[EDITOR’S NOTE: I have been doing 7-round simulated mock drafts for the New York Giants for more than two months. The final one will appear this Sunday. In the meantime, I have asked several of our draft experts to offer their own Giants-only 7-round mock drafts using the Pro Football Network simulator. We will be running them throughout the week. This one is from Nick Falato. — Ed V.]
The Giants enter the 2020 NFL Draft with many important needs and not a lot of high draft capital. New York currently has needs at tackle, center, edge rusher, linebacker, safety, and they could add depth along the roster. General manager Dave Gettleman has been immobile in the first round and never has traded back, but that all changes in this mock draft as Gettleman trades not once, but twice in the first round.
The first trade was with his old team, the Carolina Panthers, where the Giants sent their fourth selection for the seventh, 69th, and 113th picks. Gettleman proceeded to pick up his phone once again to call the Jacksonville Jacksonville and send the seventh, 110th, 183rd, and 238th picks to Jacksonville for the ninth and the 42nd picks. With this extra capital, let’s see how we can fix these concerns and better compete in 2020.
Trade 1: Giants receive: Picks 7, 69, and 113
Panthers receive: Pick 4
Trade 2: Giants receive: Picks 9 and Pick 42
Jaguars receive: Picks 7, 110, Pick 183, 238
Round 1 (No. 9) — Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
The Giants trade down TWICE and still get the player who is, to me, the best offensive tackle in the draft!
I would love this scenario as Wills would become a long-time staple on the offensive line. I would imagine that he would start at right tackle in Year 1. He could slide to left tackle if he has that in his wheelhouse. I think he has enough length to do so, with his 34 ¼” arms. His footwork, mirroring ability, the way he frames blocks, and his effectiveness in the run game would be so valued by the Giants. The 6-foot-4, 312-pound tackle would shore up this offensive line and help provide the time for Daniel Jones, a second-year quarterback who has to learn a different, more vertical-based, system. Wills’ pass protection would certainly give Jones a lot more time than he had in his rookie season. I don’t care that he played right tackle in college — in today’s NFL, talented pass rushers come from both the left and the right side and Wills would help the 2020 Giants.
Trade 3: Giants receive: Pick 33
Bengals receive: Pick 36, Pick 113, Pick 218
Round 2 (No. 33) — Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
Another trade, ladies and gentlemen! Gettleman gets aggressive and moves up to secure the offensive line for the foreseeable future. Ruiz is an incredibly smart center, with solid functional athletic ability and smooth pass protection. He is not necessarily a road-grader, but he’s an effective run blocker who does a good job climbing to the second level. Offensive line coach Marc Colombo is the guy to develop these younger players, and he’ll get two talented young assets in the first two rounds here. The addition of Wills and Ruiz gives Daniel Jones the protection he needs to master a vertical passing game, and it’ll give Saquon Barkley the lanes he needs to utilize his exceptional burst to hit home runs in the rushing attack. Arguably the two biggest needs on the Giants are answered in the first two picks. Let’s hope the Giants can get some EDGE help soon.
Round 2 (No. 42) — Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
There is no chance Baun is not a top 40 selection, but he was in this mock draft simulator, so welcome to Big Blue! Baun is the ideal fit for an EDGE/LB role in a Patriot disciples’ defense, and the Giants’ new coaching staff has many former Patriot coaches. Think about the linebackers the Patriots have employed over the years — Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Willie McGinest. They were all interchangeable pieces who rushed the passer from a variety of different alignments.
Baun fits that mold. He was effective at rushing the passer in college, but he may be more of a linebacker, and he has the movement skills to do so. He’s 6-foot-2, 238 pounds, and his trigger downhill is lightning quick. I would love the Giants to get Baun, but realistically I don’t see him getting out of the first round.
Round 2 (No. 69) — Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal
Landing Davis here would be a dream. Davis has true range and single high capabilities. He walked onto the football team at Cal and was on campus under a scholarship because of his track background. For Cal, he had 7 career interceptions and 12 passes defensed in three seasons. Davis was a victim of circumstances; he didn’t play at the Senior Bowl and he couldn’t work out at the Combine due to a nagging groin injury. Fellow safety prospects Kyle Dugger (Lenoir-Rhyne) and Jeremy Chinn (Southern Illinois) tested well at the Combine and moved up draft boards. If Davis were able to test, he would have been off the charts too, and he would have looked fluid in his drills. I like what Davis offers in terms of a single high safety. He could use some work on angles downhill in run support, but the athletic ability is there, and I would love to add him here.
Round 3 (No. 99) — Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee
A twitched-up edge rusher to add to the depth chart is just what the Giants need. Taylor had 8 and 8.5 sacks in the last two seasons and has more than 25.5 tackles for a loss in the last three years. Taylor has a flexible lower body, explosive first three steps, and he has a good punch, along with good pop in his upper-body pass-rushing moves. He must develop more reliable counters and a more versatile pass-rushing repertoire, but Taylor’s explosiveness, athletic traits, and his strong punches are valuable. Taylor is smooth in space, too. He can flip his hips, turn, and glide to flat-zones while showing solid spatial awareness. Has some character baggage that has led to suspensions in the past. Taylor would be a nice addition.
Round 5 (No. 150) — Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU
It would be surprising to see Charles available here, even though he carries a lot of character concerns. LSU suspended him for six games for disciplinary reasons. He stands at 6-4, 321 pounds, with 33-inch arms, and very good athletic ability. I love how effortless his feet are, in terms of speed/quickness, when gliding and setting up the arc. Teams are going to love his athletic traits, but his punch could use some work. Charles tends to lunge a bit at the hip, forcing his equilibrium to become off-balanced. There is some work to do here, but the athletic upside is important and I feel Charles could be an excellent piece for Colombo to develop. How exciting would it be if the Giants came away with Wills, Ruiz, and Charles, while still addressing the EDGE/LB need and finding a true single-high safety?
Round 7 (No. 247) — Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island
Did I make this selection because I’m a coworker of Coulter’s teammate - No! The Giants have a bit of a need at receiver. Sure, there are talented players on the roster, but Golden Tate is getting long in the tooth and Sterling Shepard’s concussion history is concerning. Coulter is a nuanced route runner who possesses solid athletic ability. He has good size at 6-2, 198 pounds, and he ran a 4.45 at the Combine. In 2019, he caught 72 passes for 1,039 yards and 8 touchdowns. Love his size/speed element that he brings and he’ll be a nice developmental X receiver for the Giants. In a deep receiver class, Coulter could fall to this sweet spot for the Giants, but his talent surpasses the value here. Daniel Jones could do a lot of work with the healthy receiving options of Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, and Isaiah Coulter.
Round 7 (No. 255) — Jonathan Garvin, EDGE, Miami
Garvin only had 12.5 sacks in his three seasons with Miami, but he has intriguing pass rushing upside. In 2018, he had 17 tackles for a loss, mostly because of his explosive ability to see the play and react; he has good reactive quickness to what he sees in front of him, and his quick trigger is solid. Lower body explosiveness was on display at the Combine with a 36-inch vertical and a 10’5” broad jump, which ranks above the 90th percentile for his position. At 6-4, 263 pounds, he projects a bit more like a 4-3 base end, but he can play in space too, so I wouldn’t rule him out as a 3-4 OLB. I feel Patrick Graham could find creative ways to line Garvin up at 5-technique and utilize him on twists/stunts while dropping him into flat-zone coverage. Garvin has length, agility, and explosiveness, along with a lot of energy. He would be a good addition late in the draft for the New York Giants.