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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Todd McShay Of ESPN Releases First Mock Draft

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict of the Arizona State Sun Devils gestures as he warms up for the game with the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 5, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  UCLA won 29-28.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Linebacker Vontaze Burfict of the Arizona State Sun Devils gestures as he warms up for the game with the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on November 5, 2011 in Pasadena, California. UCLA won 29-28. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The 2011 NFL season is not even over yet, but it must be time to start thinking in earnest about the 2012 NFL Draft. ESPN's Todd McShay has released his first mock draft, meaning the mock draft madness that will envelope the next four months has now officially descended upon us.

Anyway, since what you really care about is who McShay has chosen for the New York Giants and New York Jets let's get right to that. I will add some comment, but keep in mind I have not yet studied any of the players. My thoughts are generic, based on the needs of the two teams.

New York Giants (17th overall selection)
Vontaze Burfict (ILB, Arizona State)

McShay says: Current starting MLB Chase Blackburn is a free agent after this season, and while I'm not sure Burfict has the discipline and character the Giants would be looking for in the quarterback of their defense, he is double-stuffed with raw ability. He has impressive size, is a thumper against the run and shows good range in underneath coverage.

My take: The Giants lost starting middle linebacker Jonathan Goff to injury before the season began, and he can be a free agent. They have now gone through Greg Jones, Mark Herzlich and Blackburn. They need an impact guy at this position.

New York Jets (22nd overall selection)
Alshon Jeffery (WR, South Carolina)

McShay says: The Jets could be staring at a host of needs -- SS, DE, WR, NT, OLB -- on draft day, but Jeffery makes sense here if the team decides not to bring back Plaxico Burress. There are questions about Jeffery's quickness and ability to separate, but his ball skills down the field are simply too good to ignore.

My take: Mark Sanchez's primary receivers (Santonio Holmes and Burress) are not young. Going for a receiver makes some sense.