Bucky Brooks' latest mock draft has new picks for Giants
Tomorrow marks the first day of April, which means we are inching closer and closer to the NFL Draft.
With this year's festivities kicking off exactly four weeks from today in Las Vegas, things are beginning to heat up on the mock draft circuit.
NFL Network's Bucky Brooks has published a few mock drafts over the last few months, with the latest edition being released earlier this week.
In both his first and second mock draft, Brooks predicted the Giants take Mississippi State OT Charles Cross at No. 5 and Michigan EDGE David Ojabo at No. 7. Ojabo suffered a torn Achilles during his pro day a few weeks ago, causing his draft stock to drop significantly.
Brooks' latest mock draft still has the Giants selecting an offensive tackle and an edge rusher with their top two picks, but this time the analyst has two new names landing with Big Blue.
Here are Brooks' latest picks for the Giants at Nos. 5 and 7.
Pick for No. 5: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Analysis: "New general manager Joe Schoen believes in adding prototypes at the marquee positions. Neal is an XXXL edge blocker with outstanding technique and tools." -- Brooks
Neal enjoyed a strong collegiate career at Alabama. As a freshman, he started 13 games and allowed just one sack and three hits on 423 pass block snaps, earning him a 71.2 overall grade from PFF. It only went up from there for Neal, who earned a dominant 83.7 in 2020 after starting 12 games and surrendering two sacks, one hit and six hurries.
The offensive lineman was at his best last season. Starting 15 games at left tackle, Neal gave up two sacks, five hits and eight hurries on 650 pass block snaps. He earned an elite 85.8 overall PFF grade, including 80.4 run block and 83.6 pass block grades, and was named both First-Team All-SEC and a Consensus All-American. Neal finished his Alabama career with significant time spent at left guard (723 snaps in 2019), right tackle (765 snaps in 2020) and left tackle (1,071 snaps in 2021).
For his player comparison, both PFF and Lance Zierlein compared Neal to Jordan Mailata.
Pick for No. 7: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
Analysis: "The Giants are at their best when they are able to harass quarterbacks while bringing just four defenders. Johnson is a dynamic pass rusher with the combination of speed, quickness and hand skills to whip opponents on the edge." -- Brooks
Johnson started all 12 games for Florida State last season and recorded 70 total tackles, 12 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, 12 QB hurries, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery. He led the ACC in tackles for loss and sacks, and his total tackles were the most among all Power 5 defensive linemen. Johnson also ranked sixth in sacks and eighth in tackles for loss nationally. Johnson earned an 81.1 overall grade from PFF in 2021, including 75.9 pass rush and 79.2 run defense grade, and was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
For his player comparison, PFF says Johnson has shades of Daeshon Hall while Lance Zierlein compared him to Maxx Crosby.
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his final edition of the top 50 prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Pro Football Focus' day 2 sleeper prospects
While the first round always garners all of the buzz, Days 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft are crucial for teams restocking their rosters.
Beyond their two picks in the top 7, the Giants currently have three selections on Day 2 of this year's draft. Those picks land at No. 36 (Round 2), No. 67 (Round 3) and No. 81 (Round 3).
Pro Football Focus' Anthony Treash compiled a list of prospects likely to hear their names called in Rounds 2 or 3 who could pay off big for the teams selecting them.
Here are a few of the players discussed.
Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
"The 5-foot-10, 195-pound receiver's 26 broken tackles after the catch tied for the most among wide receivers in 2021, and he ranked in the 95th percentile in separation percentage. Despite his smaller stature, Moore had no issue handling press coverage on the outside, ranking top-five in yards per route run on those reps last season at 3.58. The cherry on top is his strong hands — the Western Michigan pass-catcher checked in with the largest hands of anyone at the Combine (10.25 inches) and dropped just three of his 125 targets in 2021 while catching eight of his 13 contested opportunities."
Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
"Bonitto has become an afterthought in this deep edge class. The former Oklahoma Sooner is likely to land somewhere in the middle of Day 2, largely because of the concerns with his strength and underwhelming size and length. While those are rightful concerns, the 6-foot-3, 248-pound edge defender has some of the best pass-rush production over the last couple of years and is a high-level athlete overall. Since 2020, Bonitto has ranked first among all FBS edge defenders in pass-rush grade (94.6), pass-rush win rate (27.8%) and pressure rate (22.2%). He may serve as a designated pass-rusher to start, but he can provide value in that role."
Troy Anderson, LB, Montana State
"Andersen is the best non-FBS defensive prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft class. He earned an 86.3 PFF grade for Montana State in 2021 and led the FCS in defensive stops (67). What makes that even more impressive is that it was his first full season at the position after playing running back and quarterback. Andersen then proceeded to earn the highest PFF grade among off-ball linebackers during Senior Bowl practices and recorded a blazing 4.42-second 40-yard dash time and an eye-popping 10-foot-8 broad jump at the NFL Scouting Combine. He's likely going to take longer than most on this list to develop, considering he is jumping from FCS to NFL and just moved to the position not long ago, but long-term, Andersen is a very promising prospect."
Luke Fortner, IOL, Kentucky
"Fortner was one of the cleanest centers in the country last season. After spending the entirety of his collegiate career at guard, the Kentucky Wildcat kicked over to center for 2021, where he finished sixth nationally in PFF grade. He allowed a mere five pressures in 13 games, tied for fifth in total big-time blocks and was above the 75th percentile in negatively graded run-block rate. The 6-foot-4, 304-pound lineman has over 2,300 snaps of experience at all three positions on the interior, something NFL teams will value. He may not be a rare specimen like Tyler Linderbaum, but Fortner is a high-floor projection to the next level and is in the top of the next tier of centers after the Iowa product on Day 2."
View photos of EVERY player projected to the Giants by draft analysts in mock drafts.
Draft Season | Hosts conduct inaugural mock draft
Tony Pauline, Eric Crocker and John Schmeelk conduct their first mock draft of Draft Season.
:48 Picks 1-10
15:33 Picks 11-20
32:47 Picks 21-32