The 2017 NFL Draft is finally upon us as we forecast the New York Giants in a complete 7-round preview.
While the New York Giants may not have a high draft pick like they have in recent years, they still have the opportunity to select some impact players due to the depth of this draft.
With that being said, let’s take a look at who the Giants could realistically select in each round.
1.23: David Njoku, TE, Miami
There is no doubt that if Njoku is on the board, the New York Giants will have to consider him with the 23rd overall pick.
However, it is getting more and more unlikely that he will still be available. The Detroit Lions make sense for the tight end and pick a few spots before New York. Although in the 2014 NFL Draft, they selected Eric Ebron with the 10th overall selection, they could still value Njoku as an impact starter. Let me remind you that Odell Beckham Jr. was drafted 12th overall in the same year for what it’s worth.
Ever since the Jeremy Shockey days, Eli Manning has had to deal with a revolving door at tight end. It is not slated to be that much better in 2017, with the inconsistent Will Tye leading the bunch.
Imagine how good Eli could be if he had a security blanket tight end to depend on. It helps that Njoku has the athleticism to make plays in the middle of they field, something Giants tight ends have lacked in years past.
Needless to say, Manning would be one happy guy if Njoku was the selection here.
Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
There is doubt that Davis will be on the board when the Giants are drafting. However, if he’s available, he should be considered one of the favorites. He plays a position of need and just needs to prove he can stay on the field.
Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan St.
McDowell looks the part of a New York Giants defensive end, and when he wants to, he plays like a first rounder. However, the problem is that the effort that he gave in college varied. With his effort being questioned, he should slide into the second round despite being a first round talent.
2.55: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio St.
There is no way around it, linebacker is a major area of need for Big Blue. With every significant linebacker coming off of the books after this season except for B.J. Goodson. The G-Men need to stock up talent at the position to prepare for the future.
To add upon this point, the current linebackers are mostly average at the position. This is the Giants weakest position on defense by far.
Raekwon McMillan is the perfect inside linebacker for this team. He can do anything that is asked of him despite coverage skills that can use little work.
Davis Webb, QB, California
Eli Manning will be 36 at the start of the 2017 season, and he is not getting any younger. Webb is one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft and could be groomed as Manning’s successor.
Dion Dawkins, T, Temple
Dawkins is a bit of a darkhorse here. He plays a position of need, but he is also playing a position that is very weak in this draft. Due to that, he may not be on the board for the 55th overall pick.
Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
The stock of the Vanderbilt linebacker is all over the place. It is as likely for him to be drafted in the late first round as in the second round. If Cunningham is still available he could be the pick here. However, it is hard to predict where he’ll fall. The NFL has put more value on linebackers that can cover, and that is Cunningham’s niche. He would fit right in with Big Blue.
3.87: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami
Kaaya could be the second player from the U to be drafted by the G-Men, joining his tight end, David Njoku. Assuming the Giants pass on Webb in the round, Kaaya has the physical tools to be groomed into a starter.
With the mess behind Eli Manning, the Giants need to draft a quarterback for the future. Kaaya is the perfect quarterback to develop behind Manning. Kaaya is a smart kid that has all of the tools. However, his accuracy tends to run rampant, and his arm is only average.
Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
One of the biggest needs for Big Blue is a running back to compliment Paul Perkins. They need a bruiser between the tackles, which Perine is.
Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
If the Giants do not go tight end in the first round, look for Butt to be a target. He is a good blocker and a good receiver, a combo that the Giants like. He’d probably be picked higher if he wasn’t coming off a torn ACL.
4.140: Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
In the search for the perfect compliment to Paul Perkins, the G-Men are able to land Wayne Gallman out of Clemson.
He is a good runner between the tackles with a physicality that the Giants have lacked in recent years. Gallman is not one dimensional as he has the speed to run outside the tackles as well. The Clemson product struggles when it comes to pass protection, but it is nothing a little work cannot fix.
When it is all said and done, Gallman might even be better than Perkins. Should the G-men pass on Perine, Gallman could very well be in play.
James Conner, RB, Pitt
If the G-Men deem that Gallman is not the best fit, Conner is another power back that could perform well with Perkins.
Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA
He came out of high school as a five-star recruit, but injuries have taken their toll on the defensive tackle. If he is able to regain some athleticism as he gets further away from his torn ACL, he would be a steal. Additionally, the G-Men have a need at defensive tackle after Jonathan Hankins spurred them for the Indianapolis Colts.
5.167: Jayon Brown, LB, UCLA
Yes, you’ve read that correctly, another linebacker. Yes, it’s possible that Jerry Reese double dips at linebacker in the draft. With the future of the position looking uncertain, this is a major need for the Giants.
Brown is a stud in coverage, but his major drawback is that he is often swallowed up in the run game. It is not likely that he will be able to improve much in run coverage, this makes him primarily a linebacker in the nickel package, similar to how the Giants deploy Keenan Robinson.
In the modern NFL, one can never have enough linebackers that are effective in coverage.
Corn Elder, CB, Miami
The candidate for the best name in the NFL Draft is also pretty good on the field. He could be drafted sooner than the fifth round, but due to the depth that this draft has at cornerback, he may fall.
Big Blue needs some depth cornerbacks, as anyone that saw their playoff game against the Packers can attest.
6.207: Channing Stribling, CB, Michigan
Stribling is the classic Jerry Reese high character late round selection.
He is a bit slow, and might not have the tools to be a starter in the NFL. But, he can provide valuable depth at a position of need. (If you don’t believe that corner is a position of need, watch the Giants playoff game against the Packers and Aaron Rodgers.)
Brendan Langley, CB, Lamar
Langley is the alternative route that Reese can take in the draft. He is a very raw prospect, but he is athletic and has all the tools needed to be a starter.
7.241: Josh Carraway, DE, TCU
The defensive end out of TCU is a classic seventh round selection. Carraway has the athletic numbers, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
The TCU product needs to work on his technique and most importantly his mental makeup. He is too soft on the field and needs to be more aggressive.
If he is able to improve the mental side of his game, he could be a diamond in the rough.
Jerry Ugokwe, OL, William and Mary
Another seventh round flier, he just oozes potential. Ugokwe has only played football since his junior year of high school. He has improved every year and could be a hidden gem.