It’s about that time of year again folks. It’s time the teams around the NFL lurk around and figure out which young collegiate athletes will become the fresh meat to their organization. The NFL Scouting Combine begins in less than 48 hours as head coaches, general managers, and scouts from each team make their way to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for what appears to be a star-studded combine.
This years draft is going to be a historic one, as it is one of the deepest drafts their has been in years. The number one overall pick is still a toss up and probably will continue to be until Draft Day. Certain projected draft picks are ranging in some cases from the top 10 to the end of the first round or early second. All of the mock drafts out there so far are nothing more than an estimate, an will become a lot more accurate once the teams have the answers they need from the combine results.
The New York Football Giants have the 23rd overall pick in this years draft and have a ridiculous amount of needs and positions they could draft. No one knows which way to go, which position is most important, and also what they’ll do once free agency begins in 8 days. The Giants are getting younger and Jerry Reese and co. look to keep it that way. The Giants last offseason addressed the defense in both free agency and the combine, and this year is going to be the complete opposite.
As I said before, the Giants are so eager for the Combine to begin so they can get a better idea of who they’re going to put on their draft board. The positions that are a possibility of them drafting include Tight End, Offensive Line, Linebacker, Running Back and even Quarterback. Now as far as a pre-draft and pre-combine analysis go, these are the 5 players I believe would be the best choice for the Giants at #23 overall in this years draft:
#1: OJ Howard.
Position: Tight End
Now before I begin raving about this talented stud muffin of a football player, I want to inform all Giants fans to not get their hopes up on this one. This is beginning to seem like the Eric Ebron saga a couple years ago. The Giants were set to get that guy and he even proposed to his girlfriend on top of the Empire State Building the night before the draft (not that that has anything to do with the Giants drafting him but still , it’s New York.) He got taken right out from under our nose and a similar thing happened last year when Jack Conklin and Leonard Floyd, the top 2 players on the Giants board, were taken in back to back picks right before the Giants.
Anyway, back to raving about OJ Howard. The Giants are in desperate need of a tight end. Larry Donnell was recently released (thank God), Will Tye is a mediocre player at best, and Jerell Adams is still very young and doesn’t look to be anything too promising.
During his senior year, Howard had a career high 45 receptions and 3 touchdowns to follow during their National Championship run. Even during the Championship game, Howard was serious threat, catching 4 balls for 106 yards and a touchdown against Clemson.
At 6’6 and 242 pounds, Howard is not a slow moving guy. He has serious acceleration right from the snap and his extremely long arms give him the advantage over so many defensive backs. He’s also very hard to take down at that size and turns short yardage plays into long and scoring ones because of that. Howard reminds me of a young and better Vernon Davis. He’s also 3 inches taller than Davis and about 6 pounds lighter, so if that doesn’t intrigue you I don’t know what will.
Howard has been getting much attention throughout his senior year and is ranked the best tight end in this draft. The questions that will be lingering post-combine up until draft day is if he will last until the Giants 23rd pick. That’s decently late in the draft and if other teams need and want a powerful work horse of a tight end like Howard, hell be gone in the blink of an eye.
OJ Howard. Freak of an athlete and a potential hopeful to be the next New York Giants tight end.
#2: Christian McCaffrey
Position: Running Back
This next man on my list is someone who will immediately step into the starting role on this Giants football team. Running back Christian McCaffrey was one of the runner ups to the Heisman Trophy this past year and it was well deserved.
McCaffrey is one of the best players in college football right now. His numbers don’t lie, only show the truth behind the kind of play this man is capable of.
Christian decided to breakout his sophomore year at Stanford, posting absolutely crazy stats. He rushed over 330 times for just over 2,000 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns. But he thought that wasn’t enough, so he decided to catch a couple balls here and there too. He had 45 receptions for 645 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air. Remember the amazing receiving tight end I ranted about just before this? Well McCaffrey had the exact same amount of receptions, more yards and almost double the amount of touchdowns he had, as a running back people. And this was only his Sophomore year!
Christians Junior year was a down year compared to the one he had the year prior, but still a good enough year to keep him in the running for the Heisman Trophy. He posted just over 1,600 rushing yards for 13 touchdowns on the ground last year. He also caught 37 balls for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns.
This man is hungry and loves the game of football. Whatever team he becomes part of in April will be immediately thankful they drafted him as he is a potential Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate and he hasn’t even stepped out on the field yet. Christian becoming a New York Giant would absolutely provide the spark they need to become serious contenders for a Lombardi Trophy.
McCaffrey might not be rated the best running back in this draft, as he faces competition with both Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook. Personally I believe McCaffrey would be the best fit on this football team. The Giants will be kicking themselves if they pass up on him and have to eventually play him in the future.
#3: Zach Cunningham
The next man on my list for potential draft targets is linebacker Zach Cunningham from Vanderbilt. Cunningham stands 6’4 and weighs 230 pounds and runs around the football field like a jackrabbit. This man is everywhere and constantly making plays. Last season he put up the number 125, for the amount of times he tackled another player. His vision across the field is superb and can read plays like its an instinct. The Giants currently don’t have a standout linebacker, and are also possibly going to lose 2 starters from last year in Kelvin Sheppard and Keenan Robinson. The Giants need a guy in the middle to control the defense and make plays, and they find all of that in the beast of an athlete Cunningham.
#4: Ryan Ramczyk
Position: Offensive Tackle
Offensive line. Thats what the story has been for the past several years for Giants fans. It’s also been what the Giants have needed to address the most for the past couple years and haven’t done so.
New York has a few solid offensive lineman already that don’t need to be replaced. The issue is that you need at least 4 out of the 5 starting lineman to be trustworthy and the Giants only have 3, at times. Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh are by far the best offensive lineman the Giants have. Before Pugh got hurt last year he was rated the best guard in the NFL by PFF. Besides those two soldiers, you have to deal with Ereck Flowers who isn’t seeming to pan out how the Giants hoped, John Jerry, and Marshall Newhouse, who is currently a free agent and probably won’t put on a Giants uniform again. Bobby Hart also filled in at times but never took control of the position.
The wish-list for Giants fans would be for them to add a veteran lineman through free agency for cheap and then draft a young guy to either start right away or by mid-season. By doing that you’re adding 2 more players to an offensive line thats key to this teams success. With a healthy, powerful offensive line the Giants and Eli Manning can do so much more offensively. It would create a different type of play for this team and bring back the excitement the offense used to have.
Ryan Ramczyk from Wisconsin is one of the smartest and strongest guys in this draft. He’s currently projected to go in the first round and could go at any time honestly. At 6’6 , 314 pounds, this man is just a giant rock to move around. His hands are very strong and his knowledge for the game is superb. He’s also very athletic and fast for his size, able to accelerate quickly off the snap and drive defensive players back.
Besides for Cam Robinson, another top tackle in this draft, this man is the best option and might be even better than Robinson. Drafting him would be addressing a position the Giants can’t go another season without.
#5 John Ross:
Position: Wide Receiver
John Ross III. Watching tape on this man was one of the most entertaining highlight reels I’ve ever witnessed. Ross has everything the Giants love in wide receivers; the height (short), speed, explosiveness and playmaking ability. Ross has mastered each and every one of those things and will only continue to grow and get better as a football player.
Ross is known for being one of, if not the fastest player in college football. His speed and route running abilities make defenders look silly. He continued to shine all season. Ross had 8 games this season where he had 80 reception yards or more. He also had 3 games over 100 reception yards and even 1 game over 200 yards. Insane.
Ross exploded during the 2016 season and earned him the right to be considered one of the best wide receivers in the nation.
His stats speak for themselves: 1,150 receiving yards on 81 receptions with 17 touchdowns. Yes you read that right, 17 touchdowns. This man also ran the ball 8 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. Not too shabby for a wide receiver.
Ross is 5’11, 190 pounds, which means he’s exactly the receiver the Giants love. Odell Beckham Jr. and sterling Shepard, the only two wide receivers on the Giants worth noting, are both under 6 feet tall. Yes they should get a guy whose over 6 foot, but wheres the fun in that when you can have 3 short guys running past everyone and making plays every 2 minutes.
Ross would be an amazing addition to the Giants organization and solidify the receiving corps the Giants have always wanted. He brings just as much threat as the other two and will only continue to create headaches for defenses, especially on the Giants.
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