The New York Giants are a franchise in transition. The club transitioned from two-time Super Bowl Champion quarterback Eli Manning to rookie Daniel Jones in 2019. The Giants also transitioned away from head coach Pat Shurmur and brought in Joe Judge, as well as new coordinators. The Giants draft will help transition the team to the future.
Giants Draft Needs
The New York Giants finished 2019 4-12, but managed to win two of their last three. Some complained those meaningless wins shouldn’t have happened, and that they played themselves away from a transformative talent in Chase Young.
Despite a clear need at edge rusher, that Young would’ve filled, the Giants have plenty other requirements as well. Some of the Giants draft needs include: offensive tackle, edge, linebacker, wide receiver, safety and cornerback.
Picking at No. 4 precludes the Giants from drafting Chase Young, but it won’t keep them from one of the top tackle prospects in the draft.
In 2019, New York surrendered 43 sacks, including 38 on rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Veteran left tackle Nate Solder gave up the second-most sacks (11). Solder and right tackle Mike Remmers combined to allow 97 quarterback pressures, the most in the NFL. Solder has regressed considerably after signing a 4-year, $62 million deal two offseason ago.
The Giants would do well to secure Jones’ blindside in the 2020 NFL Draft, especially considering his fumbling issues.
Not being able to draft Chase Young shouldn’t keep the Giants from addressing this position come draft weekend. The Giants may lose their top pass rusher, Markus Golden, to free agency. Golden registered a team-leading 10 sacks in 2019. Lorenzo Carter and rookie Oshane Ximines tied for second with 4.5 each.
As a team, New York managed just 36 sacks in 2019, good for 22nd in the league. Their failure to get to the quarterback was a huge factor in why they only had 16 takeaways. Since the team is in rebuilding mode, edge might be a position best addressed in the draft and not in free agency.
It’s clear the Giants need a defensive makeover in 2020. The team allowed 28.2 points per game in 2019, 30th in the league. And there were issues at all three levels of the defensive.
New York recently parted ways with veteran Alec Ogletree, who was third on the team in tackles (80) in 2019 and made five interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) in 2018. The Giants liked what they saw out of rookie Ryan Connelly. But the fifth-rounder only played four games before being lost for the season to a torn ACL.
The team could elect to address this need in free agency, considering some of the available names.
The Giants were lead in 2019 by rookie wideout Darius Slayton. The fifth-rounder paced the team in receiving yards (740) and touchdown receptions (8).
While his future is bright for Slayton, the team might do well to cash in on the excellent wide receiver depth in the 2020 NFL Draft. They could use size at the position, since all of the Giants go-to receivers are 6’1″ or shorter.
Giants Draft Capital
The New York Giants could enter the 2020 NFL Draft with as many as 10 selections. The own the fourth overall selection, and the No. 36 overall, the fourth in the second round. New York traded their 202 third round select not the Jets for Leonard Williams, but they’re expecting a third round compensatory pick for losing safety Landon Collins in free agency.
They hold the fourth pick in rounds four through seven, in addition to the Saints’ seventh rounder thanks to the Eli Apple trade. The Giants could receive two more compensatory seventh-round picks for losing Josh Mauro and Mario Edwards in free agency last offseason.
There’s some question surrounding what the team will do with the No. 4 overall selection. GM Dave Gettleman said recently the team is “open for business” for the No. 4 pick. The Giants could trade down with one of the quarterback-hungry teams.
Should the Los Angeles Chargers or the Carolina Panthers want to jump the Miami Dolphins (No. 5), they could send a considerable haul of picks to New York. Considering the fact that there are as many as four potential top-10 offensive tackles, moving back as far as No. 7 could still see the Giants fill that need.
A trade back would eliminate the Isaiah Simmons from consideration. Versatile linebacker from Clemson is a consensus top-5 talent and could play in any number of positions for the Giants (linebacker, edge, safety, slot corner).
Should the Giants stand-pat and miss out on Simmons or Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, the team could look to Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. Other first round tackles include Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton and Andrew Thomas.
Day 2 of the draft could see the Giants look to fill the needs not addressed with their first pick. Wisconsin outside linebacker Zack Baun could fall to them in round two. In his senior season, Baun made 19.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks. He’d fill an edge rusher role, but he could also drop in coverage.
With their compensatory selection in the third round, the Giants could consider filling a need at interior offensive line with Temple center Matt Hennessy. With incumbent center Jon Halapio recovering from a torn Achilles, Hennessy could challenge for the starting job right away.
Day 3 of the draft should be used to fill as many needs as possible, while considering the best players on the board. New York could look to supplement its secondary with selections like Georgia safety J.R. Reed in the fourth round, and perhaps Notre Dame cornerback Troy Pride Jr.
Other fourth and fifth round options include Ohio State linebacker Malik Harrison and Louisiana Tech cornerback Amik Robertson. Michael Pittman Jr., a 6’4″ wideout from USC, had a monster senior season in 2019, catching 101 passes for 1,275 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’d be a huge redone target for Daniel Jones.
The Giants are transitioning in 2020. With a new head coach and two new coordinators, the team is focusing on a rebuild. They have talent at several offensive skill positions, but they need to improve the defense going forward.
The Giants draft could solidify their offensive line and fill holes at several defensive positions. Hit on these picks and on some free agents, New York should be back in the playoff mix soon.