The Giants have a wide range of options in the first round. If they decide to go inside linebacker, Micah Parsons could be a target.
- LB, Penn State
- 6-foot-3, 245 pounds
- First-team Freshman All-American in 2018
- Consensus All-American in 2019
- First-team All-Big Ten in 2019
- 2019 Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year Award winner (Big Ten’s top linebacker)
- 2018 Stats (13 games): 82 total tackles (47 solo), four tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles
- 2019 Stats (13 games): 109 total tackles (52 solo), 14 tackles for loss, five sacks, five passes defended, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery
- Opted out of the 2020 season.
How Micah Parsons would Benefit the Giants
The Giants are seemingly thin at the inside linebacker position ahead of the 2021 season. Blake Martinez is extremely talented and 2020 Mr. Irrelevant Tae Crowder carries potential, but after that, the position group doesn’t possess much — Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin are potentially becoming outside linebackers moreso than anything else.
Thus, Big Blue could target a linebacker at No. 11 overall in the upcoming draft, with Penn State’s Micah Parsons serving as an option.
Prior to opting out of the 2020 season, Parsons was a tackling machine for the Nittany Lions for two consecutive years, having totaled 109 combined tackles during the 2019 campaign. He and Martinez (151 combined tackles for Big Blue in 2020) could do damage in the middle of New York’s front seven.
Familiarity works wonders in the NFL, and Parsons would also possess that in East Rutherford due to the fact he’d be playing alongside Brown. The 2020 sixth-round draft pick played with Parsons at the collegiate level from 2018-19.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham could initially utilize Parsons as a situational linebacker, implementing him into a matchup-based rotation that also includes Crowder, Devante Downs, and free-agent pickup Reggie Ragland.
Micah Parsons Film Notes
Parsons and Penn State’s October 2019 Win over Michigan (LB #11; 14 total tackles, six solo)
A very athletic play from Parsons here; he comes on the rush but uses his vision to locate the scrambling quarterback and make the tackle at the line of scrimmage.
Parsons’ great wingspan and proper technique allow him to wrap up the ball carrier on the above play.
Not a great look for Parsons in this clip; he falls for the play-action executed by former Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson.
Parsons portrays the ability to turn and drop back in coverage. Consistently putting this type of versatility on display would make him a reliable asset within Patrick Graham’s defense.
Parsons quickly pursues the ball carrier and plays a role in the goal-line stop on this play.
Another tough look for the projected first-rounder — on the pursuit in the backfield, Parsons misses a tackle he must make in crunch time.
Parsons and Penn State’s November 2019 Loss to Minnesota (11 total tackles, six solo, two tackles for loss, one sack)
While Parsons quickly reaches the backfield, he’s easily blocked out of the play in this clip. This lack of strength would be an issue at the professional level.
Parsons is easily blocked on this screen pass as well and doesn’t take a great angle on the ball carrier to begin with. The play ends up a touchdown for the Golden Gophers.
On the above play, Parsons implements great vision in order to locate the ball carrier and make the key stop on first down.
A great job by Parsons here to shed the block and utilize proper technique to make the tackle.
Later in the game, Parsons correctly fills the gap and is right there for the tackle for loss.
And finally, we have Parsons shedding the block and finding a lane to the quarterback for the sack. Graham would love to see this type of pass-rushing ability on a consistent basis.
Parsons is rated high in this draft class, and he could be a great player, don’t get me wrong.
He’ll need to be coached up though. He tends to be blocked out of plays and doesn’t seem to employ the strength necessary to overcome those types of setbacks. Parsons additionally isn’t a premier pass rusher to the point where he could take on a specific role as more of an outside linebacker within Graham’s defense.
He carries potential, that’s for sure. It’s just unclear if that potential will be tapped right away.