The issues buzzing around Giants as NFL Draft approaches

As the time finally arrives for the 2020 NFL Draft, here is the latest buzzing around the Giants, who own 10 picks, including No. 4 overall:

1. For the Giants, it is Isaiah Simmons or their top-rated offensive tackle. It would be a shock if another player is in the discussion Thursday night.

When considering Simmons, the coaching staff put together a plan as to how it would use him in the defensive scheme crafted by new coordinator Patrick Graham. Simmons is not a plug-and-play player. Some see him as more of a downhill safety and others see him as a run-and-chase weak-side linebacker or an edge blitzer. He probably is all three but not on every down, and so a case has to be made as to what role he would fill on all three downs.

The top-rated tackle on the Giants’ board is going to be somewhere close to, if not in, the top five, so taking him at No. 4 will not be a significant reach or stretch to their grading system.

2. All that contact the Giants had with quarterback Justin Herbert? Got to believe that attracted a chuckle from the Giants. They did not leak that out and there really was nothing to leak anyway. That report likely was manufactured by Herbert’s representatives or someone out of Detroit to try to bait teams into thinking, “If the Giants are interested in Herbert, maybe we have to trade up over the Giants to the Lions at No. 3 to get him.’’ Why try to create a stir? There are about $7 million reasons why. Quinnen Williams to the Jets at No. 3 last year signed a four-year deal worth $32.5 million. Daniel Jones at No. 6 to the Giants got a four-year deal worth $25.6 million.

3. Sure, Joe Judge has a great resource in Nick Saban, Judge’s former boss at Alabama, as to the inner-working of offensive tackle Jedrick Wills. Judge also has a pipeline to get inside info on Andrew Thomas. Judge and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart were together on Saban’s staff at Alabama for three years (2009-11).

4. You bet there will be conversations between the Giants and other teams about a trade-down from No. 4. Those conversations will intensify the closer we get to Round 1. If a team wants to trade up to get a quarterback, it is more than likely a deal would get worked out prior to the draft. If there are any surprises in the first three picks — the Lions at No. 3 are the only real wild card — a team on the clock might be sparked to call the Giants because a player is on the board not expected to be there. The players most often linked to the Lions are cornerback Jeff Okudah and defensive tackle Derrick Brown. The Lions, though, badly want to trade out of this spot.

5. Remember Tank for Tua? Neither do the Dolphins. The latest: They are not especially high on Tua Tagovailoa and will not take him at No. 5. The Dolphins could possibly move up to No. 3 to take the top offensive tackle on their board, jumping ahead of the Giants at No. 4.

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6. After a night to think and reflect, the top few picks in the second round are often coveted, as teams reassess their boards and pinpoint a player they absolutely must have. If there is not a must-have player sitting there at 36, the Giants will absolutely try to trade down a few spots to gain an extra third-round pick.

7. Whoever the Jets take at No. 68 — that is one of the picks the Giants gave up in the trade for Leonard Williams — will instantly be evaluated and compared with Williams, the 26-year-old defensive tackle. The Giants do not think they could get a player of Williams’ quality at No. 68 and so they are not having buyer’s remorse about the deal.

8. The Giants know how far they can trade down from No. 4 and still get one of their top offensive tackles: No further than No. 9. The Browns (10) and Jets (11) are both expected to be in the tackle market. So, the only potential trade partners are the Dolphins, Chargers, Panthers, Cardinals and Jaguars. Count out the Cardinals, as they are expected to take an offensive tackle at No. 8.

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