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Fact or Fiction: Final Draft Predictions

fact-fiction-center-42717.jpg writers make predictions for the NFL Draft:

The Giants will make a trade at some point in the draft.

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JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - With the draft being as deep as it is, I think the Giants will be happy to stay where they are and select the best player on their board. Depending on the position group, there are many analysts who believe you can find players with starting caliber talent as late as the fourth round. In a draft with that type of depth, using picks to move up can be especially risky. There might not even be much of a difference in talent with a player picked 35th vs. 55th. If they do trade, I would be far more apt to move down to pick up more picks than move up. (Advisory: You need a partner offering value to execute any trade on draft night. Sometimes those teams don't exist.)

LANCE MEDOW Fiction -This is a very deep draft class at multiple positions, and unlike previous years, it's very possible teams can grab potential starters in the mid to late rounds. Given that theme, I don't think this is a year where you'd want to sacrifice picks or assets. It's certainly possible a player falls and the Giants receive calls from around the league to move back and acquire additional picks, but in recent history the Giants have done the opposite. In 2013, they moved up to select quarterback Ryan Nassib, and in 2015 did the same to claim safety Landon Collins. I wouldn't be surprised by a trade but I'd lean toward that not happening.

Three running backs will be taken before the Giants pick at No. 23.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -I'm nearly certain both Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey will be off the board in the top 15. The question is Dalvin Cook. His injury and off-field concerns may give some teams pause to draft him in the first round, but all you need is one team to become enraptured by his on-field skills. Those are spectacular and first round worthy. In my opinion, he is the best traditional three-down running back in the draft. I think he goes between 25 and 30.

LANCE MEDOW Fact -LSU's Leonard Fournette will certainly be off the board. I also think there's a very good chance Christian McCaffrey of Stanford and Florida State's Dalvin Cook are gone as well. While I'm not a fan of taking a running back in the first round, the emergence and success of Ezekiel Elliott last season likely influenced teams' thought processes heading into this year's draft, especially those that already have the other ingredients in place for a rookie running back to thrive immediately.

The Giants will draft an offensive lineman and a defensive lineman within the first three rounds.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -The odds on this just aren't great. The offensive tackle (where the Giants have a need) class is neither deep nor filled with surefire top 15 picks. If the Giants miss out on the top guy they like, there's a good chance there won't be a player with a high enough grade available in the second or third rounds. The defensive line class is deeper and impressive, making it very possible the Giants go there with one of their top three picks. It could be a defensive end, tackle, or both. There's a decent shot this becomes a fact because of the Giants' need at offensive and defensive tackle, but I'll stick with the odds.

LANCE MEDOW Fact -Last year, for the first time in franchise history, the Giants didn't select an offensive or defensive lineman*. *I don't think the Giants will follow that same script this year. There's not a great deal of depth at offensive line in this year's draft. With that being said, that doesn't mean you have to take someone at that position in the first round, but I don't think the second or third round would be a reach, especially if certain players drop. The Giants have always valued pass rushers and I think there's a good chance they grab a versatile defensive lineman who has the ability to play both inside and outside.

This defensive line draft class is deeper than the offensive line.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -This might be the easiest question we've gotten all year long. I talked about the depth of both positions in my previous answer, and it's clear there are far more defensive linemen than offensive linemen. You can get good defensive linemen for a variety of schemes into the end of Day Three or even the start of Day Four of the draft. The offensive linemen will dry up fast, and I've even heard some reports that the scarcity at that position might force teams to trade up in the first round to get the player they want before they go off the board.

LANCE MEDOW Fact -I alluded to this in my previous response to statement number three. There's much more depth on the defensive line versus the offensive line in this year's class. Once you get past the top three or four offensive linemen, there's not nearly as much value compared to the defensive line and there are even some question marks regarding durability issues and lack of playing time about the top players on the offensive side.

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