NFL Mock Draft: Part II

We continue our series with part II today, covering picks 6-10. As part of the series, below are the first 5 picks, and you can find the analysis here:

  1. Arizona Cardinals – QB Kyler Murray (Oklahoma)
  2. San Francisco 49’ers – DE Nick Bosa (Ohio State)
  3. New York Jets – DL Quinnen Williams (Alabama)
  4. Oakland Raiders – EDGE/DE Josh Allen (Kentucky)
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – QB Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State)

6. New York Giants (5-11)

Needs: QB, Offensive Line, Defense

Analysis: The offensive pieces are there for the Giants. Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley mans the running back spot. The electrifying Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard are a very good tandem at wide receiver, and Ole Miss alum Evan Engram is a solid tight end. But for a few years, we’ve wondered when the Giants draft the successor to Eli Manning. Despite declining numbers, the Giants have continued to trot out the two-time Super Bowl MVP. Many mocks have concluded that the Giants go after Dwayne Haskins, but Tampa Bay picks him up in our draft mock to replace Jameis Winston. So what do the Giants do here? They could trade back and select Missouri QB Drew Lock or Duke’s Daniel Jones, but we think they’re willing to wait for Justin Herbert and Tu’a Tagovailoa in the 2020 draft. Curiously, the Giants decided against resigning their best player on defense, Landon Collins. That means that a defense that lacks talent at every level has another hole to fill. Do the Giants opt for help on the defensive line or at linebacker? Rashan Gary and Devin White are possible picks here. As is Jawaan Taylor, the offensive tackle from Florida.

Pick: DT/DE Rashan Gary (Michigan)

Stats: 34 games – 57 solo tackles – 119 tackles – 23.0 tackles for loss – 9.5 sacks – 1 forced fumble

With the departure of Snacks Harrison, the Giants lack a true playmaker on the defensive line. Gary, the top player coming out of high school had a great college career, anchoring a defense that was among the best in college football for 3 years. Gary is strong enough to play tackle and quick enough to slide out to the edge or play standing up. Ever since Jason Pierre-Paul was traded, the Giants have lacked a pass rush to make up for the holes across the rest of their lineup. This might be a tough pick given that the Giants might want a linebacker or young safety to fill the hole left by Collins, but Gary is a consensus top 6 pick. The Giants could trade down, get a few more picks to infuse the roster with talent, but the allure of drafting a player of Gary’s talent should be too strong to pass up. We should note, however, that if Haskins is available, he’s a shoe in for this pick. There’s also a chance that the Giants pull the trigger and draft Drew Lock, which could significantly change the way this draft plays out. But given the Giants recent moves, it seems that retooling the defense is their main priority.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

Needs: QB, OL, DL, WR, TE

Analysis: We’re gonna put QB as a need for the Jags until Nick Foles officially signs with them. But besides replacing Blake Bortles, a Jaguars team that had huge expectations coming into the season was let down by a poor running game, a declining defense, and a lack of receiving options. The offense specifically needs help just staying healthy. The addition of an impact wide receiver would boost an offense that spent most of the year looking like an anemic high school offense. T.J. Hockenson could be an interesting addition at tight end, but one assumes that the Jaguars would rather add an impact wide receiver with this pick. D.K. Metcalf, Marquise (Hollywood) Brown, AJ Brown could all bring a new element to this offense. Or they could add Jawaan Taylor to their offensive line to open holes for Leonard Fournette and Carlos Hyde. Montez Sweat, the Mississippi State product, could make the defensive line even scarier than it should have been last year.

Pick: WR D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss)

Stats: 21 games – 67 receptions – 1228 yards – 18.3 YPC – 14 TD’s

The biggest name to come out of the NFL Combine is the first receiver drafted. Metcalf, the Mississippi native, is a strong, physical receiver who can burn cornerbacks off the line, and beat them for jump balls. His 4.33 40 yard dash was awe-inspiring for a guy who measures at 6’4″ and weighs 238 lbs. Metcalf thrives on deeper routes, and has the ability to catch balls that other receivers might not be able to reel in. Metcalf immediately steps in and becomes the number 1 receiver on a Jags offense that lacks playmakers at any receiving positions. There is a bit of a concern with this pick, however. Metcalf has been injured twice in his 3 year career at Ole Miss. A broken foot derailed a promising freshman year and a freak neck injury ended a great junior year. In addition to injury concerns, there’s a genuine question of whether his college production was an anomaly, or if its going to be a real indication of his NFL future. The offense at Ole Miss contained about 10 plays, so the Jaguars will have to determine if Metcalf is able to run a full route tree. He has also been criticized for his ability to run routes consistently. However, these concerns might slightly be exaggerated, as Metcalf consistently produced against SEC competition during the entirety of his career.

8. Detroit Lions (6-10)

Needs: Defensive Line, Linebacker, Wide Receiver, Safety, Cornerback, Tight End

Analysis: Matt Patricia’s first season as head coach of the Detroit Lions did not go as planned. The Lions defense took a step back after bringing in Patricia, the former Patriots defensive coordinator. The loss of Ziggy Ansah this spring means that the top defensive player for the Lions since the departure of Ndamukong Suh will be playing elsewhere this upcoming season. EDGE rusher Montez Sweat could look really good on this line after impressing in college ball, at the Senior Bowl, and at the Combine. Devin White could be a solid pick here too.

Pick: EDGE Montez Sweat (Mississippi State)

Stats: 27 games – 50 solo tackles – 105 total tackles – 30.5 tackles for loss – 23.5 sacks – 1 forced fumble – 1 fumble recovery

Sweat is a do-everything edge rusher. He started as a junior and senior and out-produced fellow teammate and 5 star defensive lineman Jeffrey Simmons. Sweat ran a blistering 4.41 40-yard dash, destroying his fellow competitors. Sweat has the ability to rush off the line or play in a stand-up linebacker hybrid style that Patricia should have a ton of fun deploying. Sweat was a difference-maker on a very good Mississippi State defense that was top 3 in the SEC last year, and that talent should translate to the next level.

9. Buffalo Bills (6-10)

Needs: RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, Safety, Corner, Linebacker

The Bills, after dabbling in mediocrity the past 4-5 seasons, need an infusion of talent to surround their former 7th overall pick, QB Josh Allen. The Bills could use a big-name receiver like Marquise Brown, a young running back like Josh Jacobs, offensive line help. The picks are endless. The defense needs some retooling, but the major needs remain on offense. T.J. Hockenson could be a great pick here.

Pick: TE T.J. Hockenson (Iowa)

Stats: 23 games – 73 receptions – 1080 yards – 14.8 YPC – 9 TD’s – 1 rushing TD

Hockenson fills a big need for the Bills. A reliable pass-catcher that dominated in the Big 10, the Bills are getting what they hope to be their version of Rob Gronkowski. The 6’5″ 250lbs beast dominated in his two seasons, and is the highest ranked TE in this class. The Bills have a pretty young stable of wide receivers, and a big target is the thing they are missing. Hockenson should provide an immediate upgrade to Charles Clay. This is a weak offensive line class, so going and getting the best TE will solidify a big hole for at least 5 years.

10. Denver Broncos (6-10)

Needs: QB, Safety, CB, TE, WR

Analysis: After trading for Joe Flacco, many could assume that the quarterback position has been filled. However, rumors have spread that Elway wants another quarterback to groom under Flacco. Drew Lock and Daniel could be picked here, but if they don’t go the quarterback direction, they could look to improve a middling secondary or add another weapon on offense.

Pick: QB Drew Lock (Missouri)

Stats: 50 games – 883/1553 – 56.9 completion % – 12193 yards – 99 TDs – 39 INTs

Elway hasn’t been able to steer the Broncos back to the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning at the helm in his final season. Without an above-average quarterback, the Broncos have looked just average. With the addition of Flacco, it might be prudent to solidify a weak secondary or take the best player available, like Jawaan Taylor. But the ability to draft Lock, the talented play caller who started all 4 years, might be too talented to pass up. With an offensive core containing Emmanuel Sanders, Cortland Sutton, and Phillip Lindsay, a talented quarterback could take this team back to the playoffs. The Broncos could look to strengthen their defense through free agency, and given their draft position, drafting a cornerback this high in the draft might not be wise. If they decide to opt against drafting a quarterback, we could potentially see the Broncos trade back and pick up assets and fill defensive holes later in the first round.

That’s it for part II. Check in tomorrow for part III, where we cover 11-15!

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Austen Adcock

Freelance writer, alumni of the University of Mississippi, hockey and baseball connoisseur

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