Cameron Smith, who exhibits strong football IQ and defensive skills against the run. While he won’t be an every day player due to some athletic limitations, Smith can be a satisfactory rotational player, particularly against running plays.

Round 7

Pick 232: Austin Bryant, EDGE, Clemson

A member of the National Championship-winning Clemson team finds his way to New York. While not the talent of Clelin Ferrell or Dexter Lawrence, Bryant showcased his ability to get to the quarterback, as he tallied 8.5 sacks, on top of his 15 tackles for loss. Bryant can be a good depth piece on this Giants squad, considering their need at the EDGE position.

Pick 245: Andrew Beck, TE, Texas

Another tight end on the roster? Yes, and they get one in Andrew Beck. While he’s far from an athletic tight end and is not much of a threat in the passing game, he makes up for it in run blocking, something that Pat Shurmur loves from his offensive players. Considering Saquon Barkley will be the focal point of the Giants offense next season, Beck would certainly help create holes for him.

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General Editor and New York Giants Lead Writer.
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