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Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Giants mock draft 3.0

By Ohm Youngmisuk

Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft –- and first since the scouting combine -- is out and the ESPN draft guru has the New York Giants going for Florida’s guard/center Mike Pouncey.

Kiper had the Giants tabbing Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder in last month’s mock draft. In his first mock in January, he had the Giants drafting Pouncey.

ESPN draft expert Todd McShay will have his next mock draft up next week. Last month, he had the Giants taking USC tackle Tyron Smith. Here is the Giants mock draft 2.0.

Here’s Kiper’s take on the Giants drafting Pouncey at 19:

Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

“Pouncey's brother was taken at No. 18 overall last year and became a Pro Bowl player in his first year with the Steelers. Mike offers a very similar skill-set to Maurkice. He can play guard or center, gets to the second level very well, and should help the Giants in the running game. New York is a much better team when they have a running game (to take) the heat off Eli Manning, and it should start up front.”

Ohm’s take: The Giants' offensive line was a strength last season as players shuffled in and out due to injuries and still shined despite using six different starting combinations. But the Giants need an offensive lineman since their top three centers are all coming off surgeries. And Pouncey would protect the Giants at center for the present and give them a center for the future.

Starter Shaun O’Hara recently underwent surgery on his foot and will undergo another procedure soon to clean out his ankle and Achilles. Backup center Adam Koets is recovering from ACL surgery. And guard Rich Seubert, who shined while filling in at center for O’Hara and Koets, is in the process of an arduous rehab from surgery on his kneecap.

O’Hara said he will definitely be ready for training camp. Seubert may need longer to recover. The Giants may need to cover themselves in case their centers won’t be ready in time, especially if a potential lockout postpones free agency until after the draft.

Personally, I think the Giants need an athletic linebacker and a speedy defensive back in addition to offensive line. But at 19, the best value may actually be at offensive line since there aren't a ton of linebackers and cornerbacks worth taking in the first round according to most draft experts. There will be plenty of tackles worth taking there as well in case the Giants want a future left or right tackle.

Head coach Tom Coughlin wouldn’t go into detail about the draft except to say that he is concerned about his center position.

O’Hara said he understands why the Giants might draft a center.

“If I’m running the team, I look at it that I don’t have a healthy center if we do have OTAs or minicamp,” said O’Hara, who expects to only need a few weeks to recover from his upcoming ankle/Achilles procedure. “They haven’t expressed any concern to me about me being ready for the season.”

“The training staff has told me that I will be 100-percent healthy for training camp,” O’Hara added. “There’s no reason for me to not be back to my normal self. I still feel like I have good football left in me.”

Now that the combine is over, who do you guys think the Giants should take? We want to hear your two cents in the comment section below and feel free to debate like everyone did in Giants mock draft 2.0. Thanks.