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Mock Draft: Devin White choice for Giants at No. 6 in SBN blogger’s mock

In this scenario, Giants go linebacker in Round 1 for first time since 1984

NFL: Combine
Devin White at the Combine.
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation is in the midst of its annual Bloggers Mock Draft, and with the No. 6 overall pick I chose to give the New York Giants LSU linebacker Devin White.

The first five picks went like this:

  1. Arizona CardinalsKyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
  2. San Francisco 49ersNick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
  3. New York JetsJosh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
  4. Oakland RaidersQuinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
  5. Tampa Bay BuccaneersEd Oliver, DL, Houston

Follow all the picks here.

Here is how I explained the pick and the reaction to it by SB Nation draft analyst Dan Kadar:

Nope, not a quarterback. Why? Because in this spot, with this choice, I don’t think Dave Gettleman and the Giants will do that. Neither would I since I’m not a big Dwayne Haskins guy, so I haven’t. White isn’t the edge guy most think the Giants would target if they don’t go quarterback here, but he is the last available of the truly elite defensive prospects in this class.

The Giants have said over and over that they need defensive difference-makers, something true regardless of position. That’s what they get here. White would be the first Round 1 linebacker selected since Carl Banks in 1984. As for quarterback, maybe at No. 17. Maybe not at all in the first round. We’ll see.

Analysis [via SB Nation’s Dan Kadar]: A few weeks ago, it would have seemed crazy to think anything other than Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins for the sixth pick. Now, based on the recent speculation online, it’s not as shocking. But what should the Giants do? To me, if they’re committing to a rebuild, Haskins has to be the choice. If they’re building the offense around Saquon Barkley, they can get by without Haskins.

A little more explanation

Edge, edge, edge, edge, edge. I know. The entire NFL draft community, the media, the fanbase — everyone — expects the Giants to take an edge defender if they don’t take a quarterback.

Unless the signals coming out of East Rutherford are a massive, and wildly effective, smokescreen it is a virtual lock the pick at No. 6 will not be Haskins. It’s almost as much of a certainty that it won’t be Drew Lock.

I wholeheartedly believe GM Dave Gettleman dreams of scenarios where Quinnen Williams falls to the Giants here. If that doesn’t happen someone from the Montez Sweat, Brian Burns, Rashan Gary group of edge guys might — in most cases — be the likely choice.

Quite honestly, I don’t believe White is getting past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 5. He did here, and my contention is that regardless of position he was the best defensive player on the board. Since you can argue, and I have argued, that the Giants can use upgrades at every spot along their defense, I wasn’t about to pass the guy I felt was the best defensive player remaining.

Devin White profile

Umm, no, it wasn’t an accident that the Devin White prospect profile posted at Big Blue View earlier today. Sometimes we actually do have a plan.

Knowing I was selecting White in the mock, Chris offered an expanded — and mixed —analysis. Here is part of it:

Athletically speaking, White should fit in any defensive scheme in the NFL, and if he doesn’t, that scheme should probably be revised. That being said, he might not be a seamless fit in the Giants’ defense as it stands now -- primarily because of the presence of Alec Ogletree.

White’s best fit in the Giants’ defense would be as the weak-inside linebacker, where he can use his athleticism in pursuit, in space as a coverage player on running backs and tight ends, or as a blitzer. However, that is the position played by Ogletree, who is not only the defensive signal caller but also very highly paid.

There is also the question of what kind of player you are getting in White. At first blush, he looks like a defensive coordinator put him together using a create-a-player, after entering a cheat code. Perhaps an inch or two below “desired” height, but by no means undersized, with explosive power, loose hips, and speed to burn, White has every physical tool you could ask for.

However, his mental game does not appear to be nearly as developed as his physical abilities. Far too often White is baited by the offense and taken out of the play or simply frozen while he sorts out where the ball is going. Compounding the issue is a habit of taking poor angles to the football, often running to where an offensive player is rather than putting himself where they will be.

Chris and Dan react

Chris Pflum and Dan Pizzuta offer their reactions to the selection via the Big Blue View Radio podcast.

The fellas, to be honest, aren’t so sure about Ed’s judgment here. Chris made the case for Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, and also said he would have gone with one of the edge rushers, either Brian Burns or Montez Sweat, if the pick was not a quarterback. Dan also seemed to favor Burns and Sweat.