With the twenty-third pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select…
23. New York Giants: O.J. Howard, TE | Alabama
Alright I probably messed up. No shot O.J. Howard is going to still be around when the Giants are on the clock. He’s a top 10-15 pick with some projections having him selected fourth overall by the Jags. The thing about these mock drafts is no matter how many times you do them, somebody falls, somebody rises, and somebody gets left out of the first round all together. What drives me crazy is how you hear these analysts say “he’s a first round pick no doubt about it,” but have you ever counted how many players they say that for? It’s more than the 32 picks there are in the first round! Makes no sense. Could Howard have been selected just about anywhere between pick 4 and 23, absolutely. He’s one of the highest rated tight end prospects to come out in a while. I still like a tight end to the Giants here, if not O.J. Howard then definitely David Njoku.
After splurging on the defense last offseason, it was the Giants offense that really fell flat in 2016. 25th in yards, 26th in points, 28th in 3rd down conversions and 29th in rushing. The Giants brought in receiver Brandon Marshall to provide Eli a bigger red zone threat but more help is needed. With the top 3 running back prospects all off the board already, tight end it is. The Giants haven’t had a stud at the position since Jeremy Shockey and I’m sorry but Will Tye ain’t cutting it. Another route the Giants could go is offensive line with Cam Robinson and Garett Bolles still on the board. Ereck Flowers is not cut out for left tackle life and would be better suited on the right side where the Giants currently have a seventh round pick in Bobby Hart slotted to start. Of course the Giants need to address the elephant in the room at quarterback, similar to the other teams with 2004 quarterback classes (Chargers, Steelers). Eli Manning just turned 36 and won’t be around much longer and I don’t think their recent backup signing of Geno Smith is the answer. Would the Giants look at a Deshaun Watson or another quarterback prospect that still might be on the board?
Defensively the Giants were a top ten unit. The loss of DT Jonathan Hankins to the Colts leaves a hole on the defensive line but I think they fill that with a veteran or later round selection. Linebacker has always been weak for the Giants as they just don’t seem to put much value on the position. Could this be the year the Giants finally address it and grab a guy like Jarrad Davis? Doubtful.