2011 NFL Mock Draft: Final Projections For Giants

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2011 NFL Draft Projections: Final Look At Mock Drafts For Giants

I am as tired of mock drafts as you likely are, but here is one final look at what mock drafters think the New York Giants will do in the 2011 NFL Draft when it begins Thursday night. The Giants have the 19th selection in the first round.

For months, most analysts have had the Giants as pegged as taking the best lineman -- most likely and offensive one -- available. That is still the majority opinion, but there were some interesting developments when scouring the mock drafts of the top analysts on Thursday morning.

Two highly-regarded analysts (Mike Mayock and Todd McShay) came to the conclusion that the Giants will draft Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the first round. Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, the most accurate of all mock drafters the past five years, has the Giants taking offensive lineman Nate Solder of Colorado. That is a name that has not surfaced in connection with the Giants' top pick for a while.

Mike Mayock (NFL Network)

Round 1: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

Note: Amazingly, this is the first time Mayock has ever put together an official mock draft. His mock is filled with surprises. Considering Mayock's reputation in the draft community, now I'm questioning everything I thought I knew about what could happen in the first round.

Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News)

Round 1 -- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Wes Bunting (National Football Post)

Round 1 (19th overall ) -- Gabe Carimi (OT) Wisconsin
Round 2 (52nd overall) -- Mason Foster (LB) Washington
Round 3 (84th overall) -- Jurrell Casey (DT) USC

Mocking The Draft (Dove)

Round 1 -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

Football's Future

Round 1 -- Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
Round 2 -- Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

Walter Football

Round 1 -- Castonzo
Round 2 -- Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
Round 3 -- Luke Stocker, TE, Tennessee

(This is a seven-rounder).

ESPN (Kiper)

Round 1 -- Castonzo

ESPN (McShay)

Round 1 -- Ingram
Round 2 -- Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana
Round 3 -- Casey

(This is a seven-rounder).

Draft Countdown

Round 1 -- Castonzo
Round 2 -- Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois
Round 3 -- K.J. Wright, OLB, Mississippi State

SB Nation

Round 1 -- Castonzo

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Gives Castonzo To Giants In Final Mock

In the early days of mock drafts in anticipation of the 2011 NFL Draft which begins this Thursday Anthony Castonzo, the highly-touted offensive tackle from Boston College, seemed to be the consensus pick for the New York Giants. In recent weeks that has changed a bit, as many analysts see Castonzo going earlier, perhaps to the Detroit Lions at No. 13 or New England Patriots at No. 17.

In the end, though, the final SB Nation Mock Draft find Castonzo [full profile] as the selection for the Giants. This mock includes projected trades, but find the Giants predictably staying at No. 19, and with the movement around the board by other teams Castonzo is still on the board at No. 19. SB Nation's Brian Galliford calls Castonzo's name rather than UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers, Florida OG/C Mike Pouncey, Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi or Alabama running back Mark Ingram.

In doing so, he calls Castonzo "an excellent fit for the Giants."

Do you agree?

-- The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28th and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare for it - NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it all out at SB Nation's NFL Hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Offensive Line Still Focus For Giants

Offensive line remains the focus for the New York Giants in mock drafts found across the Inter-Google. That has been the case for months now, and does not appear to be changing with the 2011 NFL Draft less than two weeks away.

This week seven of the 10 mock drafts shown below have the Giants taking an offensive lineman. Also as has become customary, Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (four selections) and Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey (three) are the players most often selected for the Giants.

We will only have to wait a couple more weeks to see if the mock drafts prove to be on target.

This Week's Mock Drafts

Walter Football -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Draft Tek -- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Sideline Scouting -- Castonzo
CBS Sports (Rang) -- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
CBS Sports (Reuter) -- Castonzo
Ourlads -- Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida
SI.com (Banks) -- Mike Pouncey
NEPatriotsDraft -- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
NFL.com (Kirwan) -- Mike Pouncey
NFL.com (Brooks) -- Castonzo

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Chooses Akeem Ayers For Giants

The SB Nation Mock Draft pendulum has swung back in the direction of UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers [full profile] when it comes to the New York Giants. SB Nation selected Ayers for the Giants in its most recent mock draft, released Tuesday morning.

SB Nation’s Brian Galliford explains the pick:

Pedestrian off-season workouts have dropped Ayers down mocks a bit, but you’ll see him start to sneak up over the next couple of weeks. His versatility and upside make him a perfect fit in Perry Fewell’s defensive system.

I happen to agree. I selected Ayers for the Giants in the Big Blue View Community Mock Draft, and Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey in the SB Nation football writers mock at Mocking The Draft.

In this draft, Pouncey (15th to Miami) and offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (13th to Detroit) are both off the board. The other name increasingly associated with the Giants here, Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget, was still on the board.

I like the Ayers’ selection, though. He is the top 4-3 outside linebacker on the board, and the need for the Giants is greater at that position than at defensive tackle.

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NFL Mock Draft 2011: Pouncey, Castonzo Remain Atop Board

Florida OG/C Mike Pouncey and Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo remained the top selections for among mock drafters for the New York Giants this week. In seven of this week's 10 selected mocks, one of those two players was the choice for the Giants with the 19th selection of the first round.

Penn State center Stefen Wisniewski was Draft Tek's choice for the Giants, and defensive tackles Corey Liuget of Illinois and Muhammad Wilkerson of Temple also were selected once each.

The general consenses appears to be that the Giants will fortify one of their two lines in the first round, most likely their offensive line.

This Week's Mock Drafts

ESPN (Kiper) -- Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida
ESPN (McShay) -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Draft Tek -- Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State
CBS Sports (Rang) -- Pouncey
CBS Sports (Reuter) -- Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
National Football Post -- Pouncey
Great Blue North Draft Report -- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Walter Football -- Castonzo
NFL.com (Brooks) -- Castonzo
NFL.com (Wyche) -- Pouncey

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2011 NFL Draft: A Surprise For Giants In SB Nation Mock Draft -- Derek Sherrod

For this week’s SB Nation NFL Mock Draft it sort of seems like SB Nation’s Brian Galliford dumped all the names in a hat, shook ‘em up and grabbed at random. That isn’t meant as a a knock, it is just meant to illustrate that there seems to be a considerable amount of movement this week.

How does that concern the New York Giants? Well, SB Nation’s selection for the Giants is Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod — a name I have barely seen connected to the Giants and one rarely chosen for them in mock drafts.

Sherrod [full profile] does fit the general consensus that the Giants will go offensive line with the 19th selection of the first round. Normally, though, he isn’t the guy folks seem to think of in these mock drafts.

Left on the SB Nation when this pick was made? Florida OG/C Mike Pouncey, Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi, Colorado tackle Nate Solder, Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget and UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers. Sherrod might not be a “wrong” selection here, but current pre-draft buzz would indicate that any of those players is a more likely pick by Giants General Manager Jerry Reese than Sherrod.

— See SB Nation’s Mocking The Draft for full draft coverage.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft (Giants Update): Offensive Line Still Main Focus

We are into April now, and with the real 2011 NFL Draft just a few weeks away it is time to get serious about focusing in on who the New York Giants might select with their first-round pick, No. 19 overall. It is pretty obvious from scouring the mock drafts this week that the consensus remains that Giants General Manager Jerry Reese will use his first pick on the best available offensive lineman.

Seven of the 10 mock drafts I selected this week have the Giants taking an offensive lineman. Of course, there is no consensus on which one. Florida G/C Mike Pouncey was the selection in two mocks, as was Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo. Penn State center Stefen Wisniewski, Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder and Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi were also selected for the Giants in mocks listed below.

In the community mock draft at Big Blue View, I went in a completely different direction recently, selecting UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers [full profile] for the Giants. The most recent SB Nation mock draft chose Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget [full profile] for the Giants.

Mock Drafts

Draft Tek -- Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State [full profile]
SI.com (Banks) -- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois [full profile]
Walter Football -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College [full profile]
Pro Football Talk -- Anthony Castonzo
CBS Sports (Rang) -- Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida [full profile]
CBS Sports (Reuter) -- Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple [full profile]
Optimum Scouting -- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama [full profile]
New Era Scouting -- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin [full profile]
NE Patriots Draft -- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado [full profile]
Ourlads -- Mike Pouncey

-- See SB Nation's Mocking The Draft for complete coverage of the upcoming draft.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois to Giants, Says SB Nation

A bit of a changeup this week in the offensive line-dominated discussion about what the New York Giants will do with the 19th pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft this April. SB Nation has chosen a lineman for the Giants in its most recent mock draft, but this time it is one from the defensive side — Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget.

Liuget is a 6-foot-3, 300-pound tackle who is considered a mid- to late first-round draft selection. Here is a full profile of Liuget from Big Blue View.

Here is what SB Nation said in explaining the selection of Liuget:

The defensive line has always been a top priority for the Giants. The team isn’t exactly lacking for depth at defensive tackle, but that’s where the value lies here, and Liuget is talented enough to get playing time immediately, anyway.

 

In all honesty, this would not be a stunning selection for the Giants. It goes against the popular belief that they will draft the best offensive tackle available, but it makes sense. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell attended the Illinois Pro Day, and reports were that he came away raving about Liuget.

The Giants will very likely lose Barry Cofield, their best defensive tackle in 2010, to free agency. Veteran Rocky Bernard has been unimpressive in his two seasons in New York. That leaves the Giants with only Chris Canty and virutally untested Linval Joseph, last year’s second-round draft pick. So, there is value here — and a chance to play immediately.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: An Offensive Lineman For Giants -- But, Which One?

In this week's look around the Inter-Google for updated NFL mock drafts, it is once again obvious that almost everyone things the New York Giants are going to draft an offensive lineman with their first pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, 19th overall. Question is, which one?

All 10 of the mock drafts I selected for this week's list have the Giants going with an offensive lineman. There is no consensus on which one, however. The list breaks down like this:

4 selections -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
2 selections -- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado; Mike Pouncey, OG.C, Florida
1 selection -- Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State; Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin.

So, no real consensus. There is still a belief that Castonzo, partially because of his Boston College connection, would be the choice. There is hardly majority agreement on that, however.

Mock Drafts

Mocking The Draft -- Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida
Draft Countdown -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Draft Tek -- Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State
Sideline Scouting -- Anthony Castonzo
Walter Football -- Anthony Castonzo
NE Patriots Draft -- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
CBS Sports (Rang) -- Nate Solder
CBS Sports (Reuter) -- Anthony Castonzo
Draft Ace -- Mike Pouncey
Consensus Draft Services -- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Anthony Castonzo Again SB Nation's Pick For Giants

After four consecutive weeks as the selection for the New York Giants in the weekly SB Nation NFL Mock Draft Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo was knocked off his perch a week ago. In that mock, SB Nation selected UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers for the Giants with the 19th pick of the first round.

Well, get those ‘Cast-on-zo’ chants fired up again, because the BC offensive tackle is back. He is again the pick for the Giants in this week’s version of the SB Nation Mock Draft.

In this mock, Castonzo is the second offensive tackle off the board, with USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith having gone 13th to the Detroit Lions. If Castonzo is available, this pick would hardly be surprising. There has also been increasing speculation that the Giants are interested in Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey. If the Giants go offensive tackle, I would not sleep on Colorado’s Nate Solder, either.

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NFL Mock Draft 2011: For Giants, Offensive Line Across The Board

If you are looking for consensus when it comes to what the New York Giants might do with the 19th pick of the first round in this April's NFL Draft, I think we have it for you today. The 10 mock drafts I selected to look at this week all have one thing in common -- every last one of them chose an offensive lineman for the Giants. Now THAT is consensus.

Three mocks gave the Giants Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, a pick that has been popular through the process. Three drafts also gave the Giants Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder, another player often associated with the Giants.

Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN each gave the Giants Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey. Pouncey seems to be gaining traction as a mid- to late first-round pick and he reportedly met with the Giants recently.

Here is McShay talking about Pouncey [full profile]:

The Giants don't have many big needs and taking Pouncey here would provide depth behind Shaun O'Hara, who made the Pro Bowl in 2009 but was nagged by injury all year and is on the downside of his career, and oft-injured LOG Rich Seubert. This might seem a little high for Pouncey but he is clearly the top interior offensive lineman in this class, and I've heard of at least three teams that are considering him in the top 20.

Mock Drafts

Draft Tek -- Tyron Smith, LT, USC
ESPN (Kiper) -- Mike Pouncey, G.C, Florida
ESPN (McShay) -- Mike Pouncey
CBS (Rang) -- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
CBS (Reuter) -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
National Football Post -- Nate Solder
Mocking The Draft (Kadar) -- Anthony Castonzo
Walter Football -- Anthony Castonzo
NFL.com (Kirwan) -- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
NFL.com (Brooks) -- Nate Solder

-- See SB Nation's Mocking The Draft for complete draft coverage and analysis

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Selects Akeem Ayers For Giants

There is an old saying, 'what goes around, comes around.' In the case of mock drafts and the New York Giants, that appears to be true. At least in the case of the most recent SB Nation NFL mock draft, which has UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers going to the Giants with the 19th pick of the first round.

Several weeks ago Ayers was the consensus pick for the Giants and was the guy SB Nation had pegged to help bolster New York's needy linebacking corps. Then, however, the depth of the Giants' concerns about injuries and age on the offensive line began to become apparent, and mock drafters -- including SB Nation's Brian Galliford -- began to look at offensive linemen. The most popular pick in recent weeks has been Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo.

In this particular mock, though, SB Nation's Galliford has USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith going to Minnesota at 12 and Castonzo going to Detroit at 13. Thus, the choice of Ayers who is still the No. 2 outside linebacker in this draft despite a mediocre performance at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Here is what SB Nation said in giving Ayers to the Giants:

His unimpressive athletic performance at the Combine, coupled with questions about his true pro position, have hurt Ayers' stock. He's still a very strong fit as a 4-3 outside linebacker, and occasional blitzer, for Perry Fewell and the linebacker-needy Giants.

My take: Ayers is probably still the top 4-3 outside linebacker in this draft, and he could fill a real void in the Giants' defense. Even with Smith and Castonzo off the board, though, I would not sleep on the Giants going with Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder, an athletic 6-foot-8, 315-pound tackle. GM Jerry Reese loves physical freaks (see Jason Pierre-Paul last year) and has tended to take guys with upside rather than players who might be ready immediately. Solder fills those qualifications. Plus, there are a half-dozen outside linebackers who might fill the Giants' need who who should be available in rounds two or three.

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2011 NFL Draft: Mock Drafts Continue To Favor Anthony Castonzo For Giants

Week after week it seems the song remains the same when it comes to the New York Giants and which player mock drafts seem to consistently select for them with the 19th overall pick. It sounds like this: Cas-ton-zo! Cas-ton-zo! Cas-ton-zo! Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo seems to be the consensus pick every Friday when we do these mock draft updates, and this week is no exception.

This week five of the 10 mock drafts I selected have Castonzo, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound tackle, being taken by the Giants in the first round. Three other mocks have the Giants also taking offensive linemen, with offensive tackle Nate Solder (Colorado) and centers Stefen Wisniewski (Penn State) and Mike Pouncey (Florida) all being selected once.

Cas-ton-zo! Cas-ton-zo! Cas-ton-zo!

Mock Drafts

Draft Tek -- Stefen Wisniewski, OC, Penn State
ESPN (Kiper) -- Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
SI (Banks) -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Walter Football -- Castonzo
Optimum Scouting -- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Pro Football Talk -- Castonzo
NE Patriots Draft -- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Football's Future -- Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
Ourlads -- Castonzo
Draft Insider -- Castonzo

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Again Chooses Anthony Castonzo For Giants

In its weekly 2011 NFL Mock Draft SB Nation has again chosen Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo for the New York Giants with the 19th selection of the first round. This is hardly a bad choice, but the consistency of this pick across mock drafts is getting sort of ridiculous.

Castonzo was the choice here. And here. And here. And here again.

Anyone else see a pattern developing? Apparently, the current consensus opinion is that the Giants should take Castonzo, the talented BC left tackle prospect, when their turn comes up in the real 2011 NFL Draft this April.

SB Nation explains its current rationale:

The Giants could really use a linebacker, but after Akeem Ayers’ hugely disappointing athletic display at the Combine, they’d do better to wait to address that position. Castonzo comes from the BC pipeline and could eventually replace either David Diehl or Kareem McKenzie.

This is probably good thinking here. The only obviously preferable offensive tackle appears to be USC’s Tyron Smith, and in this mock he is off the board at No. 13 to the Detroit Lions.

As for the linebackers, Ayers’ Combine performance — running the 40-yard dash in the 4.8s — probably did hurt him. There are also any number of quality linebackers who should be available in the second or third rounds — among them Greg Jones of Michigan State, Martez Wilzon of Illinois, Bruce Carter of North Carolina, Quan Sturdivant of North Carolina, Mark Herzlich of Boston College.

The six big-time offensive tackles in this draft class, however, will all likely be gone once by the time the Giants pick at No. 52 in the second round. Thus, grabbing one at No. 19 seems like a sound idea.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Anthony Castonzo Still The Consensus Choice

This is the first week of post-NFL Scouting Combine NFL Mock Drafts, and when it comes to the New York Giants it seems the consensus has not changed. Eight of the 10 mock drafts I chose to feature this week have the Giants selecting an offensive tackle in the first round (19th overall).

That is hardly shocking. The predominant feeling all along has neen that the Giants will take one of the top-tier offensive tackles when the 2011 NFL Draft comes along this April. There are six right now considered first-round caliber selections, as well as a couple of other guard/center first-round possibilities.

Four of the eight mock drafter who gave the Giants an offensive lineman selected Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo. That was also the SB Nation selection for the Giants in their mock draft that was released earlier this week.

Castonzo makes sense because he appears to have the ability to play left tackle at the pro level, and his Boston College background (where Giants coach Tom Coughlin formerly coached) makes it a natural fit.

This Week’s Mock Drafts

Draft Tek — Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
Walter Football — Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
NE Patriots Draft — Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
National Football Post — Anthony Castonzo
CBS (Prisco) — Castonzo
CBS (Reuter) — Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
CBS (Rang) — Nate Solder
FF Toolbox — Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
Mocking The Draft (Dove) — Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
NFL Mocks — Anthony Castonzo

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NFL Mock Draft: Anthony Castonzo Still SB Nation's Pick For Giants

When it comes to the New York Giants, the new ‘post-combine’ NFL Mock Draft from our friends at SB Nation looks a lot like all of the old ‘pre-combine’ mock drafts.

Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo was SB Nation’s pick for the Giants in the final mock prior to the NFL Scouting Combine, and he is still SB Nation’s pick for the Giants with the 19th overall selection.

Castonzo showed in Indianapolis that he is the most-polished, most NFL-ready tackle available this year. Tom Coughlin and the BC pipeline aside, Castonzo is a nice need fit for the Giants that will eventually start, whether it be on the left side or the right.

Draft Countdown agrees with SB Nation’s assessment of Castonzo’s work at the Combine:

The star of the day was Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo, who looked very polished. There is little doubt that Castonzo made some money in Indy, possibly propelling himself into the Top 20 overall.

I don’t have a big problem with this pick. I believe Castonzo fits in this slot. I do, however, wonder about a draft that has Blaine Gabbert of Missouri going No. 1 to Carolina and linebacker Akeem Ayers of UCLA, often connected to the Giants, falling out of the first round.

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2011 NFL Mock Drafts: Anthony Castonzo Still Popular Pick For Giants

NFL draft boards will change after this week's NFL Scouting Combine, but here are the results of several of the most-recently updated pre-Combine mock drafts for the New York Giants. Offensive tackle remains a popular use of the Giants first-round selection, 19th overall, as six of the 10 mocks I selected here went for a tackle.

Three of those went for Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo [full profile] and three for USC tackle Tyron Smith [full profile]. If Smith continues to impress at the Combine, however, he will end up off the board well before the Giants select in the April draft.

Mock drafters who think the Giants will go defense in the first round continue to lean toward UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers [full profile], considered the best 4-3 outside linebacker in this draft class.

This Week's Mock Drafts

Mocking The Draft -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
SI (Banks) -- Anthony Castonzo
Walter Football -- Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
Draft Tek -- Castonzo
Optimum Scouting -- Akeem Ayers
Sporting News -- Tyron Smith, OT, USC
CBS Sports (Rang) -- Tyron Smith
CBS Sports (Reuter) -- Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
NFL Draft 101 -- Tyron Smith
NE Patriots Draft -- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Picks Anthony Castonzo For Giants

In its final 2011 NFL Mock Draft prior to the NFL Scouting Combine, which begins this week, SB Nation has chosen Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo for the New York Giants with the 19th pick of the first round.

Castonzo [full profile] is one of the half-dozen offensive tackles expected to be taken in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft this April. As such, he is often connected to the Giants as potential help for their aging offensive line.

A week ago, SB Nation had UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers going to the Giants in the first round. In the second round, the choice was Villanova offensive tackle Ben Ijalana. There was no second round to the SB Nation draft this week.

SB Nation’s Mocking The Draft says Castonzo is a player who needs to gain strength, but “it’s impossible to coach up Castonzo’s natural abilities.”

Several offensive tackles in this class, including Castonzo, Nate Solder of Colorado and Tyron Smith of USC, are at this point considered strong possibilities to wind up with the Giants.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Tyron Smith Popular Pick For Giants

I have chosen 10 of what I consider to be the most reputable recently updated mock drafts this week. Looking at the selections there is an obvious consensus when it comes to what mock drafters think the New York Giants will do when the 2011 NFL Draft rolls around this April. The majority opinion right now is that the Giants will draft an offensive tackle, as six of the 10 mocks selected went with a tackle for the Giants at No. 19 in the first round.

The most-often selected player for the Giants was USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith (full profile), who was the choice in three of these mocks. Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo was the choice in two of the mocks.

Smith is a junior, and the primary question with him will be how quickly he can be ready to play since he is currently an under-sized 290 pounds. Few, however, question his upside as a potential long-time NFL left tackle. For the Giants the bigger question about Smith -- if he is the guy General Manager Jerry Reese eventually targets -- is whether he will actually be available at No. 19. More and more, you see Smith being thought of as a top 15 selection. SB Nation's Mocking The Draft makes the case that Smith should be taken in the top 10.

Smith is a silky smooth athlete with tremendous upside. He is a former tight end with quick feet and superb balance.  His quick feet allow him to adjust to counter-moves employed by the rusher.  At 6-foot-5, 291 pounds he has the frame to add extra bulk and not impact his athletic ability. I want to note that Smith just turned 20 years old which means that he still has time to fill out and grow into his frame. The NFL loves guys with upside and Smith is oozing with potential.

Mock Draft Updates

ESPN (Kiper) -- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
ESPN (McShay) -- Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Draft Countdown -- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Ourlads -- Tyron Smith
Draft Tek -- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
CBS Sports (Reuter) -- JImmy Smith, CB, Colorado
CBS Sports (Rang) -- Tyron Smith
Pro Football Talk -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
NE Patriots Draft -- JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Walter Football -- Anthony Castonzo

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Mock Draft: SB Nation Selects Akeem Ayers, Benjamin Ijalana For New York Giants

SB Nation has released its latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft, the first two-rounder the mother ship has produced this offseason. Selections made for the New York Giants by SB Nation were UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers in the first round (19th overall) and Villanova offensive lineman Benjamin Ijalana in the second round (52nd overall).

On the Ayers’ pick, SB Nation opined “The Giants perpetually replenish their defensive line via the draft, but it’s about time they concentrated on adding some linebackers.”

On Ijalana, SB Nation’s Brian Galliford wrote “The consensus top small-school product available could play tackle for the Giants, or could eventually replace Rich Seubert at guard.”

If the draft were to truly work out this way for the Giants — nabbing the top-rated 4-3 outside linebacker in the draft and one of the half-dozen best tackle prospects in the country — I believe Giants fans would have to applaud General Manager Jerry Reese.

Big Blue View has complete profiles on both Ayers and Ijalana.

— Don’t forget to visit Mocking The Draft for all your draft coverage.

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