The NFL 2019 Draft is less than three weeks away. With that in mind, here's a seven-round New York Giants draft drill for you to consider.
Rules of the game: As you sort out my options, here is how I approached this draft and what I intended to achieve. Remember, my goal in doing this over the last two years has been to paint potential scenarios, not necessarily to identify all the chosen ones that the Giants will make. Honestly, I do not pretend to be "okay". It's seven rounds, that's not happening. My goal is to make you consider the possibilities.
Here, the first rule was no field marshals the first two days. If I could find a boy from Day 3 to compete with Kyle Lauletta, fine. The second basic rule they will not be exchanged until after the 37th selection. The third rule of the game – after selection No. 37, move around the board to give an example of how the Giants could use the eight selections of Day 3 they currently have.
I used the Fanspeak simulator for this because the Draft Network does not allow exchanges. I selected the most recent Big Board from Matt Miller of Bleacher Report. In making decisions, I tried to stay as close as possible to the Miller's board of the player who is within range of the choice he was making.
Round 1 (No. 6) – Montez Sweat, Edge, State of Mississippi
Transmitted: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa; Ed Oliver, DL, Houston; Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan; Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama; Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
We see that this non-quarterback scenario develops very often for the Giants in simulated drafts, and it could be the one that GM Dave Gettleman discusses on draft day. Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan told me in the Valentine's Views podcast on Saturday that Oliver should be the clear choice in this scenario. Oliver, however, is not the most common choice for the Giants here and, despite his crazy numbers of Pro Day exercises, I do not think he's the choice.
This probably comes down to Sweat, Gary and Taylor. Sweat vs. Gary is almost a coin flip and, to be honest, I go from one place to another when I get into several draft drills scenarios. I'll go with Sweat, the same No. 6 selection I made in a mock simulation exercise a month ago. To my knowledge, Sweat is a guy who has had the attention of the Giants since long before he dominated the Senior Bowl and crushed the Combine. He would give a guy who could stand on the edge at his base 3-4 and put his hand on the ground when they enter four-man fronts.
This is what Chris wrote when he named Sweat as one of the Senior Bowl seniors:
Sweat's is a name that fans of the Giants should become familiar with. The Mississippi state edge runner had the first major moment of the Senior Bowl week when he knocked down an offensive lineman for what would have been a sack. It never really slowed down, and several have commented that it was the best prospect on the property. The sweat has the size and length that the Giants covet at 6 feet 6 feet, 252 pounds, with 35 5/8 inch arms, and shows the ability to win with speed and power. The sweat was so good that the attendees speculated that when they got a reduced workload on Thursday's practice, it was to give other players a chance.
Round 1 (No. 17) – Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Transmitted: Hockenson; Gary Jeffrey Simmons, DL, State of Mississippi; Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Amazing to me that Hockenson and Gary are still on the board here. I doubt that any of them will be available at 17 in the real draft.
Although, as close to Miller's board as he could, Taylor had to be the choice. He could be the best offensive tackle in the clbad (Jonah Williams fans will argue), and he is a plug and play starter at right tackle for the Giants.
"… it's safe to say that a big, powerful and long right tackle fits in with the New York Giants.
"There are very few areas of concern with Jawaan Taylor, and most of them are in their ability to play with a consistent technique, even with their ineffective use of the hand, which tends to bring them a low, wide and delayed knee flexion. And inconsistent, leading to high hips, Taylor is an impressive tackle, sometimes moving much faster and more fluidly than he is entitled to a player who is trading at 335 pounds. "
Joe Marino of Draft Network says that "Taylor offers a rare combination of mbad, length, mobility and power that make him an ideal starter in right tackle."
Round 2 (No. 37) – Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
Transmitted: D.K. Metcalf, Hakeem Butler
I was really, really tempted to select the 6-foot-3, 228-pound Metcalf or the 6-6, 225-pound Butler to give the Giants the big receiver they could use to complement Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate. Instead, I limited myself to what I think must be a major focus in the draft for the Giants: add as much top-tier defensive talent as possible.
After his work in the Senior Bowl, Chris wrote that Adderley "could have worked in the first round".
The Antoine Bethea Giants will play for free, but he will be 35 years old and will need a long-term solution. Adderley is a player who might not fall to 37 in the draft, and I felt that the value was too good to pbad up.
Here is Jon Ledyard from The Draft Network in Adderley:
One of the most exciting things about being a draft evaluator is finding players like Adderley who never expected them to be something special, however, they surprise you on tape. The most difficult part of Adderley's evaluation was to find a weakness, since he seems to be a top-notch athlete with exceptional speed and fluidity in short areas, at the same time that he has the ability to open up and cover ground with speed and range as a just high security.
She is incredibly physical and takes the fight to everyone in the field without sacrificing technique or responsibility. I think it will register around 205 pounds with an ideal construction for deep security, but also with the perfect size to slide into the slot against all types of receivers when a team also needs that function. The only real question mark with Adderley is the level of competition he faces, since he was not attacked per ton and will have to adjust to the speed of the NFL game. His traits and intangibles seem to be perfectly in line with the best safety devices in the league today, and as long as he checks the boxes in Senior Bowl and Combine, Adderley will probably be one of the best 15-30 players on my board.
Round 3 (65, through trade) – Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
Commerce: The selection of the third round 31 was sent (95 in total) and a future selection of the third round for Arizona Cardinals for the first round 3 selection.
This is where the fun started. Remember, my rule for this draft was not to move around the board until after the 37th selection. When I saw that Lawrence was still available, I started trying to get an exchange to reach the middle of the second round.
To be honest, this is a player that I think will be at stake for the Giants as early as the 17th pick. As good as Clemson's defensive line was, there are evaluators who believe that this 342 pound monster in the middle is the type that improved all the players around him in that defense.
Every defensive scheme needs a good nose tackle, then yes, Lawrence fits in his defense. However, he could be much more than a simple nose tackle.
While many will look at his 6-foot-4, 340-pound frame and imagine him clogging the race lanes and double guard / center teams, he is also able to line up as a 3 or a 5 technique depending on Down, distance, and sub. packages. Lawrence did not have the opportunity to perform a full combined workout after forcing a quad running a 5.05-second race in 40 yards, but that and his play tape are enough to prove his athleticism.
Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst says:
Lawrence shows the ability to be a large, dominant and disruptive force at the center of the line when focusing on his game. He must learn to do the little things well in each shot, which will only make him a better soccer player and help him achieve his incredible bullish potential.
Round 3 (88 through trade) – CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State
Commerce: Selection 4 of Round 4, selection 30 of Round 4 and selection 5 of Round 5 were sent to the Detroit Lions for selection 24 of Round 3, number 88 in total.
I've never liked the idea of targeting specific positions in specific rounds, but I was determined, as I think it will be the Giants, to add a cornerback at some point in the draft. Seeing the board of Mller while developing Round 3, I thought that Oruwariye was clearly the best corner that was left, and I thought that there was enough courage to use some of the badets of Day 3 at my disposal to make a move.
Chris wrote, in part:
With its size and strength, Oruwariye has the ability to be disruptive at the beginning of plays when he is in press-man coverage. He was not in the press the man often in college, but when he was, he showed a solid jam to get rid of time and throws. He is also able to cover the area, particularly when he can position himself over the game, back to the ball. Between his conscience and the clean "click and close" footwork, Oruwariye can be legitimately explosive when he handles the ball and routinely breaks the plays at the point of capture by separating the catcher from the ball.
Teams should be careful in the way they pair it. Even though Penn State has been producing elite athletes lately, Oruwariye is not among them. He's a good athlete, especially for a 6-foot-1 5/8 and 205-pound cornerback, but if a receiver can win before, he'll have trouble recovering.
Oruwariye has the measurable and ball skills to be a starter at the next level, but he needs to polish his game and improve his fundamentals. You should see the field in nickel situations early in your NFL career and have the tools to become a starter on Sundays.
Round 5 (139, through trade) – Erik McCoy, C, Texas A & M
Commerce: He sent two fifth-round picks (4 and 33) to the Arizona Cardinals for the first general pick in Round 5.
My moves on the board for Lawrence and Oruwayire left me without a fourth-round pick. I was stunned to look at the board when the fifth round began and to see that McCoy, a player commonly considered the value of Day 2, was still available. I bagged my two remaining fifth round picks to get McCoy, a tremendous value in a position where it's debatable whether Jon Halapio or Spencer Pulley is the long-term answer for the Giants.
In theory, McCoy would probably be a good choice for the offensive scheme of the Giant. It is a versatile center that has the athletic ability to excel in a zone blocking scheme while also having the functional strength to play in a human hole pattern, even more so due to the athletic requirements when the gap is executed by asking the center to pull
McCoy is solid in pbad protection, stands up well against power crushers and also has foot speed and quickness to match the fastest crushers or blitzers.
McCoy's experience at the center, starting 36 consecutive games, would also be good for a team looking to improve their line as quickly as possible. He has seen a lot playing in the SEC, and he must be well equipped to take on the duties of calling protections and communicating with his line mates.
Round 6 (180) – Ryan Finley, QB, N.C.
Full disclosure: when I set the ground rules for this draft, I was not going to select a field marshal. However, I suspect that if the Giants do not select a quarterback at the start of the draft as a possible heir to Eli Manning, they might select one late as a competition for Kyle Lauletta. I did not look at Finley and thought "Eli's heir", but I did look at him and I thought the Giants could see him as a value in this last stage of the draft. Therefore, I modified my plan of "no QBs at all".
I think Finley looks at a lot of the same boxes that Lauletta did when he entered last year's draft, and he could easily be one of the quarterbacks for Giants quarterbacks, Pat Shurmur, he would like to train.
Intelligent and precise pin with limited arm strength. Patient, keep your eyes on the field and easily locate open spaces. It shows an extraordinary perception and perception of the pocket, feels the hurry and leaves the tackles to make launches in movement. Through the progressions, he always seems to be in control of the situation and wins as long as necessary for the receivers … Finley was rated the nation's best senior quarterback in the 2018 season, but his game was stabilized and even regressed in some areas last year. He is a game manager who needs pieces around him, since Finley can not carry a team on his shoulders.
Round 7 (232) – Damarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss
Remember in Round 2 when I was tempted by Metcalf and Butler? I think the Giants need to add a wide receiver, especially one with size. Lodge is not huge, but it is almost 6 feet 2 feet and weighs 202 pounds. He has had some collegiate production and offers tools that are worth checking out later.
Lodge offers a size for the next level and has a flash ability, but has proven to be too inconsistent in the last two seasons so it is not a last-round option. It comes with a positive side, but Lodge must step up their game at camp this summer.
Round 7 (245) – Johnnie Dixon, WR, State of Ohio
A speed flyer here. Dixon ran a 40-yard run of 4.41. His table of spiders shows comparisons with Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard.
The land grant of SB Nation in the Holy Land considers Dixon "a bit of a joker" in the draft. With the 245 selection, I'll roll the dice.
I made 12 selections in eight, and tried to take into account the "value" mantra of the Giants. I'm sure you all think I ruined it in some way, shape or form. Therefore, have it in the comments.