The season is over and we know where we are picking. It was an unfortunate ending to the season, but this team made great strides coming from where they were as a team last season. I think they are only a few pieces away from really being able to compete.
1st round- OJ Howard- Perfect TE. I have admitted in the past, and will continue to eat crow that I was a big fan of Eric Ebron coming out of college, because he was such a rare threat at the TE position that he would be an absolute nightmare to guard in the NFL. He had a pretty good year this year, but we clearly made the right choice in picking OBJ. Unlike Ebron, Howard is a great blocking TE too. He blocks like he is a part of the OL. He could help in pass protection and would definitely help in the running game. He also seems to have better hands than Ebron. Ebron would make incredible grabs, but struggled with focus drops. Howard is a hands catcher and really does a nice job of securing the ball. Since he is barely featured in the Alabama offense there is a chance that he could slide into our laps. If he is there, I would run the card up to the podium myself.
2nd round- DeMarcus Walker DE Florida St- He is a tough, talented, and hardworking player. He was a leader for the Florida St team. He can play inside a bit on pass rushing situations. He is solid vs the run and the pass. He is a guy that I think Giants fans would love.
3rd round- Samaje Perine RB Oklahoma- I think he would a great compliment to Perkins. He is an incredibly tough runner. He is a bigger RB who is skilled. I think him and Perkins would be a really talented RB core that we could have for years. He would bring a little nastiness to the offense that I think was seriously lacking this year. I think he would be able to do a lot of the things Jennings was able to do, but better.
4th round- Erik Magnuson OT/OG Michigan- He played Guard before this year and had to replace Lewan at OT. He guy that could add depth to the OL. He would be a valuable depth guy, because of his experience at Guard and Tackle. I think the OL problems will need to be addressed in FA. I think Flowers should be moved to guard or RT. Sign a LT in FA and I think this OL would be much better off.
5th round- Jake Replogle DT Purdue- I am going off what CBS Sports has for projections. If he is here this would be great value IMO. He was a really solid player on a really bad Purdue team. He is good vs the run and has shown glimpses of being a pass rusher. He got doubled a ton in college, which they wouldn't be able to do with a guy like Snacks on the DL. He has a great motor too. I think this would be a really solid pick.
STRENGTHS: Dominated competition on an inferior overall team in a power conference. One of the best run defenders in this draft class -- motor, hands, strength, hips, general athleticism, explosiveness and knee bend are all positives. Has good knee bend to gain leverage, and very good explosiveness coming off the ball -- two traits enabling him to change the line of scrimmage. Easily dumps and sheds blockers with elite level strength and hands to lock out and work clean quickly, and the great motor and very good athleticism to get to the ball.
WEAKNESSES: At Purdue, he was more disruptive in the running game than rushing the passer, but the Boilermakers didn't have much else in the way of pass rushers, so Replogle got plenty of attention from opponents. Will he be more productive rushing the passer in the NFL when he isn't the sole focus of the offense on every play?
6th round- Fred Ross WR Mississippi St- Not the fastest WR, but he is productive. He 6'1, and knows how to get open. He is a pretty solid route runner. He is versatile enough to return kicks as well. In the 6th round, he wouldn't be a bad WR to throw into the mix with King and Lewis Jr for the 3rd WR spot if Cruz doesn't return.
STRENGTHS: Ross lined up mostly in the slot in 2015, his first as a full-time starter. He is a good-sized athlete with a natural ability to accelerate off the line and mix his gears to create after the catch.
Body control and length allow him to be consistent finishing throws away from his frame. Works back to the ball well and understands how to manipulate space in his routes to turn catches downfield and weave through the defense. Runs with balance to breeze through arm tackles and generate YAC production.
WEAKNESSES: Will lose focus at times and rely on his body to finish grabs. Won't consistently shake square tackle attempts.
: While sophomores Calvin Ridley and Christian Kirk are the SEC's most notable wideouts, Ross is arguably the conference's top draft-eligible receiver and a player who enters the season as a top-three senior pass-catcher for NFL scouts.
--Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) (6/2/16)
7th round- Jalen Reeves-Maybin OLB Tennessee- Now, I am not sure what happened, but he went from a 4th round projection on CBS Sports down to a 7th round projection. Maybe the injury he suffered is worse than originally anticipated. Regardless, I think in the 7th round he would be a perfect guy to take a chance on. The Cowboys took a chance on someone like Jaylon Smith in the 2nd round (I believe). Risk vs reward in the 7th is massive. There is not much of a risk, because the amount of 7th round players that produce are extremely low, but if he recovers he would be a massive steal IMO. He is a tackling machine. He is athletic enough that he can be a factor in coverage. I think he could be one of the new-school type of LB's like Barron and Bucannon when healthy. I am not saying I he will become that level of player, but he has that type of build and skill set. He isn't nearly the hitter that those guys are, but he makes tackles. He won't light many people up like Landon Collins, but he will get his guys to the ground.