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Fact or Fiction: Draft questions coming down to the wire


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

Five quarterbacks will be taken before the Giants pick at No. 25.

John Schmeelk: Fact – Dan made this tough. Four would have been an easy "Fact," but five is a challenge. I have no doubt Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson will be off the board by the time the Giants pick (and likely in the top 10). Will Levis and Hendon Hooker are the question marks. The order those players go off the board is still a question, though Levis' health and experience in a pro system could make him more of a priority for some teams. Numerous teams are looking for long-term solutions at quarterback, and using a pick in the middle of the first round is a wise use of resources.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Only one quarterback was taken in the first round last year, but we all know that's an anomaly. Teams are desperate for quarterbacks, and this draft class has plenty of them.

Lance Medow: Fiction – Every year we go through this exercise. The common philosophy most adopt is teams will always look to address that spot, especially if they have a question mark under center. While there may be some validity behind that belief, that doesn't mean most teams will reach for a signal caller or take one just for the sake of appeasing a fan base. I could easily see three taken off the board. Four wouldn't be stunning, but five seems very high, especially if there isn't a run on the position.

Matt Citak: Fact – Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson are all likely to be taken within the first five picks of the draft. Then we have Will Levis and Hendon Hooker, both of whom have a good chance of going in the first round as well, according to draft analysts. I think all five could end up going in the first half of the first round, which would be great news for the Giants and all other teams picking late in the first round that are not in need of a QB.

Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. will be the first non-quarterback drafted.

John Schmeelk: Fact – Anderson Jr. is not a Myles Garrett-level prospect, but he is big, strong, athletic, productive and will be a very good NFL edge player for a long time.

Dan Salomone: Fact – It's saying something when you put up historic numbers at Alabama. He finished second on the program's career sacks and tackles for loss lists, trailing only Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas in both. He was also a two-time Nagurski Trophy winner, only the second player in the award's history to take home the honors twice.

Lance Medow: Fact – He led the SEC in sacks in 2022, won SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually to the best defensive player in the country, and was named a Consensus All-American. He's proven to be an extremely disruptive player since arriving in Tuscaloosa in 2020 as a freshman and has improved his resume each and every season that has followed. The first team not seeking a quarterback in this year's draft will be calling his name.

Matt Citak: Fact – Anderson racked up a whopping 34.5 sacks and 58.5 tackles for loss in three seasons at Alabama. He is a disruptive force in the pass rush who is going to cause a lot of problems for opposing offensive lines in the NFL. Anderson and Jalen Carter are the two most talented players in the entire draft, but Carter's recent off-the-field issues could cause him to slide a bit. I would be shocked if Anderson is not the first non-quarterback selected.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Giants will draft at least two players who will be regular starters as rookies this season.

John Schmeelk: Fact – Where are the openings? Center is the best shot, but if the Giants don't select one in the first two days, I'm not sure that player becomes a regular starter right away. Safety is also a possibility, as is linebacker, the team's second cornerback or wide receiver. I think at some point this season, a rookie will emerge and become a regular starter playing at least two of those positions.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Regular contributors, absolutely. Regular starters will be less of a slam-dunk when you start looking at a possible depth chart position by position. But in today's NFL, we've seen rookies make immediate impacts.

Lance Medow: Fact – I'd go with two rookies playing the majority of the snaps as opposed to regular starters because the latter simply indicates the player was on the field for the very first play of the game and nothing more. There's room on this roster for key contributors on both sides of the ball. It's possible the Giants will draft a center or wide receiver who could see plenty of action as well as a linebacker or corner. It's not a stretch for a player at all four of those positions to come in immediately and carve out a significant role. 

Matt Citak: Fact – The Giants had numerous rookies serve as regular starters last season between Kayvon Thibodeaux, Evan Neal and Daniel Bellinger, not to mention others such as Cor'Dale Flott and Dane Belton, who started multiple games as well. Wan'Dale Robinson likely would have joined that first group as well had it not been for his injuries. While looking at this year's draft, it's likely that whoever is taken at Nos. 25 and 57 could end up being Day 1 starters. If the Giants select a center in the middle rounds, that player is also going to compete for the starting job. The team currently has 10 picks, and I expect several of those players to be regular starters as rookies.

The Giants' first pick will be a defensive player.

John Schmeelk: FACT SLAM – I know a lot of fans are zeroed in on the wide receiver class, and others want the Giants to take the best center in the draft. But I'm not sure when the Giants get on the board at 25 that the best player available will be on offense. If the right cornerback drops, that player could fit both value and need. The Giants have indicated players up front are also a priority, and the edge class could have some very impactful players still on the board at the end of the first round. I think when the draft plays out, the best player on the board will play defense.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – It will definitely be a backup punter. Book it. In all seriousness, not even the people who will be making the picks can say for sure. Let's see how the board unfolds.

Lance Medow: Fact – Would I be surprised if they take a wide receiver with the 25th overall pick? No, but, as of right now, I'd lean toward defense.  Between corner or pass rusher, I think there will be at least one appealing player still available. Plus, remember the draft isn't just about 2023 but well beyond that as the goal is to find players who warrant second contracts. Even if it appears a certain position has great depth right now, that can change very quickly due to injuries or salary cap moves. You can never have enough at any given spot.

Matt Citak: Fact – I know there are plenty of fans who want a wide receiver or offensive lineman taken with the first pick, but I still believe that the team's most pressing need is finding a reliable cornerback. Pick No. 25 could also be a sweet spot in the first round where the top talent available meets the team's need at CB. At this point, most draft pundits believe the most likely positions the Giants will target in the first round are cornerback or wide receiver. Due to the numerous additions at receiver in free agency, I'm giving the slight edge to cornerback. analyst Bucky Brooks revealed his initial position rankings for the 2023 NFL Draft.


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