By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: In my second edition of the 2019 NFL mock draft, I’ve included the Giants recent transaction of draft picks between the Browns and the Giants involving the trade of Olivier Vernon and a 4th round (#132) for Guard Kevin Zeitler and a 5th round (#171). The Giants will have 10 picks to take aim and load up their roster for 2019. This mock draft will also feature a possible trade scenario (draft picks only) that could take place prior or perhaps on draft day. With the NFL combine now in the rear view mirror and free agency just underway; my final mock draft will include the Giants major free agent signings. However; for now I’ll omit it from this mock draft. This mock draft will also have alternate picks; but will not show any trade/trades for a player/players, only draft position. So let’s get started, here is my version of the 2019 NFL mock draft second edition:
Round 1 (#6)
The Pick: Ed Oliver (DT) Houston 6’2/280: Oliver has been compared to DT Aaron Donald; which seems unfair, but a great compliment. Oliver can play in any system (4-3/3-4) and should be utilized everywhere along the defensive line. Oliver is a non-stop play making tackling machine and often faced double teams and still produced. Gettleman wanted more talent along the defensive line; well he found it with Oliver.
Alternate Pick: Devin White (ILB) LSU 6’1/255: The Giants haven’t had a bonafide play making linebacker in a very long time. White can go sideline to sideline with the best of them and also make plays in the trenches. White is a playmaking highlight reel and would give the Giants a force on the defensive side of the ball.
The Pick: Kaleb McGary (OT) Washington 6’7/325: Gettleman continues to add beef in this mock draft by selecting offensive tackle Kaleb McGary in round 2. McGary has tremendous agility for his size and is equally affective blocking in the trenches and also down field. McGary has strong hands and a lower body; which helps him to anchor and maintain his position when facing a bull rush. McGary can serve as a backup to both tackle positions and eventually replace Solder in a couple of years.
Alternate Pick: Johnathan Abram (S) Mississippi State-6’1/215: The decision to cut ties with Landon Collins (signed with the Washington Redskins) could be debated; GM Dave Gettleman will need to look into free agency for a more affordable option and/or through the draft early on day 2. Abrams is a hard hitting safety who has shown good instincts and playmaking abilities. Abrams excels in the box, but can also do well in coverage; which was an issue for the Giants in 2018.
**** Trade Alert: GM Dave Gettlemen finds a trading partner in the Chicago Bears and trades back into the 3rd round by surrendering a 4th round (#108), two 5th round picks (#142 & #171), and a 6th round pick (#180) totaling 155 points for the Bears 3rd round pick (#87) totaling 155 points in the 2019 draft****
Round 3 (#87)
The Pick: Erik McCoy (OC/OG) Texas A&M 6’4/315: McCoy has a thick body frame, but is very fluid and agile for his size (fastest linemen in the 40 yard dash at 4.89) as he is equally effective in open space as he is in the trenches as a blocker. McCoy has played both the center and guard position, as many scouts believe he could excel at both positions. McCoy utilizes his strong hands well locking onto defenders and plays hard until the whistle.
Alternate Pick: Jamal Dean (CB) Auburn-6’2/208: Dean got the attention with a solid 4.30 time in the 40 yard dash along with his overall performance at the combine. Dean’s size and speed could be too much to pass up in the 4th round.
Round 5 (#143)
The Pick: Juan Thornhill (S) Virginia 6’1/205: The Giants have cut ties with Pro Bowler Landon Collins in a surprising move and now they need to find his replacement. Thornhill can play as a traditional safety covering the middle of the field or move up in the box and play physical.
Alternate Pick: Ben Banogu (DE/OLB) TCU 6’4/255: Banogu is a natural pass rusher with extreme speed and quickness off the edge. Banogu only knows how to play with one speed and that is a non-stop motor until the whistle. Banogu is more suited to play in a 3-4 defensive scheme; which will allow him to use his athleticism and playmaking skills.
Round 5 (#155)
The Pick: Jalen Jelks (DE/OLB) Oregon 6’5/260: Olivier Vernon is now a Cleveland Brown and Gettleman adds more depth at the OLB position. Jelks was a disruptive force for the Ducks during his college career. Can play effectively in a 4-3 or a 3-4 defensive schemes as Jelks pass rushing abilities; along with his relentless style of play would be a welcome addition to the Giants defense.
Alternate Pick: Connor McGovern (OG/C) Penn State 6’5/322: McGovern has played all three spots along the offensive line, but seems more suitable to play either center or guard in the NFL. McGovern plays under control and never seems to be off balanced. McGovern is more efficient as a run blocker than a pass defender, however; should improve over time.
Round 7 (#233)
The Pick: Isaiah Johnson (CB) Houston 6’3/205: Johnson is a productive tackler with good size and speed to match. Very aggressive in coverage and excels in man to man as well as in zone coverage. Johnson has a non- stop motor and plays until the whistle and anticipates well. Many scouts have compared Johnson to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with his physic and style of play.
Alternate Pick: Tyree St. Louis (OT) Miami 6’5/315: St. Louis has played both tackle positions with the Hurricane and has the athleticism to play tackle in the NFL. St. Louis is more of a zone blocker and not a maul and relies on his technique and quick feet to get into proper position. St. Louis could develop into a solid left tackle once the Giants move on from Solder.
Round 7 (#246)
The Pick: Jalen Hurd (WR) Baylor 6’5/226: Hurd only participated in the bench press at the combine, but still has an opportunity to showcase his stuff on his pro day. Hurd is a converted running back who was often utilized as a running back in Baylor’s offense. Hurd has good size and deceptive speed to create separation as he can change direction affectively. Needs to work on his route running, but that will come in time as Hurd is a solid pick in round 7 for the Giants.
Alternate Pick: Khalen Saunders (DT) Western Illinois- 6’0/325: Saunders could be a steal in round 7 for the Giants. Saunders plays low to the ground and is extremely hard to move once he sets himself in the trenches. Saunders is strictly a run stuffer; which is what the Giants need after trading Damon Harrison.
Final Thoughts: In my 2nd edition of the 2019 NFL draft, I have the Giants passing on a quarterback in the 1st round and instead going for the BPA (best player available); which in this scenario is DT Ed Oliver. However; However; that could change in my final mock draft in mid April. GM Dave Gettleman in this mock draft addresses the trenches with the addition of 8 linemen taken with 4 in my original picks and 4 in my alternate picks. With the draft just around the corner, a lot can happen between now and then, so expect my final mock draft to include free agent signings (only top 3) and possible trades.