The New York Giants have a unique opportunity to find an elite prospect with the 11th overall pick, and it is one they cannot make a mistake with, based on their current needs and trajectory after spending over $200 million in free agency.
General manager Dave Gettleman already claimed that they need an instant playmaker from whoever they select at 11, whether that be an offensive threat or defensive weapon.
There are two realistic players who could be on the board for the Giants, as a minimum of six elite non-quarterbacks who would normally go in the top 10 selections will drop to the Giants based on this yearâ€™s number of quarterbacks.
Two players the New York Giants can’t miss on at 11:
1.) Rashawn Slater
Some analysts are comparing Rashawn Slater to All-Pro offensive guard Zack Martin, who currently plays for the Dallas Cowboys. Martin was a previous offensive tackle at the college level, and Slater closely mimics his frame and build, paired with his elite athleticism. With the expectation that he could move inside to guard if the Giants landed Slater, they would not only gain a potential All-Pro level talent but arguably an upgrade at right guard over Kevin Zeitler.
The Giants let Zeitler walk this free agency to save cap space, and replacing him with Slater would not only give them a fantastic supplement, but a player you can also move out to tackle if need be on the right side. In this scenario, the Giants would have an extremely young offensive line, with most of them on rookie contracts. That would give them a serious advantage moving forward in building out the rest of their team, and with their quarterback also on his rookie deal, their spending spree this off-season is justified.
Some of Slaterâ€˜s strengths include positional flexibility, functional strength, above-average athleticism, and fantastic footwork in space. He would not only be a hammer of a pulling guard in the Giantsâ€™ power gap scheme but would also thrive in pass protection. His transition to the NFL will likely go seamless, but if he makes the move to the interior, it could take him a few games to gain his sea legs.
2.) Micah Parsons
Of course, arguably the best defender in this draft class is none other than linebacker Micah Parsons. Parsons is a fantastic athlete with the ability to play outside linebacker as a pass rusher but also man the middle of the field as the MIKE.
He is one of the most refined run-stopping linebackers Iâ€™ve ever seen on film, using pass rush moves at the second level to shed blocks on tight ends and guards. With fantastic football instincts, sniffing out end-arounds, and sideline to sideline speed, his qualities are translatable to the NFL level.
Minus the allegations against him dating back to college, it would be extremely difficult for the Giants to pass on Parsons at 11 if he were there, even if Slater was on the board. However, positional value still exists, and it would tell you that drafting Slater would be the smarter move over Parsons, despite the linebacker having some of the best film some analysts have seen at the position in quite some time.