Isaiah Simmons | Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s see how it turned out
Before we start discussing this week’s 5-round New York Giants mock draft, I need to lay out a couple of things as far as how this one was done.
I told you last week I did not have trade access with The Draft Network or Fanspeak. This week, I have that with the Fanspeak tool and I was determined to do a draft with a Round 1 trade down as a discussion scenario.
I tried i vain to engineer trades with the Miami Dolphins at No, 5, Los Angeles Chargers at No. 6 and Carolina Panthers at No. 7. The Fanspeak tool would not allow deals with those teams that I felt were remotely close to good value.
I had two proposed trades in front of me as I went to make the fourth overall pick. I had the Las Vegas Raiders offering the 12th and 19th picks in Round 1. I also had the Indianapolis Colts offering the 13th pick in Round 1, 12th pick in Round 2, 11th pick in Round 3 and 16th pick in Round 4.
I chose the Raiders offer, giving me a pair of first-round selections. Here’s how it turned out.
Round 1 (Pick No. 12 — Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson)
*Trade with Las Vegas Raiders, Also acquired the 19th overall pick in Round 1
Really shocked to find Simmons still on the board. Initially figured I would end up with whatever offensive tackle fell here, but can’t pass up on this talented hybrid defensive player.
Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs says:
Isaiah Simmons is a blue chip prospect with unparalleled versatility. His unbelievable length and athletic gifts make him a sensible fit for a number of positions, including MIKE, SAM, SS and a nickel LB in coverage. Simmons has explosive qualities and will be an asset vs. the run and pass alike. He’s a game changing player who should be coveted as a true 3-down linebacker/hybrid defender who can be the pivotal chess piece in a weekly defensive game plan.
Passed on: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Round 1 (Pick No. 19 — A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa)
*Pick acquired in trade with Raiders
Generally acknowledged as the No. 2 edge rusher in the draft class behind Chase Young. Honestly, was seriously tempted by Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones here, but I will gamble on finding a good left tackle prospect later.
Draft Network’s Joe Marino says:
AJ Epenesa has been a dynamic defensive playmaker across his last two seasons at Iowa, racking up 30.5 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, eight forced fumbles and seven pass deflections. His blend of length, devastating power, technique and urgency gives him a chance to do the same in the NFL. Epenesa is a tailor-made fit for the New England Patriots style of defensive linemen where length and heavy hands to control at the point of attack are required. Overall, Epenesa is an ascending prospect with exciting physical tools, production and technical refinement that project him to be an early starter in a 4-3 alignment but he has the extension skills needed for two-gaping duties as a five-technique. Epenesa has the upside to become a pillar of an outstanding front seven at the next level.
Round 2 (Pick 4/36 — Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan)
Upgrading the center position is, for me, just as important as getting at least one new starting offensive tackle.
Draft Network’s Joe Marino says:
Cesar Ruiz enters the NFL after starting 31 games for Michigan with 26 of those coming at center and five at right guard. A blend of size, power, mobility and technique, Ruiz projects favorably to any interior spot along the offensive line at the next level. For such a massive man, Ruiz displays outstanding mobility and he is highly effective working laterally and in space. His versatility extends beyond just the ability to play any spot along the interior, he has the attributes needed to thrive in both gap and zone blocking run schemes. Ruiz does have room to grow with some timing elements in pass protection and he could benefit from dropping some bad weight on his frame. Ruiz projects as an early impact starter in the NFL with the upside to become the pillar of an NFL offensive line for years to come.
Round 3 (Pick 34/98 — Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn)
Actually really surprised to still find him here. Happily turn in that card.
The Draft Network’s Jordan Reid says:
Prince Tega Wanogho projects as a viable starting LT in the NFL. With plenty of room to grow, Tega Wanogho has Pro Bowl potential given his physical tools — he’s got terrific short area movement skills, functional power, length and foot quickness who projects best into a gap/power system and a West Coast passing offense. Tega Wanogho came to the United States in pursuit of basketball initially and is still green to the game, so he’ll continue to blossom with more coaching.
Round 4 (Pick 4/107 — Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor)
I’ve been watching quite a bit of this kid lately. and really like what I see from the 6-foot-3, 206-pounder. With a second chance to grab him, I wasn’t passing him up.
The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs says:
Denzel Mims projects as an X-receiver at the NFL level. With his notable catch radius, physical play and high end body control, Mims projects as a potential starter at the pro level. He brings developing routes and effective play side blocking to the field — which will help him find reps early on in his pro career as he looks to add further refinement to his game. Mims enjoyed a career season in 2019 and appears to have the arrow facing up as he transitions into the pro game.
Round 5 (4/150 — Lamical Perine, RB, Florida)
Really just a shot here at adding some depth behind Saquon Barkley.
The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak says:
Lamical Perine is a late Day 2/early Day 3 candidate for a team pursuing a committee back worthy of third-down usage. Perine adjusted his game coming in his senior season by dropping weight, and his physical toolset now makes more sense in the context of his play style. Perine is an aggressive north/south runner who does not waste time trying to make his opponents miss. His angular running style lends itself to power concepts running from an I-formation alignment, where he’ll be able to hit skinny gaps with good pace, hit his second gear, and break tackles in the third level. Perine has enough of a receiving profile and is a candidate for three-down usage accordingly, but he will never create much more than he’s blocked, which caps his ceiling. Perine is at his best splitting time with more dynamic options and is only a candidate for featured-back usage in the NFL behind a top-flight offensive line.