By Michael Stewart
Introduction: Leading up to the 2018 NFL draft, there have been rumors and a buzz on what the Giants might do with the 2nd overall pick in the draft. The last time they were selecting this high was in 1981 when they selected outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor. However; the Giants do have many needs despite their free agent additions, the trade for Alec Ogletree and the trade of Jason Pierre-Paul. The possibility of trading back could be the best solution to add talent and depth to a roster that lacks both. Therefore; in my mock draft I will do something that I have never done before and that is having the Giants trade back in the 1st round and then trading back into the 1st round in round 2. Over the next week I will have several scenarios of the Giants trading back in the 1st round with two separate teams involved. In this article, I will have the Buffalo Bills making a trade with the Giants and my next article I will have the Giants trading with the Denver Broncos for that elusive 2nd overall pick. These two mock drafts are with the assumption that the Cleveland Browns select RB Saquon Barkley (which many believe could happen). I believe the Giants will only trade back if Barkley is taken at #1, if not, then Barkley in all likelihood will hear his name called by the Giants. The Cardinals and the Dolphins could also be in play to trade down. However; I believe Denver and Buffalo have much more to offer, so I will eliminate them from these scenarios. Base on the trade value chart at www.Drafttrek.com the Giants 2nd overall is worth 2600 points. Therefore; it would take a hefty package to move up. The Giants would need to have their phones in hand if Cleveland does indeed select Barkley. If so, they will only have 10 minutes to have a team willing to make a deal. Therefore, I believe the Giants could agree to trade their 2nd overall pick to the Buffalo Bills for their two 1st rounds picks (12 & 22), their two 2nd round picks (53 & 56)) and their 3rd round pick in 2019. That’s a hefty package to give up by the Bills, but after the Jets trade with the Colts, the bar has been set. Then the Giants will trade back into the 1st round with the Cincinnati Bengals for their pick at 21 by surrendering their 2nd (53), a 3rd (69) and a 2nd round pick in 2019.Therefore; here are my selections for the New York Giants 2018 NFL draft:
1st round (#12)
DE-Marcus Davenport-6’7/260 (UTSA): Giants find their replacement for JPP with their first pick in the draft by selecting Marcus Davenport. Davenport is another prospect from a non-Power Five FBS school that did well at the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine. He has the length and athleticism to play on the edge in the NFL. The senior racked up 55 tackles with 17.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, four passes batted and three forced fumbles in 2017. Davenport recorded 6.5 sacks as a junior after racking up four as a sophomore.
1st round (#21)
ILB/OLB: Roquan Smith-6’1/225 (Georgia):
Smith slips in the 1st round; which prompts GM Dave Gettleman to strike a deal with the Bengals. Smith is a fierce competitor and plays well from sideline to sideline. Smith has great instincts and high football IQ and has a nose for the ball. Smith can play inside or outside and will thrive in a 3-4 defensive scheme.
1st round (#22)
CB Josh Jackson-6’1/195 (Iowa): With the Giants releasing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the uncertainty of Eli Apple as a Giant. It would make sense to invest in a cornerback early in the draft. Jackson had a minor setback at the combine; which could push him out of the top 20 in the 1st round. However; you can’t ignore his game film and if he slips it will benefit the Giants as he could be available when the Giants select at #22 in the 1st round. Jackson is a great athlete with good speed and cover skills. Very quick feet and is a ball hawk and sound tackler.
2nd round (#34)
OG-Will Hernandez-6’3/345 (UTEP): The Giants miss out on Quenton Nelson by trading back with Bills, but they still get their Right Guard for the next decade in Will Hernandez. Hernandez has created some buzz, having a solid combine and could slip into the 1st round. In reaching out to some team sources, they had Hernandez closely behind Quenton Nelson. Hernandez is shorter and lacks length compared to a lot of starting guards in the NFL, but he makes up for it with strength. He is strong at the point of attack with a heavy base to help him get movement at the point of attack.
2nd round (#56)
OC-Frank Ragnow-6’3/325 (Arkansas): Ragnow is a blue collar center who has excelled against the run as well as a pass defender (no sacks in 41 games). Ragnow is technically sound and has tremendous footwork. Solid blocker in the trenches as well as pulling out on sweeps and screen plays. Ragnow utilizes his hands and footwork well against his opponents and can play both guard and center.
3rd round (#66)
RB-Rashaad Penny-5’10/225 (San Diego State): The Giants miss the opportunity to select their main target in RB Saquon Barkley as he was taken 1st overall by the Browns. However, Rashaad Penny is a gifted running back who is versatile in all phases. Penny is a dangerous weapon on the ground and as a receiver as well. Also, Penny was lethal as a kick returner and can be utilized in multiple ways. He averaged 7.8 yards per carry for 2,248 yards with 23 touchdowns, plus made 19 receptions for 135 yards and two scores.
4th round (#108)
DT/DE-Nathan Shepherd-6’4/305 (Fort Hays State): Shepherd was one of the Division II products who did well at the Senior Bowl invitation and at the NFL combine. In 2017, Shepherd totaled 38 tackles with 12.5 for a loss and four sacks. He had 61 tackles with three sacks in 2016 and 69 tackles with three sacks in 2015. Shepherd could play tackle in a 4-3 and or five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense.
5th round (#139)
OT-Desmond Harrison-6’6/300 (Georgia State): Desmond Harrison has had some college setbacks with eligibility issues, discipline problems, sitting out, transfers and perhaps, finally some stability. However, Harrison has the length, strength, and agility to hold down the blindside at the next level and is extremely athletic, but still somewhat raw with technique. Harrison would worth taken on day 3 as he upside is limitless.
Final Thoughts: In my mock draft I have the Giants trading back in the first round and then trading back into the 1st round results in the Giants getting three 1st round selections. The Giants add three offensive linemen with my mock draft to go along with their free agent signings of Left Tackle Nate Solder, Offensive Guard Patrick Omameh and offensive Center Brett Jones. Will Hernandez should fit in nicely at right guard as a rookie and be an upgrade over John Jerry as Frank Ragnow and Desmond Harrison can contribute as backups in their rookie season and possibly become the starters in 2019. Next Article: Giants trade back with the Denver Broncos.