Giants mock draft 3.0: Kiper says Te'o

March, 13, 2013
3/13/13
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Manti Te'oBrian Spurlock/USA TODAY SportsMiddle linebacker Manti Te'o could be available to the Giants at the No. 19 pick.
Mel Kiper's latest mock draft was recently released. And he has the Giants going linebacker -- as in Manti Te'o.

Here's his pick at 19 for Jerry Reese:

Kiper's analysis: The Giants could use an upgrade at middle linebacker, and Te'o offers a pick-and-play upgrade. Say what you want about his 40 time, when you roll the tape you see a guy that has football speed because he makes reads at a faster rate than so many others.

There really isn't much on the (free-agent) market at this position, and this is a draft slot where the Giants can target a middle linebacker and expect a Week 1 starter.

My take: I agree that the Giants can use an upgrade at linebacker. I still want to see if the Giants sign any cheap free-agent linebackers first. If they don't, the Giants could possibly go for one in the first round for the first time since 1984, when they took Carl Banks. Te'o may not be the fastest or most athletic linebacker but he did show good instincts on the field before the National Championship game debacle. But, I'm still thinking the Giants will go best player available and that very well could be a pass rusher or defensive lineman, offensive lineman or cornerback. There are some positions on which the Giants usually don't spend first-round picks, and linebacker is one of them. Let's first see what they come out of free agency with at the position.

What do you guys think of Mel's pick of Te'o? Yay or nay?
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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