The NFL playoffs are barely past the Divisional Round and April 28th is still many weeks away, but that doesn’t mean its too early to talk about the NFL Draft.
Due to the New York Giants’ less than spectacular (awful) 2015 season, they have been granted a second top-10 selection in as many years with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
What are their options at the 10 spot? Here are four guys that could be a fit for the Giants:
Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
It is no secret that the Giants’ pass defense needs improvement as they were last in the league in opposing pass yards per game. Part of the reason why the pass defense was so helpless was due to injuries and lack of depth.
After Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, there isn’t much production at the cornerback position and with Amukamara missing time due to a pectoral injury, the secondary was vulnerable. The safety position didn’t help either with the only viable player being rookie Landon Collins and he is still far from polished.
Enter Vernon Hargreaves.
The unanimous All-American is widely known as one of the top 2 corners in the draft this year, and with a 4.45 40-yard dash and 5’11” frame, he has the size and speed to hang with the receivers in the NFL. The junior also has active hands with four interceptions in the 2015 season and could be a guy that produces right away.
Especially with the impending free agency of Prince Amukamara, the Giants could be in serious need for a corner.
Even if the Giants do retain Amukamara, drafting Hargreaves would give him a good pair of mentors in Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and with his athletic ability, be able to shoulder some of the load from them as well.
Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
The Giants Defensive Line has gone from being one of the league’s best to mediocre at best. With Damontre Moore released during the season, free agency looming for both Jason Pierre-Paul and Robert Ayers Jr., the Giants may have a need for an edge rusher.
Shaq Lawson led the NCAA with tackles for loss with 25.5 while anchoring the Clemson defense as the Tigers nearly reached perfection.
There’s not many weaknesses to point out for Lawson, as he has a strong upper-body and quick feet which makes him a dangerous pass rusher. The junior recorded an impressive 12.5 sacks this year and with the Giants being 30th in the NFL in that category, if Lawson is still on the board at 10, he should get a good look.
Miles Jack, LB, UCLA
The last linebacker taken in the first round by the New York Giants was way back in 1984 when they selected now Giants’ radio analyst Carl Banks.
If the Giants were to pick one after 22 years, Miles Jack seems like a good fit.
The versatile linebacker even played some running back for the Bruins his first couple years in school. Though a knee injury limited Jack to only three games this season, he is still almost a lock for a top-15 pick.
This man can do it all. Cover tight-ends, wide receivers, keep up with running backs. Miles Jack is not your traditional linebacker, he’s sort of like a hybrid between a linebacker and a defensive back. The Giants can use a linebacker like that, but then again, who couldn’t.
Add on the injury concerns with linebackers John Beason and Devon Kennard, I don’t the Giants would be completely opposed drafting a linebacker in the first round this year.
A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
As mentioned before, the Giants’ defense line needs to be addressed, as not only do they have some decisions to make at the defensive end position, they also have to look at the tackle position.
Veterans Barry Cofield and Cullen Jenkins are both up for free agency and young stand out Jonathan Hankins’ season ended early November as he was placed on the IR with a pectoral injury.
With Robinson touted as the top defense tackle in the draft class, this could be a good time for the Giants to solidify the DT spot. All hopes are Jonathan Hankins can return to form and adding the 6’3″, 317 lb Robinson can potentially give the Giants a lethal combo going into the future.
Robinson is highly regarded for his football IQ as much as his gigantic frame. He can flat out push offensive linemen back and stuff the running holes with great success.
Robinson looks like a player who could start in the NFL day one and should certainly be on the Giants’ big board.