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Which Giants’ rookie drafted in the first three rounds will have the greatest impact?

The Giants added five players with picks in the first three rounds. Who will have the biggest impact in 2019?

NFL: APR 25 2019 NFL Draft Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This morning I was at the gym and idly scrolling through the Twitter when I saw that the New York Giants tweeted out the following question to their followers:

Because I was doing cardio at the time, and that has the tendency to turn my brain into an Etch-a-Sketch, I missed the word "not." However, with the Giants having selected five players with picks from the first three rounds, and the fact that the success rate of picks from the first two days is (at worst) three times higher than picks from the third day, I think my (mis)reading of the question is more interesting.

So let's go with that one.

Which rookie drafted with a pick in the first three rounds will have the biggest impact in 2019?

Daniel Jones (QB, Duke, 6th overall)

Why he will: He’s a quarterback. It’s a simple fact that the quarterback is the most important one on the field, and one of the most important positions in all of sports. If we’re being completely honest, Daniel Jones will likely determine how the Giants’ 2019 class is remembered and what Dave Gettleman’s legacy is in NFL history. It’s tough to have a bigger impact than that.

Why he won't: Eli Manning. While Eli is (and has been) in decline, and in the final year of his contract, considering how beloved he is around the Giants’ organization, it isn’t hard to see him keeping the red shirt on Jones for the entire 2019 season. If Eli is able to play well enough to give the Giants even a hope of winning, it seems likely that he’ll stay on the field and keep Jones off of it.

Dexter Lawrence (DT, Clemson, 17th overall)

Why he will: Size, athleticism, and versatility. The Giants want to play a “multiple” defense, switching freely between 3, 4, 1, 2, and 5-man fronts and Lawrence has the versatility to be on the field in any of them. He also presents a rare blend of size and athleticism that should make him a handful for offensive linemen if James Bettcher is able to scheme him one-on-one opportunities.

Why he won’t: Availability. How much will Lawrence be on the field? He’s an impressive athlete in general, let alone for his size. But players his size need rest, particularly if they are being asked to runfield often, and Lawrence played less than half of Clemson’s defensive snaps in 2018. We also can’t overlook that he already has an injury history. He had toe surgery following his 2016 season, struggled with a foot injury throughout the 2017 season, and was knocked out of the Combine with a hamstring injury suffered in his first attempt at the 40-yard dash. Being as big and athletic as he is puts a lot of stress on the human body, and he isn’t going to have an impact from the trainer’s table.

DeAndre Baker (CB, Georgia, 30th overall)

Why he will: Opportunity and savvy. Baker is the current favorite to start opposite Janoris Jenkins at cornerback, and he will be tested early and often by offenses. Baker was nearly a “shut down” corner in college, and if he can play even close to that level as a rookie, it is a huge boon for the Giants’ defense. Cornerback is a high-leverage position, and being able to lock down a side of the field or take a receiver out of the game would free the Giants up to fully unleash Bettcher’s blitz packages.

Why he won’t: Athleticism. There is always the drumbeat that “we want football players, not athletes”, but the fact remains that professional athletes still have to be athletic. Kent Lee Platte (of our Detroit Lions sister site, Pride Of Detroit) has assembled the Relative Athletic Score (RAS) compiling and comparing data on just about every player in modern NFL history. Baker graded out as one of the least athletic corners taken in the 2019 draft, with only two corners drafted who were less athletic than him (both taken in the sixth round). Looking at Platte’s entire database of cornerbacks drafted in the first round, Baker’s RAS ranks 83rd out of 87 dating back to 1987.

Sam Beal (CB, Western Michigan, supplemental)

*Yes, Beal was a supplemental draft selection in 2018, but the Giants used a 2019 draft pick and he didn’t see the field last year.

Why he will: Beal is something of an unknown, but he has definite ability. The Giants reckoned him a second-round talent, and on tape he showed quick feet, loose hips, and good length. He could be difficult to keep on the bench once practices start to heat up in camp, and his physical skills lend themselves well to the kind of coverage the Giants want to play.

Why he won’t: Opportunity. There is a lot of competition for the Giants’ secondary positions between Baker, Grant Haley, Julian Love, and Beal. It’s possible that he won’t be able to get a significant chance until the Giants move on from Janoris Jenkins. And if Jenkins is able to play closer to his 2016 form, that might not be until 2020 (or perhaps later).

Oshane Ximines (EDGE, Old Dominion, 95th overall)

Why he will: Opportunity. There is a definite opportunity on the Giants’ defense to step forward and seize a major role on the defense. Lorenzo Carter has tantalizing athleticism, but has never been a stand-out pass rusher, nor has Kareem Martin. Markus Golden is a marginal NFL athlete who has an ACL tear between now and his productive 2016 season. Ximines comes in to the league with surprisingly polished technique and a versatile frame that should allow him to stay on the field as an outside linebacker or defensive end depending on the play and package.

Why he won’t: The jump in competition. It’s absolutely true that Ximines played one of his best games against Virginia Tech, but there is still a big step up from his week-to-week competition. That jump could take time for him to adapt to, and he might not be able to make the jump until his sophomore season.


Which player drafted in the first three rounds of the 2019 draft will have the biggest impact as a rookie?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Daniel Jones (QB, Duke, 6th overall)
    (71 votes)
  • 21%
    Dexter Lawrence (DT, Clemson, 17th overall)
    (447 votes)
  • 62%
    Deandre Baker (CB, Georgia, 30th overall)
    (1319 votes)
  • 5%
    Sam Beal (CB, Western Michigan, supplemental)
    (119 votes)
  • 7%
    Oshane Ximines (EDGE, Old Dominion, 95th overall)
    (158 votes)
2114 votes total Vote Now