In this week’s version of my weekly mock draft I entered with the goal of seeking a first-round trade that would bring a 2023 first-round pick back to the New York Giants. That mirrors the approach many are saying Giants GM Joe Schoen would like to take in the real draft — trade back with one pick in the hopes of adding a second first-round pick for next season.
Let’s see how things turned out using the Pro Football Network simulator.
Round 1 (No. 5) — Trade!!
In one of the oft-talked about scenarios leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons move up from No. 8 to No. 5. Here, I secure the 2023 first-round pick Giants GM Joe Schoen is said to be looking for.
Thus, I stay in the top 10 and add a second 2023 first-round pick in exchange for moving down three spots.
Round 1 (No. 7) — Trade!!
Yes, another one! New Orleans offers pick No. 18, and their 2023 first- and fourth-round picks. I had no intention of trading down with BOTH top 10 picks, but the Saints are offering up yet another first-round pick in 2023, setting me up with THREE first rounders a year from now.
Edge defenders Kayvon Thibodeaux and Travon Walker, cornerback Sauce Gardner and offensive tackle Charles Cross are all on the board here. If one of them comes off the board, I know I’m still getting a player I will be happy with. I’ve got the next pick, so I’m giddy with getting another 2023 first-rounder.
Round 1 (No. 8) — Ahmad Gardner, BC, Cincinnati
What a conundrum! Gardner and Cross are both still available here. Which one to choose? I don’t believe there is a wrong answer, but I’m going with Gardner. I think the kid is a star. I think he is everything Wink Martindale could hope for in a cornerback, and everything the Giants could wish for in a top pick to represent their franchise and help kick-start their rebuild.
I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning is available at No. 18. If he isn’t, I will figure something else out.
Other players considered —Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State; Travon Walker, edge, Georgia
Round 1 (No. 18) — Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
I rejected two trade offers.
The Cleveland Browns offered:
- Pick 44
- Pick 78
- Pick 99
- 2023 KEY 2nd
- 2023 KEY 4th
The Pittsburgh Steelers offered:
I’m in luck! Penning is here! This could not have worked out any better. I get the top cornerback in the draft in Gardner at No. 8, the right tackle the Giants need in Penning AND I add a pair of 2023 first-round picks.
If this GM thing doesn’t work out for Joe Schoen, maybe I will send John Mara my resume!
Other players considered —Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah; Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida State
Round 2 (No. 36) — David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan
Again, I turned down a pair of trade offers.
The Indianapolis Colts offered:
The Las Vegas Raiders offered:
- Pick 86
- 2023 LV 2nd
- 2023 LV 3rd
Ojabo! Again, I feel like I hit the lottery! I don’t know if he will play much — or at all — in 2022 after the torn Achilles tendon he suffered at the Michigan Pro Day. I’m not sure I really care. The Giants are beginning a long-term rebuild and Ojabo is a top half of Round 1 pass-rushing talent available here at No. 36. I’m signing up for that all day, even if I have to wait a bit to get him on the field.
Maybe I do need to send Mara my resume!
Other players considered — Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas; Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State; Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State; Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
Round 3 (No. 67) — Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
Again with the trade offers. Two more rejections.
The Los Angeles Chargers offered:
They wanted No. 67 and a 2023 seventh-rounder.
The Dallas Cowboys offered:
Dallas wanted picks 67 and 182.
I’m a sucker for big wide receivers who can run. Watson is 6-foot-4, 208 pounds and ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at the Combine. I think wide receiver is an underrated area that could use an upgrade for the Giants, and I like the value here.
Other players considered — Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M; Logan Hall, DE, Houston, Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA; Ed Ingram, G, LSU; Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan; Kyler Gordon, BC, Washington; Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State
Round 3 (No. 81) — Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA
The Giants have to draft a tight end at some point. I make a move before the position gets picked over. Here is Chris’s prospect profile.
Other players considered — Logan Hall, DE, Houston; Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State; Ed Ingram, G, LSU; Kyler Gordon, BC, Washington; Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State