NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13: Isaiah Simmons #11 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates a defensive stop against the LSU Tigers during the first quarter in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

It’s possible New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman could select both Isaiah Simmons and an offensive tackle in the first round.

Jason Leach

The 2020 NFL Draft will be a pivotal one in the career of Dave Gettleman. After going 9-23 in his first two full seasons as the New York Giants general manager, it’s clear the seat is becoming hot.

Nobody expects the Giants to be contenders this upcoming season, but Gettleman must build a team that can end a streak of three consecutive years with double-digit losses.

For the most part, Gettleman has done a good job drafting in his tenure with the Giants. He’s been at the forefront of selections like Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, and Darius Slayton. This still doesn’t erase his win-loss record though, and ownership is becoming more and more frustrated with the franchise’s losing ways.

The team’s two largest draft-related tasks are to find a dynamic defensive player like Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons as well as a talented offensive tackle. Plenty of fans believe it’ll be one or the other in the first round. Nevertheless, the Giants could actually make moves to experience the best of both worlds.

Many mock drafts have the Giants taking Simmons with the No. 4 overall pick, which would make perfect sense for Big Blue. He can not only play linebacker but also in the secondary in more of a safety-type role. Simmons would certainly bolster a defense that ranked 25th in total yards allowed per game last year.

As important as it is for the Giants to select Simmons, an offensive tackle for the future is additionally crucial. The three other NFC East teams employ strong defensive fronts. Thus, it’s imperative for the Giants to build a line to keep their young quarterback upright.

The way it stands right now, Nate Solder is set to retain the starting left tackle spot. Nick Gates and the newly acquired Cam Fleming, on the other hand, will compete at right tackle.

Solder struggled in his first two seasons with Big Blue but is hoping to experience a bounce-back year. Fleming has ties to head coach Joe Judge from his time with the Patriots. He also worked with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and offensive line coach Marc Colombo for two years in Dallas. But, he’s likely just a reserve tackle at best. So is Gates, who started three games for the Giants last year.

There are at least five offensive tackles projected to be taken in the first round of this month’s draft: Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, and USC’s Austin Jackson. All of these players earned first-team honors in their respective conferences. Thomas was additionally a unanimous All-American.

Every year, there seems to be at least one player that slips in the draft. It’s hard to envision any of these tackles staying available until the Giants choose again at No. 36. But if there’s one individual who should fall into the mid or late 20s, it’s likely Jackson, and Gettleman will carry the assets to be able to trade back into the first round to take him.

Gettleman isn’t a stranger to doing this. He traded back into the opening round last year when he struck a deal with the Seattle Seahawks. Gettleman ultimately gave away the team’s second-round pick (No. 37 overall), a fourth-round pick (No. 132 overall), and a fifth-round pick (No. 142 overall) to receive the Seahawks’ No. 30 overall selection. He then used this pick to draft Deandre Baker.

After their No. 4 overall pick, the Giants possess nine more selections (No. 36, 99, 110, 150, 183, 218, 238, 247, and 255 overall). A few of these picks might be enough to entice a team to be willing to trade back. If the draft ammo isn’t enough, Gettleman may consider trading Dalvin Tomlinson, who’s entering the final year of his contract. After all, New York currently possesses seven defensive linemen on its roster.

Giants fans are torn on whether their team should take Simmons or one of the top offensive tackles. If Gettleman can find the right trade partner and make a shrewd move, they could end up with both.

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