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2015 NFL Mock Draft: New York Giants Select DE Randy Gregory at No. 9

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the ninth pick in the DBN 2015 NFL Mock Draft, the New York Giants select...

Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

The selection and write-up were made by Bizono:

The Giants could go a few obvious directions with this pick. But they should probably just take the best player available.

Big Blues’ biggest position of weakness – by a mile – is at safety. As of today, their starting safeties are Nat Behre and Taylor Cooper have played a combined 37 snaps. Shockingly, there is no one behind these two youngsters on the depth chart!

Another area weakness is on the offensive line, mainly at center but on the interior in general, where they will likely slide Weston Richburg over from left guard to replace J.D. Walton, Pro Football Focus’ 38th ranked center  in 2014.

A third area of weakness is at linebacker, where starters Jon Beason and Jameel McClain both struggled to be effective, with little depth behind them.

But I don’t think the Giants should draft any of those positions with the 9th pick in the draft. They can find good, productive players on day 2 and day 3 at those positions. Additionally, I don’t consider any 4-3 line backers, safeties, or interior offensive lineman to be an obvious top 15 player in this draft. Offensive tackle is certainly an option, if the Giants feel that they can effectively slide a tackle inside, but I’m not convinced that they’d see as much value with that move as they could potentially get with a prospect at another position.

So… with the 9th pick in the DBN Mock Draft, the New York Giants select Randy Gregory, defensive end from the University of Nebraska.

Now, Gregory is an obvious risk due to repeated failures of drug tests - including one at the NFL combine - for marijuana. There’s been other rumors ("tis the season") that he has additional character concerns that are becoming evident during team interviews. He’s also a bit undersized for a 4-3 DE at 235 lbs, at least per the Big Blue-prototype at defensive end, and he may initially need to be used as a linebacker in running situations. But Gregory is a tremendous athlete with clear playmaking ability. The Giants should be drafting for upside here – the opportunity to select players this high in the draft is unusual for them - and Gregory has definite upside. Also, JPP is basically on a one year deal, so if there isn’t an immediate need at defensive end, there likely will be soon. They should make a move at this critical position before the need becomes immediate.

Gregory has the potential and opportunity to be an immediate difference maker for the Giants defense. Per Football Outsiders, this once solid defensive unit slid to 26th overall in weighted defensive ranking, with the pass rush ranking 21st. With 4 games against very tough NFC East offensive lines (Cowboys, Eagles), the Giants absolutely must get better here, and Gregory should help them do that.

If Grandpa Coughlin can get through to him and keep him on the straight-and-narrow, Gregory should look like a bold, smart pick by next December, and more importantly, one that is helping them get after opposing NFC East quarterbacks.

Gregory's stock will be interesting to watch during the draft. Because of this year's edge-rushing class, I'm thinking that Gregory's stock will be buried a bit compared to what could have been. Position-wise, I could see the Giants going this route, though.

The St. Louis Rams are up next, led by Ted Washington's Belly.

2015 DBN Community Mock Draft Results (so far)

Pick Team Player Position School Username
1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jameis Winston QB Florida State BuenosAires_Dawg
2 Tennessee Titans Marcus Mariota
scott tizzle
3 Jacksonville Jaguars Vic Beasley
4 Oakland Raiders Amari Cooper
5 Washington Redskins Leonard Williams
6 New York Jets Dante Fowler
7 Chicago Bears Kevin White
West Virginia
8 Atlanta Falcons Melvin Gordon
9 New York Giants Randy Gregory
10 St. Louis Rams

Ted Washington's Belly
11 Minnesota Vikings

12 Cleveland Browns

Adam Rice
13 New Orleans Saints

14 Miami Dolphins

15 San Francisco 49ers

Manly and Loving It
16 Houston Texans

17 San Diego Chargers

18 Kansas City Chiefs

19 Cleveland Browns

Royce Groff
20 Philadelphia Eagles

Matt Wood
21 Cincinnati Bengals

22 Pittsburgh Steelers

Marquess of Rockingham
23 Detroit Lions

24 Arizona Cardinals

25 Carolina Panthers

26 Baltimore Ravens

27 Dallas Cowboys

28 Denver Broncos

Maverick Hunter X
29 Indianapolis Colts

30 Green Bay Packers

31 New Orleans Saints

32 New England Patriots