All the mock drafting is done. We know who everyone else thinks the New York Giants will take with the 19th selection overall in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft Thursday night.
All that matters, though, is the name that General Manager Jerry Reese eventually writes on his draft card and submits to Commissioner Roger Goodell. Who will it be? Let’s take a look at the likely options. Call this my ‘First Round New York Giants Draft Board’ if you will.
Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida — Almost everyone thinks the Giants will take Pouncey, if he is still available at 19. The Giants have a need at both center and guard, and Pouncey is the best interior lineman in the draft. The biggest question is really whether or not he will be available.
So, what if Pouncey isn’t there?
Other offensive linemen
Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo has commonly been associated with the Giants during mock drafts. Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi is favored by some. Watch out for Colorado’s Nate Solder, a 6-foot-9, 320-pound tackle with long arms, huge hands and the type of athleticism Reese loves.
What if the choice is not an offensive lineman?
Well, it could be a defensive lineman.
The name commonly connected to the Giants is Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget. My darkhorse defensive line candidate is Temple’s 6-foot-4, 315-pound tackle Muhammad Wilkerson. The Giants hosted Wilkerson, and that’s usually a strong sign of interest.
The Giants love defensive ends. Adrian Clayborn of Iowa visited the Giants, and if Georgia’s Da’Quan Bowers, a top 5 pick at one time, falls to 19 all bets are off.
What about a linebacker?
The Giants have not drafted one in the first round since 1984, and a true play-making linebacker is one of the few needs on their defense. The only one who might be a possibility at 19 is Akeem Ayers, but most analysts see him as a reach there.
Any other possibilities?
Alabama running back Mark Ingram is a possibility, especially if Pouncey is gone. Want a couple of longshot candidates? Try Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph or Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith.
My guess? It will be Pouncey is he is there. If not? My guess would be it comes down to these four:
Solder, Wilkerson, Liuget, Ingram.