New York Giants: 3 positions to solidify in the second round of the NFL Draft

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Austin Jackson
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 23: USC Trojans offensive lineman Austin Jackson (73) gets ready for the snap during a college football game between the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans on November 23, 2019, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Taking a look at three positions the New York Giants need to upgrade in the 2020 NFL Draft.

In two weeks, the New York Giants will have a new crop of rookies to inject into their team, solidifying positions of weakness and deficiency. With the 4th and 36th overall picks, GM Dave Gettleman has the draft allocations to upgrade two spots, and with offensive tackle and pass rusher being two of the more vulnerable positions, we can expect some value to be spent there.

However, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of Gettleman finding a new center or free safety in the draft. With that being said:

Here are three positions the New York Giants should consider upgrading in the second round:

1.) Center

With Jon Halapio walking in free agency after suffering two serious injuries, the Giants are in the market for a new center. They didn’t lock down any quality free agents and only have Spencer Pulley on the roster, suggesting they will look to the draft for a plug and play prospect. Cesar Ruiz represents the best player available with the 36th overall pick at the position. He would be a significant upgrade and start immediately.

At 6-foot-3, 307-pounds, Ruiz has a great center of gravity and was ranked as the best pass-blocking center in college, per PFF. However, he’s also nimble on his feet and can get to the second level quickly in the run game. If the Giants are going to spend a high pick on a center, he’s undoubtedly the best option.

2.) Free Safety

Some believe that Julian Love is the free safety of the future for the Giants, but I think his talents are better suited at slot cornerback. His 65.5% completion rate against attests to his ability in coverage, but only playing in 37% of snaps last season doesn’t give us much to work with regarding sample size. He does have fluid hips which translate well at free safety, but locking down interior receivers has been a problem for the Giants in the past.

Targetting a player like Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr. could be Gettleman’s MO. His genetic traits and captaincy in college make him a great option with an elevated upside for Big Blue. He’s a bit undersized and lacks athleticism in some areas, but taking a chance on him could pay dividends.

3.) OT/LB

Realistically, the Giants have two avenues they can go down with the 4th overall pick — either they land a top offensive tackle prospect or a linebacker like Isaiah Simmons who can play multiples. One way or another, one position will be left in the dark, which is where they can go at No. 36. There are several quality prospects at tackle in the second round, including Isaiah Wilson, Lucas Niang, and Austin Jackson. They need more time to develop, but with Nate Solder set to feature for the 2020 season, the Giants have time on their side to invest in a developmental tackle with a high-ceiling.

This approach suggests that Simmons will be their selection, and considering Gettleman has never drafted an offensive lineman in the first round, this reality is probable.