By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: Now that the combine is completed and free agency has begun and the New York Giants have made some noise with the trades of Olivier Vernon and Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland and the decision to let Landon Collins go, Gettleman will need to focus on who will be their first selection (6th overall) in the NFL draft. Barring any major surprises, his decision should realistically come down to six players. Let’s automatically eliminate these three prospects (Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Quinnen Williams) unless teams trade up into the top 6 to acquire quarterbacks; which has been highly reported. If so, then that could push one of the three mentioned above into the Giants lap. However; for argument sake, let’s assume that scenario doesn’t occur as it’s nearly impossible to project. Also, let’s also omit a possibility of trading back and/or trading picks for a player. So let’s get right to the list of the top 5 options for the Giants with the 6th overall pick in no particular order:
- Montez Sweat (DE) Mississippi State-6’6/265: Sweat had arguably a top 3 combine among the prospects that really opened eyes and propelled him from a top 15 prospects into a possible top 5. Let’s not forget that Sweat was also dominant during the Senior Bowl week against elite competition. Sweat has that rare combination of power and speed to go along with his freakish athleticism.
- Rashan Gary (DE) Michigan-6’5/277: Gary also had an eye opening combine and could go before the Giants selection at 6. The biggest knock on Gary was that his immense talent never seemed to translate onto the football field. However; many scouts believe that Gary was more of a victim of the system at Michigan and should transition well and be an impact player in the NFL.
- Ed Oliver (DE) Houston-6’2/287: Oliver has been compared to Aaron Donald based on their size comparison and similar style of play as an interior defensive linemen. Oliver didn’t have any wow moments at the combine, but that won’t affect his draft status at all. It’s possible Oliver goes in the top 5 if a certain team (hint: Raiders) has high grades on him. However; I believe he will be available at 6 for the Giants, if so, Gettleman could select him and give the Giants a relentless defensive linemen that can play anywhere along the line; while stuffing the run and putting pressure on the quarterback.
- Devin White (ILB) LSU-6’1/240: White ran an insane 4.42 at the combine and on tape; he is a sideline to sideline tackling machine. Inserting him at the inside linebacker for the Giants would immediately give the Giants a presence at the inside linebacker position this team hasn’t seen in a very long time. White is a 3 down linebacker and has high football IQ and has leadership qualities that GM Dave Gettleman looks for. If White’s name is on the board, the Giants could put his name on the card.
- Greedy Williams: (CB) LSU-6’2/190: Williams is regarded as the best corner in this draft and although he only participated in the 40 yard dash, he did it in style with a 4.37 time. Giants literally have no depth at the cornerback position and currently their two starters are Janoris Jenkins and supplemental pick Sam Beal. Behind them is Grant Haley who should some promise last season when given the opportunity. GM Dave Gettleman will likely add a top cornerback in free agency to compete for a starting spot, but also expect him to draft one as well. Williams would instantly give the Giants a shutdown type corner that they haven’t had in awhile.
Final Thoughts: As I mentioned earlier, it’s being rumored that some teams seeking a quarterback (Denver, Dolphins, Redskins) could look to trade up into the top 5 for either Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins. Also, throw in the rumors of the Arizona Cardinals possibly selecting Murray 1st overall, then possibly trading last year’s first round choice Josh Rosen to a team seeking a quarterback; which will push down a talented defensive player closer to the Giants. Lots of options are possible as we get closer to the draft and from now until then, we will be reading a lot of them. Whether any of them will actually happen remains to be seen, but it will be fun to watch it all unfold.