This is one of the most important drafts for the New York Giants in recent franchise history. With multiple holes and positional needs to fill on both sides of the ball, they need to execute correctly in one of the deepest and most talented draft classes in the last decade.
New head coach Joe Judge and second-year QB Daniel Jones give fans of Big Blue some glimmer of hope for the future, but can GM Dave Gettleman put the right pieces together to form a contender? With widespread talent and high ceiling players, the players selected by the Giants could be immediate impact pieces that put this team in the right direction. So what are the G-Men’s biggest needs?
1. Linebacker/Pass Rusher
With the release of the disappointing Alec Ogletree along with Kareem Martin to free up cap space, perhaps the Giants biggest need is now currently vacant. The team has still, for whatever reason, not yet re-signed Markus Golden, their best defensive player in 2019 recording 10 sacks. And with Jadeveon Clowney’s asking price likely to be too high and Jacksonville asking for at least a first-round pick for star edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue, it looks like the draft is the best place to look for a pass rusher. Luckily, there are a lot of options. Many people, myself included, love Isaiah Simmons from Clemson, the defensive chess piece that can be one of the franchise’s cornerstone players along with Barkley and Jones. There are other options that could possibly fall to the Giants second-round pick at 36 such as Zach Baun, Terrell Lewis, K’Lavon Chaisson, Patrick Queen or Kenneth Murray. Whoever it is, the Giants desperately need someone who can put pressure on the quarterback.
2. Offensive Tackle/Center
The signing of former Cowboy Cameron Flemming in free agency was a possible indicator that the Giants will not choose an offensive lineman with their first-round pick. As pass rusher, this is a very deep offensive line class. With up to 5 projected to be taken in the first round, the options are all laid out in front of them. Two alone could be taken in the top 10, but there are plenty of options in the second round and beyond. Outside of the “big four” of Mekhi Becton from Louisville, Tristan Wirfs of Iowa, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, there are still several players that could be considered. A couple of names in the mix could be USC’s Austin Jackson, Houston’s Josh Jones, LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry, Temple center Matt Hennessy and Michigan center Cesar Ruiz. Multiple analysts will give you their respective options about all of these prospects, but the New York Giants would be wise to come out of this draft with at least one of them.
3. Free Safety
Does anyone even remember the last time the New York Giants had a good free safety? Landon Collins was a pro bowl level strong safety and Jabrill Peppers has shown a lot of potentials to be their guy in filling those shoes, but the team needs to put someone a free safety position that can help their young defensive backs not get beat over the top. The young secondary will need time to develop, DeAndre Baker and Julian Love both have potential but adding another piece to the back end is vital to complete a defensive unit. Some top names that will likely be first-rounders are LSU’s Grant Delpit and Alabama’s Xavier McKinney. At 36, there are still some intriguing options. Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr. is a name that should very much be on the Giant’s radar, Jeremy Chinn from Southern Illinois, Kyle Dugger from Lenoir-Rhyne and K’Von Wallace from Clemson are all guys that could be immediate impact players. It would be in the Giants’ best interest to snag one of them to bolster their young secondary.