The Giants.com staff debates what Big Blue might do with their second-round pick in the NFL Draft:
All of the attention has been placed on what the Giants will do with the second overall pick in exactly one month from today. But what about No. 34?
There will be plenty of talent available when the Giants are back on the clock early in the second round, which brings us to our question of the week: What are some potential names and positions to watch for No. 34? Our writers answer.
The beauty of picking second overall is that you also get a top pick in the second round, giving you a chance to get a second player with a first round grade. Some teams might also look at the players (and the position they play) that are likely to be available in round two and use that information to help break a tie between players with similar grades at different positions with the second overall pick. For example, in a hypothetical world that the Giants had identical grades on Bradley Chubb and Saquon Barkley, they might go with Chubb because they like the running backs available at the top of the second round better than the defensive ends.
Here are guys to watch that I'll break it down by position. Keep in mind all (or maybe even most) of these players will not be available and many might go in the first round but these are the tiers of prospects at each position that I think would be great value for the 34th overall pick in the draft:
Guards/Centers: UTEP Guard Will Hernandez, Georgia Guard Isaiah Wynn, Iowa Center/Guard James Daniels, Ohio State Center/Guard Billy Price.
Offensive Tackles: UCLA Kolton Miller, Texas Connor Williams
Running Back: USC Ronald Jones, LSU Derrius Guice, Georgia Sony Michel, Georgia Nick Chubb, Auburn Kerryon Johnson
Defensive Line: Alabama DT Da'Ron Payne, Michigan DT Maurice Hurst, DT Taven Bryan, DT Harrison Phillip, Ohio State DE Sam Hubbard, LSU Edge Arden Key, Boston College DE Harold Landry
Linebacker: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch, Alabama LB Rashaan Evans, USC OLB Uchenna Nwosu
Defensive Backs: Iowa CB Josh Jackson, UCF CB Mike Hughes, Colorado CB Isaiah Oliver, Alabama Safety Ronnie Harrison, Stanford Safety Justin Reid
Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman agree on the best way to build a team, so I don't think it's a bad bet to say offensive line for No. 34 – or 66, 69, 108 or 139 for that matter. Heck, even No. 2 is in play. So be on the lookout for linemen, particularly on the interior given the holes opened by the departures of Justin Pugh to Arizona and Weston Richburg to San Francisco in free agency. Gettleman has pointed to teams like the Saints in their commitment to protecting Drew Brees up the middle leading to success. With that said, the Giants won't be reaching for anybody. Gettleman's track record – in free agency as well as the draft – tells us that. But this was also a 3-13 team last year. No position is exempt from the addition of depth and competition, which means nothing is off the board at No. 34. Take the most talented player and move onto the next two of four total picks in the top 70.
The positive for the Giants is that they have the second overall pick in each of the first five rounds of the draft so an early second round pick is almost equivalent to a late first rounder, especially, if some solid players fall to day two like what happened with Landon Collins in 2015 when the Giants moved up to grab him with the 33rd overall pick. I think there will be some options on the offensive line, at running back as well as linebacker and corner.
LSU running back Derrius Guice, Georgia's Nick Chubb and USC's Ronald Jones are all viable options if the Giants are looking to bolster the backfield especially with a power runner. Guice replaced Leonard Fournette at LSU and Chubb bounced back nicely over the last two seasons after suffering a significant knee injury, in 2015. On the offensive line, UTEP guard Will Hernandez is appealing as is Pittsburgh tackle Brian O'Neill. It's also very possible Texas tackle Connor Williams and Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown could still be on the board.
At linebacker, look out for Virginia Tech's Terrell Edmunds, Rashaan Evans of Alabama and Texas' Malik Jefferson while Isaiah Oliver of Colorado, Iowa's Joshua Jackson and Mike Hughes of Central Florida could fill a void at corner.