Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network selected Duke quarterback Daniel Jones for the New York Giants with the sixth overall pick in his most recent mock draft. During a pre-draft conference call on Thursday, he explained why.
First, Jeremiah addressed taking a quarterback at No. 6 when conventional wisdom has the Giants doing at No. 17 — if at all.
“The first question is, it’s a philosophical question of if you’re the Giants, do you take a quarterback at 6, a little bit higher than you’d like, or do you wait at 17 and hope that the one guy you really want is there. I just think you kind of look at the teams for the most part, we’ll see -- Lamar Jackson worked out well last year for the Ravens as their second first-round pick, but for the most part teams that have picked a quarterback with their second first-round pick, the Browns have done it three times, it never really worked out,” Jeremiah said.
“I just think if you have conviction in a guy and you want a quarterback, there’s no such thing as taking him too early. You take him in the first round, you’re putting your job into his hands anyway, you might as well guarantee you get the one that you want. That’s why quarterback at 6 to me made more sense than 17.
Why Jones rather than Dwayne Haskins or Drew Lock? Jeremiah admitted that right now it’s a “total guess” as to which quarterback the Giants like the most.
“I’ve heard they like Haskins, I’ve heard they like Lock, I’ve heard they like Daniel Jones. I just know when you watch Jones play and the things he does, I think he can play an efficient game, a team that’s going to build around his defense going forward. I think you’ll see that with the Giants. We’ve seen it reflected in the Odell Beckham trade,” Jeremiah said. “I think the more conservative, efficient approach offensively, that to me fits with Daniel Jones’ style ... I just think stylistically how they want to play, having a long track record of having played there at Duke versus maybe Haskins with the one year, I just think that kind of falls in line more with the Giants.”
Jeremiah also touched on a number of other topics that might be of interest to the Giants and their fans. Here are some of them.
Who is the best offensive lineman?
Jonah Williams is the safest.
“Jonah has played a lot of ball at a very high level against elite players. He’s played right tackle, he’s played left tackle. I believe he can kick inside. That’s personally where I think he’s going to end up,” Jeremiah said. “I think he’s going to be a very good player in there. But when you consider the number of snaps, the level of competition, the way he’s come across in interviews with teams around the league, I’ve heard some very impressive -- to me he’s the high-floor guy.”
Andre Dillard has the highest ceiling.
“When you go to highest upside to me it’s Dillard. He’s already the best pass protector in the bunch. Had a chance to do a lot of it there for Mike Leach at Washington State,” Jeremiah said. “Did a nice job at the Senior Bowl in the run game getting better every day. He wasn’t exposed to it. So getting a chance to show that he could pick that up and learn and grow, I think he’s got a chance to be real solid in the run game.”
Jawaan Taylor is “just a nasty guy.”
“he’s just the most physical. I mean, he’s somebody that just -- he can move people in the run game at the point of attack. I think he’s going to be a really good right tackle,” Jeremiah said. “He’s just a nasty guy who will bring the most physicality to the position. He’s probably got some work to do just technique-wise, hand-wise, that needs to be ironed out compared to the other two.
Montez Sweat might slide
The Mississippi State edge rusher is a popular pick for the Giants at No. 6 in mock draft. Jeremiah said concerns about the heart condition discovered at the Combine.
“The reason why I have him sliding down a little bit is not because of anything he’s done as a player or because you’re worried he’s failed a bunch of physicals,” Jeremiah said. “I have him sliding down a little bit because if you feel somebody else is in that same range or same ballpark, it can be a little bit of a tiebreaker. So that’s why I had him sliding to the Giants there in the first round. But I don’t anticipate you’re going to see a major fall with him.”
Dalton Risner could play center or tackle
The Kansas State offensive lineman is a guy who could come off the board right around the Giants’ 37th pick. Coincidentally, the Giants have needs at right tackle and center.
“Teams differ in terms of not only how they feel about him as a player but where he’ll play. I have him holding on at tackle and being a right tackle. Some teams want him to go back and play center,” Jeremiah said. “He’s got really strong hands. He’s physical ... a real solid football player that I think is going to start early and have a good career.”
Wide range of opinion on Rashan Gary
LIke Sweat, Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary is often mocked to the Giants. Some love the idea, some hate it.
“It’s funny, teams are -- from an evaluation standpoint, they’re not just personnel but coaches, there’s teams that are production based and there are teams that are trait based in terms of what they look for in players” Jeremiah said. “And I’ve talked to a coach the other day who said if I was in San Francisco, I would take Rashan Gary over Nick Bosa. There’s people that love him because of what he has from a height, weight, speed and what he can become. Now, he’s got to get healthy and you’ve got to hope the production is going to follow the ability at some point in time. Some people love him.
“So in terms of how high could he go? I would probably say you start him at the probably four, five, Raiders, Bucs. And then how low does he fall, I just can’t see -- Miami not having drafted a lineman last year, offensively or defensively, this has to be a trench draft for them. I expect them to go heavy there, and just picking there at 13, I would think if Rashan Gary fell down there that that would be one they would turn in quickly, so I would say that’s a floor.”