One of the players rumored to be on the New York Giants’ draft radar is Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr.
The consensus is that the general manager Dave Gettleman will either take Clemson All-American linebacker Isaiah Simmons or one of the top four offensive tackles in the draft—Andrew Thomas, Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton, or Jedrick Wills Jr.
Rumors of the 6-foot-4, 312-pound Wills to the Giants have been gaining momentum over the last few weeks. He was named First Team All-SEC and improved every season in Tuscaloosa.
In addition, he has the ideal size that Gettleman likes in his linemen. He’s also accustomed to playing in big games after three seasons at Alabama including a College Football Championship game against Clemson in 2019.
But there are two other reasons why there’s a good chance Wills name is called with the fourth pick in the draft.
The Nick Saban and Joe Judge connection
You can’t underestimate the value of the relationship between Giants head coach Joe Judge and Alabama head coach Nick Saban. Judge was Alabama’s special teams assistant from 2009-2011 and was part of two BCS Championship teams.
In these unusual circumstances where teams are unable to bring in players to have face-to-face interviews, Saban will be more than willing to provide Judge with information on the massive right tackle. He’ll be able to inform Judge of Will’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall intangibles.
Giants brass also knows that after playing for three years under Saban, he’s been taught by the best and will be ready to be a day one starter.
Judge and Gettleman are still doing their due diligence on Wills and the rest the draft class despite the circumstances. But having the additional inside information from Saban may tilt the Giants towards drafting Wills in the first round.
His agility leads to versatility
You’ll hear the mention of versatility often throughout Judge’s tenure with the Giants, as he wants fast, strong, and malleable players on his roster.
Wills certainly checks all three areas with his aforementioned size, his speed (5.05 40-yard dash time), and his agility allows him to be able to play both tackle positions if needed. That’s the kind of versatility Judge can work with.
Due to his superb footwork, he has great control and technique in his pass blocking and seldom allows opponents to get inside pressure. It’s pivotal to have an offensive tackle that is fundamentally sound, especially with all of the stunts that you’ll see from defensive fronts.
Some feel Wills is the best offensive tackle in the draft and you can see why.
If the Giants select Wills, expect him to compete with Cam Fleming for the right tackle position, and to eventually beat out the veteran for the job.
The first draft pick of the Joe Judge era is vital for a franchise that has gone 12-36 over the last three seasons. Judge wants to build a winning culture, and Wills might be his first building block in making the Giants contenders once again.