Crafting the Ideal Giants Draft: Round 1 of 5
Draft season is in full bloom, and the New York Giants hold a Top-6 selection for the third straight year.
Anyone can parse through the depth chart and see glaring holes on the roster, which include a need at tackle, an upgrade at center, EDGE depth, a single high safety, and an athletic second-level defender.
An argument can also be had for big-bodied, “X” type of receiver, as historically, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett's offenses were accentuated by talented boundary receivers who were bigger.
Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, and Sterling Shepard are all talented in their own right. Still, none are taller than 6-foot-1 while Terrell Owens, Dez Bryant, and Miles Austin were all premier wide receivers in past Jason Garrett offenses who were of the taller variety.
The 2020 receiver class is incredibly deep, and maybe Giants general manager Dave Gettleman can do the unthinkable and find another Day 3 gem at the position.
Regardless, all of these needs still exist after an expensive free agency period, and it’s hard to envision the Giants filling every single one in the 2020 draft despite having ten picks as it's all about finding the right players.
But hey, crazier things have happened, right?
For this exercise, we've crafted a potential blueprint that we think will help fix the Giants' short- and long-term issues.
Within our blueprint, we have at least two options that fit a need and represent value in each of the five rounds when the Giants are on the clock.
We didn't go into rounds six and seven because, at that point, it becomes a sort of a crapshoot.
So let's kick off this daily series with Round 1.
First Round, Pick 4
Linebacker Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
It's hard to pigeon-hole Simmons as "just" a linebacker because he’s very versatile and fills a lot of different needs, which include traditional linebacker, edge, slot corner, and safety.
His ridiculous combine numbers translate on the film; he’s super explosive, fast, agile, fluid in space, and he’s also a very smart player. Simmons had over 100 tackles, 16.5 for a loss, eight sacks, three interceptions, and eight passes defensed in 2019.
It’s easy to think that Gettleman will fall in love with a player like Simmons, considering he used a first-round selection to draft Shaq Thompson out of Washington back in 2015 with the Panthers.
Football is a game of mismatches and personnel. A talent like Simmons would keep offensive coordinators guessing on personnel packages, and it would allow the Giants to use some of their defensive players in multiple roles.
The Giants haven’t spent a first-round pick on a linebacker since Carl Banks in 1984. It may be time to eradicate that streak.
Offensive Tackle Jedrick Wills, Alabama
To me, Wills is the best, most pro-ready, offensive tackle in this draft class. His effectiveness in the run game is superb, and he brings a very strong punch that has good location and timing. He also has the lower body/core strength, and the balance, to wash defenders out of the play.
What I love most about Wills is his ability to pass protect. He’s so smooth and has amazing foot speed; his feet are very nimble, and his ability to mirror rushes and react to counters is the best in this class.
I feel he’s much safer than the other three top-rated tackles.
I do like Andrew Thomas’ raw power, but his feet are heavier than Wills. Tristan Wirfs has a lot of technical flaws with his sets, his hands are a bit wide sometimes, and he doesn’t take on power as well as expected.
Mekhi Becton is coming from an unconventional offense and has one year of solid game tape, while also having weight baggage. I love all 4 of the players, but Wills is my OT1, and it’s not close.
I would be okay with the Giants selecting Wills at No. 4 because securing the offensive line for both now and the future is imperative to the success of Daniel Jones.
Wills can start at right tackle in 2020, and I feel he can kick to the left side in 2021 if the Giants move on from Solder.
Ideally, I would love for the Giants to trade back a few slots and pick up some extra Day 2 picks. If that doesn’t materialize, then I want the Giants to go Simmons or tackle, assuming that Chase Young is off the board, of course.
Tomorrow: Round 2