While it has been draft season for the New York Giants for some time now, the 2019 NFL season is finally over and the draft order of all 32 teams has been decided.
While we won’t pretend that this give mock drafts much more accuracy, at least we don’t have to guess as to which playoff team will finish where in the draft order.
ESPN’s Todd McShay is first up with his latest mock draft in the aftermath of the Super Bowl. If you read the headline or looked at the cover image, you already know who he mocked to the Giants, but let’s see what his reasoning is.
4. New York Giants - Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
I’d love to get second-year quarterback Daniel Jones a weapon on the outside here, but wide receiver is a deep group and offers plenty of mid-round options. And quite frankly, defense as a whole is a more serious problem for the Giants. Let’s get them a do-it-all linebacker — their first Round 1 ‘backer since 1984 (Carl Banks) — who found his way into just about every statistical category on the Clemson stat sheet. Simmons is what every NFL team dreams of having at its disposal. He can rush the passer, he can stand up against the run and he can drop into coverage. With Markus Golden and his 10 sacks headed toward free agency, the athletic Simmons could help fill the void.
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Raptor’s Thoughts: I’m going to assume that in this scenario the Giants have secured the services of right tackle Jack Conklin and offensive tackle isn’t quite the pressing need it is right now. That would also fit with Dave Gettleman’s M.O. of preferring to sign veteran linemen rather than draft them highly. But let’s get on to the pick itself.
I can’t say that I would have any objections to selecting Simmons if he is the pick. The Giants desperately need speed at every level of their defense, and Simmons certainly brings that. We’ll get confirmation at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, but Simmons looks to have a rare blend of size and athleticism for a linebacker. And even though the Tigers of Clemson could do nothing to slow down the purple and yellow buzz saw that was the Joe Burrow lead Tigers of LSU, Simmons definitely put on a show.
The bigger question is whether or not Simmons can have the kind of impact to justify taking him in the top 5 of the draft. He would need to have an impact on the order of Luke Kuechly or Jamal Adams to justify the pick, but if you think he can be that type of player, you turn in the card.
There will also be some question as to where you play Simmons. There is a whole lot to unpack with that question, but suffice to say that he could open up a number of possibilities for countering modern college-influenced offensive schemes.