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Fact or Fiction: Draft thoughts three weeks out

FACT-OR-FICTION

The Giants.com crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

Edge rusher has emerged as the deepest position in the draft

John Schmeelk: Fact – Pro Football Focus has 11 players in their Top 50 overall prospects in the draft class. It's more than 20% of the class. There are edge rushers that will bring value to teams throughout the first, second, and even third rounds of this draft. If the Giants are debating between an edge player or cornerback with one of their first-round picks, the fact edge is much deeper than cornerback might sway their thinking as to who they will pick.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – The wide receiver classes keep getting better and better, especially once you see the production once they get to the NFL level. Daniel Jeremiah has six in his Top 30 overall prospects: Ohio State's Garrett Wilson (No. 6) and Chris Olave (No. 26), USC's Drake London (No. 13), Arkansas' Treylon Burks (No. 14), Penn State's Jahan Dotson (No. 25), and Alabama's Jameson Williams (No. 27).

Lance Medow: Fiction – While there are plenty of edge rushers to choose from, wide receiver is the deepest - you could easily see 15-20 being selected in the Top 100. Ohio State will showcase Chris Olave and Garett Wilson while Alabama is represented by Jameson Williams and John Metchie III. Those are the powerhouses, but you also can't overlook USC's Drake London, Treylon Burks of Arkansas, Penn State's Jahan Dotson, George Pickens of Georgia and Purdue's David Bell, to name a few.

Matt Citak: Fact – Not only is edge rusher the deepest position in the draft, but it also has the top talent in the class, as well. There is a chance that Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Travon Walker are the first three picks in the draft, with guys like Jermaine Johnson II and George Karlaftis also likely to hear their names called within the first 20 picks or so. But even beyond the top-tier guys, there are prospects projected to go in Rounds 2-3 that could step in and be Day 1 starters. Boye Mafe and Arnold Ebiketie strong Round 2 prospects and could be in the cards for the Giants, if they don't address EDGE in the first round. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein released his draft position rankings earlier this week, and it was no surprise to see edge defender at the top of his list.

Wide receiver is the most translatable position from college to the pros

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Just 10 years ago, this statement wouldn't have even be considered. It was a very challenging transition to go from playing wide receiver in college to the pros. As college and NFL teams have borrowed schemes from one another over the years, wide receivers have been able to arrive in the NFL and play at a high level right away. With that said, it still isn't as easy of a transition as it is for defensive tackles or guards. Their jobs are basically identical moving from the college ranks to the pros, even if the level of competition is a big jump.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Between the rules that favor the offense and the college game seeping into the pros, young wide receivers are having more success than ever before. See: Ja'Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, Justin Jefferson, and the list goes on and on.

Lance Medow: Fact – The receivers' success is a product of the offenses they play in at the collegiate level, the routes they're asked to run and narrowing of the gap between both levels at the position. Case in point, Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman Jr, Chase Claypool, Van Jefferson and Gabriel Davis were selected within Rounds 2-4 in 2020, made immediate impacts on their respective teams and carried over their production over into 2021.

Matt Citak: Fiction – Wide receiver should be the answer as evidenced by the early career success of numerous receivers in recent years. However, for as many receivers who find great success as rookies, there are twice as many who struggle early - with the NFL requiring different technique to succeed. That's why it has to be the interior linemen on both sides of the ball who have the easiest transition to the NFL. The game is not that much different for defensive tackles and guards, it's just the level of talent that is drastically different.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his final edition of the top 50 prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.

It is more important to have a tackle who is better at pass protection than run blocking

John Schmeelk: Fact – This is very easy. The NFL is a passing league. Games are often determined by what happens at the end of the halves and games when teams are throwing the football. Great quarterbacks win games, and they can only play their best when they are protected. Pass blocking all the way and it isn't close.

Dan Salomone: Fact – The real answer is both, but unless you have a Hall of Famer, that might not be realistic. Brian Daboll was asked this question this week in regard to evaluating offensive linemen. "Look, the job of an offensive lineman, particularly for our tackles, is going to be to be able to keep the width of the pocket, protect them inside out and get movement at the line of scrimmage," he said. "Those are the two main things we look for in our offensive linemen and that's what we're going to continue to look for. I don't think there's…some guys are better at one than the other thing, but at the end of the day, they have to be able to do both to be an effective player for us."

Lance Medow: Fact – Pass protection always takes priority. If one of your tackles struggles in that area, the pocket will likely constantly close and shrink for the quarterback, making it challenging to run your game plan. If a tackle struggles a bit with run blocking, you can always adjust by running to the opposite side and emphasizing inside runs to do some damage control. It's much more difficult to accomplish that feat in pass protection because you can't hide an offensive lineman and in today's NFL since most teams have multiple top pass rushers who can get after the quarterback.

Matt Citak: Fact – Despite the recent development of some very talented pass rushers on the interior D-line, edge rushers are still racking up the most sacks each season. The top six sack leaders and 13 of the top 14 last season played on the edge – the lone interior player was generational lineman Aaron Donald.

The biggest domino to fall ahead of the Giants is the Texans at No. 3

John Schmeelk: Fact – You can feel fairly confident the Jaguars are taking an edge rusher. The Lions, likewise, are unlikely to draft an offensive tackle - they could take a pass rusher or defensive back. Likewise, the Jets (No. 4) are unlikely to pick an offensive player, given their head coach is defensive-minded and they have needs at cornerback and edge rusher. Houston is at the very beginning of a rebuild following the trade of DeShaun Watson; so they should take the best player available, regardless of need. It makes them the true pivot point inside the Top 5 since they could take an offensive tackle, defensive back or edge rusher. If the Giants want their choice of all the offensive tackles in the draft, the Texans are the team to watch.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – It's the Detroit Lions at No. 2. Quarterbacks are always the biggest pieces in the draft, and we know the Jaguars won't be taking one first overall after drafting Trevor Lawrence a year ago. So, what will the Lions do? They have a lot of options that will ultimately dictate what's available for the Giants at Nos. 5 and 7. And don't believe this year-long talk of it being a down year for quarterbacks until it happens. It's the most important position in all of sports, and teams will take chances.

Lance Medow: Fact – You can also make a case for the Lions (No. 2) because they can certainly go in several different directions; but the same can be said for the Texans, especially since they have more of a question mark at quarterback. Although Davis Mills showed some flashes during his rookie year, without Deshaun Watson in the picture, Houston hasn't solidified that position or totally committed to Mills for the long term. So, they could take a signal caller, trade out of the third spot or address another position - such as the offensive line to protect their young quarterback.

Matt Citak: Fiction – It's hard to call any of the teams ahead of the Giants as the "biggest domino." Other than Hutchinson likely heading to Jacksonville at No. 1 overall, the next three picks could go in a variety of ways. The Lions, Texans and Jets are being connected to different positions, from offensive tackles to edge rushers to defensive backs. Some mock drafts have edge rushers going in the first three picks, while others have three offensive tackles going within the first four picks. If you had to pick, you'd probably have to go with Detroit. The Lions are rumored to be interested in Malik Willis, while also having serious interest in each of the top tackles and edge rushers. What they do at No. 2 will have a serious impact on how the next few picks go.

View photos from the voluntary offseason workout program at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

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