Round 1, 4th overall pick
Taking an offensive tackle with the fourth overall pick has dominated every compilation since Big Blue beat Washington in overtime on December 22, to lose the Chase Young sweepstakes. The percentage of mock drafts that predict the New York Giants will select an OT when they step to the podium in Las Vegas next month has been steady 60 percent (give or take 2.5 percent).
The most likely player selected has changed each tie. It’s gone from Andrew Thomas to Jedrick Wills to this month’s leader. These are the players who show up the most in the 26 audited mock drafts.
Mekhi Becton, T, Louisville – 8
Tristan Wirfs, T, Iowa – 5
Isaiah Simmons, Edge, Clemson – 5
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State – 4
Becton impressed many scouts and observers at the combine. The 6-7, 365 tackle from Louisville ran a 5.1 40-yard dash, which is virtually unheard of for someone of his mammoth size. His strength is as impressive as his size. Louisville used him to “plow the field” as part of their successful running offense.
"The chance to upgrade the left tackle position likely takes precedence in the eyes of general manager Dave Gettleman. Becton is a rare prospect with his impressive blend of size, strength and athletic traits. – Dane Brugler, The Athletic."
He would undoubtedly be the type of lead blocker the New York Giants need to boost Barkley into the upper echelon of NFL running backs. The big issue that makes Becton somewhat of a gamble is pass protection. It’s a bit of an unknown because he didn’t do very much of it in college (only 73 true pass sets according to Pro Football Focus). One thing the G-Men can’t afford is a repeat of the Erick Flowers fiasco.
What stands out in the latest round of mocks is that despite a very strong showing at the combine, Clemson edge rusher Isaiah Simmons lost a substantial amount of support. Last time Simmons appeared in a third of all mocks. Now he is on slightly less than 20 percent of them. Wills, last issue’s leader, fell off nearly 30 percent, selected only twice this time. But that is more a result of Becton’s performance in Indianapolis than his own.
One man’s fall creates opportunities for others to ascend. Both Wirfs and Okudah made big gains. Despite his outstanding skill set, It’s somewhat of a mystery as to why Wirfs would be a good fit for the New York Giants. He played right tackle in college and there are many scouts who believe he’d be a better guard than tackle in the NFL.