With the New York Giants heading into the final three weeks of pre-draft evaluation, the rumors are bountiful. The question remains – will the Giants spend the No. 6 overall pick in the draft on a quarterback? Or will they elect to take a defensive player with their top choice?
The 2019 NFL Draft is stocked full of defensive talent which could help the Giants’ defense after the departure of Landon Collins, Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, and Oliver Vernon. Losing four starters hurt the unit last season, but allowed the team to add draft picks with trades involving Vernon, Harrison, and Apple. General manager Dave Gettleman stated in hindsight that trading Collins for a draft pick would’ve been a good move given they knew he would have left in free agency on a record-breaking deal.
New York Giants: Rounds 1-2 to address the trenches
Second round pick (No. 37):
With the 37th pick int he draft, just outside of the first round, the Giants grab an offensive tackle in Dalton Risner. The Kansas City product provides solid value in the second round, as he is a high-upside option with plenty of experience at the collegiate level – four years at tackle.
While Risner has average length and athleticism, he has above average core strength and is consistent with his level of performance. The Giants have produced a turnstile level of talent at right tackle, which makes the drafting of a potential starter a necessity.
First round (No. 17):
The middle of the first round often sees the talent drop off from top-tier prospects second-tier with a higher probability of success. The pick here is Clemson star pass-rusher, Clelin Ferrell.
Ferrell has a prototypical frame for the NFL, standing at 6’4″, 264 pounds. In 2017, he racked up 31 tackles for a loss and 21 total sacks. Last season, he earned 29 solo tackles, 11.5 total sacks, and three forced fumbles. While his numbers took a major hit, he was still productive when rushing the passer. He also posted 19.5 tackles for a loss.
Clelin Ferrell got one of the deadliest long arms I have seen a long time. Mitigates the lack of bend he has a bit for sure.pic.twitter.com/7GJIGqFefj
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 2, 2019
The bottom line, his ceiling is massive with a bit of development. He has the tangible skills to become a monster at the next level, but he must be utilized appropriately to extract the most value.
First round (No. 6):
The Giants run the 3-4 scheme under defensive coordinator James Bettcher. He’s keen on adding big linebackers with the ability to rush the passer and clog up holes on the line of scrimmage. Elite defender Devin White earns the Giants’ 6th overall pick with two consecutive seasons over 120 combined tackles. Adding 12 tackles for a loss and three sacks to his resume in 2018, White offers the most at the draft spot and can immediately bolster the defense – pairing him with Alec Ogletree could be deadly.
Having two first-round picks and allocating them towards top-tier defensive prospects changes the narrative completely on the unit. As of right now, there are various holes on the defense, including pass-rusher, linebacker, safety, and cornerback. Several picks must be spent on upgrading the unit as a whole, and adding White/Ferrell is a solid foundational move.