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Mailbag: Draft questions for after No. 11


Peter in California: The first draft choice is important, no doubt, but great drafts are determined by what comes out of the other rounds. Do you think there will be more talent slip through the cracks to later rounds this year because scouting was hampered by COVID-19?

John Schmeelk: Finding players at positions of need with very high ceilings in Rounds 5-7 are very difficult. Players with high ceilings, for obvious reasons, are usually drafted in earlier rounds. After the fourth, teams look for any players (regardless of position) with traits that might indicate they can eventually help on offense, defense or special teams. Teams also draft players they think can be core special teams players. Finding players in the later rounds will be harder this year due to the smaller pool of players in the draft class and the lack of scouting. There is a chance some players fall through the cracks but finding those players will be more difficult.

Tom in Massachusetts: Do you see any resemblance in style between Penn State TE Pat Frieremuth and Mark Bavaro? Is he a potential second-round selection for the Giants?

John Schmeelk: I hesitate to compare anyone to Mark Bavaro. Football players just aren't made like that very often. Freiermuth will likely be picked on the second day of the draft that can catch and block, but he also missed half of his final year with a shoulder injury. Assuming the medicals meet approval of the NFL, he is considered by most as a high-floor NFL prospect.

Chad in New Hampshire: Any chance Nate Solder is an option at right guard if Matt Peart plays well at right tackle? And could prospect Kendrick Green compete to start right away?

John Schmeelk: There are not many 6'8 guards in the NFL, so trying Solder would certainly be an out of the box move. It would be impossible to know how the team thinks, but it seems unlikely based on his build and how tough it would be to get leverage in the running game. Green played in an outside-zone scheme at both guard and center at Illinois as a three-year starter. He has a wrestling background and has a chance to be someone who succeeds in a movement offense on the offensive line.

Duane in Maryland: Can you offer an assessment of the linebacker Zaven Collins and the possibility of picking him at No. 11?

John Schmeelk: Collins is one of the more fascinating players in the draft class. At the medical re-check in Indianapolis, he weighed 270 pounds (11 pounds higher than his pro day) as an off-ball linebacker. It is unprecedented size for someone who plays that position. At Tulsa, he showed excellent instincts playing zone coverage and has the size and power to play the run. He should be a top-25 pick, but 11th overall might be a little rich.

John in Arizona: Do you think the Giants may look at some players from Notre Dame, such as offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah? Also, how about there are some good late-round prospects from my college - University of Buffalo RB Jaret Patterson and EDGE Malcolm Koonce?

John Schmeelk: Eichenberg will likely get picked at the end of Round 1 or the first half of Round 2. Some teams have him projected to tackle, where he played at Notre Dame, but some think his shorter arms might push him inside to guard. Owusu-Koromoah is a versatile coverage linebacker (though some consider him a strong safety) and likely mid-first round pick, though 11th overall might be a little high for him. Jaret Patterson is only 5'6, but he had three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons at Buffalo. He could be a target with one of the Giants sixth-round picks. Koonce had 18 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss in four years and will likely come off the board at the end of Day 3 or as a priority free agent.

Willie in Virginia: Do you think there's any way the Giants pick Shaun Wade in the second round?

John Schmeelk: If this conversation was happening before the college season started, Wade would have been in the conversation in the second round. He was a top slot cornerback for Ohio State in 2018-19, but his move outside cornerback came with some struggles last season. He is now more likely to be a Day 3 pick, but his testing numbers indicate a top-level athlete who has potential to be a good pro if he is used in the right way.

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