The NFL Draft may still be approximately one week away, however, the first three picks of the event appear to be nearly set in stone. Joe Burrow is expected to be the first name that Roger Goodell announces from the comfort of his basement, followed shortly after by Chase Young. With the third pick, Detroit is projected to either select cornerback Jeff Okudah or trade the pick to a QB-needy team looking to acquire the services of either Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa.
However, where things get interesting is at the number four pick and the New York Giants. Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons appears to be the fan-favorite for the selection. However, each one of the four top offensive tackles in the class has been connected to the G-Men this offseason and all will almost certainly be there for the taking once New York is on the clock.
Giants Reportedly Eyeing Jedrick Wills Jr.
Mekhi Becton was the first offensive tackle to gain steam as a potential fit with the Giants this draft season. Then Tristan Wirfs exploded at the combine, leading to him being mocked numerous times to Big Blue at number four. While most recently news broke that New York had a virtual meeting scheduled with Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas.
Yet, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, “buzz” is building in league circles that the Giants may, in fact, be targeting Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr. over all the aforementioned names above.
This is where the Saban-Joe Judge connection comes into play. The Giants already have former Alabama running backs coach Burton Burns on staff. He has seen what Wills can do and would likely provide another stamp of approval. Wills would be an ideal fit in an offense expected to be more run-heavy than most. No wonder the buzz on Wills to the Giants has been building in league circles. He would start on the right side and, depending on how things shake out over the next few seasons, potentially move to the left. Wills seems to be the most likely match for the Giants — low risk, dependable and powerful.
Raanan also appeared to point to Andrew Thomas as being the most unrealistic draft choice for the Giants of the top-four tackles, stating that “there hasn’t been much buzz connecting Thomas to the Giants, aside from some FaceTime sessions with the team.”
Trading Down May Be Giants’ Best Draft Scenario
If New York is set on Isaiah Simmons as their first-overall selection in next week’s draft, then, by all means, stay at number four and grab a potential generational talent and don’t look back.
However, if the Giants are entering the draft with the idea that they will use their first selection on an offensive tackle, then trading back would be in the best interest of the organization.
There’s a reason why Becton, Wills, Wirfs, and Thomas are constantly mentioned in the same breath. It’s because there’s very little separating one from the others.
The Giants were buried for drafting Daniel Jones with the sixth-overall pick a season ago. While some of the takes were blatant hate of the prospect, the majority of the displeasure with the pick was New York failing to play the game known as the NFL Draft.
If the Giants can find a trade partner looking to snag either Tagovailoa or Herbert, New York would best be served to pull the trigger on the deal while moving back, gaining draft capital, and still having a great opportunity to snag the top tackle on their board.