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Daniel Jeremiah “beginning to think” Giants will pick Jedrick Wills

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An offensive tackle, but the one we’ve been thinking about

Alabama v Auburn
Jedrick Wills
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said Thursday during a conference that the Giants “absolutely” need to take an offensive tackle at No. 4 in the 2020 NFL Draft. Jeremiah dropped a name that has often been touted by our analysts, but not often been considered a front-runner for the pick by Most analysts.

“I’ve said [Tristan] Wirfs for a while,” Jeremiah said. “As we come down the stretch I’m beginning to think it’s Jedrick Wills.”

Jeremiah pushed offensive tackle for the Giants as support for quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley.

“I absolutely think they should go offense there in the first round. I think they should go tackle. They’ve got to get better up front. I know all the holes on the defense. I can spout out all the numbers about where they rank, and it’s not good. But they need to protect Daniel Jones, and they can get a two-fer, and that you can get a player that’s going to help him continue to develop, and it’s also going to be a big benefit to the best player on your team in Saquon Barkley,” Jeremiah said. “I think tackle is the place they go there in the first round,”

Jeremiah also said that he could see the Giants doubling up on the offensive line with their pick at No. 36 in the second round. He also said that the 36th pick might be spot where the Giants, whose third pick is at No. 99, could trade back and acquire additional picks.

Jeremiah’s statement dovetails with a report on Wednesday from ESPN that Wills is “the most likely match for the Giants — low risk, dependable and powerful.”

Why that would make sense

In recent weeks, Wirfs and Mekhi Becton have been the names most often connected to the Giants. Remember, though, that rookie head coach Joe Judge was an assistant for Nick Saban at Alabama for several seasons, and that Judge acknowledged this week that the interrupted NFL offseason means teams will have to rely more heavily on trusted connections.

“The other thing we’ve had to do is rely on our contacts and people we trust. We’re very fortunate on our staff and me personally that we have a lot of contacts out there with a lot of these players that have coached them, and that we have good enough relationships with these coaches that they give us honest feedback,” Judge said. “To me, it’s important that you’re not just talking to someone at that program, you’re talking to someone you trust at that program that’s going to really tell you inside and out what that player is like as a person, as a teammate and as a player on a daily basis.

“I spent a lot of time on the phone talking to guys that I have very good, very deep relationships with investigating these players, and that all goes into our evaluation. The talent level is one thing, but it’s more than just fantasy football. We’re not just throwing players on a roster. We’re building a team. We have to account for how guys are in the meeting room, how they are in the locker room, how they interact with their teammates, and what they’re going to bring from a culture standpoint.”

Jeremiah’s rankings

Here is how Jeremiah ranks the offensive tackles:

  1. Mekhi Becton (7th overall) — “God didn’t make many like this.”
  2. Jedrick Wills (10th overall) — Jeremiah said Wills is “a natural knee bender” who has “left tackle ability.”
  3. Tristan Wirfs (13th overall)
  4. Andrew Thomas (18th overall)

“I think Jedrick Wills on day one, the first day of practice, is going to be ahead of Becton, but I think Becton, the upside is what puts him over the top for me. So he’s my top guy,” Jeremiah said.

“Jedrick Wills is just a natural knee-bender who’s very explosive. He can get himself in bad positions and find ways to recover with his athleticism. He played the right tackle spot there at Alabama. You’ve got a left-handed quarterback so that makes sense, put your best guy over there. I think he’s got left tackle ability. I think he can kick over there no problem, and he’s somebody in the run game that can uproot players. Again, just very explosive, very athletic player who I think he’s a top-10 pick in just about any year in my opinion.”