The Giants are a team attempting to rebuild while staying competitive. Eli Manning is 38 years old and he needs a replacement. They have ten draft picks in 2019 to help jump start the rebuild.
Eli Manning is not getting any younger. The Giants just drafted Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley and the guy is an absolute stud. The offensive line is still a mess but the skill positions on offense are very skilled. Outside of Barkley the Giants have, for the time being, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram.
On defense they seem to be losing their best player in Landon Collins. Olivier Vernon has under performed with The Giants. The only solid options on defense that remain are Alec Ogletree, B.J. Hill, and Janoris Jenkins. Based off this I believe that the Giants main focus going into the draft will be an Eli replacement, offensive line, and defense, defense, defense.
Round 1, Pick#6 Dwayne Haskins, Quarterback- Ohio St.
Dwayne Haskins is the first quarterback off the board going sixth overall. Eli Manning is in his last season and the Giants do not currently employ somebody to take over. Haskins is coming off of an amazing Sophomore season. With a 70% completion percentage, he threw for 4,831 yards, 50 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions.
Standing in at 6’3 and 220 Lbs. Haskins come in as a good-sized QB with good athleticism. The one area where some people are worried about Haskins is his deep ball. Obviously though, it is not too much of an issue with a 70% completion percentage. Haskins will not start week one unless he really has an amazing training camp but he can learn behind Eli Manning. If Eli struggles throughout the season then they have somebody who can step right in.
Round 2, Pick #37 Dalton Risner, Offensive Tackle- Kansas St.
Dalton Risner does not really have any faults in his blocking game. When it comes to pass protection he is a man amognst boys against the bull rush. If you watched the game against Mississippi St. you him constantly battle highly touted edge rusher Montez Sweat and win every time except for one.
In the run game he is a people mover. On the outside he pushes defenders on the edge opening up gaps for a one cut move. On inside rushes he has great hand usage and opens lanes with ease. Barkley could have an even better year with a better offensive line. The Ereck Flowers experiment was a failure and they need an upgrade. Risner is an instant upgrade and moves into the lineup as one of the top players on the teams line.
Round 4, Pick # 109 Jaquan Johnson, Safety- Miami (FL)
Jaquan Johnson may seem a little undersized to play the safety position in the NFL at 5’11 and 190 Lbs. To the contrary though his production should translate. Andre Hal of the Houston Texans is another smaller sized safety at 5’10 and 184 Lbs and has been a solid free safety in the league. With 40 starts in 69 games in the league Hal has 12 interceptions and 31 passes defended and 184 tackles.
Johnson could easily see similar production as he has shown similar traits in the NCAA. In 24 games during his last two seasons he has 188 tackles (98 solo), 4.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, five passes defended, six interceptions, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown. Johnson shows good ball hawking ability while also being a solid tackler. With Collins likely gone, the Giants could have a solid safety selection here in the fourth to start right away.
Round 4, Pick #133 Khalil Hodge, Linebacker- Buffalo
Khalil Hodge was a terror in college for the Buffaloes. He has three straight seasons with over 100 tackles totaling 419 in 38 games. Hodge is one of the most productive tacklers in the NCAA. He has decent size at 6’1 and 235 Lbs. which fits the mold of the modern-day inside linebacker with good range.
The Giants already have a great linebacker in coverage with Alec Ogletree who had five interceptions last season. Hodge would fit in perfectly with next to him as outside of Ogletree the linebacker position is very thin. Hodge can be the tackling run stuffer while Ogletree can drop in coverage, plus Hodge gets to stay in New York.
Round 5, Pick #143 Justin Layne, Cornerback- Michigan St.
Justin Layne is the prototype for the modern cornerback. He has great size and length at 6’3 with great coverage skills. With the great height and long arms Layne was able to accumulate a career high 15 passes defended in 2018. The Giants employed B.W. Webb across from Janoris Jenkins and that is a recipe for disaster.
The Giants traded Eli Apple last year before the deadline which seems like a mistake now as Apple played very well for New Orleans. To grab Layne in the fifth round may be difficult considering he is one of the top 10 corners in the draft. With that being said, cornerback is not highly desired in this draft and some good talent could drop to the later rounds.
Round 5, Pick #144 Dennis Daley, Offensive Tackle- South Carolina
Here in the fifth the Giants grab another good offensive lineman in Dennis Daley. He is one of the strongest lineman in the draft and is able to negate power rush up the middle very effectively. Has great burst at point of snap and gets into defenders quickly. If there is one thing he needs to work on it is his footwork during pass protection but the frame and ability is there.
The Giants again had one of the worst offensive lines in the league and would benefit from additions anywhere along the line. Grabbing Risner and Daley in the second and fifth rounds adds two day one starters.
Round 6, Pick #172 Derrick Baity, Cornerback- Kentucky
The Giants double down here at the corner position grabbing Derrick Baity. He is another cornerback with 6’3 size giving the Giants some great size at the position with drafting Layne earlier in the fifth and Baity in the sixth. In his 47 games he totaled 148 tackles (112 solo), six tackles for a loss, 25 passes defended, six interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
He has played all his games in the strongest conference in the SEC and has played highly competitive football for the past four years. If Baity has a strong camp than maybe the Giants go with size and use the two rookies on the outside and move Janoris Jenkins to free safety. Jenkins could be a great center fielder as a ball hawk and is entering his age 30 season and maybe playing safety would be a nice transition.
Round 6, Pick #181 Cameron Smith, Linebacker- USC
Cameron Smith from USC is more of a luxury pick here for the Giants with them going best available. He had 112 total tackles in 2017 with 11 tackles for a loss as it was his most productive season. 2018 was cut a little short but still had 81 total tackles and 7.5 for a loss in only nine games.
The Giants as I mentioned earlier are short at the linebacker position but with this mock they could have two rookies battling for starting gigs. Tackling at the linebacker position was horrendous for the Giants this year outside of Ogletree and this now gives them options.
Round 7, Pick #234 Jamal Davis II, Edge Rusher- Akron
Here the Giants just go for upside. The Giants have placed Olivier Vernon on the block as he has wildly under performed his contract. During the earlier parts of the draft the cards just did not fall right for them to take an edge earlier. Jamal Davis II can play either a 3-4 base outside linebacker or a 4-3 base defensive end.
Davis is a former transfer from Pittsburgh University and has played in a total of 29 collegiate games. During these games he totaled 150 tackles (87 solo), 31.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, six passes defended, one sack and two forced fumbles. For a seventh round pick that is pretty solid production.
Round 7, Pick #247 Edwin Worthington, Safety- Colorado
With Landon Collins likely on the move the Giants need help at the safety position. Evan Worthington has limited time on the field only playing 21 games for Colorado but was quite productive. During his time he totaled 128 tackles (83 solo), 10 tackles for a loss, two sacks, 10 passes defended, four interceptions, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The Giants are just making value picks this late in the draft and Worthington is definitely a value.
In closing the Giants attack the most important positions for them. They grab Eli Manning’s replacement in Dwayne Haskins and beef up the offensive line with two picks in the top 144. They address the linebacker issue that they have had for a few years now grabbing two top-notch tacklers in Khalil Hodge and Cameron Smith. With Janoris Jenkins in his year 30 season and being the only cornerback option they have, the Giants draft two lanky 6’3 corners. Jaquan Johnson and Evan Worthington are added to beef up the secondary. Jamal Davis II is a flyer edge rusher added to compete next season. Overall most of the important needs were addressed.