Debate: Should the New York Giants take a WR at 4?

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

As the NFL season comes to a close, fans of the New York Giants have already begun speculating moves that their beloved team should do this offseason.  Something that has become all too familiar over the last few seasons.

One position of intrigue and debate is wide receiver.  After trading away Odell Beckham Jr. and being thin at the position, many wonders if the Giants will take an elite receiver at the top of this April’s NFL Draft.  Others, on the other hand, believe this would be a mistake. Which side are you on?

Making the case for a WR in Round 1

With the 4th overall pick in hand and considering the needs of Washington and Detroit in front of them, the New York Giants very likely could miss out on a premier defensive talent yet again.  Chase Young seems bound for Washington. Isaiah Simmons’ performance has made him a strong candidate to go 3rd overall. So, what does that mean for the Giants?

Popular options include trading back to a quarterback hungry team, taking a young offensive tackle or grabbing another cornerback.  However, many others think the New York Giants should be taking a wide receiver. 

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb have been considered by some to be ideal selections for the Giants.  Jeudy has been compared to the Cowboys’ Amari Cooper and can be the outside receiver New York covets. His speed and agility make him a threat at all levels.  

Then there is CeeDee Lamb.  Lamb has incredible ball skills and control of his 6’2” frame.  Many compare Lamb to Houston’s Deandre Hopkins or even 6-time Pro Bowler, Reggie Wayne.  How could the New York Giants pass on that?

Even if the Giants were to trade down, the talent in this draft class at the receiver is very deep.  Clemon’s Tee Higgins, Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, LSU’s Justin Jefferson, and Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. are just some of the names that could be called in the 1st round.

Making the case against a WR in Round 1

The depth of this receiving class may be the strongest case against taking a receiver in the first round.  It is no secret that the New York Giants have needed all over, especially on the defense and offensive line.  Is taking a receiver in the Top 5 really the best use of draft capital?

Without trading out, the Giants are sitting in a great position to address many needs with premier talent.  Isaiah Simmons is an ideal fit, but may not be available. Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah is another top prospect that will be available with the 4th pick.  The tackle position is very top-heavy, with Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas all being considered as the best tackle prospect in the class. 

The Giants have a talented group of receivers already, but they are thin at the position.  With the injuries they suffered last season, having depth is critical. Taking a wide receiver later in the draft may be their best option.  Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, Southern Cal’s Michael Pittman Jr. and Ohio State’s K.J.Hill are just some of the names the Giants could call at any point in the later rounds.  Temple wide receiver Isaiah Wright has been impressing scouts this week at the Shrine Bowl and could very well be a breakout player in the NFL.

What about the free-agent market?

The New York Giants are going to have a ton of money available for free agency.  If they prioritize the offensive line and defense in the NFL Draft, they have some options in free agency in order to build out the depth at wide receiver.

New York can definitely bring back guys that WR Coach Tyke Tolbert is familiar with.  Cody Latimer, Cody Core, and even Da’Mari Scott would all be unsurprising returns to the Giants.  If the G-Men dip elsewhere in free agency, they do have options. They could look to add a veteran with a one year deal, much like Randall Cobb, Demaryius Thomas or Danny Amendola.  The veteran option giving them depth, talent, and experience as a stop-gap for the season.

What about a younger option that could be signed for a longer deal?  WR Amari Cooper hasn’t be resigned by Dallas… yet. The Jets Robby Anderson looks to be headed to the open market and will be sought after.  There are also options like Rashard Higgins, who showed flashes with his time in Cleveland before the Browns brought in Landry and Odell.

Whatever the case may be, the New York Giants will have to address the lack of depth at wide receiver.  The talent is there, especially with the emergence of Darius Slayton, but there is a longevity concern that will need to be taken into consideration.  

New York Giants Full 7 Round Mock Draft

New York Giants, Kaden Smith

The New York Giants once again find themselves picking in the Top 10 in the NFL Draft for the third year in a row.  For Giants fans, the practice of wondering which of the more elite-level talent in this pool of players will suit up for Big Blue.  

With a coaching staff starting to take shape, things begin to get a little more clear on the types of players that could be sought after.  Here is an early look at what the New York Giants could do with their 7 rounds in April’s 2020 NFL Draft.

Round 1 – Pick 4

Isaiah Simmons, LB/S Clemson

Versatility has been a word Giants fans have seen a lot since the hiring of Joe Judge.  Big Blue Nation has been clamoring for a game-changing linebacker for years and may finally get its wish.  

Isaiah Simmons is that answer for the New York Giants.  We have seen how game-changing sideline to sideline defenders can be.  Simmons is built like a linebacker but has the athleticism you’d see in a defensive back.  A guy that can play at nearly any level of the defense, Isaiah Simmons is a true 3-down hybrid that will force opposing offenses to take notice.

Round 2 – Pick 36

Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville

Many believe offensive tackle is where the Giants could and should go in April, but the defensive talent is too good for them to pass up.  Mekhi Becton may not be one of the top tackles in the class, but he has the length, flexibility, and strength to be an immediate NFL starter.  

Round 4 – Pick 100

Bradlee Anae, EDGE Utah

This is where I think the New York Giants will have to have some fortune.  Not having their 3rd round pick that they gave up in the Leonard Williams trade could be missed.  They are scheduled to, and will likely receive a 3rd round compensatory pick due to the departure of Landon Collins, but for now, let’s keep that off the table. 

Bradlee Anae is a name we may begin to see more of as the draft process carries on.  The Giants having the chance to take him with the 100th pick in the draft seems unlikely.  In the very slim chance he is available, they should have that pick at the moment the clock starts.

New York has got to address the pass rush this offseason.  It is absolutely something they could do in free agency, but Anne is a prospect that would be worth taking regardless.  He tied a Utah record with 29.5 career sacks, notching 12.5 in his senior season. He has strength and good footwork off the edge.  What makes him impressive is his evolving skillset of pass rush moves, making him a young artist at the position.

Round 5 – Pick 132

Michael Pittman Jr., WR USC

Considering the lack of experience and injuries at the receiving position, continuing to build weapons for Daniel Jones is important.  One upgrade I think that would be beneficial is a red zone target that could compliment this receiving group. 

Michael Pittman Jr. does not have the speed or burst off the line you’d want in a WR, but he makes up for it.  At 6’4” and roughly 220 lbs, Pittman has the size and hands to go up and get the football. He can be physical and isn’t afraid of contact, which shows up in his crossing routes.  Apart from his red-zone presence one area that Pittman could really benefit the New York Giants is in his run blocking ability. Pittman and Sterling Shepard leading the way for Barkley? Yes, please.

Round 6 – Pick 163

Patrick Queen, LB LSU

Still no official word on whether or not Queen has declared for the NFL Draft, but if he does, someone may get a sleeper.  The New York Giants need linebackers that can cover, and Patrick Queen can do just that. This season, he allowed only 165 total yards in 355 coverage snaps, according to PFF.  Queen can not only cover the field, but he rarely misses tackles. Something the G-Men could really benefit from.

Round 7 – Pick 195

Antonio Gibson, WR Memphis

Hear me out.  Gibson is an explosive player that can also generate yards with power and contact.  He’s a weapon that may benefit from a move to running back. This is where that popular New York Giant word comes into play yet again. Versatility.  Antonio can line up at WR, RB and can even return kicks. This is the kind of weapon you take a chance on with these late-round picks.

Round 7 – Pick 215

Jaron Bryant, CB Fresno State

If you’re still with me, thank you.  Your passion to read into the 7th round of a mock draft in January matches mine.  You have a sense of what the New York Giants need to address this offseason, and a lot of that is in the defense.  Jaron Bryant may be able to help and again… he’s versatile! He has a great physical frame but could benefit to add a bit of muscle.  Bryant is a solid tackler but lacks the speed you’d like to see in a true cover corner. This could all mean a transition to safety in the NFL.