Parsons is a dominant player. An All-Pro edge defender in both of his NFL seasons. He might be the best defender in the league, and at 24 his career is just getting started. And Giants’ fans know all too well that he could have been on their team.
You remember this if you root for the Giants, and apologies if you don’t want to be reminded. The Giants had the 11th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The buzz was that they had targeted wide receiver DeVonta Smith, but the Philadelphia Eagles jumped the Giants, moving from No. 12 to No. 10 in a deal with Dallas to select Smith.
The Giants were then faced with a choice: select Parsons, or perhaps offensive tackle Rashawn Slater, or trade down. Dave Gettleman executed the first draft-day trade down of nine drafts he ran as an NFL GM, swapping the 11th pick to the Chicago Bears and moving to No. 20.
The Giants selected wide receiver Kadarius Toney, a pretty obvious Smith consolation prize. The unreliable Toney lasted less than two seasons with the Giants before new GM Joe Schoen shipped him to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Pretty obvious that the Giants got the worst of the decision to move out of the 11th spot, right? The Cowboys took Parsons, the Giants took Toney and got 19 games and nearly as many controversies.
It isn’t, though, that simple.
Each week during the season we will take a look at a player from the Giants’ opponent that week would look really nice in a Giants’ uniform. Usually, we will ask which player from that opponent you would like to have as a Giant. This week, we are discussing Parsons because he is the obvious choice.
Now, let’s look deeper at the question of whether in the end the Giants should have selected Parsons or if the players they have since acquired thanks to the picks accumulated in the trade down with the Bears are more valuable than one single great player?
Here is the tally:
TE Darren Waller (acquired from Las Vegas Raiders for third-round pick gained in trade of Toney to Chiefs)
OT Evan Neal (2021 No. 7 overall pick from Bears)
CB Aaron Robinson (fifth-round pick from Bears used to move up and select Robinson in Round 3 of 2021 draft)
TE Daniel Bellinger (acquired with fourth-round pick from Bears, 112th overall, in 2021 draft)
CB Tre Hawkins III (acquired in Round 6 of 2023 draft with sixth-round pick gained from Chiefs in Toney trade)
There are questions with many of the players the Giants have acquired. Can Waller stay healthy and at 31 how long can he be a top-tier player? Can Neal, coming off a terrible rookie season, justify the No. 7 overall pick? Can Robinson ever get on the field for an extended stretch? Can Hawkins, outstanding in training camp and the preseason, continue that success in the regular season?
There is no question what Parsons is. A game-wrecking, great player.
Still, would you rather have Parsons or the accumulation of players the Giants have gained directly or indirectly thanks to the decision to trade down? Vote in the poll and let us know.
Would you rather have Micah Parsons or the accumulation of players (Waller, Neal, Aaron Robinson, Bellinger, Hawkins) the Giants acquired thanks to the 2021 draft-day trade down?
This poll is closed
Waller, Neal, A. Robinson, Bellinger, Hawkins