The New York Giants currently hold the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft after falling to 2-8 on the season.
The Giants have six games remaining, four of which are against the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Philadelphia Eagles (twice). The remaining two games are against the Miami Dolphins and a rematch against the Washington Redskins.
If the draft order holds for the remainder of the season, this will be the third time in three years the Giants have been drafting in the top 10, and the second time in that span they have had one of the first three picks in the draft. That all means that while the 2019 regular season is not yet (officially) over, draft season is once again upon us.
So then, if the Giants hold on to the third overall pick in the draft, which players might they target?
Chase Young (EDGE, Ohio State)
Despite being suspended for four games for accepting a loan, Chase Young is currently considered the prize of the 2020 draft for any team that doesn’t have to target either LSU quarterback Joe Burrow or Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.
Young has a prototypical blend of size at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, with long arms and evident power throughout his frame. He also has the kind of explosive and twitchy athleticism which is common among the best pass rushers and is able to win with speed or power. Through the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Young has 24 sacks, 6 passes defensed, and six forced fumbles.
If his college career is over, he went out on the highest note possible, demolishing Wisconsin’s offensive line for four sacks and two forced fumbles.
Andrew Thomas (Georgia, OT)
The Giants need (a lot) help on the offensive line, and while Dave Gettleman has never drafted an offensive tackle — or offensive lineman of any position — highly, the Giants might not have a choice.
If they are going to be picking a lineman in the first three picks, right now it looks like Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas would be the choice. Not only does he come from a school with a good record of recruiting and coaching up lineman, Thomas is about as pro-ready as you could ask for from a lineman. He has fantastic size and looks even bigger than the 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds at which he is listed, but he has very little “bad” weight and is very light on his feet. Thomas does a great job of keeping his hips square to the line of scrimmage, staying balanced in pass protection, and is a mauler in the run game.
Considering Nate Solder has given up as many sacks in 26 games as the Giants’ left tackle as Ereck Flowers did in 46, the Giants have to find a long-term answer.
CeeDee Lamb (WR, Oklahoma)
Assuming Dave Gettleman is the guy calling the shots come April of 2020 (which, if the Giants wind up at 2-14 or 3-13 might not be a given), we have to expect a curveball and an offensive skill position player selected highly. Despite Gettleman’s talk of “hog mollies” and building through the trenches, he has selected Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, Christian McCaffery, Curtis Samuel, and Saquon Barkley with first- or second-round picks since 2014. He drafts offensive skill position players at roughly the same clip he drafts defensive tackles, and considering he has spent a third-round pick, a first-round pick, and a third and fifth (or fourth) round pick on defensive tackles in the last two years, that’s saying something.
Speaking of defensive tackles, Auburn’s Derrick Brown should probably be in the conversation. He has an elite blend of height, weight, and athleticism as well as great production.
Personally, if I were going to pick a receiver, I would opt for Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy, but Lamb’s longer frame might be more likely to appeal. He is a good athlete in the same way that A.J. Green is a good athlete — he doesn’t have eye-popping explosiveness, but he is silky smooth with a great release and deceptive deep speed. Lamb has legitimately terrific body control and is great at tracking and adjusting to the ball in the air. He would immediately be the WR1 the Giants lack and having a reliable target in the passing game would help the rest of the offense.
So who will the Giants be looking at come April? Well, we still have a ton of draft prep to do, not to mention find out the final draft order. But right now I can say that Thomas and Young are definitely names we will be hearing a lot over the next few months.