ESPN's Todd McShay predicts Giants go defense at No. 4
In the third installment of Todd McShay's 2020 mock draft, the ESPN Draft analyst kept his Giants prediction the same as last month. For the third straight time, McShay has connected the Giants with Clemson LB/S Isaiah Simmons.
Simmons put together an impressive 2019 campaign for the Tigers. In 15 games, the 21-year-old recorded 104 total tackles (67 solo), 8.0 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, three interceptions and eight passes defended. The redshirt junior was named First-Team All-ACC, Unanimous First-Team All-American, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was awarded the Butkus Award as the nation's top collegiate linebacker.
Here is what McShay had to say about the pick: "New York has three options in my mind here at No. 4: The Giants can trade out of it, they can look at one of the excellent offensive tackles on the board or they can draft Simmons as a do-it-all linebacker. General manager Dave Gettleman will hear some interesting offers, but because I'm not doing the same with this mock, I'm going with Simmons. Remember, the Giants allowed 28.2 points per game last season, third worst in the NFL."
For the first time this offseason, McShay expanded his mock draft through the second round. After going with defense at No. 4, the ESPN analyst predicts the Giants will go offense with the team's second pick. However, it may not be the position that many experts believe the Giants will address early in this month's draft.
With the 36th pick in the draft, McShay links Big Blue to Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims. In 13 games as a senior this past season, Mims caught 66 passes for 1,020 yards and 12 touchdowns. It marked the second time in the last three seasons that Mims eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark, while his 12 touchdowns raised his total to 28 since his sophomore season. Mims earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors for his performance.
This is what McShay wrote about the Giants' selection of Mims: "I really want to give the Giants an offensive lineman, but there just isn't any form of value here. And with other needs, I won't force it. Instead, let's hand them Mims to join Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate and Darius Slayton. He has great size and speed, allowing him to challenge defenses both over the top and in the red zone."
View photos from the college career of Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons
NFL owners vote to approve expanded playoffs
NFL clubs voted yesterday to expand the postseason by two teams beginning with the 2020 season. Expanding the NFL postseason was addressed in the new NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Yesterday's vote during a league meeting held remotely follows the recommendation of the Competition Committee, Management Council Executive Committee and Media Committee on increasing the number of playoff teams from 12 to 14.
Two additional Wild Card teams – one each in the American and National Football Conferences – will qualify for the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the Wild Card round. The remaining division champions in each conference with the best records will be seeded 2, 3, and 4, followed by the next three teams per conference with the best records seeded 5, 6, and 7.
AFC and NFC Wild Card games will feature the 2 seed hosting the 7 seed, the 3 seed hosting the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.
Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9, and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021.
Nate Ebner is excited to join Giants, reunite with Joe Judge
Safety / special teamer Nate Ebner's eight seasons with the Patriots coincided exactly with Joe Judge's tenure in New England. Having played under Judge, who spent the first three years as a Special Teams Assistant before being promoted to Special Teams Coordinator for the last five seasons, for so long, it should come as no surprise that Ebner had nothing but high-praise for his new head coach.
"(Judge's presence) definitely was a strong point" in his decision to join the Giants, Ebner said Tuesday. "Obviously, I have a great relationship with Joe that was built over nearly a decade. We've worked together extensively through special teams. Just being in a tough environment that you see people come and go quite often, to kind of have a face that you see on a regular basis for, like I said, nearly a decade, I'd be lying if I said it didn't create a good relationship with him. That definitely played a part. At the end of it all, I'm excited to get out there and come to a great organization and get to work."
Originally a sixth-round pick (197 overall) in the 2012 draft, Ebner appeared in 127 regular season and postseason games for the Patriots over his eight years in New England. While he only registered one snap on both offense and defense over the last three seasons, he totaled 819 on special teams.
Ebner has racked up 98 tackles on special teams throughout his career, and was a member of the Patriots teams that took home the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowls XLIX, LI and LIII. He was named Second-Team All-Pro at special teams in 2016.
"That's what great teams do, play for each other," Ebner said. "Whatever I'm asked to do, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability."