Draft thoughts three weeks out

Edge rusher has emerged as the deepest position in the draft

John Schmeelk: Fact – Pro Football Focus has 11 players in their Top 50 overall prospects in the draft class. It’s more than 20% of the class. There are edge rushers that will bring value to teams throughout the first, second, and even third rounds of this draft. If the Giants are debating between an edge player or cornerback with one of their first-round picks, the fact edge is much deeper than cornerback might sway their thinking as to who they will pick.

Dan Solomon: Fiction – The wide receiver classes keep getting better and better, especially once you see the production once they get to the NFL level. Daniel Jeremiah has six in his Top 30 overall prospects: Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson (No. 6) and Chris Olave (No. 26), USC’s Drake London (No. 13), Arkansas’ Treylon Burks (No. 14), Penn State’s Jahan Dotson (No. 25), and Alabama’s Jameson Williams (No. 27).

Lance Medow: Fiction – While there are plenty of edge rushers to choose from, wide receiver is the deepest – you could easily see 15-20 being selected in the Top 100. Ohio State will showcase Chris Olave and Garett Wilson while Alabama is represented by Jameson Williams and John Metchie III. Those are the powerhouses, but you also can’t overlook USC’s Drake London, Treylon Burks of Arkansas, Penn State’s Jahan Dotson, George Pickens of Georgia and Purdue’s David Bell, to name a few.

Matt Citak: Fact – Not only is edge rusher the deepest position in the draft, but it also has the top talent in the class, as well. There is a chance that Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Travon Walker are the first three picks in the draft, with guys like Jermaine Johnson II and George Karlaftis also likely to hear their names called within the first 20 picks or so. But even beyond the top-tier guys, there are prospects projected to go in Rounds 2-3 that could step in and be Day 1 starters. Boye Mafe and Arnold Ebiketie strong Round 2 prospects and could be in the cards for the Giants, if they don’t address EDGE in the first round. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein released his draft position rankings earlier this week, and it was no surprise to see edge defender at the top of his list.

Wide receiver is the most portable position from college to the pros

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Just 10 years ago, this statement wouldn’t have even been considered. It was a very challenging transition to go from playing wide receiver in college to the pros. As college and NFL teams have borrowed schemes from one another over the years, wide receivers have been able to arrive in the NFL and play at a high level right away. With that said, it still isn’t as easy of a transition as it is for defensive tackles or guards. Their jobs are basically identical moving from the college ranks to the pros, even if the level of competition is a big jump.

Dan Solomon: Fact – Between the rules that favor the offense and the college game seeing into the pros, young wide receivers are having more success than ever before. See: Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, Justin Jefferson, and the list goes on and on.

Lance Medow: Fact – The receivers’ success is a product of the offenses they play in at the collegiate level, the routes they’re asked to run and narrowing of the gap between both levels at the position. Case in point, Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman Jr, Chase Claypool, Van Jefferson and Gabriel Davis were selected within Rounds 2-4 in 2020, made immediate impacts on their respective teams and carried over their production over into 2021.

Matt Citak: Fiction – Wide receiver should be the answer as evidenced by the early career success of numerous receivers in recent years. However, for as many receivers who find great success as rookies, there are twice as many who struggle early – with the NFL requiring different techniques to succeed. That’s why it has to be the interior linemen on both sides of the ball who have the easiest transition to the NFL. The game is not that much different for defensive tackles and guards, it’s just the level of talent that is drastically different.

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