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Aaron Donald? Zack Martin? Odell Beckham Jr.? Which player should have been a Giant?

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Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When it comes to which Los Angeles Rams player would be the best one to put into the current New York Giants’ lineup, we could probably argue all day about whether the answers is future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Aaron Donald or All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Your answer probably depends on which you value more, coverage or pressure/disruption at the line of scrimmage. I would take either, preferably both.

That, though, isn’t what we are here to discuss today. With the Giants facing Donald and the Rams this a good opportunity to revisit the 2014 NFL Draft, when the Giants chose Odell Beckham Jr. at No. 12 over Donald and offensive lineman Zack Martin.

The question before the court of Big Blue View opinion today is which player should the Giants have chosen?

All three have become stars.

Beckham had a historic start to his career with the Giants. He posted three straight seasons of 1,300 or more receiving yards before injuries began to take a toll, the Giants tired of him and dealt him to the Cleveland Browns. Beckham’s career has been in a downward spiral in recent seasons, and it’s not hard to argue that at this point Donald and Martin are better, more valuable players.

When the Giants passed on Donald, the Rams pounced at No. 13. Donald has been the best defensive lineman in football pretty much since he set foot on an NFL field. He has made the Pro Bowl in all seven of his NFL seasons, and been an All-Pro in six of those years. He is a lock as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

I have to be honest here. The Big Blue View community at the time talked a lot about Donald and whether the Giants should draft him after a stellar career at Pitt. I did not believe the Giants would, or should.

I figured the 280-pound Donald was too small, not fitting the profile of the 320-pound defensive tackles the Giants liked, such as Linval Joseph or Johnathan Hankins. I wasn’t sure, quite foolishly as it turns out, that a player of Donald’s size could hold up on the interior. Guess I was wrong about that one.

The player I wanted, and truly believed the Giants would select, was Martin. I have always believed that prioritizing playmakers over offensive linemen is putting the cart before the horse, and not the right way to build a team that can have sustained success. The offensive line was then, as it remains today, an unsolved mystery. A six-time Pro Bowl and four-time All-Pro guard, Martin would have been a difference-maker both then and now in upgrading the line.

Who would you have chosen? Vote in the poll and let us know.


Which player should the Giants have selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Odell Beckham Jr.
    (143 votes)
  • 38%
    Zack Martin
    (833 votes)
  • 54%
    Aaron Donald
    (1169 votes)
2145 votes total Vote Now