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Mel Kiper Jr.'s two-round mock draft for Giants

If ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. turns out to be right, Giants fans will see their first two picks via video chat when commissioner Roger Goodell announces their names from his home in New York.

With a little more than a week to go, Kiper released his fourth mock draft of the year, plus second-round selections for all 32 clubs. The draft guru stuck with Clemson do-it-all linebacker Isaiah Simmons for the Giants at No. 4 and then projected USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson in the second round at No. 36 overall.

"The Giants should take an offensive tackle with one of their first two picks, but I wouldn't pass on Simmons, who has rare athleticism and versatility," Kiper wrote. "Stick him at outside linebacker and let him chase down ball carriers, rush the passer and cover tight ends. Simmons never has to leave the field. New coach Joe Judge will love him."

According to Pro Football Focus, Simmons, who measured 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds at the combine, played more than 100 snaps at five different positons for Clemson in 2019. He lined up 299 times at inside linebacker, 262 at slot cornerback, 132 at free safety, 116 at outside linebacker, and 100 at strong safety. He was asked at the NFL Scouting Combine what position he plays. "Defense," said Simmons, who won the 2019 Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker, the first player to do so in Clemson history.

After going defense in the first round, Kiper addressed the offensive line for the Giants in the second.

Jackson, 6-foot-5 and 322 pounds, appeared in 39 games with 25 starts for the Trojans. In 2019, he started all 13 games for his second season at left tackle as a junior. Jackson made the 2019 All-Pac-12 first team and won USC's Chris Carlisle Courage Award.

His grandfather, Melvin Jackson, played on the Trojans' 1974 national championship team and in 1975 he won the team's Lineman of the Year Award. Melvin Jackson then played five years (1976-80) in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers after being their 12th-round pick in the 1976 Draft.

"I wrote earlier that the Giants needed to take an offensive tackle early, and Jackson could fall into their lap at No. 36," Kiper wrote. "He played 1,680 straight snaps at left tackle for the Trojans over the last two seasons, but he is still a developmental project in my eyes. He'll take some time to adjust, but he could be New York's long-term starter at either tackle spot."

The Giants hold 10 picks entering the draft, which runs April 23-25.

  • Round 1, Pick 4
  • Round 2, Pick 36
  • Round 3, Pick 99
  • Round 4, Pick 110
  • Round 5, Pick 150
  • Round 6, Pick 138
  • Round 7, Pick 218
  • Round 7, Pick 238
  • Round 7, Pick 247
  • Round 7, Pick 255

To view Kiper's full two-round mock draft, CLICK HERE.

The following prospects are set to participate in the virtual 2020 NFL Draft.

Here is a look at other mock drafts:

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

Analysis: "New York has three options in my mind here at No. 4: The Giants can trade out of it, they can look at one of the excellent offensive tackles on the board or they can draft Simmons as a do-it-all linebacker. General manager Dave Gettleman will hear some interesting offers, but because I'm not doing the same with this mock, I'm going with Simmons. Remember, the Giants allowed 28.2 points per game last season, third worst in the NFL."

Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Analysis: "Lots of good options here, but protecting QB Daniel Jones is the priority."

Pick: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Analysis: "The Giants must upgrade the offensive line to give Daniel Jones an opportunity to make a major leap in his development as a second-year starter."

Pick: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Analysis: "Dave Gettleman's never traded his first selection in an NFL draft. If things shake out the way they do here, he'll be able to pick any of the top four offensive linemen in this year's class. Joe Judge has a history with Alabama's Nick Saban, who has spoken positively of Wills to coaches around the league. Multiple coaches have told me Wills is the guy who goes first."

Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Analysis: "The Giants' decision could come down to their highest-ranked tackle or a defensive playmaker like Isaiah Simmons. One of the reasons I think they will lean toward tackle is the impact that will make on other recent first-round picks like Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "Isaiah Simmons isn't like anything we've seen before. At 6'4", 238 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash faster than most wide receivers at 4.39 seconds. Clemson utilized Simmons at virtually every position on defense, often lining him up at safety, linebacker, nickel linebacker, edge-rusher and even in man coverage at cornerback against LSU. He isn't a conventional football player you assign a position to but rather a positionless weapon defensive coordinators can deploy based on the matchup. Simmons is an eraser, and for that, he's worthy of a top-five selection."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "It would make sense if the Giants decide to draft one of the top offensive tackles here, but they're in great need of help on defense, and Simmons is the most versatile defender in the draft."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "After what Simmons did at the combine -- which only reconfirmed what we saw during the 2019 season -- the Giants would be hard-pressed to let him go here. Yes, GM Dave Gettleman loves big bodies but Simmons would solve a lot of problems on this defense."

Pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Analysis: "Massive and athletic are descriptors we don't often see used in the same sentence, but the Louisville left tackle is that guy. The Giants could go with Isaiah Simmons or Jedrick Wills in this spot, as well."

Pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Analysis: "Size and speed have been tenets of Dave Gettleman's team-building strategy in his tenure as general manager. No one has more of the former in this draft than Becton, and after running a 5.1 in the 40-yard dash, he's got some of the latter as well."

Pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Jeudy is a better prospect than every offensive tackle in this class. Rookies, especially rookie offensive linemen, don't fill pressing needs. Over the past five NFL seasons, only nine rookie offensive tackles have played 400-plus snaps and earned overall grades above 70.0. None have earned an overall grade above 82.0. Don't address pressing needs in the draft; just draft the best players available."

Pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

Analysis: "This is a great scenario for the Giants, who get the best pass-rusher in the draft in Young and fill an immediate position of need. The Giants really need playmakers all over the defense, and Young's 96.1 overall grade last season is the best we've seen since we started grading in 2014. He had a ridiculous 56 pressures (18 sacks, seven quarterback hits, 31 hurries) on just 320 rushes last season."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "Putting Simmons into perspective in this class is difficult, as his versatility makes him a player without peer. Giants GM Dave Gettleman ultimately will have to decide how the defensive shapeshifter measures up against the first tier of offensive tackles."

Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Analysis: "The Giants got what they hope is a No. 1 CB in James Bradberry, two linebackers and a defensive lineman. Perhaps the lack of offensive line help for Daniel Jones is a tell of the direction they're going in the draft."

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "Simmons is possibly the most intriguing defensive player in the draft class because of his versatility. The Clemson product lined up as a pass-rusher, linebacker and safety during the 2019 campaign and was a force in every defensive statistical category. Simmons could still be a valuable asset to the Giants defense because he can line up in a few different positions."

Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Analysis: "The first true freshman to start at tackle during the Kirk Ferentz era at Iowa, Wirfs has freakish athleticism for his size and he could play either tackle spot or kick inside, if necessary."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "Protecting Daniel Jones is paramount, but Dave Gettleman elects to draft the best player left on the board at a position that still should be seen as a need."

Pick: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Analysis: "Jedrick Wills fits Gettleman's MO as a physical mauler up front. Wills can also be a plug and play starter on either side."

Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Analysis: "Tristan Wirfs is the best offensive tackle in this draft class and should be a lock to the Giants, who have been trying to figure out their offensive line for a couple of years. Wirfs is an athletic tackle who moves well enough to make an impact in the running game as well as the play-action passing game."

Pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Analysis: "The G-Men need to protect second-year signal-caller Daniel Jones, though I won't be surprised if Alabama OT Jedrick Wills is the pick instead."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "Isaiah Simmons is a blue chip prospect with unparalleled versatility. His unbelievable length and athletic gifts make him a sensible fit for a number of positions, including MIKE, SAM, SS and a nickel LB in coverage. Simmons has explosive qualities and will be an asset vs. the run and pass alike. He's a game changing player who should be coveted as a true 3-down linebacker/hybrid defender who can be the pivotal chess piece in a weekly defensive game plan."

Pick: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Analysis: "The New York Giants should also be a candidate to trade down, as they have their young quarterback in Daniel Jones. If they do not move from No. 4, though, the goal should be to grab a player who can help Jones. The question for New York is which talented offensive tackle prospect to take. Alabama's Jedrick Wills Jr. appears ready to be a Day 1 starter, which is good for the Giants."

Pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Analysis: "Dave Gettleman loves his hog mollies and Becton might be the hoggiest molly to ever hog molly."

Pick: Jedrick Wills Jr., OL, Alabama

Analysis: "Wills fits the mold of the run-game specialist Dave Gettleman likely adores. And he plugs in at right tackle instantly, keeping Nate Solder on the left side."

Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Analysis: "New York bypasses an urge to select Isaiah Simmons and instead chooses to address the right tackle position."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "The Giants signed Blake Martinez and hope Ryan Connelly can be healthy enough to show his rookie promise, but they still need another impact playmaker for Patrick Graham's linebacker corps. Simmons (6-3, 238 pounds) seemed to be all over the field at all times in college with great speed and range. He gets everywhere in a hurry, from rushing the passer to moving laterally to get in ideal coverage positions."

Pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Analysis: "Thomas played both left and right tackle at Georgia. He will help fix Big Blue's O-line issues."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "Dave Gettleman loves prototypical size and explosiveness."

Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Analysis: "Dave Gettleman has always liked to build in the trenches. Tristan Wirfs checks that box."

View photos of every player projected to the Giants in mock drafts one week ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Analysis: "Now that they've applied the franchise tag to Leonard Williams, the Giants need to focus on the offensive line with this pick. Wirfs' athleticism and toughness will endear him to general manager Dave Gettleman."

Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Analysis: "This pick remains the same from Mock 1.0 in part because of the value of Wirfs' right tackle production projection, and also because the team's signing of free-agent corner James Bradberry helps address a big need on the defensive side of the ball. Further, bolstering the O-line very slightly edges out the potential value Isaiah Simmons could bring to the Giants' defense. (The addition of linebacker Blake Martinez in free agency also drives more value to increasing the O-line impact.)"

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Analysis: "The New York Giants pass on a thick top tier of tackles for potentially the next great linebacker who will finally bring some coverage ability to their second level."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "Good luck trying to run your fancy pace and space offenses — looking at you Philadelphia and Dallas — with Isaiah Simmons patrolling the field."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Analysis: "They should take an offensive tackle, but instead they take a playmaking defender. The big concern is where to play Simmons."

Pick: Jedrick Willis, OT, Alabama

Analysis: The Giants need an offensive tackle to protect Daniel Jones. Dave Gettleman takes the best lineman available in Wills.

Pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Analysis: "GM Dave Gettleman has openly communicated that this spot is for sale, but it won't be easy to peddle if Tagovailoa is gone. And given the need to protect second-year QB Daniel Jones while giving RB Saquon Barkley more room to run, the 6-7, 364-pound Becton seems like a suitable option anyway."

Pick: Mekhi Becton, OL, Louisville

Analysis: "The offensive line is the Giants' greatest need, but it's one I remain skeptical they address at No. 4 overall. However, let's plug in the most mountainous prospect on the board here as a fix on the right side who could eventually move to the blind side down the road."

Pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Analysis: "Considering the Giants just paid James Bradberry and drafted Deandre Baker in Round 1 a year ago, another corner feels like an overload. Becton could come in immediately and start at right tackle. The Giants might be wise to get the Dolphins or Chargers, two QB-needy teams, to flip them a pick to move down a slot or two. If that happens it would be Dave Gettleman's first trade down as a GM."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Analysis: "Offensive tackle also makes a lot of sense here, but Isaiah Simmons is a versatile chess piece who can change the entire New York Giants defense."

Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

Previous Mock Drafts

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