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‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast: Is this really an elite offensive tackle draft class?

Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy doesn’t think so

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The New York Giants are widely expected to select an offensive tackle with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, as evidenced by the results of our mock draft tracker. So, when Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy sent out the following tweet indicating he thought that might not be such a great idea that got my attention.

I reached out to Nagy and he joined Wednesday’s ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast to explain that remark and talk about other NFL Draft and Giants-related topics.

Was he thinking about the Giants when he wrote that tweet?

“No, I actually wasn’t,” Nagy said. “There’s a narrative out there that this is just an elite tackle class and I just disagree with that. To me there’s not an elite one in this group. There’s not a Tyron Smith. There’s not a Joe Thomas.

“All these guys — Tristan Wirfs from Iowa, Andrew Thomas from Georgia, Mekhi Becton from Louisville, and Jedrick Wills from Alabama — all have their strengths, for sure, but none of them are super-clean prospects.

“If you’re just grading players they’re not to the level of Isaiah Simmons and Derrick Brown.”

What would he expect the Giants to do at No. 4? What would he do?

“Offensive line, offensive tackle is a position that you’ll see a lot of first-year GMs will go that route because they’re pretty safe,” Nagy said. “Those four tackles, I don’t think any of them are going to bust. if you’re trying to play the safe route you can pick one of those guys and plug him in and play with him.

“To me you’ve got a chance to get a guy like Derrick Brown who can really affect the quarterback from the interior. Those guys are really hard to find ... To get a guy as disruptive as Derrick Brown, that would be really hard to pass on.

“Isaiah Simmons you’re almost drafting two or three players ... It just gives you a lot of flexibility.”

If the Giants took Simmons or Brown, how would they address offensive tackle?

“I think you’re looking at Josh Jones from Houston. I think he’s a legitimate left tackle,” Nagy said. “He should be in that conversation with those other guys. The only reason he’s not is because when juniors come out the media inevitably pushes those guys to the top of the class because they just assume they’re great players because they’re leaving school early.

“A guy I really like is Matt Peart from UConn. Matt’s extremely long, he’s got really, really nice feet. He reminds me of [three-time Pro Bowler] D’Brickashaw Ferguson when ‘Brick was coming out of Virginia. People in the New York area will remember him because he had such a great career with the Jets. I’m not saying he [Peart] is going to go anywhere near where ‘Brick went [No. 4 overall] ... but when you just watch the college tape they have very similar tools.

Would I rather take a Simmons or a Brown and follow back up with one of those guys early in the second? That’s what I would do rather than, in my opinion, reach for one of the tackles. You’re not going to find a guy like Derreck Brown at the beginning of the second.”

Should we pay attention to Dave Gettleman’s draft history?

“Seven draft is a big enough number, that’s a big enough sample size where you can pick up tendencies and what a guy does on draft weekend,” Nagy said. “If he’s never traded down that’s surprising to me. That might be where I would look to go [in this draft].

“They’ve got a number of needs to fill. That’s [No. 4] going to be a coveted pick. There are going to be people wanting to come up for guys like Brown and Simmons. To move down and stockpile picks, to me honestly that’s the best route to go if I were the Giants.”

There is plenty more in the episode so please give the full show a listen. Follow Nagy on Twitter @JimNagy_SB.

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