The NFL Draft isn’t always an easy place to look through the telescope of an NFL franchise’s future.
For example, a good number of Buffalo Bills fans completely freaked out when their team selected quarterback Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick in 2018. Today those fans are eating their words as Allen has arguably emerged as the top quarterback in a class that included the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and the Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield.
The reality is we don’t really know who’s going to pan out. History repeats itself over and over again as players who were heavily overlooked turn into NFL stars. Perhaps the most fitting example remains the Patriots’ sixth-round draft pick in the 2000 draft, Tom Brady.
Let’s talk about the Giants
Recent mock drafts predicted the Giants will take a wide receiver like Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith with the 11th pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
Of 58 mock drafts in our most recent tracker, the most-often selected defensive player was Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. He was chosen six times (10.3 percent).
However, Football Gameplan’s Emory Hunt gave Giants fans quite the prediction last week on the Valentine’s Views Podcast with Big Blue View’s Ed Valentine.
Penn State’s Parsons? Nope.
Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari? Nope.
Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye? No sir.
Hunt, a well-respected draft specialist who also does work for for CBS Sports, has the Giants selecting Washington EDGE rusher Joe Tryon.
Tryon opted out of the 2020 season, perhaps a reason why draft experts could be overlooking the 21-year-old from Renton, Wash.
Here’s what Emory Hunt says about Tryon:
“When people describe edge rushers, when they talk about what they want, they want somebody long, somebody athletic, somebody that has twitch, somebody that is good at both ends of defense and they want somebody who has upside.
“Well, damn, that looks like Joe Tryon. Judging by how he finished 2019, he plays the game a lot like [Washington Football Team edge] Montez Sweat.”
Hunt went on to describe how NFL media tends to engage in “group think,” a phenomenon that occurs when a group of individuals reach a consensus without critical reasoning or evaluation of the consequences or alternatives. Group think is based on a common desire not to upset the balance of a group of people.
If you think that sounds a lot like mainstream NFL media, perhaps you may appreciate the type of analysis Hunt brings.
“Had Tryon played [in 2020], everyone would be talking about him and putting him in their first round,” he said.
Tryon’s Pro Day is on Tuesday, March 30. However, so is Alabama’s and Ohio State’s, both to be televised on NFL Network.
But Hunt said he won’t be surprised when Tryon turns heads. That’s because of the nature in which scouts tend to change their minds based on the newest ‘flavor of the week’ player.
“When he tests through the roof, next thing you know Daniel Jeremiah will tweet out ‘Oh, wow, Tryon tested really well and he should be talked about in the first round,” and all of the lemmings of draft Twitter will start talking about that as well. And next week you’ll see Tryon jump into everyone’s first round mock draft.”
“If you pay attention to NFL draft Twitter, that’s how it goes,” added Hunt.
What about the other options?
As for Michigan’s Paye, Hunt said “you probably don’t see a first-round edge rusher.”
The draft analyst said Miami’s Jaelan Phillips is his top “4-3” defensive end, but Phillips remains a poor fit for what the Giants are looking for. “They want someone that they can use as a hired assassin,” said Hunt.
Meanwhile, said Hunt, Phillips’ teammate Rousseau has a tendency to disappear at times.
“People love to have short memories when it comes to the draft cycle. The same people who said Rousseau would be a first-round pick are the same ones who said Barkevious Mingo would be the next Jevon Kearse. You don’t hear that talk anymore. Just because a guy is tall and skinny doesn’t mean he’s going to be a feared pass rusher. Rousseau has a lot of work to get done,” said Hunt.
Alright then, folks. I think we know who we should be focused on during Washington’s Pro Day on Tuesday.