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Mailbag: Top LBs, OL depth in 2021 draft


Randy in Maryland: When evaluating and drafting prospects, is it a common practice to compare how someone at a specific position compares to someone in the NFL? Also, please compare Micah Parsons and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and how they'd fit for the Giants.

John Schmeelk: It's common for analysts to relate college players to NFL players because it gives fans an easy way to think about the prospects – this method is best used to describe a prospect's style and how teams can use those players rather than their talent level. It gets dicey when you start comparing players based on how well they are going to play.

Parsons and Owusu-Koromoah are very different players. Parsons' playing weight (245 pounds) is probably nearly 30 pounds heavier than Koromoah (215) and he's a much more effective box player who can attack downhill and blitz. Koromoah lines up over the slot much more because he's effective in coverage, which offers safety responsibilities..

John in South Carolina: How deep is the offensive line and are their quality picks in the second and third rounds?

John Schmeelk: This is one of the deepest offensive line classes, specifically at tackle classes, in recent memory. There liekly will be several NCAA tackles who may slide to guard available in the second round, including Texas OT Sam Cosmi, Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg, North Dakota State OT Dillon Radunz, Michigan OT Jaylen Mayfield, Clemson OT Jackson Carman, Stanford OT Walker Little, and BYU OT Brady Christensen.

There should also be potential starting guards available in the third round, such as Notre Dame OG Aaron Banks, Ohio State OG Wyatt Davis (though he may go in Round 2), Alabama OG Deonte Brown, and Tennessee OG Trey Smith. There might even be a potential starting guard available in the fourth.

Jeff in Rhode Island: It is imperative the Giants bolster the O-line in this draft, but if the top two are off the board before No. 11, is it better to go with the a receiver or the highest-rated defensive player?

John Schmeelk: You pick the player with the highest grade on your board. If there are a lot of players with a similar grade, it makes sense to investigate a trade down. But don't rule out any position since the Giants do not have a singular priority after the work they did in the free agency. Picking the best player is rarely the wrong decision.

Lawrence in Virginia: Since the Giants have already signed Reggie Ragland and brought back Devante Downs (in addition to Tae Crowder, who showed some flashes last year), why use the No. 11 pick on an inside linebacker when Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith is the most obvious choice.

John Schmeelk: There's a chance neither Waddle nor Smith are still on the board when the Giants select at 11th overall. Dave Gettleman has been very clear over the years that he would not hesitate to draft over players on the roster if he feels the targeted player would provide an upgrade.

Bob in New York: With only six picks in this year's draft, what position most likely gets left out? Offensive line, edge, receiver, defensive line, corner, running back, or linebacker?

John Schmeelk: The boring but accurate answer is that the quality of the players available when the Giants make their picks will dictate the answer. According to most analysts, this class is very shallow when it comes to defensive tackles, so that's the likely answer even though Gettleman often drafts this position.

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