Why The New York Giants Should Not Draft Derrick Brown

New York Giants, Derrick Brown
New York Giants, Derrick Brown

The New York Giants are preparing for a crucial 2020 NFL Draft. With the draft set to take place in under a month, rumors and mock drafts are abundant. The Giants have reportedly been interested in a few big-name prospects: Tristan Wirfs and Isaiah Simmons being two prime examples. But one name has come up as a potential target for New York, causing some to raise an eyebrow. 

Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants are reportedly interested in using their first-round pick on interior defensive lineman Derrick Brown. The Auburn product totaled 11.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and 54 total tackles in his junior season. He is the top defensive line prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft class.

Derrick Brown is an extraordinary talent. He will be a home-run selection for one of the league’s thirty-two teams next month. But that team should not be the New York Giants.

Continual Investment

The Giants have invested a humungous amount of draft assets into their defensive line. In 2017, New York’s general manager at the time, Jerry Reese, spent a second-round pick on Dalvin Tomlinson. The following year, Dave Gettleman came to town.

Dave Gettleman has long been criticized for his positional prioritization. He puts a heavy emphasis on running the ball and stopping the run in what is a passing-league. When Gettleman came to town in 2018, he had a track record for stacking up an abundance of defensive lineman during his time as general manager of the Carolina Panthers. With the Panthers, Dave Gettleman spent four first and second-round picks on defensive linemen in five years.

So when Gettleman came to the Giants, they had Dalvin Tomlinson in place with potential for a talented young defensive line in the works. But it did need additional assets. Gettleman delivered, hitting on his third-round pick, BJ Hill, a defensive lineman that impressively racked up 5.5 sacks as a rookie. RJ McIntosh was also the Giants’ seventh-round selection that year. He did not see the field much, but when he did, his performance was also impressive.

Unfortunately for Hill and McIntosh, they have both been shoved to the bottom of the depth chart. In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Giants selected Dexter Lawrence II with the seventeenth overall pick. Another exciting player added to the defensive line that now looked to be one of the best young defensive fronts in the NFL. Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson, and BJ Hill seemed to be a force for years to come, with McIntosh as a solid rotational piece.

The Arrival of Leonard Williams

That was until Hill’s replacement switched locker rooms. The Giants acquired Leonard Williams in a trade with the New York Jets. Williams is an excellent player, but the Giants had no chance of making the playoffs when the deal was made and gave up a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 fifth-round pick to acquire the impending free-agent lineman.

This trade stunted BJ Hill’s development. But the Giants did gain a talented former first-round pick in Leonard Williams. Unfortunately, Williams became a free agent only months later. Leonard and the Giants have not been able to reach a long-term agreement, which is what led the Giants to place the costly franchise tag on their new defensive lineman.

List of Assets Invested:

With all this taken into account, here is what Dave Gettleman has invested into the Giants’ defensive line since 2018: 2018 third-round pick, 2018 seventh-round pick, 2019 first-round pick, 2019 seventh-round pick, 2020 third-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick, $16.1 million franchise tag.

This is a positional group that has only three starters. With so much already invested into the New York Giants’ defensive line, would it really make sense for the Giants to spend their 2020 first-round pick on Derrick Brown? New York’s defensive line is already the strongest position group on the team. It is time to start investing in other positions of actual need.

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