Let’s suspend the disbelief for moment and pretend the New York Giants start drafting college players out of need. A stretch, I know, but indulge me if you will.
General Manager Jerry Reese and Marc Ross, his VP of Player Evaluation, rely on their army of experienced scouts to provide their best recon so they can stack players in rows on their draft board. What that board looks like on draft day is one most tightly held secrets in all of sports.
The Giants always tell us they take the highest-rated player on that board when their turn to select comes. Sometimes that player is at a “need” position, so we’re left wondering if they actually did break tradition and took a player to fill a hole.
This year’s holes aren’t as glaring as they have been the past few springs. The Giants have accumulated quite a bit of talent the past three years and have stocked their roster with quality players through both free agency and the draft.
What the Giants are still missing, however, is quality at both offensive tackle spots, a complete tight end and depth at edge rusher, running back and linebacker. But those needs may not preclude Reese from taking players at other positions.
With the Giants so close to being a bonafide Super Bowl contender, fans of the Blue are hoping Reese selects players that can help the club win in 2017, just like he did in 2007, his first year on the job and the year the Giants knocked off the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
This year’s draft does not possess a ton of standout talent. It is not very deep. There are plenty of good players, however. If you’re looking for defensive line help, you’re bound to find at least one solid player in this draft.
Here are some players I would be pleased with should Reese have the opportunity to select them:
The best player in the draft is Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. He reminds many of Julius Peppers and could be destined for greatness. However, the word is out about Garrett and he will likely be the first player taken in the draft.
Alabama TE O.J. Howard is another stud who is being labeled as a “can’t miss” prospect, but the Giants would have to trade up from the 23rd spot in order to have a chance at drafting him. Howard would add another dimension to the Giants’ offense by giving them a massive target in the passing game.
RB Leonard Fournette of LSU is a big, bruising back that checks all the boxes but he’s unlikely to get out of the top ten. He could be this year’s Ezekiel Elliott.
Ohio State safety Malik Hooker would be the perfect compliment to Landon Collins. I know the Giants are still high on last year’s third round pick, Darian Thompson, but Hooker would add an even more explosive dynamic to the Giants’ already stellar secondary.
The Giants are more likely to end up with one of the next-level talents in the draft. Since defensive linemen are in abundance, its possible they could land Michigan’s Taco Charlton, Malik McDowell of Michigan State or Tennessee’s Derek Barnett.
Miami TE David Njoku, a New Jersey native, comes from a long line of Hurricane stars at the position and if available, will be hard for the Giants to pass up. Temple OLB Hassan Redick will also be hard to pass on.
As for offensive linemen, the draft is fairly thin. If the Giants are planning on finding their future at tackle they may be out of luck. Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk, Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Garret Bolles of Utah are the three top candidates. Chances are, the Giants pass on taking one in the first round.
Some players to watch out for: UCLA LB Takkarist McKinley, TE Bucky Hodges of Virginia Tech, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, RB Samaje Perine of Oklahoma, Pitt OL Dorian Johnson.