Connected to two positions primarily throughout the pre-draft process, the Giants appear certain to fill one of those early. Dave Gettleman wants a pass rusher “in the worst way,” a veteran NFL exec told NBC Sports’ Peter King, before adding the team will draft an edge player with one of its first three picks. New York holds picks 6, 17 and 37 but also has been understandably linked to quarterbacks after passing on them early in last year’s draft. The Giants have met with just about every top- and second-tier pass-rushing, hosting Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Ed Oliver, Quinnen Williams, Rashan Gary, Brian Burns, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, Jaylon Ferguson on visits. After trading away Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon in consecutive offseasons, the Giants boast one of the most edge defender-needy depth charts in the game. Their Vernon-powered pass-rushing group last year registered just 30 sacks.
While the Giants may be zeroing in on Dwayne Haskins, they have also done work on possible second-round quarterbacks Will Grier and Jarrett Stidham — in the event Gettleman would dare push his post-Eli Manning QB need to 2020 and prioritize pass rushers early. He has said he would not view a non-first-round pick as a legitimate long-term quarterback solution.
Here is the latest from the draft world, courtesy of the veteran reporter:
- Adding some intrigue to the Cardinals‘ situation: they believe Bosa is a generational prospect. While King still has them selecting Kyler Murray at No. 1, the report they are not totally committed to this yet — despite just about everything we’ve heard in recent weeks — is a bit more interesting. Bosa visited the Cardinals earlier this month and would obviously fill the team’s need opposite Chandler Jones.
- While defensive line and linebacker prospects figure to populate the ESPN ticker early in Thursday night’s draft, secondary pieces may not come off the board until the second part of the opening round. One of the teams in need of cornerback help may have a preference. Mike Tomlin “loves” Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin, King writes. The Steelers have a linebacker need too but did sign Mark Barron to pair with Vince Williams. Their 2016 first-round investment of Artie Burns has not paid off, so Pittsburgh’s No. 20 spot may well be a cornerback destination. Ya-Sin, who played at Presbyterian (S.C.) prior to playing one season at Temple, visited the Steelers this month.
- Brian Burns‘ stock has risen recently, and King mocks the Florida State product to the Bengals at No. 11. Burns ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the Combine and is one of many high-caliber front-seven players available.
- Another member of that group’s fortune has not been as kind. Montez Sweat will not attend the draft. Some teams have taken the Mississippi State product off their draft boards, and it is now possible he falls out of the first round. Reportedly diagnosed with an enlarged heart, Sweat may have some teams willing to take a chance on him early. One GM told King that Sweat will have an issue with his heart going forward, but if it’s closely monitored, the talented defender can have a career. That would be a boon for someone’s defense, with Sweat blazing to a 4.41-second 40 at the Combine and combining for 23 sacks between the 2017-18 seasons. Another GM informed King he believes Sweat’s upside is higher than Bosa’s, adding further intrigue to this situation.