BRONXVILLE, NY – We’re two days away from the NFL Draft and I’ve got Goodell-of-a boner. With respect to my colleagues, recent chat about pick-off moves, bunts, and press conferences haven’t exactly moved the needle… so to speak. Wait, raised the bridge – let’s go with that. Without further ado, here are some Draft Predictions for the New York Giants.
They Stay Put in the First
Most mock drafts have the Detroit Lions drafting shutdown CB Jeff Okudah at 3, just ahead of the Giants. The OSU product has true shutdown ability but the Lions have too many other holes. It seems that Matt Patricia’s only qualification is that he worked under Bill Bellichick. Look for the big man to pull the pencil out of his ear, channel his mentor, and try to move back to get more picks.
If the Lions do trade down it will with one of the teams looking to upgrade their QB situation, the Dolphins at five or the Chargers at six. If one of them does move up to three, there won’t be much incentive for the other to move up to the Giants spot at four. The Giants (or potentially Detroit moving back to five) aren’t taking a QB. So the one that doesn’t move up to three can sit tight and take their man at five or six. Unless the Lions stay put or a surprise team tries to sneak in and grab Tua or Herbert, Gettleman’s phone might not be ringing off the hook with offers for this pick. But who knows, teams get crazy on Draft Day.
Tackle in the First
I think Isaiah Simmons should be the pick here. The elite, “gold jacket” freak athlete is not someone you can pass up when your defense has been easier to get through than an airport, at present. However, with the Leonard Williams trade and most of their key free agent signings coming on the defensive side of the ball, I think Dave Gettleman will be looking to improve the offense here.
Two comments by Gettleman seemed to give away his hand:
“You know my theory. It’s very, very difficult for Saquon [Barkley] to run the ball if he doesn’t have holes. It’s going to be difficult for Daniel [Jones] to throw the ball when he’s on his back. We’ll continue to build the offense line.”
“There are a lot of college players like that. College teams use their unique skill sets in many ways that aren’t standard…” (discussing the versatility of Simmons).
Do you think Gettleman is throwing a smoke screen here to get teams off his scent? Me either.
After spending early picks on Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones, there is certainly a case to be made for taking a tackle. With five highly-rated bookends set to go in round one, and plenty of disagreement as to which one is the best, the prudent move would be to trade down to take one later. And after the top tackles there really isn’t a player who looks like he would be a good value in the early second. So if they pass in the first, they might have to reach for someone in the second or wait until the third to address the position.
Gettleman’s never traded down before and I’m not confident he can pull off a good deal here. With trading down generally viewed as wise, since drafting is such an inexact science, it’s a bad sign that he’s never done it in seven drafts. Yikes. Peter King thinks he’ll definitely do it this year if he gets a decent offer, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
From a self-preservation angle, it’s more conceivable that Gettleman lasts another year if the offense takes a step forward and the defense doesn’t improve much over the reverse. Dynamic play on offense would get the fan base revved up and likely buy him one more year to fix the defense.
Offensive Line in the Second (Double Up)
Whether or not the Giants take a tackle in the first round, I think there is a good chance they take a lineman in the second. Getting someone who can get to within yelling distance of the opposing QB is even more of a need than O-line at present. But outside of Chase Young, this isn’t a deep draft for pass rushers. Unless someone drops to them in the second, there likely won’t be much value there.
Look for them to try to grab a center here, like Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz if he’s there, or a tackle if they don’t take one in the first. They may not get great value for a tackle here, but if they pass in the first they can’t wait any longer.
If they do double up on O-linemen, look for them to take another project pass rusher later on to throw on to the Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines heap and cross their fingers. Other positions they are sure to address at some point are safety and wide receiver.
That’s it for me. Let’s hope Gettles can pull one out of his a$$ like Jerry Reese did in 2007, nabbing key contributors with five of seven picks, including Ahman Bradshaw in the seventh.
Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, spurning the lockdown from a crowded Jacksonville beach. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.