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Mailbag: Possible draft plans at OL, EDGE

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Johnnie in Kansas: Is drafting a true left tackle with the 11th pick and moving Andrew Thomas to the right side a good idea? We need playmakers, but it's possible to find a great receiver in the second or third round.

John Schmeelk: The idea that the right side is somehow easier than the left is outdated. Most of the best pass rushers rush from over the right tackle. It doesn't mean drafting an offensive lineman who can play left tackle, if needed, would not be a prudent option if he is the best player available, but there's no reason to think Thomas can't handle the left side after a strong month-and-a-half to end the season.

Luke in New Jersey: Do you think Houston's Payton Turner would be an ideal edge for us? He reminds me of a young Michael Strahan.

John Schmeelk: Turner is an interesting prospect who will likely be picked on Day 2 of the draft. After playing inside more very early in his college career, he transitioned outside; then took a step forward as a junior, and then again as a pass rusher in his shortened senior season. He had five sacks in only five games, to go along with three quarterback hits and four hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. He also tested off the charts at his pro day, which put his RAS (relative athletic score) in the 97th percentile of defensive ends drafted since 1987. At 268 pounds, he may not be a stand-up linebacker in the Giants' base 3-4 defense, but his role in an even-front or in passing situations would be clear: get the quarterback.

Michael in New York: What are the Giants chances of getting Gregory Rousseau as a edge rusher?

John Schmeelk: There was a point where Rousseau was a popular pick for the Giants at 11th overall in many mock drafts. Since the testing at his Pro Day did not blow away people, his stock has been slipping a bit on those boards. There is no idea to know what NFL teams think of him. For example, The Athletic's Dane Brugler's recent seven-round mock draft listed Rousseau to the Giants in Round 2. The Draft Network's Kyle Crabbs also said on a recent Giants Huddle podcast (giants.com/podcasts/giantshuddle) that he could see Rousseau getting to the team at No. 42 in the second round. Rousseau had great production in his sophomore season (15.5 sacks), is still developing as a pass rusher (he played wide receiver and safety in high school) and has great size (6-6, 266) with a ridiculous 83-inch wingspan. Despite poor pro day agility numbers, his 10-yard split on his 40-yard dash was also in the 98th percentile, which shows some good get-off and acceleration for a player coming off the edge. He also did a lot of his damage as a pass rusher from a defensive tackle or nose tackle position in 2019 before opting out in 2020.

Chris is New York: Do you think Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore would be a perfect fit for the Giants since they need a pass rusher very badly?

John Schmeelk: Barmore is considered the best pass rushing defensive tackle in this draft by most experts, but it's more likely he would play a similar position to Leonard Williams and making him fit a pass rusher who could line up on the edge and affect the width of the pocket.

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