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Mel Kiper Jr. predicts Giants' first three picks

Check out photos of OT Brandon Scherff from the University of Iowa

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The countdown to the 2015 NFL Draft hits single digits today, and there's no looking back. In a little more than a week, personnel departments will hunker down in their draft rooms for three days as clubs make 256 selections over seven rounds.

>> GIANTS SEASON SCHEDULE

Leading up to it, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. threw himself into the mix and played general manager for all 32 teams in his "Grade A" mock draft. For three full rounds, Kiper simulated how the draft could unfold, making picks in the best interest of teams at each slot.

And here's what he came up with for the Giants:

Rd. 1 (9): OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa

"I'm still in the camp that says Scherff can be a tackle," said Kiper, who identified offensive line, defensive end, safety and tight end as the Giants' top needs.

"I'm also in the camp that says he's going to be a monster in the run game if we start him at guard out of the gate -- and for my offense, which averaged 3.6 yards per carry last season, that sounds pretty good. I think it's the safe call to make at No. 9 because not only do I need the immediate impact, I could have seen the Jets or Falcons grabbing him before us, so I'm happy he's around.

Rd. 2 (40): S Eric Rowe, Utah

Photos of Utah Safety Eric Rowe

"I use the next two picks to attack pretty clear personnel voids on defense. Rowe is one of the more underrated players in the draft for me, and we have nothing at free safety on the roster right now. When you factor in need, I can stomach what might look like a slight reach. I also think Thompson can excel as a weakside linebacker in our scheme. He's not going to be ready in Week 1, but he has Round 1 football instincts and simply needs the reps."

Rd. 3 (74): S/LB Shaq Thompson, Washington

Check out photos of LB Shaq Thompson from the University of Washington

For the first time since 1964, the Annual NFL Player Selection Meeting will take place outside of New York. Round 1 of the NFL's 80th draft will begin Thursday night, April 30, followed by Rounds 2-3 on Friday before wrapping up Rounds 4-7 on Saturday at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Stay tuned to Giants.com for complete coverage.

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