What surprises do the Giants have in store for their fans this weekend? What about the rest of the NFL? Follow along as our team of writers -- Patricia Traina, Nick Falato and Jackson Thompson, keep you up to date with live reactions throughout the draft.
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(From PT): The virtual feel of the draft isn't the only thing that will be significantly different about this year's draft. Long-time ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay announced on Twitter that he won't be working this year's draft as he's currently recovering from the Coronavirus.
Wishing Todd a speedy recovery!
(From PT): I (Patricia) will be joining Maddog Radio tonight shortly after the Giants' pick is made. You can listen for free -- details in the tweet below.
(From Jackson Thompson): With their first-round pick, the Giants should prioritize offensive tackle, and select one of the four top prospects at the position. Louisville's Mekhi Becton, Iowa's Tristan Wirfs, Georgia's Andrew Thomas and Alabama's Jedrick Wills would all give the Giants' a cornerstone player on offense. But with four players available, Dave Gettleman might have some flexibility to move down and still take his tackle of choice. The only question is which teams are potential trade partners?
Tonight the people of America and sports fans around the world will be treated to some NFL offseason normalcy, as the NFL Draft will go on in the midst of a global pandemic. Those in New York and New Jersey have been affected the most of any state in the United States and rank among the worst-affected areas of the world but fans of the Giants and Jets will at least get to see which young men will be joining their favorite football teams in 2020 and beyond.
With the first pick in the NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Daniel Jones and the Giants will face Burrow's Bengals in 2020 in Cincinnati.
This keeps the expected order of events in line for the Giants, as their divisional rival Washington Redskins will now pick second overall.
Daniel Jones and the Giants will face Joe Burrow's Bengals in 2020 in Cincinnati.
It will be a matchup between two of the league's most exciting young quarterbacks and two that didn't have an easy path to their draft selections in 2020.
With the second pick in the NFL Draft, the Giants' divisional rival Washington Redskins select Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. Young is the consensus top defensive end in this year's draft and will now face the Giants twice a year. Could the presence of Young in Washington affect the Giants' draft plans?
The Giants will have to face Young twice a year starting in 2020, a player that may have been a Giant were it not for a week-16 overtime win against the Redskins.
The Detroit Lions have selected Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah. With Okuda off the board, that leaves Gettleman with one less tough decision to make between an offensive tackle or a premier defensive talent. But Isaiah Simmons is still on the clock.
Gettleman plays it safe and smart and brings franchise-caliber offensive lineman to the Giants. The investment of the pick is emphasized as it protects the investments of Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. Thomas could be the last piece in putting together an emergent young offense with a lot of star power.
Thomas entered the 2019 college football season as the top offensive tackle prospect and finished the season the same way. Thomas is considered to be the most pro-ready tackle in the draft. The months leading up to the draft saw the other prospects jump ahead of Thomas in the rankings, but Gettleman remained true to his philosophy of targeting gritty, technically-sound, and tough players over freak athletes.
Gettleman may have very well passed up on the best player available by not taking Isaiah Simmons. The Giants defense is deprived of playmakers and now Simmons could have jumped in as an athletic and versatile playmaker.
The first quarterback is off the ball and it's not Oregon's Justin Herbert, it is the oft injured, yet talented, Tua Tagovailoa from the University of Alabama. With Ryan Fitzpatrick as the bridge quarterback, Tua steps into a situation led by a talented young head coach, with a lot of draft capital.
Herbert did not have to wait too long to hear his name called. Off to Los Angeles to reinvigorate a fan base that was used to Phillip Rivers. Herbert can sit and learn behind Tyrod Taylor, until he is ready to step in and compete in a talented division. The Chargers passed on the remaining tackles and the talented Isaiah Simmons, but they land their future quarterback.
With the 7th pick in the draft, the Panthers allow Clemson's defensive unicorn to stay undrafted, I imagine not for long. The first pick during the Matt Rhule regime is Derrick Brown, the large human being who plays defensive tackle. The NFC South is loaded with talent, and Brown is a moose to stop as a nose tackle, 1-tech, and 3-tech. Brown dominated SEC interior offensive lineman; in time, he should do the same in the NFL.
The fall for Isaiah Simmons is halted in the desert.
Simmons will be the linebacker of the future for Kliff Kingsberry’s defense. The team’s offense is predicated on speed, and now their defense will have an interchangable chess piece. Vance Joseph gets a shiny new toy that he can use in a variety of different ways. As a Giants writer, I know I’ll watch Simmons and feel sullen that he’s not in New York, but it was a necessary move drafting a tackle to protect Danny Dimes. Great pick for Arizona, and hopefully the team can get more out of Simmons than they did former first round pick Hassan Reddick.
C.J. Henderson, arguably the most dominant man coverage corner in the draft, stays in state and goes to Jacksonville. The Jaguars defense has been depleted, since their time in the spotlight back in 2017, but Henderson will bring some stability to the cornerback position, after the departure of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. The Jaguars have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball, but they got themselves a stud here; just wish he was a little more physical in run support.
My number one tackle goes to the Browns; Jedrick Wills is such a talented player.
Wills is an absolute mauler in the run game; plays with excellent leverage and lower leg drive to bully opponents off their spot. His hands pack a heavy punch and he’s a feisty competitor. His drive-catch ability on the edge is so controlled and balanced. Footwork in pass protection is superb and his ability to climb to the 2nd level and locate defenders is very good. Kickslide is smooth and transpires without a hitch. Has great explosiveness through his hips, which was shown at his combine. Love this pick for Cleveland.
Has the length, 34 ¼” arms, to play left tackle in the NFL, but the change in side and footwork with that transition is still a projection. Also possesses an 83 ½” wingspan, which is the same as Andrew Thomas, despite Thomas’ arms being 2” longer; this is a testament to Wills’ broad shoulders. I love his lower body explosiveness, which tested over the 90th percentile at the combine, but was overshadowed by Tristan Wirfs superior performance at that event.
The Jets land the behemoth of a lineman in Meckhi Becton to protect their franchise's future - Sam Darnold.
Becton has outlandish size, 6’7, 364 pounds, with 35 ⅝” arms. His movement skills are very impressive as well. Good luck going up against him when playing the run. The upside is immense with Becton and New York added a good left tackle. His size and length are going to pose problems for defenders, as he develops and refines the technical parts of playing offensive line.
With the 12th selection, the Raiders draft pure speed, with nuance as well, at the wide receiver position. Henry Ruggs III comes off the board to drive defensive coordinators in the AFC West crazy. Ruggs ran a 4.27 40 yard dash at the combine and jumped 42" in the vertical jump. His speed will have to be accounted for by defenses. Should be interesting to see the Las Vegas Raiders in year one.
The Buccaneers traded up one selection to ensure that they landed the only top 4 tackle who remained - Tristan Wirfs out of Iowa. Protecting Tom Brady is imperative for Tampa Bay and they’re all in on 2020-2021. They must have been ecstatic to land Wirfs here, while only trading up one spot to the 49ers, who have been rumored in trade talks, due to their lack of day 2 and early day 3 picks. Wirfs will step in and be the right tackle in 2020.
Another smart move by John Lynch. He was able to acquire a first round pick from the Colts, while sending a talented, but expensive, defensive lineman to Indianapolis in DeForest Buckner. The Niners were then able to land South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw, who is a bit raw, but is an absolute wrecking ball in the A-Gap. Kinlaw will pair with Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa, to dominate in the NFC West in Robert Salah’s system.
The second Alabama wide receiver comes off the ball to pair with Courtland Sutton, which will provide 2nd year QB Drew Locke a dominant, young, pair of receivers in Pat Shurmur’s scheme. Along with Noah Fant, first round pick out of Iowa last year, Jerry Jeudy will be yet another young, exciting, weapon for an offense that Giants’ fans are very accustomed to seeing on Sunday.