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Mock Draft Tracker: Experts update Giants' pick

Posted Feb 6, 2018

ESPN's Todd McShay and more NFL experts make their updated mock draft predictions for the Giants:


With the conclusion of Super Bowl LII, the 2017 NFL season is officially in the books. Now it is full speed ahead to 2018.

The first-round draft order is set, the deadline for underclassmen to declare has passed, and teams took a good look at some of the top prospects at the Senior Bowl. Of course, draft experts could not wait to release their first mockups over the past few weeks and, in some cases, months.

ESPN’s Todd McShay was in the latter category, projecting UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen to the Giants at No. 2 back on Dec. 13. Nearly two months and the hiring of a new general manager and head coach later, McShay has not changed his mind.

“New head coach Pat Shurmur has publicly supported 37-year old Eli Manning as New York's starting QB next season, so this pick remains the same as my last mock,” McShay wrote in his mock draft 2.0 released Tuesday morning. “The Giants could take Rosen as the heir apparent, but I wouldn't be surprised if a team traded with the New York to get ahead of the Jets and Broncos to try to grab Rosen. Drafting Saquon Barkley to pair with Odell Beckham Jr. could be a possibility as well. The Giants have a lot of options.”

Rosen, USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma have separated themselves as the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. The major domino, however, is running back Saquon Barkley, regarded by many as the best overall prospect this year.

McShay had the Penn State product going fourth to the Cleveland Browns, who also hold the top pick. At No. 1, McShay had Darnold. He also penciled in North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb to the Colts at No. 3, Mayfield to the Broncos at No. 5, and Allen to the Jets at No. 6. Mel Kiper Jr., McShay’s colleague at ESPN, also had Rosen to the Giants but put Allen first overall to Cleveland.

“I still believe the Browns need to address the QB position here, and any of the top four quarterbacks are in play now that Darnold and Josh Rosen have officially declared for the draft,” McShay wrote. “This pick obviously changes (or is up for grabs via trade) if Cleveland lands Kirk Cousins in free agency. Between off-field issues for Rosen and his tools and intangibles on the field, Darnold should be the pick. I understand why Kiper went with Josh Allen in his first mock, but Darnold is a little safer. He's the best of the bunch at this point.”

Below is a look at the latest mock drafts and the projected pick for the Giants:

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN
Pick: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Analysis: “Rosen is the top pure passer in this class. He looked better than Darnold when UCLA and USC played late in the season. Rosen, however, has dealt with injuries the past two seasons, and there already have been rumblings that he doesn't want to end up in Cleveland. There are some red flags. But some team is going to draft him high -- he has rare arm talent and has been much more secure with the ball than Darnold and Allen. The Giants could move into life after Eli Manning with a new franchise quarterback.”

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
Pick: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
Analysis: “If you're Gettleman and the Giants, you have to plan to not be drafting this high again anytime soon. That means you get the quarterback.”

Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports
Pick: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Analysis: “He'll need to clean up his footwork and decision-making, but he's arguably the top passing prospect in this year's crop — even if a relatively disappointing 2017 season has (at least temporarily) dampened talk of him being a slam dunk No. 1 overall pick. Still, Darnold seems to have all the mental and physical tools, including impressive mobility, to be an upper-tier starter.”

Chris Trapasso, CBSSports.com
Pick: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Analysis: “Just a guess here -- Rosen wants to play for the Giants. With New York City media. With routine Sunday Night Football games against the Cowboys. He's eerily similar to Eli Manning when the veteran entered the NFL, so Rosen could learn a lot from him.”

R.J. White, CBSSports.com
Pick: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Analysis: “Barkley is right up there as one of the best prospects at his position -- and possibly No. 1 -- heading to the NFL in recent years. If the Giants aren't locked into a QB -- and they shouldn't be -- he's a fine option for No. 2.”

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com
Pick: Saquon Barkley - RB, Penn State
Analysis: “I could easily see the Giants addressing the quarterback spot here, but instead they opt for the best player in the draft.”

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com
Pick: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Analysis: "The most dynamic running back in the draft would alleviate a lot of the pressure on Eli Manning to carry the squad."

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Pick: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Analysis: "While there are better players on the board, the Giants might reach to fill a need."

Dane Brugler, The Sports Xchange
Pick: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Analysis: “The Giants don’t expect to be drafting in the top three very often and with the future of Eli Manning very much up in the air, the Giants should target the quarterback of the future. Rosen is far from a clean prospect, but his natural passing skills and arm talent are starter quality.”

Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
Pick: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Analysis: “An elite runner like Penn State’s Saquon Barkley could be exactly what Eli Manning (and Odell Beckham Jr.) need to get the Giants back on track, but Gettleman may find it hard to pass on a talent like Rosen, whose big arm and personality could make him a perfect fit for Broadway.”