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Fact or Fiction: 2020 NFL Draft dominoes


Aside from QB, no position would surprise you with the Giants' first pick.

John Schmeelk: Fiction -- Even after removing unrealistic positions like guard, safety, tight end, punter, kicker etc., there is a player at a position theoretically worth the fourth overall pick in the draft that I would be surprised if the Giants selected: defensive tackle. Derrick Brown is one of the top defensive players in this draft and will be off the board in the top ten. Despite his impressive resume, I would be shocked if the Giants took a defensive tackle at fourth overall after investing assets in Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill, Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams in recent seasons.

Lance Medow: Fiction -- I can see the Giants going in several different directions at number four, but there's still a few other positions in addition to quarterback that would surprise me. One would be running back given the team took Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick in 2018 and just added Dion Lewis in free agency. The other position would be corner after the team signed James Bradberry this offseason and selected three players who play that spot in last year's draft and brought in Sam Beal through the 2018 supplemental draft. While Ohio State's Jeff Okudah is an attractive player who warrants the fourth overall pick, I still think they have plenty of young options at corner on the roster.

At least two quarterbacks will be taken before the Giants make their first selection.

Schmeelk: Fact -- The folks in the "trade down club" should hope the answer to this question ends up being fiction, but I don't think it will be. I believe Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa will both be selected (along with Chase Young) by the time the Giants pick fourth. It could be done by two of the three teams currently picking ahead of the Giants (Bengals, Redskins, Lions) or there could be a scenario where the Lions or Redskins trade out of their slot with a team in greater need of a quarterback. If either Burrow or Tua are on the board when the Giants go on the clock, the chance the team will have strong offers to trade down increases. If they are not still available, the chance a team would give up a lot for Justin Herbert or Jordan Love is not as great, though still possible.

Medow: Fiction -- I'm operating under the premise that there won't be any trades before the Giants pick at number four. That's because the Bengals, Redskins and Lions, respectively, hold the three spots before the Giants and until that changes, there's no point of over-analyzing and laying out hypotheticals. Cincinnati can use a quarterback, but I wouldn't make the same case for Washington, which drafted Dwayne Haskins in the first round last year and recently acquired Kyle Allen from the Panthers. Nor would I argue Detroit, which has veteran Matthew Stafford, needs a QB. After last season, the Lions announced that GM Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia would be returning for 2020, but there was no announcement about job security beyond that. Do you really think two individuals who are feeling the pressure to win right now would decide to draft a quarterback who likely won't play this year and help the team in the short term? Assuming the draft order stays as is, I see only one signal caller selected before the Giants pick.

Tight end is the most competitive position on the roster.

Schmeelk: Fiction -- Levine Toilolo, Kaden Smith, C.J. Conrad, Garrett Dickerson and Eric Tomlinson will all have a chance to compete for the chance to share snaps with Evan Engram, or play next to him in two tight end sets. Even with all those names in the mix for only two or three spots, I think cornerback will be the biggest competition to watch. James Bradberry is going to be a starter, but what about the other outside cornerback spot and the nickel position? While DeAndre Baker was a first round pick last year, Sam Beal was a third round pick the year prior, and Corey Ballentine was a sixth rounder in 2019. If those guys play better than Baker does on the outside during camp, why wouldn't they start over him?

The nickel position is even more interesting. Grant Haley has the most experience there and is a sound tackler, good in run support and a strong blitzer. He, however, did have some issues staying with some of the better slot receivers in man to man coverage last year. Ballentine was given a chance there towards the end of last season, but it was a steep learning curve for him. It should be an open battle and I'll be interested to see who ends up there.

Medow: Fact -- When you take into consideration volume and depth, you can make a strong case for the tight end position. Evan Engram is returning from a season-ending foot injury. In his absence, Kaden Smith emerged as a two-way player (blocker/receiver). The team just signed veterans Levine Toilolo and Eric Tomlinson, who was with the team briefly last season, and has two young players with potential in Garrett Dickerson and C.J. Conrad. That position room has a little bit of everything and those six players will likely be competing for three to four spots.

Kyler Fackrell is the frontrunner to lead the Giants in sacks this season.

Schmeelk: Fiction -- Given he is the only player on the roster with a double-digit sack season on his resume, the odds are probably in his favor, but I will take the field. Whether it is Lorenzo Carter or Oshane Ximines taking a leap as they get more experience, or an interior lineman like Leonard Williams or Dexter Lawrence getting to the quarterback more, I think there will be someone that will get more than the six or seven sacks I think Fackrell will compile over the course of the season. Who? Maybe the player isn't on the roster yet? This is a gut feeling pick for me.

Medow: Fact -- When it comes to career sacks, Leonard Williams (17.5) edges out Kyler Fackrell (16.5) by one. Each of those players had the bulk of their sacks in one season. Williams posted a career-high seven in 2016 with the Jets, while Fackrell collected a career-high 10.5 with the Packers in 2018. Fackrell's impressive campaign came when Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham served as his linebackers coach, so that adds some intrigue to what he could potentially produce. Lorenzo Carter (8.5 sacks in two seasons) and Oshane Ximines (4.5 sacks as a rookie in 2019) are potential candidates, but Fackrell's connection to Graham and the fact he has a double-digit sack season on his resume as well as a respectable pressure rate should put him as the favorite entering 2020.

View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.


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