With the Giants having ten draft picks, my mock draft ended up an equal split with five players on offense and five on defense. I went for value but also trie to marry that with a position of need. Here's what I came up with.
Round 1, No. 4: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
If Simmons is still on the board when the Giants pick at No. 4, it’s going to be very difficult for general manager Dave Gettleman to pass on him.
His versatility, athleticism, and speed are just some of the reasons why he is one of the most explosive defensive players in this year’s draft class.
Simmons is coming off a junior season at Clemson in which he had 104 total tackles, eight sacks, three interceptions, eight passes defended, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
He converted his position from safety to linebacker during the 2018 season, Simmons lined up all over the field in 2019, playing snaps at outside linebacker, inside linebacker, slot cornerback, strong safety and free safety.
The Giants have already cut two of their linebackers this offseason, as Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin are no longer with the team.
Simmons has the chance to be a transformative player for the Giants’ defense if they end up selecting him.
Round 2, No. 36: OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
In this mock draft simulation, Wilson was the top-rated offensive tackle left on the board. By taking Simmons in the first round, the Giants would lose out on some of the top offensive linemen prospects in this year’s draft class, including Tristan Wirfs, Andrew Thomas, Austin Jackson, and Jedrick Wills Jr.
Gettleman could still succeed in addressing the need his team has at offensive tackle if he can land Wilson in the second round. At 6-feet-7 inches and weighing in at 345 pounds, Wilson has the right size to be a starting offensive tackle in the NFL.
Wilson has big hands and is an effective run blocker. With the Giants having signed Cam Fleming as a stop-gap, this would allow the Giants time to develop a tackle for down the road.
As Gettleman continues to rebuild the offensive line to protect his young quarterback, Wilson is someone who could be an essential piece for his team over the next few years.
Round 3, No. 99: TE Hunter Bryant, Washington
New Giants’ offensive coordinator Jason Garrett likes to utilize multiple tight ends, so drafting Bryant would be a good move for them.
Evan Engram figures to be a significant part of Garrett’s offense in 2020, but he’s had multiple health issues over the past couple of seasons. Kaden Smith showed a lot of promise during his rookie season, and he should see his playing time increase this year. And the Giants added veteran insurance n the form of Levine Toilolo.
Despite having quantity at this spot, it would be a smart move for Gettleman to take Bryant, as he would give them a good insurance policy if Engram suffers another injury. He had 52 receptions for 825 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games played for Washington in 2019.
Bryant’s most significant limitation is his blocking ability, something that was also true of Engram when the Giants drafted him out of Mississippi in 2017. If Engram is forced to miss time in 2020 due to an injury, Bryant would be a nice compliment to Smith.
This would allow Garrett to call two-tight end sets. Bryant is a guy that Gettleman should snag if he’s available in the third round or later.
Round 4, No. 110: Edge Darrell Taylor, Tennessee
In addition to improving their depth at linebacker, the Giants also need to build up their pass rush.
Taylor was the top-rated edge rusher left in the fourth round in this mock draft simulation. He has the opportunity to be a fourth-round steal for the Giants if Gettleman ends up drafting him.
Taylor had 46 total tackles, 8.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and four passes defended during the 2019 season.
Like Simmons, he was not limited to one position in college. Taylor played defensive end and outside linebacker while at Tennessee. The Giants need to bring in a dynamic pass rusher, someone who can give them more depth behind Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence II.
Gettleman doesn’t necessarily have to take an edge rusher in one of the early rounds to fill this need. Taylor could be the perfect mid-draft option for the Giants if he’s still on the board in the fourth round.
Round 5, No. 150: RB Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
The Giants do not need a starting running back right, and they even appear to have their No. 2 back in place with Dion Lewis having agreed to terms.
But that doesn't mean they shouldn't look to the future, and Benjamin could very well one day be that future. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his last two years at Arizona State.
Last season, he averaged 4.3 yards per carry and had 10 rushing touchdowns. Benjamin also had 42 catches and two receiving touchdowns in 2019.
Down the line, Garrett could utilize Benjamin in a similar way that he did Tony Pollard last season for the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott was the main back in Dallas’s offense, but Pollard was still used effectively in certain situations.
Additionally, if Barkley goes down with an injury, Benjamin could step in and pair with Lewis.
Round 6, No. 183: S L’Jarius Sneed, Louisiana Tech
Gettleman has been revamping the Giants’ secondary the past few years, and it’s clear that he wants to bring younger players in to be a part of this unit.
It started last year when he acquired Jabrill Peppers as part of the Odell Beckham Jr trade. Gettleman also drafted cornerback Sam Beal in the third round of the 2018 supplemental draft and drafted Corey Ballentine.
The next logical step would be to draft a free safety, which is why Sneed would be a good late-round pick. In 13 games played for Louisiana Tech in 2019, he had 73 total tackles, eight passes defended, three interceptions, and one touchdown.
A converted cornerback, Sneed has good coverage skills excellent speed for his position. He posted a 4.37 second 40-yard dash time at this year’s combine, which was second among all defensive backs and fourth overall.
Sneed could also play corner for the Giants if they needed him to. He would be a good weapon to add to an improving secondary.
Round 7, No. 218 Overall: WR Freddie Swain, Florida
The Giants don’t necessarily have to prioritize drafting a receiver early, but they should add one in a later round from what's a historically deep class.
Swain struggled to break out during his first three years at Florida but finally was able to take on a significant role in the offense in 2019. He had 38 receptions for 517 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games played during his senior season.
Right now, the Giants’ primary receivers are Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton. Although Swain never put up huge numbers at Florida, his quickness and agility make him an interesting late-round wide receiver option.
He would be a decent fourth or fifth receiver in Garrett’s offense.
Round 7, No. 238: CB Javelin Guidry, Utah
To continue building up the secondary, Gettleman should use one of his four seventh-round picks on a cornerback.
Along with Sneed, Guidry is one of the fastest defensive backs in this draft class. His 4.29-second 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine was second only to Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.
Guidry is coming off a junior season at Utah in which he recorded 48 total tackles, eight passes defended, and an interception.
Although he most likely would not start for the Giants next season, new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham could still get a lot of use out of him.
A speedy slot corner, Guidry would help bolster the Giants’ depth in the secondary. He would be a decent seventh-round addition for Gettleman.
Round 7, No. 247 Overall: LB Casey Toohill, Stanford
Gettleman has already added a couple of linebackers to the Giants’ defense this offseason, as he has signed former Green Bay Packers Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell. Add Isaiah Simmons into the mix, and the Giants are looking much more robust in this area heading into the 2020 season.
Toohill is coming off a senior season at Stanford in which he had 57 total tackles, eight sacks, and one forced fumble.
Considering the moves Gettleman has already made, the Giants would not need Toohill to start but could help improve their depth at linebacker. It would be a good idea to add to this area of the defense late in the draft.
Round 7, No. 256: C Trystan Colon-Castillo, Missouri
The Giants recently made the decision not to tender restricted free agent Jon Halapio, who played in 15 games for them last year.
Halapio is still recovering from a torn Achilles, and while he may be brought back later in the year, the Giants need to consider a longer-term upgrade.
Colon-Castillo was a three-year starter at Missouri. He started 25 games over his final two seasons.
If the Giants view Spencer Pulley as a temporary solution and do not end up signing a center in free agency, it would make sense to use one of his seventh-round picks to draft Colon-Castillo to compete with Spencer Pulley.