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Giants’ 2020 NFL Draft: Making the case for Isaiah Simmons

And welcoming Emory Hunt to Big Blue View

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Unless Chase Young magically falls into their lap at No. 4 in the 2020 NFL Draft, the debate for the New York Giants seems likely to come down to this — whether they trade down or not, should they draft Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons or select the best offensive tackle available?

It’s a debate that has raged ... and raged ... and raged in both the Giants’ fan base and in the draft community. No matter what the Giants ultimately do, the debate over the choice they make will likely continue to rage long after the pick is virtually announced on April 23.

It is a debate Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan and I waded into on the most recent ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast.

Going forward, Hunt, a draft analyst unafraid to voice and stand by an opinion that goes against mainstream thinking, will be creating video content for the long-dormant Big Blue View YouTube channel. The video above, in which Hunt makes the case for Simmons, is his first for us.

You know where I stand. I certainly see the skill set Simmons possesses and understand the potential he possesses as a multi-faceted defensive chess piece. If the Giants were to select him, I would certainly understand why.

I simply believe, though, that the Giants’ baseline responsibility in this draft and for the next few seasons is to protect and maximize the investments they have made during the past two drafts in quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. They have to give Jones the opportunity to learn to play quarterback at the NFL level without being on his back all the time, and they have to give Barkley a chance to make a difference without having to do it all on his own. If the Giants believe there is a player on the board who can be a 10-year starter at offensive tackle, my view is that it’s a move they should make.

Here is how I put it when Simmons was selected in our community mock draft:

“In my view, the main thing the Giants must do in the upcoming draft is come out of it with a player who projects as a long-term fixture at one of the tackle spots. Passing on the opportunity to select the tackle of their choice at No. 4 (or a couple of picks later if they smartly move down a few spots) and hoping someone like Ezra Cleveland, Josh Jones or Austin Jackson is there at No. 36 in Round 2 is a HUGE roll of the dice.”

In the video above, Hunt makes a compelling case for Simmons, saying it “makes complete sense” for the Giants to select Simmons because of the many ways he can impact a defense.

“Essentially, you can be getting three players with one pick in Isaiah Simmons,” Hunt said.

Hunt continued to make that case while appearing on my podcast, which you can listen to below.

While I remain steadfast in my belief that the Giants must prioritize adding offensive line talent in this draft, Hunt made two points during the podcast that are worthy of consideration.

Hunt said drafting Simmons “makes a more immediate impact” on the Giants.

There is validity to that in the current environment where it seems unlikely there will be any on-field work during the offseason. Without a high volume of preseason practice reps it is probably more difficult for a rookie offensive tackle to be ready to play from Week 1.

Hunt’s second point is an extension of the first. That being that in this situation drafting a tackle might be more about 2021 than the upcoming season. If that is the way the Giants look at it, Hunt said there are several “really good prospects” at the tackle spot the Giants could draft and develop on Day 2.

Wherever you stand on this topic, please enjoy the video and the podcast. Oh, and welcome Emory to BBV!

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