The 2013 NFL draft is drawing near and many of the top “experts” are set on who they believe teams could go with on Thursday, April 25. With many picks floating out there among all of the mock drafts available, let’s take a look at some of the most popular first-round selections for the New York Giants.
D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Though the Giants secured left tackle Will Beatty for the long term earlier in free agency, their offensive line is still widely considered to be one of the team’s greatest weaknesses. Operating on that idea, Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker has become the prevailing prospect pinned to go to New York.
If Fluker is still available when the Giants pick at No. 19, he will easily be the best player available on the board. He is a dangerous combination of size, power and athleticism. He does not project well at left tackle, which works for the Giants, but should be a punishing presence on the right side in the running game.
Having played in the Crimson Tide’s offense, Fluker is already well-adapted to a pro-style offense and would be a substantial upgrade over the Giants’ current options at right tackle (David Diehl, James Brewer, Brandon Mosley).
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Prior to this week, Florida State’s Bjoern Werner was the consensus projection for the New York Giants. It’s well documented how much the G-Men love their pass rushers, and the continued decline of Justin Tuck as well as the departure of veteran Osi Umenyiora provide plenty of reason to seek a top-flight defensive end in the first round.
Werner is a strong, productive pass rusher who would be a good partner-in-crime lined up opposite Jason Pierre-Paul. The former Seminole defensive end is an ideal fit in New York with a skill set reminiscent of the man he’d be replacing in the defensive rotation.
Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Another top Alabama prospect, Chance Warmack is another popular and intriguing option for the Giants.
Warmack is the top guard in this year’s draft class, so he could go much earlier than No. 19. However, David DeCastro slipped down to the later end of the draft last year and that could happen again.
There is little not to like about Warmack. He is an elite run blocker with strong, lengthy arms that keep opposing defenders at bay. His footwork could use some improvement, but he is spectacularly athletic for a man of his size (317 pounds). He’s a little short (6-foot-2), but his near-perfect technique gives no reason to worry about that being a disadvantage.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Ezekiel Ansah is a freak of nature. His development and production in such a short amount of time is outstanding and that’s why most don’t even have him lasting till the 19th pick. Ansah is quite literally JPP 2.0 with raw talent and unbelievable potential.
The versatile “Ziggy” Ansah is the perfect combination of size (6-foot-5, 271 pounds), speed (ran a 4.63 40 at the NFL Combine without training) and power. He finished his first and only year as a starter at BYU with 62 tackles, 13 of which went for a loss, 4 1/2 sacks and an interception in the Poinsettia Bowl against San Diego State.
I don’t see the Ghana-born defensive end lasting to this point, so don’t get too excited. CBS Sports’ Pat Kirwan does, however, and the prospect of such a thing should excite any Giants fan.
Imagine two JPP’s lined up opposite one another? Yea, that’s scary for opposing offenses. In the process, it would make up for what is currently an atrocious secondary unit that is going to take some time to rebuild.
Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
I don’t see the need or the fit for Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro, but CBS Sports’ Clark Judge currently has the former Longhorn tabbed to go to the Giants.
Big Blue is currently stacked at the safety positions with five safeties currently on the roster. They could have another, too, if Terrell Thomas is able to see the field as it’s expected he will make the move to safety in camp this summer.
Still Vaccaro would be an upgrade over everyone outside of former Pro Bowler Antrel Rolle and maybe even breakout stud Stevie Brown. He has the potential to develop into a Pro Bowl-type player himself with desirable size, athleticism and versatility.
Vaccaro is not a speedy guy by any means, but he performs well in pass coverage and especially against the run. He shows good instincts in game film and always seems to find himself around the football. In a NFL game rapidly changing to include tight ends and slot receivers more often in the passing game, Vaccaro excels when asked to line up with them one-on-one.
For a pass defense that surrendered 254.2 passing yards per game, 60 plays of 20 yards or more and 26 touchdowns, the Giants’ pass defense could use all the help it can get. Vaccaro wouldn’t be an immediate starter, but could be a serviceable contributor from day one.