New York Giants: Red flags may affect top linebacker prospect’s odds

If the New York Giants go for a defensive player with the number eleven overall pick, Micah Parsons is in the mix to be the one. Parsons, of course, has risen on draft boards off the back of his impressive 2019 season where he was a consensus All-American as well as a First Team All-Big Ten linebacker. But despite those impressive accomplishments, and his promising skillset, off the field concerns may hurt his chances of being taken by the Giants.

Parsons has been involved in incidents dating back to his high school days and was also one of the players named in the hazing controversy around Penn State’s football team, of which the truth is still unclear.

Last year, former PSU defensive back Isaiah Humphries came out accusing his former teammates of hazing him and the situation is apparently behind his transfer to California. In addition to current NFL defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos, Parsons was also among the players named.

Gross-Matos has found success in the league despite being named in the controversy. But will Parsons be able to do the same?

New York Post says Giants are cautious

According to the New York Post, the Giants have some concerns based on Parsons’ off the field history.

“The Giants are hoping another team takes him, so they don’t have to decide,” a talent evaluator told the outlet.

Another source, a scout, would go into more detail and compared Parsons to a past Giants player with a notorious reputation – Odell Beckham Jr. But overall, the scout had a positive outlook on the player.

“There’s some [concern] because he comes off like Odell Beckham with high-maintenance stuff – like a quarterback playing linebacker. But I’m not worried about Parsons like I was worried about [DeAndre] Baker… He’s going to be a rock star, like an LT. He’s going to play early, he’s going to have success, he’s going to be sitting court-side. Nothing is going to stand in the way of football for Micah.”

The scout said that the red flags shouldn’t stop a team from drafting Parsons.

A bad history for the Giants

The Giants have had a bad track record during the second half of the 2010s when it comes to picking players that will keep their head down and not cause problems. The team released previous first round pick DeAndre Baker due to his off the field legal problems, though that looks like a mistake in hindsight due to Baker being cleared of wrongdoing. They also picked up Aldrick Rosas as a free agent and watched him turn into the starting kicker, only to end up letting him go after his own legal troubles.

Considering personality problems also played into high draft picks Eli Apple and Ereck Flowers not panning out, it’s understandable that the Giants might be nervous when it comes to the character of their pick this year.

With that being said, the Giants shouldn’t rule out Parsons completely. There are, after all, other reports coming out of Penn State that the character issues are overblown. And having already addressed some spots on the offense, the Giants might find Parsons is the best available talent on the defensive side by the time they make their first pick.