As noted in the lede, I really have no idea who the Giants will take with their opening round picks at Thursday’s draft. Indeed, its not entirely clear even what are their prime objectives. For one, I still haven’t totally ruled out the possibility that the Giants’ primary target this week is QB Dwayne Haskins. The Giants, of course, were all over Haskins back at his pro day workout, but then went quiet on the subject. Meanwhile, Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur both went out of there to stress the defensive line in their pre-draft pressers. Then there are those rumors that the Giants actually have Daniel Jones as the top QB on their board and will target him with the 17th pick. Could all be true, but we just can’t out of our mind the possibility that the Giants could actually be masking their interest in Haskins hoping that no one will try and leapfrog them to get him in the top 5. What we would be surprised to see, though, would be the Giants moving up themselves from the 6th pick. Time will tell.
If, on the other hand, the Giants are indeed thinking of going defense with the 6th pick, they will almost by definition be looking at some very good prospects. Assume that Arizona in fact takes QB Kyler Murray first overall and DE Nick Bosa and DT Quinnen Williams go 2-3 in some order, then the Giants are guaranteed that of one of the next tier of defenders – DT Ed Oliver, LB Devin White and OLB Josh Allen – is going to be there at #6. In fact, shades of 2018, what would make for a really interesting decision for the Giants would be if they were indeed targeting Haskins, but a near-elite talent like Allen or Oliver was still on the board. Also note that based on pure athleticism and college productivity that DE/OLB Montez Sweat probaby would be very much in that second-tier group of defenders, but concerns about that heart condition might be just too much of a red flag.
What the Giants do with the 17th pick, of course, will be significantly impacted by what the Giants do at #6. If, for example, they do end up taking a QB at the latter spot, they will almost have to grab an edge rusher, or at least an impact defender at that spot. On the other hand, go D at #6 and there are more options. QB Jones would certainly be an option, although one would think that if they really liked him that they likely will look to trade up from 17 to guarantee the pick. Sitting at 17 though the Giants are likely to get a shot at a number of other intriguing defenders possibility including LB Devin Bush, ER Brian Burns, massive NT Dexter Lawrence, and DE Clelin Ferrell.
One also wouldn’t want to rule out the Giants taking an offensive lineman at #17 as at least one of OTs Jonah Williams, Andre Dilland and/or Cody Ford is likely to still be on the board, but the Giants appear to have made it pretty clear in pre-draft briefings that they are reasonably happy with the OL and intend to address the RT issue in free agency. One also wouldn’t want to totally rule out a WR like Marquise Brown to replace Odell at #17, but the odds are pretty tilted to the Giants going defense with those two first rounders, unless of course they invest one in a QB.
Speaking of QBs, one thing that would not totally shock me is if the Giants took Will Grier with the 37th pick. Just call it a hunch, but Grier checks off all the boxes Shurmur appears to value in a QB in his system. Given that my hunches over the years have almost never panned out on draft nobody needs to start shouting at me quite yet. in fact, trying to predict who the Giants like at #37 is right up there with herding cats. They did spend a lot of time with DE Jaylon Ferguson in the pre-draft testing, but he may be gone by that point. At the same time, the strength of the draft at that point looks like it could be in the secondary with some real depth at both CB and safety. A couple of corners to watch at that spot are late risers Justin Layne of Michigan State and Joejuan Williams of Vanderbilt, while there are as many as a half dozen safeties who could get long looks. Meanwhile, there also should be some talent at WR at that point, although receiver could be the deepest position in this year’s draft such that players that could contribute as early as 2019 could be available right into the early part of the third day.
In the end though we probably won’t know a whole lot more until the Giants actually make their picks this weekend. Should be fun with all those selections.