Welcome to the latest installment of Mock Draft Monday! This week, I decided to run a new three-round Giants mock draft using Fan Speak’s Mock Draft simulator and Draft Utopia’s Big Board (since it was the most recently updated).
Read on for how this mock unfolded.
Round 1, No. 11 Overall: WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
Wait, there's no way that LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase, ranked as the top-rated player at his position and the third-best overall draft prospect by CBS Sports, falls to No. 11 in real life, right?
Too soon, to say, but in this particular mock draft, both of Alabama's receivers (Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith) and Florida tight end Kyle Pitts were off the board by the time the Giants were on the clock.
When faced with choosing between Chase and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, need was the deciding factor.
Round 2: No. 42 Overall: TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
Of the three rounds, this one was the most interesting for me because Alabama quarterback Mac Jones was sitting there on the board. I did give that pick some thought before snapping back to my senses.
But here's why I initially contemplated Bama's Jones. Despite the Giants having already backed Daniel Jones as their starter in 2021, I don't think anyone can sit there and say that the former Duke quarterback is, without question, the guy, not until the talent around him is improved.
- Find all of Nick Falato's draft profile scouting reports in one centralized location.
But here was the other part of my brief moment of weakness. Daniel Jones has missed two games so far in each of his first two seasons. If this is going to be a trend--and let's hope it's not--then how many people out there would like an upgrade ay the backup quarterback?
I thought so.
So what made me shy away from making Mac Jones the pick? Because the Giants need every single draft pick, and especially those chosen in the top-100, to contribute right away. And with all due respect to ac Jones, he's not going to be of much help as is Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth.
The Giants need playmakers, and whether they come from the receiver, tight end, or running back spot, it doesn't matter so long as they get the desire results. I found Freiermuth to be an interesting prospect because I think tight end is one of those positions that's a sneaky need for this Giants team.
The 6-foot-5, 258-pound Freiermuth is intriguing. As a blocker, he’s allowed just five pressures in his three-year college career and has eight drops (out of 143 pass targets). He’s caught 92 balls for 1,185 yards and 16 touchdowns and averaged 12.9 yards after the catch with a career rating of 118.8.
Although not as athletic as Evan Engram, where Freiermuth can be a significant asset is in the red zone, where the Giants' offense finished 31st last year.
Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network noted in his scouting report of Friermuth:
Freiermuth’s value to an NFL franchise won’t be rooted in run blocking; it will be in his versatility as a receiver and the mismatches he’ll win in coverage. That is where the value for tight ends lies anyway, so the deductions on Freiermuth’s pre-draft evaluation for blocking are only marginal.
And notes PFF’s, who lists Freiermuth as the 41st ranked prospect on the PFF big board:
Freiermuth isn't your dynamic field-stretcher, but he should dominate the middle of the field with his size and ball skills. He was a focal point of the Penn State offense in his four games this season, recording 23 catches on 37 targets for 310 yards.
Freiermuth probably not going to be lined up as an X-receiver like Engram can, but if the Giants can't pair Engram with Pitts in 12 personnel, Freiermuth doesn't seem like a bad second option.
Round 3, No. 76: DL Tyler Shelvin, LSU
Dave Gettleman likes his hog mollies, and LSU's Tyler Shelvin, 6-foot-2, 346 pounds, fits that mold.
If the Giants aren’t able to retain Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency--and barring an unexpected twist in the market, it's tough seeing them doing so--Shelvin might make for an interesting replacement.
He has the size and the strength to gobble up double-team blocks, similarly to how Tomlinson performed. While Shelvin isn’t necessarily going to be a factor in the pass rush, at least based on his college production, his size could be a huge (pardon the pun) asset in the run defense.
With that said, Shelvin, who opted out of the 2020 season after just one year as a starter, has a history of struggling with his weight, notes PFF in their annual Draft Guide:
Shelvin is one of the easiest prospects to peg in the entire draft class. Stick him over opposing centers, and he'll eat double teams on first and second down like they're fast food. Shelvin has special power and flexibility for a man his size. Unfortunately, he wasn't moving the line of scrimmage much the other way, either, so don't expect him to impact the passing game. His weight will be an issue to watch, as he's reportedly gotten all the way up to 390 pounds and was listed at 362 before he opted out this year.
Dexter Lawrence II learned quickly about the importance of playing a little lighter and what it meant for his stamina and production after losing weight between his rookie and second season. If Shelvin can come to the same realization, the sky will be the limit for that young man.
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