The Giants have a lot of options with their overall pick # 4 on April 23 and a ton of needs on their list, so they can rationalize their choices in different directions.
But Big Blue’s buzz around some prospects has gotten stronger than others, especially attacking tackles, and it’s time to focus and try to decipher where the Giants could lean.
Here are four of the names that stand out (listed in no particular order) based on Daily News reports, supplemented by screening analyzes from NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell and Pro Football Network project analyst , Tony Pauline, and expert ideas from Pro Football Focus, Athletic and the NFL.
Derrick Brown, DT, Sr., 22, Auburn (6-5, 326 lbs)
There is more uncertainty in this project than ever since the screening process was compromised by the coronavirus pandemic. Giants are inherently conservative. They appreciate the clean, productive and great school prospects with their premium choices.
General Manager Dave Gettleman prioritizes the big guys at the front. And there is more reason than ever with choosing one of the top five in 2020 to take a known product that is guaranteed to have an impact both on the first day and in the long term.
Many consider Brown to be that player and the best player available there.
“He’s been the # 2 player on my board since January,” said Pauline. “It’s Chase Young and Derrick Brown. If he had been drafted last year, he would have been in the top 10. He plays all the time. Always appears. At a time when players often bypassed their bowl games, he played in the Auburn Outback Bowl against Minnesota. I think people are sleeping on him in a ridiculous way. “
NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah has Brown as No. 4 overall prospect and calls him “a complete player capable of dominating on all three tries”.
Brown has his university degree. Her father was in the military. He has a one year old son. And her parents are both Mississippi graduates, Joe Judge’s alma mater. The judge also reached Auburn’s pro day before the university circuit closed.
The Giants’ defensive line may seem deeper and more promising than other positional groups, but they still did not stop the race effectively or reach QB by the end of 2019. Gettleman’s plan for this signing linebacker Blake Martinez could be pushing back Brown, teaming him up with Dexter Lawrence, dominating in front and keeping their MLB clean to be a tackle.
When Gettleman told NFL Combine that “the three teams in our division have inner power on their defensive line”, he was not only describing how he intended to build from the inside out on his offensive line ; it also highlighted where the Giants were not yet sufficiently disrupting the defense.
Cosell, who is often reluctant to rank prospects, goes out on his own to call Brown “one of the best overall prospects at any position in the 2020 draft class, with a chance of becoming one of the tackles most comprehensive defensive gear in the NFL. “
” [One thing that] stood out for its competitiveness and its efforts to make the chase play well off the beaten track, “said Cosell. “Brown can line up anywhere along the defensive front, including the defensive end and be a force. There are no limits to a lineout or front view with Brown. ”
Cosell said two players came to mind during Brown’s evaluation: the Rams Michael Brockers and the Bears Akiem Hicks. He believes that Brown needs more movement and growth as a pass accelerator, and that his development there will ultimately determine Brown’s worth in the league.
But Pauline thinks Brown is “an exceptional rusher of passes” and calls Brown “the type of player [opposing teams] game plan around. And Gettleman thinks the pass rush is starting inside.
Of course, defensive paraphernalia is not the position group on which the Giants seem to spend most of their time. It would be an attacking tackle.
Andrew Thomas, OT, Jr., 21, Georgia (6-5, 315)
The Giants are digging into the top four offense tackles, including Tristan Wirfs of Iowa, Mekhi Becton of Louisville and Jedrick Wills Jr. of Alabama. But some sources believe that Thomas is their preference.
He and Auburn’s Brown are probably the cleanest top 10, the big school prospects of the Giants’ choice. Thomas has flown under the radar since Wirfs and Becton wowed their NFL combination tests, but Thomas’s stock increases again as the draft approaches.
“Andrew Thomas is the best all-round tackle,” said Steve Palazzolo, senior analyst at PFF. “The best password protector. One of the best race blockers. The cleanest choice for the Giants at four if they want to attack. He played on the left side, on the right side. He will immediately integrate into the right tackle for the Giants. “
Pauline calls Thomas “the purest tackle on the left” in this year’s top four, which also includes Wirfs, Becton and Wills, a group that appears to have been ranked in different order by each expert. PFF classifies Thomas as its number one OT. But Athletic Dane Brugler and NFL Jeremiah rank Thomas as their fourth tackle (with Wills and Becton as No. 1, respectively).
Thomas (13) and Becton (11) are the only two to have started more than three left tackle games in 2019. And for Pauline, “Becton can’t play left tackle (in the NFL right away). I don’t think Wills can tackle the left tackle. The Wirfs may be able to play on the left, but it is more secure in a straight tackle. “
“Thomas has Jonathan Ogden in his game,” says Pauline, comparing it to a Hall of Fame, “but it also has drawbacks. He needs more playing experience and more confidence in his base when it comes to pass protection. “
Brugler says that Thomas has “balance problems” and a tendency to “give up his lower body fundamentals” in pass pro, but that he is still doing the job and can continue to grow.
“Thomas has been execution-effective as a descent blocker and pass protection, and has always played coolly, calmly, and competitively in both areas,” said Cosell. “Thomas played in a predominant area pattern in 2019, but he also has experience in gap patterns … [He]played in a professional scheme in Georgia with a classic racing game and a return pass game. Solid chance of being a starter from the first day to either OT position. ”
It should be repeated that the 6-7,364 pound Becton is also in the sights of the Giants. It’s just that the noise is increasing more and more around Thomas in recent days.
Brugler says Georgia coaches describe Thomas as one of the Bulldogs’ “best leaders”. And a scout told The Athletic’s Bob McGinn, who ranks Thomas as his best tackle, “There is not a single negative about him.” Exactly the kind of comments you usually hear about the giants’ choices.
Tristan Wirfs, OT, Jr., 21, Iowa (6-5, 320)
Wirfs broke the NFL offensive lineman’s record with a vertical jump of 36.5 which was higher than 30 of 46 wide receivers in 2019. He ran a flamboyant 4.85 scorecard of 4.85 which was the fastest of all linemen in 2019. And his 10-foot, one-inch wide jump equaled Raider Kolton Miller’s combine record.
It comes from a Big 10 offensive line factory. Like Brown and Thomas, it is durable. He never missed a college game due to an injury. A clean and “mature” perspective, according to Brugler. And the Daily News announced in early March that it was on the Giants’ top 30 visitor list and that it had to work in the field with the Giants before Iowa’s canceled March 23 pro day.
But while he started 29 tackles to the right and four to the left for the Hawkeyes, Wirfs plans a lot in the NFL as a goalie – a great goalie, but a goalie.
“Overall, I think he can survive the tackle, but he would benefit from playing with his neighbors on both sides. I think Wirfs has All-Pro potential on guard, “said NFL Jeremiah.
“The question with Wirfs is whether he is in the best position to advance to the NFL as a tackle or goalie, as did former Iowa OT Brandon Scherff,” said Cosell. “My feeling is that an inside movement to keep would be a good thing and plans Wirfs as a starter for a day. “
But Pauline calls Wirfs a “phenomenal right tackle”. And the swing of the Wirfs in the projections between tackle and guard is not necessarily a weakness for the Giants and the judge, who appreciate the versatility. The Giants have long term needs at tackle and center positions, and they also hope for more growth from Will Hernandez on the left. So there is a place for him somewhere.
“The Wirfs profiles are an efficient and economical straight forward who is more than functional athletic and extremely hardworking and consistent in his execution,” said Cosell. “In pass protection, he played less with flowing athletic movements and more with coiled efficiency defined by excellent balance and body control and balance and composure. Wirfs has emerged as a powerful racing blocker with leverage and power and mobility to climb to the second level, but he also has to resolve some balance issues as a reader blocker and second level blocker. “
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Jr., 21, Clemson (6-4, 238)
At the end of last season, I thought Simmons was going to be the Giants’ choice. And it could still be, especially after its flamboyant momentum of 4.39 to 40 meters at its height. They are clearly showing interest.
Cosell doesn’t care: he says that if he were Gettleman, “I would take Simmons, because I think he is a monster. There will not be many Isaiah Simmons in many projects. “
Cosell thinks Simmons’ transition is the best “as a safety that can be very effective in playing near the surface for a high unique fundamental defense”, although this is the role of Jabrill Peppers in New York, so the editorial de Simmons seems to question the role of Peppers. .
Jeremiah rates Simmons as his # 3 overall hope behind only LSB QB Joe Burrow and the edge of the Ohio State Young, calling Simmons “a versatile defensive chess piece.”
The league believes that teams, including the Giants, may be more comfortable using a top five pick on a player with a more defined role and position – and that Simmons should play for a staff. coaches who know how to use it. .
Cosell responds by saying that defenses now play 60 to 85% of their snaps in sub-packages, and Simmons is “the ultimate defender of sub-packages.” In 2019, for Clemson, he accumulated 102 tackles, 16 for loss, eight sacks, three interceptions and nine assists in 15 starts.
“Simmons is at his best as a space and movement player,” said Cosell. “He is an athletic pursuit player, not a confined space box player. (In other words), you want to move it away from the bodies, not align it where the bodies are. “
Pauline has reservations about Simmons’ certainty as a top five pick, even as a draft analyst who had Simmons classified as second-round pick in her first year season in a red shirt and agreed that ‘he was an’ incredible athlete ‘.
“Isaiah Simmons is a dangerous choice if you don’t have a designated position for him or a program for him,” said Pauline. “I think he’s like Jabrill Peppers: you’re going to have to develop an unusual position for him. He’s a bit like a linebacker in a security corps. Amazing athlete. But even if it’s valuable in a sub-package, you’re talking about choosing from the top five. You want it to be explosive and punchy no matter what your defense. “
Add to that that Gettleman is already letting a safety linebacker / dynamic linebacker out of the building at Landon Collins, and it’s easy to argue that Simmons is a big player, but not the logical choice for this conservative franchise.
That said, judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham appreciates versatility, and this is Simmons’ middle name.