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Giants Now: Mel Kiper Jr. releases updated mock draft


ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. releases updated mock draft

With the start of free agency less than two weeks away, all 32 NFL clubs are using this week's NFL Combine as an opportunity to assess the league's incoming talent. In conjunction, front offices are looking at avenues for addressing roster-specific needs in 2023 and beyond.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. recently released an updated mock draft predicting how each organization will approach the first-round. Notably, Kiper delineated three trades in the top five picks alone, with the Chicago Bears cashing in on a trade for their highly-coveted first overall selection.

Kiper also altered his prediction for the Giants' first-round pick at number 25. Last month, he named USC WR Jordan Addison as the likeliest choice. And though Kiper still anticipates a wide out heading to New York 25th overall, he named a new receiver for that accolade – TCU's Quentin Johnston.

"Johnston is the big, fast and physical receiver they need," Kiper admitted.

In three seasons at TCU, Johnston eclipsed 115 receptions for 2,190 receiving yards and 14 scores, adding two more rushing touchdowns. He was named a 2022 semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to the nation's leading collegiate receiver.

Johnston shattered all-time records as a freshman in 2020, posting the highest single-season yards per catch average by a true freshman in Big 12 history (22.1 yards-per-catch).

Kiper noted that Johnston's sizable frame makes him a good fit with the Giants' current receiving corps.

"At 6-foot-4, he is tremendous after the catch, breaking tackles and running for long touchdowns," Kiper added. "He understands how to use his frame to high-point the ball in the air. (Quarterback Daniel) Jones has improved every season, but he has never had a player who can make contested catches like Johnston. (General manager Joe) Schoen should make this happen in April."

Kiper's praise for Johnston extended into his concurrently-released 2023 prospect position rankings. The draft analyst positioned Johnston as the third-best receiver, just behind Boston College's Zay Flowers and Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba, respectively.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.

View photos from Giants Media Day as GM Joe Schoen spoke to the media from the NFL Combine.


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