NFC East: bobby massie

Three picks for the New York Giants so far in the 2012 NFL draft, and two of them played at Virginia Tech. One night after ending the first round by taking running back David Wilson, the Giants used their third-round pick (No. 94 overall) to take Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley.

You could argue that each of the Giants' first three picks -- Wilson, wide receiver Rueben Randle and Hosley -- fill holes left by free agency. The Giants lost cornerback Aaron Ross in free agency to the Jaguars, just as they lost running back Brandon Jacobs and wide receiver Mario Manningham to the 49ers. So they were down a cornerback. But the return from injury of Terrell Thomas and the assumed second-year development of 2011 first-round pick Prince Amukamara should have had them covered at corner, so the wise presumption here is that this is a player the Giants like at a position where they don't believe it's possible to be too deep.

Hosley was a great player two years ago, coming up with nine interceptions as a sophomore. He wasn't as productive in his junior year, but the Giants surely believe he showed something in 201o that reflects what he can become as a pro. He's not very big, but the scouting reports say he has good ball skills and good zone coverage instincts.

As always with Giants picks, it's also possible they see Hosley as a player who can help on special teams or in the return game while he develops in the defense. With Mississippi tackle Bobby Massie inexplicably still on the board, it seemed as though this might be where the Giants addressed their need at tackle. But the Giants are fond of saying they don't draft for need, and this is one of those picks that backs up that assertion.
The Washington Redskins had to wait a long time between their first and second picks of this year's draft. They had the No. 6 pick of the third round and traded it to Buffalo for the No. 8 pick of the third round (71 overall) and a seventh-round pick (No. 217 overall), and than with that No. 71 pick they drafted SMU guard Josh LeRibeus.

Not among the highest-ranked guards on the Scouts Inc. draft list, LeRibeus appears to be a pick the Redskins took for scheme-specific reasons rather than because of particularly good measurables. He's had some issues with his weight and has had to lose dozens of pounds to get down to his current 312. And he didn't great out especially well as a blocker. But the Redskins look for specific characteristics in their offensive linemen because their running game relies on a zone-blocking scheme. And LeRibeus' strengths, according to the scouting reports, are his initial quickness, his awareness of what's going on around him and his ability to pick up and direct scheme changes. He was a team captain at SMU and, given the right amount of time to develop in and learn the scheme, could be the kind of guy who's a leader on the offensive line.

Would Redskins fans have rather seen a tackle such as Bobby Massie here? Probably. But the Redskins need to add depth on the offensive line. Their free-agency efforts this year have been focused on wide receiver and the defensive secondary, which means the first few picks after they took Robert Griffin III in the first round needed to be focused on building some protection in front of their rookie quarterback. They obviously like the guy and believe they can coach and use him, and he plays the position to which the Redskins need to be paying attention at this point.
Mel Kiper's final mock draft is out, and I cannot contain my excitement. Mel has broken his longstanding rule about not predicting trades in mock drafts, and he has put a trade into his projections. What's exciting for me is that it's the same trade I made on behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles in Monday's blogger mock -- a deal with Jacksonville to move up to No. 7 and draft Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

I do not believe Mel stole this idea, because I believe he was probably doing something other than following the blogger mock draft on Monday afternoon. But the fact that he's thought of it too is, for me, validation. The unquestioned high point of my mock drafting career. I may retire on top now -- never do a mock draft again. Pull an Elway. Or a La Russa.

Anyway, as to the feasibility of this idea, I think it's totally realistic. They may have to give up more than I did in my mock deal with Kuharsky, since I was able to pull it off without surrendering either of the Eagles' two second-round picks. But they have the ammunition to do it, because they have 10 draft picks now following the Asante Samuel trade. Cox would be a fantastic pick for them, and if they've decided to make him a priority, it wouldn't be a surprise to see them move up to make sure they get him. I did, however, have someone tell me this week, when I raised this possibility, that "the Eagles might have to move up higher than No. 7" to get Cox.

Anyway, the rest of Mel's first round, as it pertains to the NFC East, has the Redskins of course taking Robert Griffin III at No. 2, the Cowboys taking Alabama safety Mark Barron at No. 14 and the Giants taking Mississippi tackle Bobby Massie at No. 32.