Last year I was drafting for the Eagles. Now I draft for the Giants. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
I’m not gonna lie to y’all, I wanted to draft for the Giants with the pure expectation that Sam Darnold was going #1 to Cleveland and I could just sit back and choose Saquon Barkley (who is my favorite player in the draft). Of course that didn’t happen, because the Giants just can’t have nice things. Why should I have expected it to go according to plan when we had Teddy Bridgewater go #1 overall in this thing in 2014? Luckily, I wound up with my second favorite player in the draft: Quenton Nelson.
Before I go into Nelson, I need to address the elephant in the room: no, I did not choose a QB. Darnold and Rosen were both there and I didn’t choose either despite the fact that the Giants have a long term need at QB. In theory it makes sense to do so. New York has a 37 year old QB who still has a year or 2 left in him and can mentor the new draftee for the long term. The biggest problem to this is that I don’t see a single franchise QB in this draft.
I see Rosen as absolute bust material: injury concerns, questions about drive and leadership capabilities, and concerns over how he would deal with the media. He has the arm to succeed, but he also has had way too many situations in which he overthrows easy targets. Altogether he was an absolute nonstarter for me.
Then we get to Darnold. I see him as being much more successful than Rosen, but there was one huge thing that I couldn’t get over. His mechanics are extremely worrisome for me, especially with his slow release. He winds up in his motion too much, which gives the defenses 2 big advantages. The first is that the way he winds up gives safeties a timing mechanism to know when to jump the route. The second is that it gives edge rushers that much more time to get to Darnold. As a result, Darnold fumbles, gets sacked, and gets picked off way too much. Ball security is his #1 knock, and it’s because of the cause of those problems that I can’t justify choosing him this high.
Anyway, enough about why the other guys suck. Quenton Nelson is an absolute beast of a human being (measuring in at 6’5” 325 lbs), and plays like one too. He is not one to get bullied by DL. He is strong at the point of contact and even drives the rusher back often to help in both pass and rush protection. With most OL, it is pretty apparent whether they excel more at pass protection or run protection. For Nelson, I legitimately can’t tell because he is fantastic at both. Nelson plays with a mean streak, making him an absolute nightmare to go up against play in and play out.
It is practically impossible to bull rush him, as he is almost completely sound in his technique. His hand placement is perfect, he uses perfect knee bend to gain leverage, and he knows how to sustain blocks for as long as needed. Nelson is a very smart player, which allows him to combine his tenacious play with his textbook technique without making mistakes. His athleticism and agility also allow him to be versatile with different schemes.
You may be asking yourself whether there are any weaknesses to his game, to which I would say of course there are. There just aren’t that many. The one technical flaw I see is that he does have a slight tendency to drop his head into some blocks, which can have an effect on whiffing on the occasional block. However, this in my mind is completely fixable with some proper coaching. He’s also had some slight injury concerns, which in all honesty don’t seem like that big of a deal but when a guy has this few of weaknesses you have to bring it up for the sake of due diligence. Everything else you read about his game is just nitpicking.
My father is a massive Giants fan (and I am a huge disappointment in his eyes for being an Eagles fan), and we talk about football often. I’ve asked him about what the Giants should do, and every single time he says that they should trade down to get an OL. He likes Barkley and wouldn’t be upset if the Giants got him, but he recognizes the need for OL. Championship teams are built from the trenches out, as evident by your Super Bowl LII Champion Philadelphia Eagles. If there is an absolute can’t miss prospect on the OL this draft, Nelson is it. He’s going to be an anchor on the OL for years to come for whichever team drafts him. The Giants had one of the worst OL in the league last year, so not only is this a BPA move in my opinion but also a positional need.
Listen, this isn’t the sexiest pick by any extent of the imagination. But the fact of the matter is that this is the absolute best choice the Giants can make in this draft should Barkley be off the table. The Giants won’t be in the playoffs next year in all likelihood, as their retooling project will take a little time. They can get their QB next year when the crop should be stronger. In the mean time, you need to be able to protect whatever QB or RB you have for the future. Nelson has the highest ceiling and floor of any OL in this draft, and the Giants would be absolute fools not to select him if the opportunity presents itself.
Do you approve of this pick?
This poll is closed
2018 BGN Community Mock Draft Order
1) Browns (GMinTraining): Saquon Barkley
2) Giants (ablesser88): Quenton Nelson
3) Jets (20Safety_Hazards):
4) Browns (MJ1893):
5) Broncos (drc242):
6) Colts (I Need a Username):
7) Buccaneers (dunc123):
8) Bears (NVEagleShark):
9) 49ers (Doug Pederson’s Pair of Balls):
10) Raiders (Milehighbirds):
11) Dolphins (danishdynamite_):
12) Bills (LAOJoe)
13) Washington (Eagle1987):
14) Packers (89Tremaine):
15) Cardinals (TJ “Ben Simmons” Mcconnell):
16) Ravens (PhillyEagles2011):
17) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!):
18) Seahawks (KEZHOG):
19) Cowboys (Brawnybalboa):
20) Lions (dshelton5):
21) Bengals (Palaniappan K M):
22) Bills (BeamerWentzorBentley):
23) Rams (jy1187):
24) Panthers (dceagles):
25) Titans (ei78):
26) Falcons (SakPrescott):
27) Saints (MidMajorMatt):
28) Steelers (SummersInVA):
29) Jaguars (RecarTabmok):
30) Vikings (AnthroEagle):
31) Patriots (PhilaWolverine):
32) Eagles (JALupowitz):
Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think the Browns should pick in the 2018 BGN Consensus Mock Draft.
Who should the New York Giants draft at No. 2 overall?
This poll is closed
2018 BGN Consensus Mock Draft Order
1) Browns: Saquon Barkley