With the draft finally under a week away, experts are busy churning out their mock drafts to keep fans up to date on the latest possibilities surrounding their team’s picks. In his latest mock draft on Thursday, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com predicted the New York Giants would take defensive tackle Aaron Donald out of the University of Pittsburgh at No. 12.
Donald, who was the 2013 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and unanimous first team All-American, is a freak of an athlete who proved it by setting a new record for the fastest 40-yard dash by a defensive tackle at the combine this year, running a 4.68. He has unbelievable instincts and quickness off the snap, made evident by leading the nation with 28 tackles for a loss in 2013, which make up for him being undersized at just 6 feet tall and 285 pounds. He also lead the ACC in forced fumbles in 2013, but it has been noted that his active hands could lead to trouble in the NFL, where he will need to learn to play with strength up against seasoned offensive linemen.
He seems to be an ideal fit for the Giants as he can use his quickness to get to the passer in the 4-3 scheme the Giants run and he is the type of pocket disruptor that made up the entire defensive line during the two latest Super Bowl runs for New York.
Although one of the Giants’ perennial weaknesses in recent years has been their secondary (and this particular mock draft has two cornerbacks at No. 10 and 11, with two safeties at No. 13 and 14), if they don’t choose to go that route, Aaron Donald seems to be the guy you don’t want to pass on if he’s still available, with some mock drafts putting him as high as No. 6 to Atlanta. If it weren’t for Jadeveon Clowney, Aaron Donald, who also won the 2013 Chuck Bednarik Award for best defensive player, might be considered the best lineman in the draft and I don’t think the Giants can go wrong picking him.
Here’s what Mel Kiper had to say:
Kiper takes Donald at No. 12:
Analysis: Getting a disruptive force on the D-line here is important, given the state of the depth chart up front. I considered Eric Ebron here, but I can’t pass on Donald.
A tweet from Jordan Raanan, writer at NJ.com:
Watching Aaron Donald tape. Hard not to love just about everything you see. #NFLDraft
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) May 2, 2014
An impressive play vs Duke from last season:
From everything I’ve seen so far, it’s hard to disagree with this pick from the Giants’ standpoint. Do you like this pick or is there someone else you’d like to see the team draft at No. 12?