ESNY’s New York Giants draft roundtable continues with predictions on who Big Blue will ultimately select in Thursday’s opening round.
The 2020 NFL Draft is finally here. After months of debating whether the New York Giants will draft for need or take the best player available, we’ll finally find out general manager Dave Gettleman‘s major decision.
Of course, players who have been tied to the Giants are Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, and Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills. But don’t be surprised if the organization’s veteran general manager decides to pull off a move fans weren’t expecting.
Without further ado, let’s continue with ESNY’s Giants draft roundtable series.
Isaiah Simmons — LB — Clemson
The Giants absolutely need a young tackle to help protect Daniel Jones, but something tells me that Dave Gettleman won’t go away from the “best player available” route. Plus, he may be comfortable moving forward with Cam Fleming or Nick Gates at right tackle.
With that said, Big Blue and its general manager will ultimately select linebacker Isaiah Simmons at No. 4 overall. While he won’t be filling the biggest need on the roster, the Clemson standout will absolutely improve this defense, a group that’s struggled for much of the last three years.
Simmons was an All-American talent in college and, with his versatility, will be a great fit alongside the linebackers the Giants acquired in free agency. Blake Martinez is more of a run-stopper while Kyler Fackrell is more of a pass rusher. Simmons, on the other hand, succeeds more while he’s performing in coverage.
A significant number of fans will be excited about this selection, considering the fact that Simmons can bring a whole lot to the table. He’ll be a game-changer for this defense and that playmaker the group has been missing since the 2019 departure of Landon Collins.
Isaiah Simmons — LB — Clemson
If the first three picks unfold as projected — Joe Burrow to the Bengals at No. 1, Chase Young to the Redskins at No. 2, Jeff Okudah to the Lions at No. 3 — Dave Gettleman will have a dilemma on his hands. Does he draft Isaiah Simmons or one of the top offensive tackles with the No. 4 overall pick?
The Giants do need to grab a tackle, but they’ll be able to do that later on in the draft. Besides, the fourth pick is too high to grab a player who will likely play right tackle next season. Therefore, the Giants must select Simmons to help revamp a defense that finished 25th last season.
Simmons is a rare player who can help the defense in all three levels. He can play edge rusher, inside linebacker, one of the safety positions, or slot corner. A player this versatile who can make plays sideline-to-sideline is hard to find, and I don’t think Gettleman will pass on him.
The Giants gave up an average of 27.8 points in their six divisional games last year. Simmons can help slow down those offensive units along with the rest of the teams the Giants will face. Simmons is also the safest pick of the players available to be productive as a rookie and potentially earn a Pro Bowl bid.
Tristan Wirfs — OT — Iowa
The Giants are likely to go tackle after spending all of free agency addressing the defense. With an offense that’s heavily reliant on the run game and a young quarterback, Dave Gettleman knows that he needs an offensive line that can protect those investments.
Tristan Wirfs is the most athletic tackle in the class and has been linked with the Giants for months. He’s an excellent run blocker who excels in space, making him a strong fit for New York’s offense. The pass blocking needs work though, especially against speed rushers. As athletic as Wirfs is, it’s surprising how much he struggles against speed in pass block sets. It could be an issue in his rookie year, but good coaching should draw out more of Wirfs’ natural athleticism as his career progresses.
If Wirfs continues to struggle in regards to putting his natural athleticism to work, then he could move to guard, where he has the potential to be an elite player. That versatility will make him a target for someone in the top 10, and months of rumors point to the Giants pulling the trigger.