The New York Giants are in the process of interviewing the final candidates for their vacant general manager job, but whoever is selected must understand the importance of improving the offensive line. The Giants’ line has been a disaster ever since Dave Gettleman stepped foot in the building, in which he inherited an already middling unit from Jerry Reese.
The Giants’ next GM will have no choice but to spend a premium pick on a lineman, which is why in ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft, Big Blue selects NC State tackle Ikem Ekwonu with the 5th overall pick.
Ekwonu is considered arguably the top tackle prospect in the class, with Evan Neal pressing him for the No. 1 spot. Nonetheless, the Giants can’t go wrong with either player, and Ikem’s ability to play guard offers even more value.
Ikem Ekwonu earned the opportunity to start at left tackle for North Carolina State as a true freshman in 2019 and he quickly developed into one of the most dynamic blockers in the country. His tenacity, size, devastating power at the point of attack, and football intelligence position him well to become an entrenched starter in the NFL. The toughness and physicality of his NFL team will immediately be improved with his addition.
Most Giants fans have jumped on the double offensive line train with the 5th and 7th overall selections, but Kiper goes a different route with the Bears’ pick. The Giants already bolstered the offensive side, so they take a chance on Michigan pass-rusher David Ojabo.
Ojabo is an exciting young prospect who fits the Giants’ personnel grouping nicely. Their team is set up in the 3-4 scheme, so unless a new defensive coordinator overhauls the system, Ojabo makes perfect sense as a pure-bread pass rusher with elite potential from a two-point stance.
Michigan EDGE defender David Ojabo is sure to elicit excitement from NFL decision-makers and coaches alike given his raw tools and the bright flashes of high-level understanding of the game that peek through on film. Ojabo is very green in the grand scheme of things; he didn’t play organized football until his junior year of high school after being born in Nigeria and moving to Scotland at the age of 7.
Kiper’s mock draft may not please some fans, but landing Ekwonu is undoubtedly a home run. In addition, Ojabo paired with Azeez Ojulari is a dangerous tandem of young pass-rushers. Given the impending rebuild, having these players hit their stride in year two or three will promote a healthy balance on both sides of the ball and offer a young quarterback a good situation to develop around.