Predicting who the New York Giants will take with their first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is difficult because we don't yet know how the team is going to close out the current campaign. Will New York, with a playoff berth no longer attainable, roll over and thus earn a higher draft pick, or will the Giants play for pride and earn a couple of wins in the process? One thing is certain: The final three games on Big Blue's schedule could prove to be massive for the franchise down the road.
2014 New York Giants mock drafts (December 12): Walter Football
Pick: CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State: New York's secondary could certainly use the boost. Prince Amukamara, while improved, is still not living up to expectations. Terrell Thomas could leave the team via free agency. Gilbert would be a safe and a solid get.
Gilbert, a Jim Thorpe Award Finalist (the award given to the nation's best defensive back), did well to put what was a disappointing 2012 season behind him. He grabbed six interceptions in 2013, and his draft stock has noticeably risen in the past month and a half. Gilbert could be the best defensive player on the board 12 picks into the draft, which may make him too good to pass up.
2014 New York Giants mock drafts (December 12): CSN Houston
Pick: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan: This would not at all shock me. New York was responsible maybe the worst offensive line in the league during the team's 0-6 run. Lewan is seen as one of the top tackles that will be available next spring, but more than a few mock drafts I have seen have Lewan as a Day 2 selection.
Keep your eyes on Greg Robinson out of Auburn. He could, if he decides to call time on his college career, be a first round pick. His draft stock rises nearly every week, and it's possible that Robinson could be selected before Lewan.
2014 New York Giants mock drafts (December 12): Bleacher Report
Pick: Robinson: Matt Miller of Bleacher Report is right there with me. Robinson had a breakout 2013 while playing for one of the best college football teams in the country. Miller had this to say about the offensive lineman: “He's dominant at the point of attack and has the smooth slide to mirror and defend the edge as a pass-protector.”
Barring a massive collapse to end the current season, I don't see the Giants going with a flashy first round pick. The roster needs depth up front on both sides of the ball. Robinson could prove to be a cornerstone of a championship offensive line. Assuming that New York doesn't possess a top-ten pick next spring, Robinson could be the smartest option.
2014 New York Giants mock drafts (December 12): Rob Rang/Dane Brugler
That Rang and Brugler do not agree on which position the Giants will be looking at in the first round shows just how many holes there are in the New York roster. Rang believes that the Giants will take a linebacker. Brugler, however, is thinking cornerback.
OLB Khalil Mack out of Buffalo is Rang's pick. Mack has more forced fumbles than any other player in college football history. He may not even be available when the G-Men first select in the 2014 draft depending on all that occurs over the next several months.
Brugler sees New York choosing CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu from Oregon. Brugler has the Giants passing on both Mack and Gilbert. Every other mock draft mentioned in this piece envisions Ekpre-Olomu going later in the first round. The Giants would, if they followed Brugler's advice, be passing up on multiple believed-to-be sure things.
That's not this franchise's style.