By Michael Stewart
The New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman will have many decisions to make while preparing for the 2018 draft. Over the weeks leading up to the draft, I will feature positions of need that I feel the Giants will most likely focus on. This week, I will focus on the Offensive Tackles in the draft and who could be available in each round courtesy of Walterfootball.com
Mike McGlinchey-6’7/310 (Notre Dame): Unless the Giants plan on trading back in the 1st round, it’s to imagine them selecting McGlinchey with the 2nd overall pick. However; if they do get an offer they can’t refuse and trade back for additional picks, McGlinchey would certainly then be under consideration. McGlinchey is the top rated OT on my board and more likely to succeed at a LT in the NFL.
Orlando Brown-6’7/340 (Oklahoma): Brown could go mid to late in the 1st round and is a strong blocker at the point of attack, which is illustrated by him consistently tossing defenders to the ground. In pass protection, Brown has some athletic issues, like playing too high for the NFL, so speed rushers give him problems. Some team sources feel Brown should move inside to guard as a pro, but others believe that he will be a starting right tackle. Multiple team contacts think that Brown will be a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and project him as a starting right tackle.
Martinas Rankin-6’5/302 (Mississippi State): Rankin is a good athlete, a good kid, smart and versatile, but his lack of strength is problematic for the NFL. Sources say that the Senior Bowl will see Rankin’s draft stock sky rocket or fall depending on how he does in the one-on-ones, along with handling power. Multiple sources from a few teams compared Rankin to Troy’s Antonio Garcia, who was a second-day pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. They see Rankin as a similar talent for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Connor Williams-6’6/320 (Texas): Williams returned to play in the final couple of games of 2017 before shutting it down to prepare for the 2018 NFL Draft and decided to skip his bowl game. Williams also could slip into the back end of the 1st round, but he missed seven games of the 2017 season and could slip into the 2nd round. Midway through the first half against USC, he went down with a torn knee meniscus and strained ligaments. As we reported in the Hot Press, Williams was receiving some mid-round grades from evaluators this season. The main issue that sources said was hurting Williams is a lack of strength. One AFC team in need of tackle help said they gave him a late third-round, early fourth-round grade.
Koton Miller-6’8/310 (UCLA): Miller had a rough start to 2017, but turned in a quality season blocking for Josh Rosen as the Bruins left tackle. Miller has good length to him and the ability to stay on the edge in the NFL. However, he might be a better fit as a right tackle in the pros as he can have problems with speed rushes to the inside. Miller played right tackle in 2015 and 2016 before injuries ended those seasons early. He only played in five games in 2016.
Jamarco Jones-6’5/310 (Ohio State): Jones had a solid 2017 season, minus a few plays on which he was beaten and allowed his quarterback to get sacked or hit. Jones is a balanced player as a run blocker and pass protector. He is not a twitchy athlete who is especially powerful or heavy-handed. I’ve heard some team sources that like Jones and others that have him graded in the late rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Brian O’Neil-6’6/305 (Pittsburgh): O’Neil is an interesting athlete. He played wide receiver in high school before going to Pittsburgh as a tight end. After redshirting as a tight end, he switched to offensive tackle and gained a lot of weight. In 2015 and 2016, O’Neil was the starting right tackle for the Panthers. With Adam Bisnowaty moving on to the NFL, O’Neil was Pittsburgh’s left tackle for 2017 and had a decent season. O’Neil needs to get stronger for the NFL.
Tyrell Crosby-6’5/310 (Oregon): In the early going of 2017, Crosby had to work off some rust after missing almost all of 2016, but he still opened a lot of holes for running back Royce Freeman, who racked up a lot of yards on the year. Crosby did not allow a sack or hit on the quarterback in the first five games of the season. He was invited to play at the Senior Bowl.
Brandon Parker-6’8/310 (North Carolina A & T): Parker is a prospect who impressed area scouts this fall. They think he has developmental potential to be a starter in the NFL. They like his size and length to protect on the edge. Sources say that Parker has received some fourth-round grades, and he could rise if he plays well at the Senior Bowl.
Andre Dillard-6’5/300 (Washington State): Dillard is a player who has created some positive buzz in the scouting community. Sources say he has some quickness with athletic ability to go with NFL size. Dillard is quick to get out of his stance, with the ability to hit blocks on the second level. His quick feet and agility have impressed team sources for an NFL-sized blocker. Some team sources feel Dillard has left tackle potential for the NFL and like him more than other highly touted tackle prospects like Washington’s Trey Adams and Texas’ Connor Williams. With his quality play protecting the blind side of Luke Falk, the junior Dillard has turned himself into a player to watch for the 2018 or 2019 draft.
Chukwuma Okorafor-6’6/330 (Western Michigan): There were some reports in the media about Okorafor as an early-round tackle prospect. After speaking with some team sources, they weren’t enthusiastic about Okorafor. Some sources felt that while Okorafor has some athletic ability, he is a very soft offensive lineman, and they think he is going to get pushed around in the NFL. Those team sources were grading Okorafor on the third day of the 2018 NFL Draft and were against their teams selecting him.
K.C McDermott-6’7/300 (Miami): McDermott started at left guard for the Hurricanes last season and was a significant part of Miami showing a big improvement in its rushing offense over 2015. However, Miami’s line still allowed too much pressure on quarterback Brad Kaaya. McDermott turned in some underwhelming play in a few games. Improving his pass protection as a senior is critical for his NFL hopes.
Desmond Harrison-6’7/300 (West Georgia): Harrison was part of the Texas program before being dismissed by then-coach Charlie Strong. Failed drug tests were the reason for Harrison’s dismissal. He landed at West Georgia, where he has played well for the Wolves. Team sources say that Harrison has the skill set of a first- or second-round pick with his size, quickness, athleticism and length, however; concerns of his past and age (24) could hinder his draft situation. Team sources say they don’t think Harrison will get out of the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft and that his stock could catch fire at the Senior Bowl.
Toby Weathersby-6’6/308 (LSU): Weathersby played well for LSU. He helped the Tigers break in some new linemen during 2017. Weathersby is a better run blocker than pass protector. Moving to right tackle or inside to guard could be the best plan for him in the NFL. Final Thoughts: Based on GM Dave Gettleman’s comment regarding his game plan on rebuilding the Giants Offensive line. Gettleman mentioned that the direction he takes in free agency will and should determine what he goes in the draft. With that being said, I’m sure how much money Gettleman plans on spending in free agent (could have approximately $50m). However; I do expect him to invest in at least Offensive linemen who will be the anchor for the offensive line. Who that will be is uncertain, although I would like to see the Giants make a push for OG Andrew Norwell.