In this edition of "Cover 3" on Giants.com, the crew breaks down the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Well, the Daniel Jones pick certainly has generated a lot of conversation. Jones has no red flags, plays the position from the neck up like a professional, has the tools you want in a quarterback, and has all the intangibles a team would want. His stats at Duke were depressed in part because he had no draftable players at receiver or the offensive line to help him.
The Giants believe Jones is a high level franchise quarterback and the heir apparent to Eli Manning. Once that evaluation is made, you cannot pick him too high. Waiting to select him at 17 is far too risky. Given the team's evaluation of Jones, who was graded with the top players remaining on the board, selecting him at six was the right thing to do. They had a conviction on the player and did not want to lose the chance of having him on the team.
Dexter Lawrence, selected 17th, is a Dave Gettleman type of player. At 340 pounds, he can stuff the run and move like a much smaller man with the quickness to penetrate into the backfield from either the nose tackle or three technique. Whether he can develop into a consistent interior pass rusher will determine his final impact. According to Pro Football Focus, as a junior, Lawrence had 10 quarterback hits and 21 hurries to go along with his two sacks. He had the 4th best interior pass rush production in the defensive linemen class.
The late first and early second round was always the sweet spot for cornerback in this draft. The Giants moved up seven spots to select the draft's first cornerback, Deandre Baker out of Georgia. He did not test well at the combine, but his tape is fantastic. He didn't give up a touchdown as a junior or senior and allowed only 10 first downs in 2018. He is a physical cornerback at the line of scrimmage that can play press man or cover 2.
The Giants only have one Day 2 pick after trading picks 37, 132 and 142 to move up to 30 to select Baker. It is impossible to predict who might be available at 95, but offensive tackle, defensive back, linebacker and wide receiver could offer players of value at that spot.
DAN SALOMONE: Rome wasn't built in a day, but Thursday, April 25, 2019 will go down in history for the New York Football Giants. Not only did they draft three players in the first round for the first time ever, but they started off by taking the successor to Eli Manning, one of the most important players in team history. In drafting Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick, it is safe to say the team believes the next franchise quarterback is on the roster.
In the present, it is about winning games and that's where Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (No. 17 pick) and Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker (No. 30) come into play. With Lawrence, Gettleman got his hog molly, keeping with the football truth that the fastest route to a quarterback is up the middle -- not off the edge. Lawrence's effect won't stuff a stat sheet, but his ability to generate consistent inside push will be felt by opposing offenses. With Baker, the Giants – and many others – felt they got the best cover corner in the draft. That's where the stockpiling of picks came in handy as the Giants moved back into the first round to take him. "It's a wonderful thing," Gettleman said in his opening remarks to the media after the first round, "when need and value match."
LANCE MEDOW: For the first time in franchise history, the Giants selected three players in the first round, highlighted by a quarterback at No. 6. As I've written many times before, you should never take a quarterback for the sake of taking a quarterback, but if there's conviction in the room, then that's strong enough rationale to pull the trigger on a signal caller. Keep in mind, over the last 60 years, the Giants have used their first-round pick on a quarterback just three times: Phil Simms, Philip Rivers and Daniel Jones. That says an awful lot. This isn't an organization that just rolls the dice on that position. Has good fortune been involved? Absolutely. Eli Manning's durability has provided the team with a luxury most franchises continue to chase.
Much like with Phil Simms and Eli Manning, you won't know the results for some time. You can't judge a pick hours after the selection or even a season removed. Sometimes, it takes years and that will likely be the case with Jones. He was a multi-year starter at Duke who dealt with some adversity in 2018 because of offensive line struggles and dropped passes from receivers. Based on Dave Gettleman's and Pat Shurmur's comments, Jones' mental makeup and toughness was just as important a factor as the typical characteristics you look for in a quarterback. Jones was coached by David Cutcliffe at Duke, the same individual who groomed Peyton and Eli Manning in college but anyone running with those comparisons is getting way ahead of themselves. While chatter and hyperbole are common immediately following the draft, how about we see him play in a NFL regular season game first before we make any bold declarations.
You can never have enough depth at any position on an NFL roster and the Giants' two other picks support that claim. Despite the presence of Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill, they selected Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence with the 17th overall pick. He'll provide James Bettcher with another big body to eat up space in the middle and apply pressure on the quarterback. Lawrence was moved around in college, so he'll give Bettcher the flexibility to play him inside and outside, similar to both Hill and Tomlinson. Georgia corner Deandre Baker (30th overall pick) provides the Giants with a solid complement to Janoris Jenkins after the team traded Eli Apple last season. Baker has a strong reputation as a cover corner and hasn't surrendered a touchdown since 2016. The Giants had to sacrifice their second round pick as well as a fourth and fifth rounder to move up to get him. Entering Friday night, they're not scheduled to pick again until the third round (95).