Things are slowly but surely coming together regarding who the New York Giants will take in the 2014 NFL Draft. Two different parts of the roster – offensive line and outside pass rusher – have caught the eyes of the football analysts mentioned in this piece. One player in particular is being linked with the club, and history suggests that he could end up holding a Big Blue jersey on May 8.
2014 New York Giants NFL Mock Drafts (January 29): Walter Football
Pick: DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State: Jernigan will, barring multiple events that would have to take place over the next several months, be the highest rated defensive tackle in the upcoming draft. The Giants do need to stock up on talent on the d-line, something that hasn't been true about the club in several years, but it's possible that they could do so during free agency.
Assume, for a moment, that Walter Football has it spot on, and that DE/OLB Khalil Mack, offensive tackles Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson and DE/OLB Anthony Barr are all off the board when New York's number comes up. The team going with Jernigan if he is still available would make plenty of sense.
2014 New York Giants NFL Mock Drafts (January 29): Rob Rang
Pick: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan: I need to see more from Lewan, starting at the NFL Scouting Combine, before I could be sold on this. Rang has, as of the end of January, the Giants bolstering the offensive line rather than taking Jernigan, cornerback Darqueze Dennard or tight end Eric Ebron. That wouldn't be the worst idea, but only if the Giants' brass doesn't see Lewan has being a massive drop-off from the previously mentioned offensive tackles Matthews and Robinson.
Lewan's draft stock has gone up and down and back up again since September. I expect that trend will continue, because that's just the way it's been.
2014 New York Giants NFL Mock Drafts (January 29): Dane Brugler
Pick: Anthony Barr, UCLA: Barr, like Lewan, continues to fluctuate in mock drafts. Some have had him being off the board as high as in the top three, while others are suggesting that he could drop all the way down to 26 and to the Cleveland Browns. I was high on Barr several weeks ago, but now the experts have me questioning myself.
Barr, a former running back, has thus far only had a cup of coffee at the LB position, playing two seasons on the defensive side of the ball. He could be a special player if he does reach his maximum potential. Will the Giants be willing to use a first round pick on a project? Let's see.
2014 New York Giants NFL Mock Drafts (January 29): Josh Norris
Pick: G/OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame: Martin stood out in Senior Week workouts, and the result was his moving up to 12 overall in some draft boards. A lot of time will pass from last week and the draft, however, and that means players like Lewan could be ahead of Martin on New York's board when all is said and done.
One thing immediately stood out to me while reviewing Norris' predictions: He has C.J. Mosley being available when the Giants are first called to the podium. The Alabama linebacker is the ideal defensive player that often gains the attention of general manager Jerry Reese.
2014 New York Giants NFL Mock Drafts (January 29): Jeff Risdon
Pick: Martin: Risdon offers a bit of inside information, suggesting that the Giants have scouted the Notre Dame o-lineman “extensively.” That doesn't necessarily mean that those running Big Blue like what they have already seen. Martin has received high praise from analysts such as NFL Network's Mike Mayock, and he could make New York's decision as it pertains to this pick rather easy with a few impressive workouts.
Martin would likely have to break some records in those demonstrations to move ahead of Matthews and Robinson on big boards. That's not necessarily a bad thing for the Giants, who could end up getting a future All-Pro at a fraction of the price.