Good morning, New York Giants fans!
Slotting Hamilton in the top five in a mock draft is understandably tough to do. Only two safeties have been selected with top-five picks since the turn of the century: Sean Taylor in 2004, and Eric Berry in 2010. Both were the fifth pick; both were immediate impact players when they took the field. The only position (other than special teams) with fewer top-five picks in that time is tight end: Kyle Pitts is the only one. And safeties aren’t just devalued at the tippy top of the draft. When we look outside of the top five, we see the same thing. Just 15 safeties have gone in the top half of the first round since 2000, fewer than all but only interior offensive line (nine) and tight end (seven).
It seems that, no matter how good Hamilton is on the field, he can’t break the perception that safety isn’t a premium position in the NFL. No matter how good he is—no matter whether he’s a sure-fire, can’t-miss prospect with a sky-high ceiling—he can’t add as much to his team as a pass rusher or offensive tackle with star potential can. Those two positions, along with quarterback, are the ones that the league does prioritize with early draft picks. Thirty quarterbacks, 19 edge rushers, and 17 tackles—the three most frequently selected positions—have been drafted with top-five picks since 2000.
But the league’s prevailing wisdom is changing. Slowly, the league is showing us that it values safeties more than it has in recent years, and our understanding of positional value at the top of the draft should change accordingly.
I have said this before, but if the draft breaks in such a way that the Giants end up drafting Hamilton that is not going to bother me.
Nobody has any idea where Malik Willis will land, but it’s more than that. Nobody can agree on how the Liberty QB even projects at the next level. He’s a bizarre case of having every physical tool you could possibly want in a quarterback, but without the reassuring college resume that makes a team feel comfortable in selecting him. It’s for this reason we saw Willis hover around the late 20s, or even early second round, prior to the Senior Bowl before rising up the board with a strong week, and then rising again at the NFL Scouting Combine. Time and reps made scouts feel more comfortable, but that still doesn’t mean Willis is a guaranteed home run.
Provided the Giants are comfortable with at least six prospects—which is a hilariously low bar—parting with that No. 5 selection should be no problem. They simply need one quarterback drafted to keep an optimal choice at No. 7, and a trade should net nothing less than an additional first-round pick and likely a bit more.
And if nobody leaps the Panthers for QB1, whomever that may be, New York will select a top-five prospect. Hardly a bad result.
In case you missed it
- Big Blue View mailbag: Draft, draft and more draft questions
- Making the case: Devin Lloyd or Nakobe Dean?
- Giants mock draft tracker: A new leader at No. 5
You can find and subscribe to Big Blue View radio from the show’s home page.
You can find all the shows on our Big Blue View Radio Hub Page.
You can also find the shows and subscribe on all your favorite podcast apps:
BBV social platforms
Have a Giants-related question? E-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org and it might be featured in our weekly mailbag.