Nov 6, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) reacts during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. The Giants defeated the Eagles 28-23. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Giants will be looking for key positions in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The New York Giants are on their way to making the playoffs this season. They are sitting in second place in the NFC East. If they keep playing this way they will be looking at a late first round pick.
By always picking the best athlete available in the draft, the Giants rarely fill their needs. This season they have shown signs of needing help on both sides of the ball. In this draft, they need to pick up some help on the offensive and defensive line.
They should also start thinking about picking up a replacement for Eli Manning. The 2017 draft will have plenty of options at the quarterback position. This will be the best time to pick up a quarterback.
Manning will be 36 in January. The New York Giants need to start thinking about the future. Even if Manning continues to be the quarterback for the next couple of years, the rookie could learn from him.
The offensive line has shown trouble protecting Manning. In the draft, they should use their first pick bulking up the line. That is the one key pick that they need the most. We start the Mock draft with the Giants picking an offensive tackle.
Cam Robinson is a solid offensive tackle. He would bulk up the Giants offensive line. If they do pick up Robinson in the first round, they could move Ereck Flowers to the right side. Flowers has had some trouble and if they moved him to the right side he would have help.
Drafting Robinson would help protect Manning and boost the running game. He has played in every game this season, creating holes for running backs. Robinson is a mid-season All-American in every poll. In his career, he has opened holes for 26 100-yard rushers.
In Robinson’s three years with Alabama he has earned numerous accolades and this season isn’t over yet. Robinson would be a great fit for the Giants. He would be on the left side, where they need the most help. They have struggled on the left side this season.
In order for Manning to be productive going forward, the Giants will need to strengthen the offensive line. With a solid offensive line, they will also be able to get the running game going. The Giants have struggled on offense this season and a stronger offensive line will fix that.
Justin Pierre-Paul signed just a one year contract after his unfortunate fireworks accident. It is unknown if the Giants will go after JPP again once his contract is up. If they don’t, they will need to get a defensive end. Taco Charlton would be a perfect fit for the Giants.
He has a huge wingspan and is quick off the edge. This season he has 4.5 sacks. Charlton would be the perfect complement to the quarterback-hungry Giants defense. Charlton hurt his ankle in the season opener and didn’t return until the Penn State game.
He made an immediate impact in his return after missing two games. Since returning, O-lines have had trouble containing Charlton. If the Giants do resign JPP, they should still pick up Charlton in the second round. The Giants had success using multiple defensive ends in the past.
The Giants struggled early in the season with their defense, but in the past few weeks, that has changed. They could use additional players to rush quarterbacks. This is how they have won their recent games. Charlton is difficult to block and will wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Third Round – Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson
In the third round, the Giants could go for defensive tackle Carlos Watkins out of Clemson. The Giants’ defensive line could use some depth and adding Watkins could help to clog opponents running games.
Watkins is a red shirt senior and was a preseason first team All-American. At this point in the season he has 109 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. Watkins is strong on the defensive line and pushes through lines to get the tackle.
The Giants don’t have depth at the defensive line. If someone gets hurt they have few options to fill in. Adding Watkins would provide Steve Spagnuolo with more options. The Giants love to rush the quarterback. With Watkins, they would be able to have pressure coming up the middle.
Playing four years in college gives him more maturity, fundamentals and experience. Watkins will be able to come into the NFL and play right away. The Giants would be able to utilize Watkins right off the bat. He would fit right in to the Giants face paced defense.
Chad Kelly would fit in perfectly with Ben McAdoo’s offense. Kelly just suffered a torn ACL and torn Meniscus last week ending his career at Ole Miss. He will fall to the fourth round with this injury and that is when the Giants should pick him up.
Manning would be the perfect mentor for Kelly. Manning also went to Ole Miss. The Giants wouldn’t need him to start right away which would give him even more time to heal his knee. Kelly has the ability to throw the ball over the field because he has a strong arm.
Kelly would be able to get the ball down the field to the Giants quick wide receivers.It is unknown how long Manning plans on playing but he is getting up there in age. This is the perfect draft to get a quality quarterback. The 2017 draft is stacked with good quarterbacks. Who knows when that will happen again.
Unlike Manning, Kelly would be able to make plays with his legs and isn’t afraid to get hit. Kelly does make risky throws down the field, but he is competitively tough. He has a fearlessness about him that could get a team excited.
Kelly would be a perfect fit for the Giants and McAdoo. This is the direction they would need to go in for life after Manning. Kelly is athletic and will do whatever it takes to win. Lets not forget, his uncle is Hall-of-Famer Jim Kelly.
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Fifth Round – Devonte Fields, OLB, Louisville
In the fifth round, the Giants could add depth to their linebackers by picking up Devonte Fields. Fields is a senior at Louisville and is an impact player. In 2015, he was named the team’s defensive player of the year.
The Giants could get Fields in this round because of his off-the-field issues and dismissal from TCU in 2014. Fields transferred to Louisville and has shown that he has talent to play in the NFL. He can line up on the left or right side of the defensive end.
Fields has speed on the edge and is capable of spinning past blockers. He also has the ability to run down the field to make tackles. The Giants could use another speedy defender to help make open field tackles. With Fields hunting down rushers or receivers the Giants defense would be that much better.
The Giants could use younger defenders to boost the speed of the defense. With the rookies in the secondary and Fields at the linebacker positions it would be hard for opponents to go long. Fields would also help the defensive line by bringing pressure off the edge to the quarterback.
Fields would need to prove that he has matured and his off-the-field issues won’t be a problem. If he can prove he is capable of playing in the NFL, he Giants should pick him up.