ESNY’s New York Giants draft roundtable continues with four sleepers Big Blue can steal on day three of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Under normal circumstances, day three of the NFL draft is an afterthought for most sports fans. But in these uncertain times, who the New York Giants draft on day three will be one of the most compelling storylines in New York sports.
Second-year quarterback Daniel Jones and third-year running back Saquon Barkley make up the core of the Giants, and yet, there are more than a few holes to fill on the team. A solid receiver or a defensive surprise in the later rounds would be a huge boost for first-year head coach Joe Judge.
Jordan Fuller — S — Ohio State
One day three of the NFL draft, teams are looking to add depth to the roster, players who can contribute on special teams and guys who will be ready when their number is called. This is why Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller should be on the Giants radar.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Fuller brings a ton of experience, having played four seasons for the Buckeyes with 224 tackles and had six interceptions. Last season he was named First Team All-Big Ten, helping the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record. He, along with cornerback Jeff Okudah, helped form one of the best secondaries in the nation.
Fuller has a high football IQ and a ton of intangibles having been named one of the team captains in 2018 and 2019. He can struggle in coverage at times but showed improvements as a senior. Fuller grew up in Old Tappan, NJ so he would feel right at home if the Giants drafted him.
Fuller watches videos of safeties Earl Thomas, Eddie Jackson, and Tyrann Mathieu as he tries to pattern his game after these top-notch safeties.
One of the things you have to like about Fuller is his size, which is ideal for covering tight ends. The Giants are thin at safety, and Fuller would be a welcomed addition to Big Blue. Having played a ton of big games at Ohio State, playing for one of the most storied franchises in the NFL will not be overwhelming for him.
If the Giants draft him, look for him to play special teams and be a reserve safety who can come in on dime packages.
Myles Dorn — S — North Carolina
Depth is always crucial in the secondary. So while the Giants don’t employ a surplus of reliable safeties on the roster, they should look to add at least one in this draft.
If they don’t snag a guy during the first two days, safety Myles Dorn of North Carolina would be a steal in the later rounds.
Dorn recorded 83 total tackles (49 solo) with 4.5 tackles for loss, two picks, and six passes defended through 13 games this past season. The numbers show that he’s a versatile athlete who can succeed in numerous ways from the defensive back position.
Last month, I included Dorn in my list of three late-round prospects the Giants should look into. Mainly, I discussed the fact that Dorn does a great job coming up to stop the run. That aggressiveness, hustle, and toughness would sit well with newly hired head coach Joe Judge, who was most recently part of a Patriots organization that preaches those qualities year-in and year-out.
But Dorn doesn’t just stop at the mental qualities, as he also possesses beneficial physical traits. He has decent size at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds and uses it to his advantage, displaying on-field strength and speed.
Of course, Dorn wouldn’t start right away and would absolutely be a reserve defensive back. The Giants currently employ Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love, who may respectively start at strong and free safety. Behind them, they have guys like Sean Chandler, Rashaan Gaulden, and potentially Dravon Askew-Henry if they ask him to play there instead of at the nickel corner spot.
So if Dorn came to East Rutherford, he wouldn’t receive much playing time at safety nor in the general defensive backfield to start. He would likely be a special teams weapon though. And from there, you never know what may happen. Coaches could end up liking what he brings to the table and eventually provide him with some playing time on the defensive end.
Darryl Williams — C — Mississippi State
The Giants need help at center. Jon Halapio is a free agent and unlikely to return and Spencer Pulley isn’t a starting quality player. They need to address the position in the draft.
Darryl Williams gets ragged on for his size. At just 6-foot-2 and 304 pounds, Williams is one of the smallest linemen in the class. That has scared teams off and sent him tumbling down the boards. He’s fallen so far it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he went undrafted.
Williams isn’t athletic and he doesn’t have prototypical strength. He just isn’t the typical player NFL teams look for, and that’s okay. Williams is a highly intelligent and determined blocker. He reads defenses, sets protections, understands his role on the field, and scraps on every play.
The technique is solid and he performed against the best competition in college football. Teams shouldn’t be scared off by Williams’ lack of prototypical physical traits. It’s distracting them from a potential starting interior offensive lineman.
Tyrie Cleveland — WR — Florida
The Giants might not have a ton of picks on day two, but they’ll have plenty of opportunities to snag a steal on day three. There are multiple holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball, but with Daniel Jones entering a critical second year, the Giants have to provide him with all the help he can get.
Tyrie Cleveland wasn’t a go-to guy at the University of Florida, but that isn’t a direct reflection on him. An injury forced a midseason quarterback change and Dan Mullen’s offense at Florida doesn’t emphasize the deep ball.
Cleveland ran a 4.46 at the combine and can absolutely fly. There’s a good chance he fizzles out as a pro if he doesn’t improve on his route running, but he has the tools to become a legitimate deep threat.
Why not take a chance on him in the later rounds? After all, providing Jones with protection and weapons should be Gettleman’s top priority.