Years of waiting for the Giants to draft their future quarterback are over.
The time for decision-making that benefits Daniel Jones is just beginning.
Despite a desperate need for defensive playmakers and the appeal of trading back in the first round of the NFL Draft to hoard selections and improve one of the league’s least-talented rosters, the Giants are best off using the No. 4 overall pick on offense, according to NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
“As an organization, your No. 1 priority is ensuring that Daniel Jones is going to grow and develop and be a success,” said Jeremiah, a former Eagles, Browns and Ravens scout. “So if I have to go through another year of watching some vanilla, boring defense lacking in playmakers, I’m going to do that if it means I can go ahead and get my left tackle that will protect this kid for the next 10 years.”
Offensive tackle is considered one of the deepest positions in the draft class, led by Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs.
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman only has drafted two offensive linemen – starting left guard Will Hernandez (second round) in 2018 and did-not-play offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei (seventh round) in 2019 – with his first 16 total selections.
Gettleman is on notice from ownership entering his third season, so he needs to get this pick (and much more) right.
“To me, Mekhi Becton is an absolute freak,” Jeremiah said. “I’m not in the business of trading off freaks at a need position. He’s a left tackle. He’s a better version of (12-year NFL starter) Bryant McKinnie. He’s going to be that guy for the next 10 to 12 years to protect your franchise quarterback. He’s so big, so long, so athletic [that] even when he is not perfect, it doesn’t matter because nobody can get through him. He’s 6-foot-7, 370 pounds. You just don’t see guys like that come around very often.”
The Giants could move struggling veteran Nate Solder – likely in his final season on the roster, at a $19.5 million salary cap hit – back to right tackle, where he played as a rookie for the Patriots in 2011. Solder told The Post in December he is open to the possibility.
If the Giants want to trade, the No. 6 Chargers, No. 7 Panthers, No. 12 Raiders and No. 13 Colts all could be looking to jump in front of the No. 5 Dolphins to select a quarterback.
“I know trade-back options exist,” Jeremiah said. “I know you can take a defensive playmaker. To me, I’m not trading off that pick. I’m sitting there right there taking Mekhi Becton.”