NFC East: Michael Smith

Giants mock draft 4.0

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
7:10
PM ET
Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have released their newest mock drafts and there’s one slight change. The ESPN NFL draft experts had Florida center/guard Mike Pouncey as their choice at 19 for the Giants in their previous mock drafts.

Here are their takes this week with picks for the first three rounds:

FIRST ROUND
Kiper: 19. Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida

“I don't think Pouncey is quite as versatile as his brother, who was taken at No. 18 overall last year and became a Pro Bowl player in his first year with the Steelers. But Mike offers a very similar skill set. He can play guard or center, gets to the second level very well and should help the Giants in the running game. I'd slot him in at guard to start and only look for help at center in a backup role, but he's easily the top interior lineman in the draft.”

McShay: 19. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

“The ideal scenario for the Giants is Pouncey falling to them, and trading back is also a possibility if the right player is not available. Their biggest need is for a difference maker at linebacker and (Mark) Ingram could also be in play, but with no impact linebacker available the best offensive lineman on the board would be the best option. Castonzo could play inside at guard as a rookie and then kick out to tackle, or the Giants could plug him in at tackle immediately and shuffle their existing personnel. Either way, Castonzo has the ability to be a quality starter for the next decade and the Giants would do well to start addressing the future of their offensive line.”

SECOND ROUND:
Kiper:
52. Quan Sturdivant, LB, North Carolina
McShay: 52. Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech

THIRD ROUND:
Kiper: 83. Terrell McClain, DT, South Florida
McShay: 83. McClain, DT, South Florida

OHM’s take: McShay has Pouncey going 15th overall to the Dolphins, who would be passing up on Alabama running back Mark Ingram.

If that were the case, the Giants would have to think about Ingram if he were available at 19 with Ahmad Bradshaw potentially becoming a free agent. Even if they re-sign Bradshaw as expected, the Giants can start thinking about the future at running back. Brandon Jacobs is under contract for two more seasons but trying to keep both Jacobs and Bradshaw could be too expensive.

Of course, if Ingram’s knee scares teams away, the Giants’ best value at 19 may be offensive line. There are plenty of defensive linemen available and of value at 19 and I would never discount Jerry Reese from taking a defensive lineman in the first round. In McShay’s mock, he has the Giants passing on Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers, a defensive end who has top-10 talent but is also a medical risk.

With free agency likely coming after the draft and uncertainty surrounding free agents and restricted free agents, the Giants have to protect themselves with offensive linemen Shaun O’Hara, Rich Seubert and Adam Koets all rebounding from surgeries. That doesn’t include Shawn Andrews, who had back issues last year.

Pouncey would give the Giants a center for the future and one who can start there or at left guard in case O’Hara and Seubert are not physically ready for the season. Pouncey, though, tweeted that he would be shocked if he weren’t a Cowboy after he visited Dallas. The Cowboys draft ninth overall and that would be a lot higher than most mock drafts have Pouncey going.

Castonzo is on the Giants' radar as offensive line coach Pat Flaherty ran Castonzo through drills at Boston College’s Pro Day.

Both Pouncey and Castonzo make sense for the Giants and fill a need. The Giants’ other greatest need is at linebacker and Kiper has the Giants drafting a linebacker in Sturdivant in the second round. McShay has the Giants going with Williams, the Virginia Tech running back who could be one of the top three backs in the draft. McShay had the Giants drafting Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure in his previous mock draft.

And in the third round, it’s interesting that both Kiper and McShay have the Giants drafting McClain, the defensive tackle who was Jason Pierre-Paul’s teammate at South Florida. McClain would certainly provide insurance in case the Giants don’t re-sign Barry Cofield, who said he will consider asking for a trade if he doesn’t receive a contract extension and has to play for a restricted free agent tender.

So what do you guys think of the latest mock drafts? Tell us below.

Which route will Beast take at receiver?

April, 9, 2009
4/09/09
2:45
PM ET
 
  US Presswire
  With Plaxico Burress, left, and Terrell Owens gone, the Giants and Cowboys have huge voids to fill at wide receiver.

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Now that the New York Giants have been praised far and wide for releasing troubled wide receiver Plaxico Burress, it's time for the following reality check: The Giants don't have anyone who resembles a No. 1 wide receiver on the roster.

Sure, the eternal optimists among Giants fandom (like my buddy Dan F. from South Orange) look at Mario Manningham and see a budding No. 1, but that's just because he has the team Web site bookmarked. The truth of the matter is the Giants appear to be set at every position except wide receiver, and there are no guarantees when it comes to the draft -- especially when holding the No. 29 overall pick.

The Giants, though, can take solace knowing that the other three teams in the NFC East could also enter the '09 season with questions at receiver. Say what you will about Terrell Owens and Burress, but they remain two of the most feared players in the game. The Giants and Cowboys are selling the tried and true "addition by subtraction" line to their fan bases, but that campaign only seems to work in the offseason.

With that in mind, let's attempt to figure out what each team in the Beast is thinking as we sprint toward the draft, which by the way, can be viewed on ESPN:

(Read full post)

Could Ocho Cinco be headed to the Eagles?

April, 9, 2009
4/09/09
12:16
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

The last time we heard from ESPN's Michael Smith, he was reporting the infamous meeting between Donovan McNabb and Eagles management. Now Smith's hearing rumblings that the Eagles could be kicking the tires on Bengals wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco.

"I am hearing there is interest in Chad Johnson," Smith said Wednesday on "NFL Live." "Now there's been some back-and-forth as to whether or not he is officially on the market. I think everybody in Cincinnati has signed off on moving Chad Johnson, except for owner Mike Brown. The Eagles could be in the picture. They have two first-round picks. They need a receiver."

Cowboys call a T.O. on No. 81

March, 5, 2009
3/05/09
1:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has spent most of the offseason providing vague hints that wide receiver Terrell Owens would return for the 2009 season. It now appears he's decided to go in a different direction.

 
  US PRESSWIRE
  After several tumultuous seasons, the Cowboys have released wide receiver Terrell Owens.
According to a report from ESPN's Michael Smith late Wednesday evening, the Cowboys have released T.O. In recent interviews, Jones had stressed that wide receiver Roy Williams needed to be the focal point of the offense next season. The Cowboys sent their first- and third-round picks in this April's draft to the Lions for Williams -- and now they've placed even more pressure on him to perform.

Ever since the Cowboys' season-ending 44-6 loss to the Eagles, Jones has maintained that chemistry in the locker room is overrated. He loathes admitting mistakes and that's why many of us thought he would press on with T.O.

This is a clear admission on Jones' part that the team couldn't get to the next level (winning a playoff game) with T.O. If you just go on the receiver's production (38 TDs in three seasons), it's hard to believe the Cowboys would move on without him. But T.O. had become the most powerful voice in the locker room and head coach Wade Phillips and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett couldn't compete with him.

Unless they address the receiver position through free agency or the draft, the Cowboys will likely begin the season with Williams and some combination of Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton starting. There will be a push to trade for someone like Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin. But the Cowboys don't have enough ammunition via draft picks to make something like that happen. They'll likely try to rely on Williams, Witten and a potent stable of running backs.

As I recently wrote, here are five reasons the Cowboys needed to dump T.O.:

(Read full post)

McNabb reportedly demanding upgrades

February, 23, 2009
2/23/09
7:14
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

When it comes to covering the Philadelphia Eagles, quarterback Donovan McNabb is the gift that keeps on giving. It's been reported McNabb was waiting around Philly instead of returning to his offseason home in Scottsdale, Ariz., because he wanted to discuss a long-term contract extension with the Eagles.

He also wanted something akin to an apology from Reid and the rest of the organization for his November benching. Now, according to a report by ESPN's Michael Smith, McNabb met secretly with head coach Andy Reid and president Joe Banner last week at the NovaCare Complex to discuss both of those issues.

According to the report, both sides cleared the air on the benching and began informal discussions on an extension. But in a move that sounds a lot like posturing, McNabb now says he wants to wait and see whether the Eagles add some pieces on offense before he engages in serious contract negotiations. Smith reports that McNabb might even consider requesting a trade if the Eagles fail to significantly upgrade the roster.

We've heard McNabb ask for help in the past, but he hasn't hinted at a trade in the process. It's obvious he's feeling his oats after leading the Eagles to the NFC title game. But he should be careful not to overplay his hand. McNabb already has a strained relationship with the team's rabid fan base. Taking a wait-and-see approach on his commitment to the franchise won't help his cause.

The quarterback could also end up alienating himself from management. From my vantage point, this is simply a player attempting to create more leverage. The two sides will eventually knock out an agreement, but we could have an interesting offseason on our hands. The Eagles don't want to appear ungrateful for McNabb's late-season surge.

But they also don't want to be shown up by a grandstanding quarterback. So who leaked this story to ESPN? I'll let you be the judge of that.

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