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Giants 7-round NFL Mock Draft: What if there’s no Daniel Jones deal?

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Daniel Jones could be leaving the Giants
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) crosses the goal line for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

With rumors swirling around the New York Giants and a potential gap in negotiations with quarterback Daniel Jones, we felt it was the right time to update our seven-round NFL Mock Draft. 

In version 1.0, we operated under the assumption that both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley would re-sign with the Giants. We also believed the Giants would bring back safety Julian Love and wide receiver Darius Slayton. 

However, now we will be drafting as if the Giants have placed a franchise tag on Daniel Jones since that is a likely scenario we outlined early on Tuesday morning. However, I do believe the Giants can do that and still work out a favorable deal with Saquon Barkley, so we will conduct this draft as if Barkley is staying for another 2-3 years. As a result, the Giants will be looking for a wide receiver, off-ball linebacker, cornerback, quarterback, interior offensive line, and backup running back. 

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Mock Draft Rules

New York Giants Mock Draft

Rd 1 (Pick 25): Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR Ohio State

This was a tough choice because O’Cyrus Torrence was also on the board here, and he would be an immediate starter at guard for the Giants. However, the upside of Smith-Njigba was simply too good to pass up. 

The former Buckeye is the perfect target for a young quarterback since he is an outstanding route-runner whose solid footwork and ability to read leverage make him a great separator. He seems to be consistently open in the middle of the field and handles himself well in scramble situations so even though he doesn’t have the top-end speed to break huge gains, he can be a dynamic weapon over the middle of the field. That’s a quarterback’s best friend. 

 

Rd 2 (Pick 57): Dalton Kincaid, TE Utah

I didn’t expect to go with two pass-catchers in the first two rounds, but if the board falls this way, it’s going to be really hard for the Giants to pass up on Kincaid. Especially if they are trying to build an offense full of solid weapons around whatever young QB they try to develop. 

Kincaid was a former basketball player who had only played one year of high school football, so there is still untapped potential there. He has great hands to go along with his elite athleticism and uses his body well to shield defenders and make contested catches. While he needs to add more strength to be an in-line blocker, he has a competitive streak and is a willing blocker, so there are facets to work with there to make him a solid all-around tight end. 

Dalton Kincaid could be a Giants target in the draft
Dalton Kincaid celebrates a touchdown for Utah in 2022 (Wikimedia commons)

Rd 3 (Pick 89): Owen Pappoe, LB Auburn

While Pappoe was a middle linebacker in college, he is a bit undersized for the position in the NFL, which could make him a great weakside option for the Giants. He has tremendous experience, being named team captain at Auburn twice and starting for the Tigers since 2019. 

 Pappoe has the athleticism and range you want to see from a linebacker position and can chase down plays from the backside with ease, which should make the transition outside far easier. He also has shown decent coverage ability, understanding the depth of his drops and reading the quarterback’s eyes. While there is still room to grow for him in coverage, his speed and athleticism would be a great fit in New York. 

 

Rd 4 (Pick 106): Luke Wypler, IOL Ohio State

Traded picks 102 and 254 to the Colts for picks 106 and 164

Wypler grades out as a top-100 prospect in most places, so this would be a great get for the Giants if he falls here. He was the starting center for Ohio State for the last two seasons and is a smart blocker, understanding angles and playing with solid technique. 

He isn’t overpowering and doesn’t have any physical traits that jump off the page, but you want your center to be smart and understand defensive tendencies. Wypler does have solid athleticism and can pull when called upon, so it’s not like he’s a zero in those areas. Boring technicians can sometimes fall in the NFL Draft but make for a long-term starter at the next level.  

 

Rd 4 (Pick 128): Jaren Hall, QB BYU

Now the Giants pull the trigger on their developmental quarterback. Admittedly, this is not a great class for development prospects outside of the guys that are going in the first round, but Hall, to me has the highest ceiling of any middle-round pick. 

He can make all of the throws you’d want from your quarterback with good velocity and the ability to throw on the move as well. He makes some plays that will really turn your head. He also has great athleticism and is able to extend plays in the pocket or make plays outside on the run because he has a good feel for the pass rush. 

He can also be an asset in the run game, which Brian Daboll has shown he wants to do both with Josh Allen and with Daniel Jones. Hall’s raw physical tools would undoubtedly be intriguing to Daboll who would feel confident that he could help the rookie with polishing his progressions and his footwork since he did the same for Allen in Buffalo. 

The two factors working against Hall are that he’s only 6’1″ and that he’s 25 years old. But, again, you’re talking about a fourth-round pick in a draft that isn’t great for QB prospects. Hall is the biggest swing for the fence you can take in this portion of the draft, and considering the Giants wouldn’t need him to take any snaps in his rookie season, he would have plenty of time to learn and develop. 

Jaren Hall could be a Giants draft target
Jaren Hall (3) drops back to pass for BYU in 2022 (wikimedia commons)

Rd 5 (Pick 162): Garrett Williams, CB Syracuse

Honestly, there’s a chance Williams goes in the second round, so we had to take him here. Williams is a physical and aggressive defender that showcases an alpha mentality whenever he’s on the field. He’s a tremendous athlete with good change-of-direction skills and showcased a strong ability to make plays on the ball. His draft stock will likely be impacted by his recovery from an ACL injury, but this is a risk the Giants can take this late in the draft. 

 

Rd 5 (Pick 164): Chase Brown RB, Illinois

Even with Saquon Barkley coming back in this scenario, the Giants will need a backup running back to replace Matt Breida. Brown is another explosive runner with track athlete speed, so he fits what Breida brought to the table. He can hit the hole hard and has the quick feet to make defenders miss. He was also a true bell cow running back at Illinois, so he can handle the load if Saquon were to go down. 

 

Rd 6 (Pick 209): Tiawan Mullen, CB Indiana

Joe Schoen and Brandon Beane loved drafting cornerbacks late when they were together in Buffalo, and it worked well, hitting on some solid rotational players with 6th or 7th-round picks. Mullen could be one of those selections. 

The brother of NFL cornerback Trayvon Mullen and cousin of Ravens starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, Mullen obviously comes from a football family. He is on the smaller side, but he is a willing tackler and has the speed to match almost any receiver. His size may limit him to slot corner or special teams gunner at the next level, but guys with good speed and football IQ can be valuable depth pieces. 

 

Rd 6 (Pick 218): Spencer Anderson, G/C Maryland

In his collegiate career, Anderson has started games at right tackle, right guard, and center. That’s the kind of versatility that you want from a bench offensive lineman, which is certainly Anderson’s ceiling. We’re not looking at a diamond in the rough who could become a long-term starter, but Anderson is a physical run blocker and has the strength to be a solid depth option as an interior lineman at the NFL level. 

 

Rd 7 (Pick 242): Bumper Pool, LB Arkansas

Listen, we need to have fun here, so part of this was just for his name; however, Bumper Pool is also an athletic player and a tackling machine. To me, he would be a great last linebacker who could be a special teams ace at the NFL level. 

 

Rd 7 (Pick 245): Elijah Higgins, WR Stanford

I don’t think Higgins will be available here for the Giants, but if he is, he’d be a great pick. At 6’3″ and 235 pounds, he has tremendous size and isn’t afraid to make tough catches over the middle of the field. He is not a “twitchy” athlete, but he is a move-the-chains possession receiver that will be tough for smaller cornerbacks to cover over the field. That has value in the later rounds of the draft. 

For more Giants coverage, like this mock draft, visit AMNY Sports

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