This one — a trade down to No. 11 with the New York Jets — is almost certain not going to happen. Whether it makes sense or not it just provides way too much tabloid/Twitter fodder for GMs Dave Gettleman and Joe Douglas to go anywhere near it.
When I ran the ‘Fanspeak’ simulator, though, and the offer popped up — the Jets’ picks at No. 11 in Round, No. 48 overall in Round 2 and No. 79 overall in Round 3 — I decided to take it and see how it would turn out.
As you will see below, I once again used the ‘Ultimate GM’ feature to run a free agency simulation and made a splash on defense with the additions of cornerback Byron Jones, linebacker Cory Littleton and edge Kyle Van Noy. That sure would be a nice haul, even if I think it’s a bit optimistic to believe it would really happen.
The defensive haul in free agency set up my draft. See below how it went.
TE Rhett Ellison
S Antoine Bethea
DL Leonard Williams
S Michael Thomas (2 years, $6 million — $3M guaranteed)
WR Cody Core (2 years, $5 million — $2.5 million guaranteed)
LB Cory Littleton (4 years, $48 million)
Edge Kyle Van Noy (3 years, $30 million)
QB Chase Daniel (2 years, $8 million)
CB Byron Jones (5 years, $80 million)
Here’s the full mock if you want to assess all the choices I made.
Round 1 (No. 11) — Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Stunningly (and because, Fanspeak!) cornerback Jeffrey Okudah was still available here. I don’t believe that is happening in the real world. Plus, I already signed Byron Jones to a big-money deal, so I took the last of the Big 4 offensive tackles left on the board. Also passed on Isaiah Simmons and Jerry Jeudy here. That just gives you an example of how good players could still be available in a trade down scenario. Thing is, dropping this far makes it a little scary if it’s a Big 4 offensive tackle that you have your eyes on. I was lucky one was still available.
I suspect that Wills would not be Gettleman’s choice if he stayed at No. 4. There are many reports that say Gettleman is enamored with Tristan Wirfs of Iowa, and there is no reason not to believe those. I also think that Gettleman is going to look at Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, the biggest hog mollie of them all, and have a hard time passing on a guy with that much size, athletic ability and upside.
Here, though, the Giants still get one of the Big 4 offensive tackles. They add a pair of useful players on Day 2, as well.
Round 2 (No. 4/36) — Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
Made several free agent offers to Connor McGovern and couldn’t make a deal. Now, I’m OK with that. I just landed the best center in the draft. Tremendous value here. Odds are he will be gone before the 36th pick in the real draft.
Round 2 (No. 16/48) — Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
First of the two additional picks I got from the Jets. I’m too intrigued to let him pass. Lots of wide receivers, safety Antoine Winfield and Purdue tight end Brycen Hopkins near the top of the board here. I’m taking the small-school star, though. It’s a swing for the fence made possible by having an extra Round 2 selection.
It’s rare to find a safety with elite size, speed, explosiveness and production at a Power 5 school and almost impossible to find one at a Division II school. Dugger crammed the stat sheet full and used those elite traits to dominate the opposition. At times, he seems bored with his level of competition, but his engagement can be instant and urgent when it needs to be. He plays with controlled violence and carries an alpha demeanor on the field. He has soft hands and is rangy, but needs to train his eyes and improve his fundamentals before he’s coverage-ready. Dugger is a versatile, scheme-friendly safety who helps immediately on special teams and could develop into a talented NFL starter.
Round 3 (No. 15/79) — Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
According to this board, I reached a little for Mims. I quite honestly don’t think I reached at all and have serious doubts he will last this far into the draft. The 6-foot-3, 207-pound Mims is a big, physical receiver who could be the perfect complement to what the Giants already have with Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate.
Mims tested top of the class in all but one drill.
Round 3 (No. 34/98) — Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
I nabbed my right tackle by selecting Wills. Tega Wanogho is a talented developmental option who could take over for Nate Solder at left tackle in a year. Great value here, I think.
Round 4 (No. 4/107) — Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
This is a nod to Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan, who loves this player and spent a whole bunch of time at the Combine talking him up.
Lance Zierlein on NFL.com says:
No matter his size, Davis-Gaither is a playmaker with a talent for slipping blocks and ending up near the football. Teams who hope to roll him into a hybrid role may find he’s a better pass rusher than cover man. He is comfortable and effective when playing downhill, but issues with inconsistent angles to the ball and missed tackles pop up when forced to play in space. Some teams will be uncomfortable with his size. However, he plays with instincts and toughness. He should find a home as a backup 4-3 weakside linebacker and productive member of special teams units.
Round 5 (No. 4/150) — A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College
A 247-pound complement to Saquon Barkley who has drawn comparisons to Derrick Henry and Brandon Jacobs? Yes, please!
“Built like a minibus but possessing enough vision and finesse to avoid being pigeon-holed as just a pure power back,” is how Zierlein describes him.
Round 6 (No. 4/183) — Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
He is 6-3, 221 pounds and the Giants still love their size, speed prospects.
Safety prospect with compelling size, speed and athletic ability. He has man cover skills. Very willing and able as a tackler, but despite his diverse skill set, his effectiveness can wane when asked to multitask. Chinn is at his best when he’s actively engaged and not sitting in space dissecting what comes next. His ball skills and athleticism are strengths that help define his value and teams will need to find ways to put him in position to utilize both without exposing his inconsistent field awareness. He might find a future role as a big nickel or a cover linebacker who can drag tight ends around the field in sub-packages.
Round 7 (No. 4/218) — Alex Highsmith, EDGE, Charlotte
The kind of upside prospect you take a flier on here.
Stand-up edge rusher with splashy production to get him noticed by 3-4 fronts. Highsmith is quick to diagnose and slip blocks to make plays in the backfield, but lacks the strength and anchor to take on blocks and set strong edges. He’s clearly put in work when it comes to creating a diverse inside/outside rush attack that has a chance to keep growing if he can weaponize his hands and improve his speed-to-power attack. His play is more finesse than physical and may not be ready for early downs in the NFL. He currently projects as an NFL backup but his ascending play and production could push him into a bigger role if he can get bigger and stronger.
Round 7 (No. 24/238) — Malcolm Perry, WR, Navy
Why not? This is the kind of gamble you take at this point. There has been some buzz that the former Navy quarterback is a guy the Giants might like to try and develop. So, I take the plunge.
Round 7 (No. 33/247 — compensatory projected) — Kyle Murphy, G, Rhode Island
A simple nod to one of my ‘PB&J’ guys.