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Third-round Players The Giants Missed Out on Due to the Leonard Williams Trade

The Giants had a third round pick in the 2020 draft, but it wasn't their third-round pick. Instead, the New York Jets used the Giants' 68th overall as the payment for last season's infamous Leonard Williams trade.

Last October, Giants' general manager Dave Gettleman made a deal with the Jets to bring defensive tackle Leonard Williams across town.

The trade, which included the Giants third-round pick No. 68 overall, meant that the Giants had to wait for what seemed like an eternity before adding to their 2020 draft haul, a tough consequence for the Giants' general manager.  

"I mean, it’s a long time between picks," Gettleman said after the third round concluded Friday night. "We’re at 36 and then it’s 99, so you’ve got 54 picks, multiply it times five minutes, it’s a long time, you know? We made the decision last year on that, on the third-round pick, and we’re fine."

But only time will tell if they'll be fine given all the talent that came off the board for a player who just filed a $1.7 million grievance against the organization. 

Meanwhile, here's a look at some of the notable prospects that flew off the board while the Giants waited.

OT Josh Jones, Houston | No. 72 overall, Arizona Cardinals

Long-term sustainability for the offensive line was clearly Gettleman's biggest priority heading into this year's draft, and he may have fallen just short of fully securing it. 

Selecting Jones at 68th overall might have left little question as to who the Giants' two starting tackles would be in 2021 and beyond. 

Instead, the Giants went with Matt Peart near the bottom of the third round. 

Peart presents an intriguing project for the Giants' coaching staff, but needs to get stronger and has a bit more of a learning curve before he's likely ready to be a swing tackle.  

LB Zack Baun, Wisconsin | No. 74 overall, New Orleans Saints

After finishing 28th in the league in sacks in 2019, the Giants decided to move on from Markus Golden, their team-leader in sacks.


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If Baun was taken 68th overall by the Giants, he might have automatically stepped in as the best pass rusher on the roster. 

Baun, who some thought could go on Day 1, miraculously fell into the top of the third round where the sack-needy Giants would have picked. 

C Matt Hennessy, Temple | No. 78 overall, Atlanta Falcons

Center was one of the Giants' biggest roster holes heading into the draft, but they left the second day empty-handed in that department as well. Now the Giants will need to either hope Spencer Pulley or Nick Gates can hold down the middle of the offensive line or take a bigger chance on a Day 3 prospect. 

Hennessy could have been the top contender to win the Giants' starting center job by week one, all playing for his favorite team in the same stadium in which he won a high school state title with Don Bosco Prep. 

DE Jabari Zuniga, Florida | No. 79 overall, New York Jets

Jets general manager Joe Douglas made it out of the third round with one of the draft's better safety prospects in Ashtyn Davis and a promising edge rusher who would have projected much higher if not for an ankle injury. 

Douglas might not have gotten either of those if the Williams deal hadn't happened. Perhaps Zuniga could have been the Giants' 68th overall pick and a much-needed pass rush reinforcement. 

C Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU | No. 83 overall, Denver Broncos

Like Hennessy, Cushenberry might have been an option as the Giants' starting center for 2020. As a first-team All-SEC selection and National Champion, Cushenberry's college pedigree was on par with Giants' first-round pick Andrew Thomas.

LB, Terrell Lewis, Alabama | | No. 84 overall, Los Angeles Rams

Another promising edge rusher that didn't end up on the Giants in the second day was also a Nick Saban product that projected to fit the coaching style of new head coach Joe Judge. 

As college teammates at Alabama, Lewis, and the Giants' second-round pick, Xavier McKinney, could have each stepped in to fill the Giants' two biggest needs.