EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants own the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, a sweet spot that could produce more picks via a trade down, a defensive playmaker or an offensive lineman. The last of those three outcomes is always a realistic option with general manager Dave Gettleman in charge.
Gettleman's affinity for linemen -- his preferred term is "hog mollies" -- is well known. In his seven drafts as a GM, he has had 16 picks in the first two rounds, and he has taken an offensive or defensive lineman with seven of those picks. Given the Giants' need to protect quarterback Daniel Jones, it would be silly to rule out New York selecting an offensive tackle at No. 4 next month. It also would be silly to rule out a defensive playmaker with that pick, given the obvious need on that side of the ball.
With the combine behind us, here's a look at five prospects who seem like possible fits for the Giants in the first round:
This is considered a strong draft for offensive tackles, and three could go in the top 10 picks -- Iowa's Tristan Wirfs, Louisville's Mekhi Becton and Alabama's Jedrick Wills Jr. All three impressed at the combine, and it's not hard to envision one of them tempting Gettleman at No. 4 or slightly lower if he makes a trade. Gettleman has never traded down in any of his seven drafts as a GM, but he has declared the Giants "open for business." One of these offensive tackles becomes even more likely to be a Giant if Gettleman trades into the 7-to-11 range.
Wirfs: He is the most likely candidate for the Giants and Gettleman, who have been all over him from the start of the draft process. They have a dinner planned with him before the Iowa pro day on March 23 and will host him at their facility for a top-30 visit, according to a source. Wirfs had an incredible combine. His 4.85 seconds in the 40-yard dash was the fastest for any player at least 320 pounds since 2006. His 36.5-inch vertical jump was the best by any offensive lineman at the combine since 2006. And he predictably performed well during drills. What else should have been expected considering the tutelage from Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who always seems to have his linemen NFL-ready? Wirfs also seems to fit the profile of a Giants first-rounder: low risk, high production, solid character and work ethic. He was spotted at the YMCA in Indianapolis squeezing in a workout before his big day at the combine.
Becton: He validated his résumé at the combine with the Giants paying close attention. Becton ran the 40-yard dash in 5.10 seconds, an incredible feat after being measured at 6-foot-7⅜ and 364 pounds. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Becton is the heaviest player to run a sub-5.2 40-yard dash at the combine since 2006. Former Memphis nose tackle Dontari Poe has the fastest time for a big man over the past 15 years; he ran a 4.98-second 40 at the 2012 combine at 346 pounds. This was expected for Becton. One individual who saw him train and play predicted a fast 40 and also saw significant improvement with his technique. Becton is now widely considered a lock to be top-10 pick, making him a realistic option at No. 4 or potentially a bit further back. The fast-rising prospect has faced questions about his weight and commitment to football but did well in addressing both at the combine, according to a source.
Wills: A right tackle in college, Wills showed his athleticism at the combine. There is no doubt he has the physical tools. So is the physicality this Giants staff covets, making him another candidate who fits the Gettleman/Joe Judge profile. Judge, the Giants coach, and his staff have connections to Alabama. Judge surely will talk to his former boss Nick Saban about Wills and others and then should be able to make an informed decision. Could that sway Gettleman and his scouting staff one way or the other? It's an interesting dynamic to monitor.
Isaiah Simmons, linebacker, Clemson: If the Giants stay at No. 4, this is a player of intrigue. Unfortunately for the Giants, there is only one premium pass-rusher in this draft -- defensive end Chase Young -- and he is expected to be taken before the Giants' selection. Some around the NFL wondered aloud in Indianapolis where Simmons would play given his size, speed and versatility. But considering what Judge preaches, this will be viewed as a positive with the Giants, who want to be unpredictable with their schemes. Simmons, who ran a blistering 4.39 seconds at 238 pounds at the combine, is the perfect defensive weapon for that. He can be used at linebacker, safety, nickelback or as a pass-rusher. The comparison several sources made at the combine was to the Chargers' Derwin James, whose primary position is free safety. More aptly, he's a defensive player, and the Giants could certainly use one of those. The only question is whether they're willing to use a top-five pick on a non-premium position. It's not like they have an edge rusher, left tackle and shutdown cornerback on the roster already.
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State: The Ohio State product remains the top cornerback after the combine, and he would fill a premium need if the Giants don't land Dallas Cowboys CB Byron Jones in free agency. Okudah wouldn't be a sexy pick, or even the most popular pick, but it would make sense if he's viewed as the best player available at No. 4 and there isn't a great offer to trade down.