With the news that Will Hill was blazing yet again, I feel I need to adjust my mock draft.
Round 1: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
I haven't ever mocked this guy to us except as a joke in an April Fools mock. Truth be told, he is a great talent and is guaranteed to be there at 12 without being a reach. Only reason nobody ever mocked him to us is because we had a logjam at the safety position with Hill, Stevie, and Rolle. Obviously, that is no longer the case. I don't want to roll the dice on Stevie being in 2012 form until I see him in action and how his knee holds up, and I have about Marvin Austin levels of faith in Taylor to develop into more than just a career special teamer.
Alternate: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Round 2: ASJ, TE, Washington
His stock might have fallen a tiny bit recently, but I still think he's a good pickup in the 2nd round. Amaro (the other TE projected to the 2nd round) is a purely receiving TE. He's also shown that while he has made mistakes in the past (DUI charge in 2013), he is also holding himself much more accountable to both himself and his team, working heavily in this past season on his blocking skills. CBS quotes: "Displayed humility and accountability by serving one-day sentence in jail and speaking to youth (along with the arresting officer, and a mother of a high school-aged student killed in a DUI-related accident) about the dangers of alcohol after pleading guilty to a DUI rather than pleading out and taking a lesser sentence." Sounds like the kind of guy I'd rather have on my team, someone who knows they did something wrong, owns up to it, and works hard to improve himself because of it.
Alternate: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
Round 3: Marcus Martin, C, USC
Still a bit raw as a player, but plays with absolute determination to the whistle (and much of the time, after). Might take a year to develop him into a full-time starter, but after that would become a good solid anchor for us going forward.
Alternate: Dakota Dozier, G, Furman
Round 4: Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford
As much as I love Beason, he's not going to last forever. Skov nominally projects more as an inside linebacker in the 3-4. However, what intrigues me is that he's an inside linebacker who is equally at home defending the run and the pass. He was more over-aggressive earlier in his college career, but is working hard to break that habit. Had a torn ACL in 2011, but by 2013 had recovered almost all of his prior explosiveness. Also was voted a team captain, and could develop into the same down the road for the Giants.
Alternate: Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia
Round 5: Khairi Fortt, OLB, California
The former Penn State transfer has shown remarkable patience and discipline in allowing a play to develop and keeping his eye on the ball carrier, as well as doing well when asked to drop into coverage. Main issue right now is working on his tackling form.
Alternate: Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon
Round 6: Ethan Westbrooks, DE, West Texas A&M
A bit of a raw prospect that relies on his athleticism more than technique to get to the QB, much like JPP did in 2011. Also would need to spend a year adding some muscle, but his frame should be able to handle that no problem.
Round 6 comp: Cornelius Lucas, OT, Kansas State
Lucas is the kind of player who rises to the call. Possesses good skills (especially for what can be had in the back of the 6th round), but needs motivation to help him work on said skills. If he ends up being called upon to relieve a starter, he may very well surprise us. He could also be used in jumbo packages, given that CBS reports that his blocking is more akin to a TE style.