With the NFL draft just weeks away, there’s much intrigue surrounding who the New York Giants may or may not take.
With the departure of OBJ, Collins and Vernon, and 38-year-old Eli Manning entering the final year of his contract, there are numerous directions the Giant can take in the draft, especially in the early rounds.
Simply put, with 12 draft picks at their disposal and numerous positions they need to fill, the Giants are the most intriguing team heading into the draft.
Here’s a look at what the Giants might do with their first three picks (No. 6, 17 and 37) in the draft.
1st round, 6th pick overall: Montez Sweat, Edge Mississippi State
Many want the Giants to take Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. But if the Giants don’t trade up, it’s possible Haskins will be off the board when the Giants pick at 6.
So the Giants will use the sixth overall pick to address a need that has plagued them for years, a lack of a pass rush. With Nick Bosa and Josh Allen off the board, the Giants will take edge rusher Montez Sweat out of Mississippi State.
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Sweat recorded 12 sacks in his final season with the Bulldogs and was named second-team All-American. This was after he tallied 10.5 sacks the previous season when he was named First-Team All-SEC.
In order for defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s 3-4 defense to work, he needs pass rushers that can consistently beat tackles off the edge and apply pressure.
Sweat can certainly fill that need as he is a freakish athlete. He will, however, need to improve his overall strength if he’s going to excel at the next level. He only benched 21 reps at the NFL combine, but with a strength program, he can improve on this throughout the spring and summer.
If the Giants draft Sweat, he’ll immediately become their best pass rusher and will have a chance of becoming the first Giant since Jason Pierre-Paul in 2014 to have double-digit sacks.
1st round, 17th pick overall: DL Christian Wilkins, Clemson
The Giants will continue to work on revamping their defense that finished 24th overall a season ago by taking defensive lineman Christian Wilkins out Clemson.
In his four seasons with the Clemson Tigers, the 6-foot-4, 315-pound Wilkins totaled 192 tackles (40.5 for losses), had 16 sacks, and was part of two National Championship teams. Last season with the Tigers, he was named First-Team All-American by the Associated Press when he finished the season with 51 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, and had five and a half sacks.
His quickness and flexibility at his size would be a welcomed addition to a defensive line that already has Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill. One of his best attributes is that he’s developed a reputation as a locker room leader.
When the Giants were winning Super Bowls, they deployed a dominant front seven, and taking Wilkins and Sweat in the first round would steps in the right direction in the franchise getting back to basics that made them champions.
2nd round pick, 37th overall: trade it to Arizona Cardinals for Josh Rosen
The worst kept secret in the NFL is that the Arizona Cardinals intend on taking Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray only a year after taking Josh Rosen with the 10th-overall pick.
Rosen would obviously be disgruntled by this which is why the Cardinals know they have to trade him. The Cardinals are hoping to trade Rosen for a first round pick, but teams will be unwilling to give up a first rounder knowing that the Cardinals need to trade him.
This presents a perfect opportunity for the Giants to acquire Manning’s successor.
Last season with the Cardinals, Rosen struggled, completing just 55.2 percent of his passes and threw 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. But any quarterback would have struggled behind the Cardinals poor offensive line.
This is one heck of a throw by Rosen. https://t.co/ihlqRvLkTL
— Jason Leach (@JasonKLeach) March 7, 2019
As a competitor, Rosen may not want to sit a year behind Manning, but he’ll know sooner than later he’ll be the signal caller for one of the marquee franchises in the NFL.
The New York Giants may not see things the way we do, but this strategy will address team’s two greatest needs which are revamping the defense and finding that elusive quarterback of the future.