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Mailbag: Draft Qs with one week to go

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Morgan in Virginia: What are the chances of the Giants getting Penei Sewell? And if they do, what would be the best place to put him in the young O-line?

John Schmeelk: Depending on the analyst, Sewell is either the top or second-best offensive tackle in the NFL Draft. He moves extremely well for a man who weighs 331 pounds and his play as a 19-year old in 2019 was dominant, despite being a little raw in some technique. There is probably no better than a 5-10% chance Sewell gets to the Giants at 11th overall. He is a future franchise tackle, but with his size and strength, he could be plugged in at guard to start his career if a team was forced down that road.

Michael in New Jersey: I know it's unrealistic, but if DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and Rashawn Slater are on the board at 11, I would love to get Slater and then a speedy receiver in Rounds 2 or 3. If Slater is gone, hope one of the two receivers is left – if not, then Micah Parsons?

John Schmeelk: It makes sense to focus on the blue-chip offensive players first. My order for those three players – and there's a good argument to be made for ordering them a different way – would be Slater-Smith-Waddle. Gut feeling suggests Waddle will go off the board before Smith because of his speed, and Smith's reported recent weigh-in (166) at Indianapolis. If all those offensive players are wiped out, you could prioritize a trade-down. There there are arguments to be made for Parsons, Patrick Surtain II, Jaycee Horn and even offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker or players from the edge rusher class. If the Giants want to go with more of a man-to-man defense this season, Horn could be the sleeper pick since he can play inside and outside.

Frank in Florida: I feel Jaelen Phillips has the highest ceiling of any edge rusher in this draft. Gregory Rousseau has more sacks, and is a great prospect as well, but he played on a much better defense in 2019 than Phillips did in 2020. The Giants should trade down and take Phillips late in Round 1, right?

John Schmeelk: There is an argument to be made that if you are only looking at game tape that Phillips is not only the top edge player in the class, but also a Top 10-caliber talent. His pro day athletic testing numbers confirmed his film. His injury history, including his temporary retirement due to a concussion issue, is a question mark. Nobody has the same amount of medical information that NFL front offices do about a player. Every team will have to make that call on an individual basis. If the Giants were to trade down, the entire edge rusher class becomes more of a viable option.

Bruce in Nevada: Do you think it's possible for the Giants to trade up to get Kyle Pitts? Secondly, how do Waddle and Smith compare to Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, would either one of those guys be an upgrade at receiver?

John Schmeelk: Pitts is going to be off the board between Picks 4-6 in the draft. It will be extremely expensive (read this as first-round picks) to move up that far. Waddle and Smith are different types of players than Shepard and Slayton. Smith is the ultimate route-runner with great hands who can win at all levels of the field. Waddle is the ultimate big-play threat, whether he is catching a short pass and winning after the catch, or winning deep over the top. He primarily operated in the slot in college, while Smith played in both spots (with more experience outside).

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