The New York Giants are picking in the top 10 for the 3rd time in the last 4 years. After picking 2nd overall in 2018, the Giants showed minimal improvement as their record went from 3-13 to 5-11. In 2019, the Giants hold the 6th overall pick.
Many fans and analysts predict the Giants will draft a quarterback in 2019. Some believe that the Giants will need to trade up in order to do that. But there is no evidence to confirm that the Giants are definitely planning on drafting a quarterback. There are a lot of rumors and a lot of speculation, but nothing will be set in stone until the pick is made.
The Giants may not select a quarterback in 2019, and if they do not, there are plenty of options on defense for the Giants to draft.
Drafting A Defensive Playmaker:
The 2019 NFL Draft Class is absolutely loaded with defensive talent. The Giants’ defense was one of the worst in the NFL in 2018. General Manager Dave Gettleman has pointed this fact out and vowed to improve the defense in 2019.
A great way to improve the defense is through the draft. Obtaining quality young talent on defense to progress at the next level is key to building a contending roster. CBS Sport’s 2019 NFL Draft Prospect rankings include 13 defenders in the top 15 best prospects this year.
Arguably the two most important positions on defense are two of the Giants’ weakest: edge defender and cornerback. Luckily for the Giants, edge defenders and cornerbacks are both near the top of the draft board.
A pair of playmaking cornerbacks have been mocked consistently in the top 10. Byron Murphy out of Washington and Greedy Williams out of LSU.
Byron Murphy was Pro Football Focus’s top graded cornerback in 2018 with a 91.9 overall grade. Murphy only played two seasons of college football as he was redshirted his freshman year. However, those two years were enough for Byron to prove himself worthy of being in the NFL. In 2018, Murphy was a true playmaker, as he had 4 interception (1 for a touchdown) and 13 passes defended.
Washington CB Byron Murphy has some flaws to his game, but he is a premier cornerback with conceptual instincts, ball skills, mobility to transition smoothly and required toughness to be trusted vs. NFL wide receivers.
— Gavino Borquez (@GavinoBorquez) February 3, 2019
Greedy Williams is a lengthy cornerback who also played only two seasons in college. Greedy is listed at 6′ 2″, 182 pounds. His build is reminiscent of another great LSU cornerback who has made his mark in the NFL: Patrick Peterson. At LSU, Williams had 8 interceptions and 19 pass breakups in his two seasons. According to Pro Football Focus, Williams allowed only a 39.7% catch rate while targeted in coverage. If Williams can be as shut down in the pros as he was in college, then he is well deserving of a top 10 pick.
— SEConCBS (@SEConCBS) September 15, 2018
The top of the draft will certainly feature multiple edge defenders being selected. The top edge prospects, such as Nick Bosa and Josh Allen, probably will not be available by the time the Giants are on the clock at 6. However, a couple of other top prospects should be.
Clelin Ferrell was a key piece on Clemson’s National Championship-winning defense. PFF recorded Ferrell gaining 52 total pressures in 2018, being an absolute force to be reckoned with. He showed consistent growth in college, improving in tackles, sacks, and tackles for loss in each year he played. He capped it off with a dominant junior year in 2018 that featured 20 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. Check out Clelin Ferrell powering through the draft’s top lineman prospect in the National Championship game:
Clelin Ferrell bulldozes Jonah Williams pic.twitter.com/AptHd0AGcs
— Nicholas McGee (@nicholasmcgee24) January 8, 2019
Another edge rusher who has seen an increase of interest in recent months is Jachai Polite out of the University of Florida. Polite has elite speed and finesse off the edge that allows him to blow past offensive tackles and get to the quarterback. He posted a 91.4 Pro Football Focus pass-rush grade in 2018. Jachai’s 42 total pressures proved he was a consistent and effective rusher at the college level. Translating his skills to the NFL could lead Polite to be the next best edge rusher in the league.
— Danny Shimon (@dshimon56) February 5, 2019
One other player that could be in play at the 6th pick is not an edge rusher nor a cornerback. Another LSU product, linebacker Devin White has potential to be an elite talent at the next level. White has all the physical tools he needs. He has the perfect build to be an NFL linebacker and the speed to go sideline to sideline. On top of that, Devin is an effective pass-rusher. He totaled 30 pressures on 86 pass-rush attempts. White totaled 120+ tackles in each of his final two seasons at LSU. The Giants have not had elite production from the linebacker position in years, and 2019 could be the year that changes.
Devin White has every attribute you look for in an ILB! You just can’t teach speed! pic.twitter.com/QXdJJiHP1Y
— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) February 5, 2019