The Giants will clearly be on the hunt for offensive line help this offseason. And while there is no guarantee they’ll select one in the first round of the NFL draft, there are already a couple of top prospects they seem to really like.
In fact, the Giants already “love” Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs, according to an NFL source familiar with the Giants thinking, and they have expressed similar interest in Alabama’s Jedrick Wills. Both of them are widely considered among the top four offensive line prospects in this year’s class, and they will get a good look from the entire league at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis next week.
It is far too early to know whether either of them would interest the Giants enough to draft them with the fourth overall pick. Right now, the NFL consensus seems to have Wirfs and Wills in a four-man group at the top of the offensive line charts, with Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton. Which order they will eventually land in depends, for now, on who is asked.
And it’s hard to know if either Wirfs or Wills would be available to the Giants if they decided to trade down in the first round. That would depend on a lot of factors, including what happens in free agency and, if they do trade down, how far down they are willing to go.
The one thing that is clear is the Giants will be watching both of them closely next week, and the 6-5, 322-pound Wirfs could put on quite a show. He was called “an absolute freak” by one NFL scout who broke some of Iowa’s weightlifting records and has impressive agility due to his history as a state champion wrestler in high school.
Meanwhile, the 6-5, 320-pound Wills is considered by some to be the most pro-ready tackle in this year’s class. And don’t overlook this important factor: He will surely come with a strong recommendation from Alabama coach Nick Saban, a former boss and mentor to current Giants coach Joe Judge.
Both of them could end up as immediate starters on the right side for the Giants, and then transition to left tackle when Nate Solder is gone.
Again, it’s early, but if the Giants do decide to take an offensive lineman in the first round, they should be able to get their top choice if they stay at 4. Almost everyone expects LSU quarterback Joe Burrow to go to the Cincinnati Bengals at 1, and Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young to go to the Washington Redskins at 2. The Detroit Lions are a bit of a wild-card at 3, but it doesn’t appear for now that the offensive line is their top priority.
The Giants, of course, will have other positional options, too. Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah is considered one of the best cornerback prospects to come out of college in years, and some think he will end up as a Top 5 pick. And Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons is another Top 5 possibility, especially for a team like the Giants who are desperate for defensive help.
But nowhere are they more desperate for help than along the offensive line. With Solder and right tackle Mike Remmers both underperforming and almost certainly entering their final year with the team (if they even make it through 2020) the Giants need to find two young tackles. They also could use a center with incumbent Jon Halapio out until at least the spring with the torn Achilles he suffered in the final game of the season.
Giants GM Dave Gettleman admitted he hasn’t done enough to find his beloved “Hog Mollies” to fix the issue up front. But he’s said that will be a big priority over the next few months.