Our friends at the mothership, SBNation.com, wasted no time this morning churning out their first post-Super Bowl XLV Mock Draft. It is an interesting one, since it includes a huge change of direction for the New York Giants, and has the New York Jets taking a player often connected to the Giants. Let’s take a look.
Giants (No. 19)
SB Nation switches things up this week and has the Giants selecting Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph in the first round. Here is the explanation:
Curveball! The Giants are incredibly inconsistent offensively, and turnovers are a huge problem for them. As good as Kevin Boss (an impending free agent) has been, he’s not the elite safety valve Jeremy Shockey was. Rudolph is very similar to Rob Gronkowski as a prospect, even down to a worrisome injury.
To be honest, I like this. I love Boss, but I don’t ever think he is going to be the force in the middle of the field the Giants would like him to be. The NFL is now more than ever a pass-happy league, and quality offenses need play-making tight ends.
Jets (No. 30)
SB Nation has the Jets grabbing UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers with this pick. Ayers is often connected to the Giants by analysts and mock drafters, which makes sense. The Giants need linebackers, Ayers is a first-round talent, and he comes from a 4-3 system. He is athletic enough to play in a 3-4, however, so I would think he would be a possibility for the Jets if he is available 30th.
Here is SB Nation’s explanation:
It’s not inconceivable that Ayers falls this far; he’s not great at any one thing, and linebackers slide down draft boards as a rule in April. 3-4 teams will like Ayers’ versatility and upside as a pass rusher, and a talented team like the Jets can afford to take the time to coach him up a bit.