There are now less than two weeks until the 2020 NFL Draft. That means we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of trying to read the tea leaves and figure out what New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman actually might do.
With that in mind, here is my latest 7-round mock draft scenario for the Giants. I wanted the possibility of trades, so it’s back to the Pro Football Network mock draft simulator this week. I was honestly tempted to give you a mock using the simulator launched a few days ago by Pro Football Focus. I played around with it a bunch, to be honest. I just found that no matter what parameters I used I felt the results (like offensive tackle Mekhi Becton being available at No. 36) to be unrealistic.
So, here we go.
Round 1 (No. 5) — Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
I swapped picks with the Miami Dolphins here, adding pick No. 56 late in Round 2. There is, obviously, a split in the Giants’ fan base about whether the Giants should go offensive tackle here or take Clemon’s versatile defender Isaiah Simmons. Draft analysts are also split. Some, like Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, say they are told the Giants will for Simmons. Others believe strongly the Giants have decided the pick here has to be the best offensive tackle.
I believe that it comes down to Wirfs or Simmons. I know our consensus position rankings have Jedrick Wills of Alabama as OT1, but I have believed for weeks now that the Giants have Wirfs as their top tackle. The fact that NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, a huge fan of Mekhi Becton, switched his pick for the Giants from Becton to Wirfs in his recent mock, signaled to me that the organization’s Wirfs love is probably real.
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Round 2 (No. 36) — Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin
Oh, man. What a difficult choice here!
It’s easy to make an argument for any of about a half-dozen players in this spot. In the end, I did what I think the Giants would do — take the player on the board who offers the most help to their defensive front seven.
I even asked Chris Pflum to weigh in on what he would do in this spot, and he agreed with the choice of Baun. Chris said:
“I would probably pick Baun because he covers the most needs. Can help cover over the middle, effective pass rusher, and run support. And then pray that one of the safeties, Cushenberry, or a starting-caliber receiver lasts until 56.
“Delpit and Ruiz are probably the best players, and both are big needs, but there’s slightly more depth there than at pass rusher and Baun can be a pass rusher plus.”
For me, the hardest player to pass on here is Ruiz. He is commonly considered the best center in the draft, he’s good value in this spot, and the Giants have a gaping hole at center. They just also need defensive playmakers, and that’s the direction I’m choosing to go.
Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
Antoine Winfield, S, Minnesota
Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Round 2 (No. 56) — Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
Good grief! How lucky did I get here? I was surprised Ruiz was still on the board at 36, and I’m stunned he is available at No. 56. My thanks to the LA Chargers for taking LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry at 52 instead of Ruiz.
I’m pouncing on this opportunity, and thankful for the extra pick I got from the Dolphins that allowed this to happen.
Antoine Winfield, S, Minnesota
Round 3 (No. 99) — Terrell Burgess, S, Utah
Full disclosure: I tried and failed several times to move up a few spots here for Cal safety Ashtyn Davis. He ended up going to the New England Patriots at No. 98, one pick ahead of the Giants.
I tried to not overreact to missing on Davis by just snagging the next safety on the list. I ended up, though, thinking Burgess was the best choice. In assessing my own work here, if there is a pick in this draft I’m not crazy about it’s this one.
PFN says Burgess “can play multiple positions in a variety of schemes, and Burgess could eventually become a starter in the NFL with further development.”
Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
Round 4 (No. 110) — Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
Week after week I seem to keep coming back to Robertson around this part of the draft as an option in the slot.
This popped up on my Twitter timeline Saturday:
Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State
Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
Round 5 (No. 150) — Jonah Jackson, G, Ohio State
Whoa! A pure value pick here. The Giants, with Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler, don’t need a guard. At least not one who will play right away. Still, I can’t believe Jackson is on the board here. Our consensus position rankings and the position rankings from The Draft Network have Jackson as the best guard in the 2020 draft class.
I was thinking about Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus here. Matt Waldman of The Rookie Scouting Portfolio believes Cephus could be “the steal of the draft” at this point.
I’m not saying no, though, to the best guard in the class at pick No. 150.
Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin
Round 6 (No. 177) — Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island
I didn’t feel like I had much choice here other than to try and make a move for a wide receiver. I gave up two of the four seventh-round picks at my disposal (Nos. 218 and 238) to move up from pick 183. Coulter is a guy NFL Hall of Fame executive Gil Brandt has been saying should be getting more attention and might be the D.K. Metcalf of the 2020 draft class.
The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs says:
Isaiah Coulter projects as a potential starter at the pro level. Despite his presence at the FCS level, Coulter shows excellent ball skills, sideline awareness and body control to contort and adjust to throws down the field. He’s got a knack for big receptions vertically and will be an asset as a Z-receiver tasked with running vertical to challenge deep safeties. He’s savvy at the catch point and does well to bump and separate late in the rep — but he’ll likely need time to adjust to NFL corners.
No. 247 — Michael Warren, RB, Cincinnati
An inside runner with some upside to challenge Wayne Gallman for a roster spot.
No. 255 — Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii
Why not? Maybe he can land on the practice squad as an insurance policy.