We have our first repeat team in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft. The New York Giants are back on the clock after taking LSU linebacker Devin White with the sixth pick.
Not taking a quarterback at No. 6 makes things interesting at No. 17. The Giants can double down on playmakers on defense, and there are several good options. It’s pretty shocking that we’re more than halfway done with the mock and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is available, for instance.
Or the Giants could target a player on offense like a quarterback or an offensive lineman. Ed Valentine of Big Blue View is back to to choose the direction for the Giants.
17. New York Giants: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Valentine: So many options here. Quarterback, of course, with Daniel Jones of Duke being a possibility as the heir apparent to Eli Manning. Offensive tackle, with Cody Ford of Oklahoma being a guy who would be an immediate starter at right tackle. Cornerback Byron Murphy of Washington, who would help upgrade a secondary that doesn’t have enough good players. Dexter Lawrence, the monstrous defensive tackle from Clemson who would — hopefully — make Giants fans forget about Damon Harrison. Garrett Bradbury of NC State, who would probably end up as the starting center.
There are probably some guys who deserve consideration here who I have neglected to mention.
To be honest, none of those picks would probably be “wrong” — although folks who hate the idea of picking Jones at 17 would disagree. No worries, though, Jones haters, I am going with Gary. To be honest, he was in consideration for me at No. 6, and I think will be in the discussion for Dave Gettleman and Co. in that spot when the real draft arrives. As this mock unfolded, I was watching and hoping Gary would fall to 17. He did, and I’m not passing him up.
I know there are concerns about him not producing enough in college, but this guy is an absolute elite athlete for the position and the ceiling with him is off the charts. The Giants really need to come out of this draft with a player who could elevate their pass rush, and if he hits, Gary would do that.
Maybe at 277 pounds he isn’t a classic “edge” player. He is, though, a chess piece for James Bettcher’s multiple defense. Athletic enough to stand up on the edge on early downs, put his hand in the dirt as a 4-3 defensive end in sub packages, and kick inside to tackle as a pass rusher, where he could be just too much athlete for guards to handle.
Analysis: This pick should get a high grade simply for not taking Jones. Will Gettleman be that wise on Day 1 of the draft? If he is, he’ll be faced with several intriguing options just like in this mock draft.
The choice of Gary, while a risky one, is worth the gamble at No. 17. His level of talent is so high it outweighs his relative lack of production at Michigan. In three seasons, Gary had only 10.5 sacks. But at 277 pounds, he has the speed and movement skills of a player 40 pounds lighter. This is a smart value, need and upside choice, but there is risk in taking Gary.
Top five remaining players:
- 8. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
- 10. Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
- 13. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
- 16. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
- 17. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The final pick of the day is coming up at 3 p.m. ET with Christopher Gates of the Daily Norseman making the pick for the Minnesota Vikings at No. 18.
What grade do you give the pick of Rashan Gary by the New York Giants?
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