There’s a lot of work to do if the New York Giants are going to regain their championship form. How do they do that in this 2014 NFL mock draft?
Round 1 – Greg Robinson – OT – Auburn
All the problems for the Giants really started up front, especially on offense. After years of solid protection and production from the ground game, Eli Manning was left with neither and predictably struggled all season. Greg Robinson can solve many of his problems. The Auburn left tackle, while still raw, already exhibits the trademarks of a bookend starter with the power, footwork, balance and technique to excel at the highest level.
Round 2 – Ryan Shazier – OLB – Ohio State
Getting faster and more athletic at the linebacker position is one of the stated goals for the Giants heading into 2014 and they are very fortunate to have Ryan Shazier fall in their laps. The OhioState linebacker is a vacuum tackler who covers lots of ground in a hurry. His height allows him to flood passing lanes while his speed makes him a closet threat when blitzing the quarterback.
Round 3 – Victor Hampton – CB – South Carolina
Another area New York knows they need to bolster is cornerback. Victor Hampton won’t win any award for height at 5’10″, but that understates what the South Carolina cover man can do. His athleticism and grittiness allows him to stand tall in press coverage and he also willingly throws his body around in run defense. If his aggressiveness can be controlled, he is a potential steal.
Round 4 – Anthony Steen – OG – Alabama
Speaking of steal, it’s easy to forget about Alabama guard Anthony Steen. He was lost for the 2013 season due to injury and the Crimson Tide moved on without him. However, before that he was considered among the top five at his position in the country. He’s quick and powerful and doesn’t back down from anybody. Giants fans will appreciate that.
Round 5 – Marcel Jensen – TE – Fresno State
Eli Manning and the New York Giants have always done their best work on offense when they have a productive tight end ala Jeremy Shockey, Jake Ballard and Martellus Bennett. Marcel Jensen is lost in the shuffle coming from FresnoState because he played in a spread offense. So while he’s known for his blocking ability, it overshadows his deceiving athleticism and good hands.
Round 6 – Storm Johnson – RB – UCF
Another position that has fallen on hard times is running back. David Wilson appears to be a bust and New York can’t find anybody reliable to take over. Storm Johnson was a key part of the UCF run to the Fiesta Bowl despite most of the attention going to Blake Bortles. He’s big, tough and showcases the classic back traits of vision, lower body strength and even little versatility in catching passes.