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Mailbag: Primary draft need for Giants

Wisman in New York: What is the Giants primary need to be addressed with the 4th overall pick?

John Schmeelk: Dave Gettleman's plan is always to use free agency to avoid having glaring needs heading into the draft, and he indicated in his conference call with the media last week that he thinks he succeeded. With that said, there are a few places to look.

  1. Edge Rusher: If you remove Kyler Fackrell's outlier 10.5 sacks season from the equation, the Giants' primary outside pass rushers have 19 sacks in six seasons. They could use more pass rush production off the edge. Unfortunately, most analysts do not believe that player will be on the board at number four unless Chase Young somehow drops.
  2. Offensive Tackle: Nate Solder is an experienced left tackle, but at right tackle the starting candidates have never been full time starters. Nick Gates was a backup in his lone healthy NFL season, and Cameron Fleming has been a career swing tackle. They could bring someone in to compete with those two players.
  3. Defensive Space Player: The Giants have two incumbent starting safeties in Julian Love and Jabrill Peppers, and three inside linebackers in Blake Martinez, Ryan Connelly and David Mayo, but they could use another athlete to play in the middle of the field, a player who could help in coverage.

Peter in California: I'll be 80 this July, God willing. I was in Yankee Stadium in 1960 when Frank Gifford got clobbered by Chuck Bednarik. The Giants are the only N.Y. team I still root for. I'd love to see another championship season. An athlete with Simmons's talent comes along about once a decade. Defense still wins championships. Those facts plus the depth of the offensive tackle group make taking Simmons a must!

John Schmeelk: Thanks for writing in and being such a loyal fan, Peter. Everyone in the building appreciates people like you. The important thing to look at with a player like Simmons is how good of a football player he is, not how good of an athlete he is. Just as an example, here is a comparison of Simmons to a player the Giants selected in the draft in 2018.

Table inside Article
Isaiah Simmons Player X
6’3, 238 pounds 6’4, 250 pounds
Vertical: 39 inches 36 inches
Broad: 11 feet 10 feet, 10 inches
40 yard dash: 4.39 sec 4.5 sec
10 yard split: 1.55 sec 1.56 sec
Relative Athletic Score: 9.97 10.0

The 40-yard dash favors Simmons, but player X is more than 10 pounds heavier. Their athletic profiles are similar with player X getting a higher Relative Athletic Score, which compiles a player's testing and measurements into one number. Player X is Lorenzo Carter.

Simmons athleticism is certainly part of what makes him special, but it is skill on the football field that allows him to cover, rush and play a number of different roles. That is what makes him special.

Guy in New Jersey: Will Dave Gettleman trade down?

John Schmeelk: "It's something I would very seriously entertain," Gettleman said on last Friday's media conference call when asked that question. It is important to remember that trading down is not completely up to Giants. Another team must want to move up and trade something of legitimate value to make it happen. There are no guarantee that happens and it is completely out of the Giants control.

Mark in Texas: Don't you think it makes more sense that the trade activity at the beginning of the first round will involve drafting the tackles and not the 2nd or 3rd QB?

John Schmeelk: Historically, when teams trade up, they are trying to get their franchise quarterback. Most analysts believe that offensive tackle is deep at the top of the draft, which makes it unlikely a team in the top ten would trade up for one since they can just stay where they are and select one. A team trading down might be hoping to grab one of those offensive tackles a bit later on.

Greg in Texas: Let's say that Cincinnati and Washington both take quarterbacks and the Chargers or Dolphins trade up with the Lions to take a quarterback as well. Do you think Dave Gettleman would consider using the fourth overall pick on Chase Young to be overpaying for a pass rusher? If he ends up performing the way all the experts believe that he will, he would eventually be in line for a HUGE contract.

John Schmeelk: No one would hesitate to draft a player because they would be so good that they would demand a huge contract in five years. The goal is to find those players and sign them to a second contract. I don't know the Giants' evaluation of Young, but he shows a lot of pass rush ability on tape. Dave Gettleman has stated many times that good teams must do three things: run the ball, stop the run, pressure the passer. Young would help with the third tenet, and I would be very surprised if the Giants didn't see a lot of value in that.

Sal in North Carolina: I really don't understand all the consternation whether we go offensive tackle or Simmons. It's obvious our biggest need is a play maker on defense, we can get a quality tackle or center with 36th pick. None of the offensive tackles are Anthony Munoz. What am I missing?

John Schmeelk: Sal, it is not fair to just flippantly say, "you can find a quality offensive tackle at 36th overall". You have no idea if that is true or not. Premier offensive tackles are scarce in the modern NFL, and history shows they aren't just sitting there to be taken on day two of the draft. On the reporters mock draft we did on the Giants Huddle podcast, seven offensive tackles were taken in the first round. One or more of these offensive tackles could be a perennial Pro Bowler? They are excellent prospects. That doesn't mean that a defensive playmaker like Simmons wouldn't be a great pick, but offensive tackle shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. The quarterback is the most important player on the field and supporting him is always a good thing. There's no better way to do it than with good protection.

Steven in Okahoma: Do you think there is a chance Las Vegas may want to trade up to 4 to snag one of the top three QB's. If they gave the Giants their 12th and 19th picks, we probably could snag some very good players like Yetur Gross-Matos, K'lavon Chaisson or Josh Jones.

John Schmeelk: I get a lot of questions like these and the truth is that despite rumors about any teams looking to trade up, no one except the teams themselves have any clue what their true intentions are. Take all reports with a grain of salt and enjoy the unpredictability of draft night. As to whether the Giants should consider a deal like that to move down, they would have to calculate how the player they could get at 12th overall would compare to the player they could get at 4th overall. It's a big drop and the team could risk losing a player it truly covets. It's a difficult calculation to make. A second first round pick, of course, would be helpful in improving the roster.

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

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