With most marquee free agents off the board, we take a look at how the New York Giants can continue to build their roster through the draft.
The 2020 NFL free agent frenzy is over, and while there are still some big names on the market, most now have new homes. For the New York Giants, the frenzy saw them upgrade at the cornerback and linebacker positions and also find a reliable second-string running back.
With that, the Giants’ draft needs are becoming clearer than ever. Here’s an updated seven-round mock draft that now includes New York’s compensatory selections.
Round 1 (No. 4 overall): Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa
While Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons would be the sexy pick, Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs is the right one.
The Giants addressed their need at middle linebacker by acquiring Blake Martinez, who’ll now play alongside second-year man Ryan Connelly. That leaves the offensive tackle position as New York’s biggest need and Wirfs is arguably the best one in this year’s draft.
Wirfs had scouts dropping jaws at the NFL combine when he ran a 4.85 40-yard dash at 6-foot-5, 320 pounds. At Iowa, Wirfs was given first-team All-Big Ten honors and won the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year Award in 2019.
He’s a perfect fit to become the Giants starting right tackle and provide Daniel Jones with the extra layer of protection he needs.
Tristan Wirfs elite athleticism showed up plenty on tape. This is a great example. pic.twitter.com/g17iDNVHbS
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) February 29, 2020
Round 2 (No. 36 overall): Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State
While an offensive tackle is the Giants’ biggest need, a pass rusher is a close second. With an early second-round selection, the team will likely have a chance to take Penn State standout Yetur Gross-Matos.
Gross-Matos is a 6-foot-5 defensive end who had a dominant college career. He followed up an eight-sack 2018 season with nine sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss during his junior campaign in 2019.
He didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the combine, which may lead to his draft stock falling from a late first-rounder to an early second-rounder. Nevertheless, his tape speaks for itself. Gross-Matos possesses all the tools to be an elite pass rusher and would be a perfect fit for this Giants defense.
Looks like Yetur Gross-Matos (@__lobo99) wants that 2019 B1G sack title.
2.5 sacks in the first half?! pic.twitter.com/B3tvX8jbi1
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) August 31, 2019
Round 3 (No. 99 overall): Bryan Edwards, WR South Carolina
Big Blue’s receiver trio of Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Darius Slayton is solid but lacks height. South Carolina’s Bryan Edwards could provide that size and become a go-to for Jones in the red zone.
The 6-foot-3 wideout racked in at least 790 yards in each of the last three seasons while playing in the SEC. As a senior in 2019, Edwards recorded a career-high 71 receptions for 816 yards and six touchdowns.
Edwards also returned punts for the Gamecocks over the last two seasons. In 2019, he averaged 17.9 yards on seven returns. The receiver can do a little bit of everything and has the height the Giants desperately need in their receiver room.
Bryan Edwards been doing it in the SEC since he was 17 pic.twitter.com/hkUTVPJkBk
— James Thomas (@JamesThomasHT) March 28, 2020
Round 4 (No. 110 overall): K’Von Wallace, S Clemson
With Antoine Bethea cut, the Giants need a safety to perform alongside Jabrill Peppers. Clemson’s K’Von Wallace could compete for that job.
At Clemson, Wallace played in three national championship games and helped the Tigers win two of them. He started all 15 games in each of the past two seasons. During his senior campaign in 2019, he racked up a career-high 72 total tackles with 10 passes defended and two interceptions (one pick-six).
Not only did Wallace excel against the pass, but he helped shut down the run as well. Of his 72 combined tackles, three came for a loss and two were sacks. His winning pedigree and nose for the football is the exact prototype of a smart, hardworking player that head coach Joe Judge wants in New York.
This is elite level defending by #Clemson safety K'von Wallace in the clutch pic.twitter.com/jj25j27HcI
— Kevin Boilard (@KevinBoilard) September 9, 2018
His size and versatility would serve as a perfect depth piece to a Giants offensive line that certainly needs it.
Good rep here from @MizzouFootball Tackle Yasir Durant. pic.twitter.com/uj1vl5ibSU
— PewterReport (@PewterReport) January 13, 2020
Round 6 (No. 183 overall): Mohamed Barry, ILB Nebraska
The Giants no longer need to utilize an early pick on an inside linebacker, but they still could use one for depth. Nebraska’s Mohamed Barry could be the perfect late-round addition to fill that void.
Barry was a tackle machine for the Huskers in his final two college seasons. As a junior in 2018, he recorded a career-high 112 tackles with 10 tackles for loss and two sacks. His production dipped slightly in his senior year, but he still notched 89 total tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss
With his success as a junior playing in the Big Ten, he’s a worthy investment in the later rounds for a Giants team looking to mightily improve on defense.
Nebraska LB Mohamed Barry quickly diagnoses the run to the outside and is able to get to the edge to make the tackle #NFLDraft #Huskers pic.twitter.com/yORlcxev3A
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) July 29, 2019
Round 7 (No. 218 overall): Trevon Hill, EDGE Miami (FL)
No team can ever employ too many pass rushers. With four seventh-round picks, taking another edge rusher makes plenty of sense for the Giants. Miami’s Trevon Hill could thus be a final-round steal.
Hill began his collegiate career at Virginia Tech, where he recorded 5.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for a loss as a sophomore in 2017. After his junior year, Hill transferred to Miami for his senior season. With the Hurricanes, he notched 4.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for a loss, and one pass defended.
With consistent sack numbers, Hill is worth taking a flyer on towards the end of the draft.
Trevon Hill (@TreSavage94_) with the jab/fake spin. The jab was used to off-balance the blocker & make him punch early. Hill executed the fake spin, then finished using the inside arm to "ice pick" like on a regular spin move #PassRush #TheU pic.twitter.com/3rOkYWR5ij
— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) October 17, 2019
Round 7 (No. 238 overall): Lavert Hill, CB Michigan
After signing James Bradberry, the Giants no longer need a starting cornerback in this year’s draft, but they still can use a depth piece. Michigan’s Lavert Hill will likely be on the board late to fill that void.
Hill grabbed six interceptions in four seasons at Michigan, including three during his senior campaign in 2019. He also defended a career-best nine passes and returned three punts this past season.
The 5-foot-11 corner is not likely to step in and be a starter, but he can serve as a reserve defensive back and play a key role on special teams for New York.
Lavert Hill Big Houses a pick return and @UMichFootball is up 31-7 in the fourth: pic.twitter.com/x7A6lOGBwK
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 14, 2018
Round 7 (No. 247 overall): Joey Magnifico, TE Memphis
With Rhett Ellison retired, there may be an open competition to be New York’s second tight end. In the seventh round, the team should add another man to the battle in Joey Magnifico from Memphis.
Magnifico racked in at least 300 receiving yards in each of the last two seasons while catching 41 total balls and seven touchdowns.
At 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, he’d be another big body to compete for a spot during training camp. Magnifico could find himself playing a similar role that surprise breakout star Kaden Smith played a year ago.
Brady White ▶️ Joey Magnifico = Memphis touchdown
Memphis leads Houston 17-7 pic.twitter.com/e1s9Mc9NoT
— Grind City Media (@grindcitymedia) November 23, 2018
Round 7 (No. 255 overall): Mike Panasiuk, DT Michigan State
Mr. Irrelevant will be a Giant, and there wouldn’t be a better selection than a 300-pound defensive lineman with an awesome beard such as Mike Panasiuk.
In four seasons at Michigan State, Panasiuk racked up 19 tackles for a loss, 10 of which were during his senior year in 2019.
While Mr. Irrelevant rarely makes the roster, Panasiuk’s senior surge could suggest he’s different than those before him.