The New York Giants need to bolster their defense and offensive line, and ESPN’s Mel Kiper has them doing both early in the draft.
On April 23, many of the NFL Draft-related questions will be answered when the opening round commences. We’ll likely be able to see the Bengals take Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. Fans will also find out if there will be any trades within the first 10 picks.
And, as for the New York Giants, we’ll see whether they draft for need or draft the best player available. The former would mean taking an offensive tackle while the latter would likely lead to Big Blue selecting Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons.
According to Mel Kiper of ESPN, the Giants will lean more towards the game-changing defensive player at No. 4 overall.
Kiper writes, “The Giants should take an offensive tackle with one of their first two picks, but I wouldn’t pass on Simmons, who has rare athleticism and versatility. Stick him at outside linebacker and let him chase down ball carriers, rush the passer and cover tight ends. Simmons never has to leave the field. New coach Joe Judge will love him.”
Simmons would instantly start on this Giants team and be a good fit alongside the linebackers they already employ. Blake Martinez, who New York acquired on a three-year deal this offseason, would serve in more of a run-stopping role while Simmons could drop off and perform in space.
The 2019 All-American carries the versatility to play up near the line of scrimmage as well as in the secondary. Thus, he’s certainly someone who defensive coordinator Patrick Graham would use in a number of ways.
In spite of the fact that Kiper has the Giants passing on a tackle like Tristan Wirfs in the first round, he believes they’ll take a (hopeful) offensive lineman for the future in round two (No. 36 overall).
Kiper writes “I wrote earlier that the Giants needed to take an offensive tackle early, and [USC’s Austin] Jackson could fall into their lap at No. 36. He played 1,680 straight snaps at left tackle for the Trojans over the past two seasons, but he is still a developmental project in my eyes. He’ll take some time to adjust, but he could be New York’s long-term starter at either tackle spot.”
Jackson, while not as dominant as Wirfs, would likely still be an immediate starter within this Giants offensive front. He would start on the right side and eventually transition over to the left if he develops efficiently enough.
This isn’t exactly a route I agree with, but it’s one that’s very much possible. In my opinion, the Giants should stop overlooking the potential first-round selection of a tackle. The offensive line has been at the forefront of the organization’s struggles for years, and changes must be made.
Wirfs would be my pick, but again, the legitimate answer will be revealed next Thursday.