Looking at the positional conundrum that lays before the New York Giants and their No. 4 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which begins Thursday night, it’s difficult to say that choosing either an offensive lineman or defensive playmaker is the overwhelming right choice.
Another disappointing season put the Giants in prime position to acquire an elite prospect to fill one of their sizable voids in 2020.
Several early mock drafts had the Giants taking the gifted athletic linebacker, Isaiah Simmons, out of Clemson — a choice that many wouldn’t mind seeing given his dynamic qualities and ability to play multiple positions.
But general manager Dave Gettleman has done extensive work to address his linebacking corps over the last month, picking up Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell from the Green Bay Packers while re-signing David Mayo.
They’ll join Lorenzo Carter, who has put up 88 combined tackles and 8.5 sacks over his first two NFL seasons.
While the Giants brought in Cameron Fleming to bolster their offensive line and general manager Dave Gettleman gave the struggling Nate Solder a vote of confidence, an offensive line filled with question marks is the more likely avenue — at least at the beginning of draft week.
It’s safe to assume that the top-three picks of the draft are set in stone barring some major shakeup. The Cincinnati Bengals will take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, the Washington Redskins have a clear path to Ohio State dynamo Chase Young, and the Detroit Lions are expected to take his Columbus teammate, cornerback Jeff Okudah.
That allows the Giants to take the top offensive lineman available, though there is an elite four-man class at the position in this year’s draft: Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Giants have spent “significant time” scouting and getting to know Wirfs.
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Iowa product was at the top of his class in 2019, winning the 2019 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and gaining First Team All-Big Ten honors.
An athletic blocker on the edge, Wirfs has shown an ability to handle speed rushers on the outside well thanks to a strong set of hands, but a growing notion around the league suggests that he would succeed even more if shifted inside to guard.
It would provide more support for him, especially if he’s beaten on an inside rush, which has been a problem of his at times in college.