The Giants will make at least one trade with their six picks.
John Schmeelk: Fact - The Giants have been very aggressive this off-season and I expect that to continue in the 2021 NFL Draft. At his recent press conference, Dave Gettleman talked about being cognizant of giving his coaches players from the draft who can help them immediately win games - this tells me if there is a player the Giants value highly there is a good chance they may try to trade up for that player. I DO NOT think that will happen in the first round. They should be able to sit at the eleventh overall pick and find a good player. I don't think there will be another team willing to give up enough to trade up to the 11th spot to coax Gettleman into his first-ever trade down. But if there is a player at the end of Round 1 or 2 who the Giants like, I could see them packaging a couple of picks to move up and grab that player. I am always in the camp of adding as many picks as possible, but given the team's posture so far this off-season, a Day 2 or 3 trade-up would not shock me.
Dan Salomone: Fact - Dave Gettleman liked lead NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's line that NASCAR will have right turns before this GM trades back. Gettleman explained that he has tried to slide in the past, but the deal was never right. "I'm not getting fleeced," he said. If there is one thing we learned this off-season, it's that ownership has given the green light to be aggressive with roster-building. When it's all said and done, maybe we see a trade before the checkered flag comes out.
Lance Medow: Fiction - Heading into last year's draft, the Giants had 10 picks and didn't make one trade. The year prior, they made one swap with the Seahawks to move back into the first round to select Deandre Baker. If you study the last two years, there's not much of a trend to go by but I don't think they'll make a trade this year. In all likelihood, they'll be in a position to draft a difference-maker with the 11th overall pick and they have one selection in each of the first four rounds, as well as a pair of sixth-round picks. Based on what they already did in free agency, I wouldn't say the need to claim a fifth-round pick in this year's draft is a major priority.
A team will trade into the top 10 to draft a non-quarterback.
John Schmeelk: Fiction - I don't think it will happen but I do think there are two spots where it is possible. All indications are the Lions are trying to move down. They only have six picks and are at the start of a long-term rebuild - acquiring more picks in that scenario is always a smart move. But will they have a buyer? Would one of the top receivers, offensive linemen or the top defender in the draft attract enough interest? I'm not sure. Those same rules would apply for the Panthers. I could also see the Cowboys trading out of No. 10, depending on how the first nine picks go. They can still get a good defensive player or offensive lineman a handful of picks later. This could happen if one of the top receivers are left and a team wants to leapfrog the Giants and Eagles at Nos. 11 and 12. In the end, however, moving into the top 10 for a non-quarterback will be too cost prohibitive. But I do think we will have a trade for a non-quarterback somewhere between Nos. 11-20.
Dan Salomone: Fact - This is an interesting draft class because of the variety of players in the top tier. The depth of the quarterback class is well-documented and will likely lead to an early run, which means elite prospects will fall just because they don't play the most important position. That doesn't mean, however, teams don't covet them.
Lance Medow: Fiction - The last time this happened was 2019, when the Steelers moved up to the 10th spot to grab Michigan linebacker Devin Bush. Prior to that, go back to 2016, when the Bears swapped positions with the Bucs and took Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd with the ninth overall pick. Based on recent history, it's not extremely rare. But I don't see it happening this year. With three quarterbacks projected to be selected with the first three picks, I think that will give teams a much better chance to stay where they are and land a valued non-quarterback.
At least two draft picks will become regular starters this season.
John Schmeelk: Fact - I guess it depends on the definition of "regular starter." I'm not sure more than one rookie is starting the first week of the season since the Giants filled so many of their holes in free agency. It also depends on what positions and in which rounds rookies are selected. The best chances of a player breaking in right away are at linebacker (both at edge and inside) and guard. A wide receiver, offensive tackle, or cornerback could work their way into the starting lineup over the course of the season. By this definition, I would qualify at least two as "regular starters," but it will be tougher to break in because the roster is better.
Dan Salomone: Fact - The grind of a football season can thin out the deepest positions, so opportunities always arise that way. Additionally, even though the team addressed some key needs in free agency, the lineup is far from set.
Lance Medow: Fact - Even though this statement says "regular starters," in the NFL, it's more about how many snaps you play versus whether you're on the field for the very first play of the game. That's why I'm going to use the second criteria for my response instead of the first. Look at the last three drafts: In 2018, Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez each played 83 percent of the offensive snaps; in 2019, Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Deandre Baker and Darius Slayton each logged at least 63 percent of the snaps for their respective sides of the ball; and in 2020, Andrew Thomas played 96 percent of the snaps on the offensive line. No other rookie played over 50 percent of the snaps but Xavier McKinney was injured for the bulk of the season and Shane Lemieux didn't start until the second half of the schedule.
Second-round picks are just as valuable as first-round selections.
John Schmeelk: Fiction - These picks are important but certainly not as valuable. The chance of getting Pro Bowl caliber players in the first round is much greater than getting one in the second round of the draft. There is bust potential in both rounds, but the upside for a Top-15 pick is higher than picks between 30-45. Hitting second round picks is very important, however, because players who should be long-term starters are still on the board. There's also a chance a team can grab one of the last players on their board with a first-round grade with an early second-round pick.
Dan Salomone: Fact - My first year with the Giants was 2010, the year they drafted Linval Joseph. I don't know if it's all because of him, but the second round of the draft has always intrigued me just as much as the first round. By this time, everyone has heard everything about the first-rounders. Where teams can really separate themselves, though, is with striking gold on Days 2 and 3. Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora were pretty, pretty good.
Lance Medow: Fiction - Some would argue it depends on what slots you're comparing. For example, the No. 3 overall pick is much more valuable than No. 45. However, if we're comparing the 27th overall selection to the 37th pick, which is the fifth spot in Round 2 is there that much of a difference in value? My answer would be "yes" because of the structure of the contract - and that's why first-round picks will always be more valuable than second-rounders, regardless of the distance between those selections. With first-round picks, teams have those players under their control for four years plus a fifth-year team option. For the second round, it's just a four-year contract with no option and that's a huge difference when it comes to free agency and the salary cap.