Round 1, 4th overall pick
Until a late-season two-game winning streak, the New York Giants were heading for the second overall pick. Now they select fourth behind Cincinnati, Washington, and Detroit. Most mock drafts expect those selections to be quarterback Joe Burrow from LSU, followed by Ohio State players defensive end Chase Young, and cornerback Jeff Okudah.
There is a little bit of fluidity with Detroit’s third overall pick and Big Blue’s fourth overall pick. First of all, the Lions aren’t necessarily locked into Okudah as they may opt for a big-play receiver. Second, both Miami (fifth overall) and San Diego (sixth overall) need new quarterbacks. Either one of them could make an offer to trade up ahead of the other to guarantee their selection.
I still believe that if Okudah is available, he”s the right pick, but I’m not included in this compilation. Since the January compilation opinion is solidifying toward the G-Men selecting an offensive tackle. This time 19 or 62.5 percent of the mock drafts had Big Blue leaning that way. That’s up from 55 percent the last time. Here are the players most often selected:
Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama – 9
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson – 8
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia – 4
The Crimson Tide turns out high-quality offensive lineman year-after-year. Wills will maintain those high standards of excellence at the next level. He’s a dynamic power run blocker who would excel at opening holes for Barkley. In addition, his pass blocking skills are top shelf with outstanding footwork.
The 6-5, 320-pound lineman played right tackle quite a bit in college, but that was because Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was left-handed. He was still responsible for the blindside. Wills also played some left tackle and should have no problem handling the job as a pro.
Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons put on a show in the National Championship Game. He is very versatile, as he made a successful transition from safety to linebacker in college and wants to continue his evolution in the NFL. Size may be a problem for Simmons because he’s a bit light for a pass rusher at 230 pounds, however, his length and long arms help him to shed blockers.