New York Giants: Mike Evans

NFL players don't generally like it when their teams draft players who play their positions. But New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is extremely secure in himself, and he'd like the Giants to take a wide receiver with the No. 12 pick in next month's draft. In an interview with the NFL Network on Thursday, he even named Texas A&M's Mike Evans as a candidate:
"If I had my choice, if I had my pick, I think we should go receiver," Cruz said on NFL Total Access. "I think we definitely need some help, especially losing a guy like Hakeem Nicks, such a big-play guy in our offense.

"I think that's something we need back in this offense to be successful. An outside guy that can do the job and that can help fuel all the other receivers in the locker room and put some fire up under them to get them where they have to be."

Cruz is best in the slot, though he has said he'd like to play more outside if the Giants want him to. With Nicks gone, the top candidates to take over on the outside are Rueben Randle, who remains unproven, and Mario Manningham, who comes with question marks injury-related and otherwise. So Evans would make sense for the Giants at No. 12. I agree with Cruz. I just don't think Evans is still going to be there for them to pick at No. 12.
Yes, still one more month to go. Remember, the NFL pushed back this year's draft by three weeks because of a scheduling conflict with a new Easter show at Radio City Music Hall. So the first round isn't until May 8, which means another month of mocks and rampant speculation.

Speaking of which ...

The New York Giants hold the No. 12 pick in the first round of said draft, and they still have any number of ways they can go with it. The popular consensus at this point has them taking North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron with that pick. Sensible pick, as they need a tight end and I can't imagine they're too excited about continuing to go with year-to-year stopgaps at the position (especially if they are down to Kellen Davis already). But popular consensus a month out isn't worth much unless you have the No. 1 pick in Andrew Luck's draft, and this is clearly not the case here.

So where else could the Giants go with that pick?

Wide receiver: Mike Evans is another popular pick at this point, and a look at the Giants' offense on paper right now shows that Eli Manning could use some exciting new targets.

Offensive line: I like Zack Martin or Taylor Lewan here, because I think they need more long-term helpers in the pipeline at offensive line. Get someone you can imagine playing on the same line as Justin Pugh for the next 10 years.

Defensive line: Pitt's Aaron Donald has to at least be temping for defensive tackle after letting Linval Joseph walk.

Defensive back: Sounds crazy, but their draft history as well as their 2014 free-agent activity shows the Giants believe they can never have too many defensive backs. If there's one sitting there at 12 that they had rated in the top five or six on their board, they will think about it for sure.

Me, I go line -- one or the other. I think they should take the best lineman available to them at that pick, be it defensive or offensive. When you're picking that high in the draft, you look for building blocks, because the reason you're picking that high is that you need them. I could endorse a pick of Ebron or Evans on the basis that what they have at those positions right now isn't good enough and likely won't be good enough long-term. But you can say the same about the lines, and they're more important from a foundation standpoint. The Giants' problems are with their foundation.