In this edition of "Cover 3" on Giants.com, the crew gives bold predictions ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, which begins Thursday.
John Schmeelk: Of the first 15 picks in the draft, there will be no running backs, wide receivers, or defensive backs selected. The only non-offensive linemen or front seven players on defense taken will be quarterbacks (probably 2) and Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson. The only two linebackers in the mix will be LSU’s Devin White and Michigan’s Devin Bush. In other words, there will be at least 10 offensive or defensive linemen (I’m counting edge rushers like Josh Allen and Brian Burns in this group) in the first 15 picks of this draft. This is a big person draft, filled with impact edge rushers, impact interior players and hog mollies on the offensive line. The final draft board will reflect that.
Here’s a bonus prediction: There will be no trades inside the top ten of the draft. Without impact skill position players near the top of the board, there won’t be anyone enticing enough for a team to trade draft capital. There are enough impact people up front where teams will be content to let the draft come to them. I also don’t believe that after Kyler Murray there is enough separation between the next group of quarterbacks to motivate a team to move into the top 10.
Lance Medow: While many would say this year’s quarterback class doesn’t have as much depth as the 2018 group, I don’t think teams will shy away from aggressively pursuing the signal callers. A team that doesn’t necessarily need a quarterback to start right now will move up to grab a potential successor, such as the Patriots or Chargers. In 2017, the Chiefs had Alex Smith and had consistently made the playoffs, yet that didn’t stop them from trading up to the 10th overall pick and selecting Patrick Mahomes, who a year later became the starter.
I think a tight end is going to be selected much higher than most are projecting, specifically T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, both of Iowa. That position has evolved over time and versatile tight ends are now essentially serving as big wide receivers, meaning they hold a lot more value. All it takes is one team to be enamored with a player and, rest assured, there’s always that one team.
Paul Dottino: The Giants will receive significant contributions from at least six of the players in this draft class during their rookie seasons - and I am including cornerback Sam Beal, the 2018 supplemental pick who spent his rookie campaign on the injured reserve list. GM Dave Gettleman has stated that this year's pool has the most four-round talent he's seen during his NFL career as a GM. Although I do not believe he will grab players with all 12 of his picks - I strongly lean to him packaging some selections to move up on the second day of the draft - the Giants will wind up finding players who pay immediate dividends. This draft is too rich on defense and the Giants are admittedly thin on that side of the ball to believe that they won't receive significant snaps from at least four rookies on this unit. It's also very likely they will find a gem on the offensive line - Gettleman has said tackle is one of the three deepest positions in this year's draft class - to go with a dynamo on special teams.