Team Giants


Special Report

Sent: 04-23-21

Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls up until LIII. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.


By Dave Klein
For those of you salivating at the thought of Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons being the Giants' first pick in the draft (11th overall), you may be in for a disappointment.

Reports have circulated for months now that there are "character issues" involving the 6-4, 240-pound Penn State superstar. And they have escalated lately, although one cannot be sure if the sudden increase in negativity isn't part of a "dirty tricks" campaign (in which all teams participate) in an attempt to force teams to shy away from a particular player.

But the Giants are especially sensitive to these problems, given their recent experience with Odell Beckham Jr., Ereck Flowers, Eli Apple and DeAndre Baker.

"This kid is definitely worth a high draft choice," says one scout, "and it might be that the Giants won't have to worry about that decision since he could go earlier."

But if he is there, the man says, they would do better looking at wide receivers, edge rushers and offensive linemen than to open the doors for yet another headache - and another draft failure.

The top two wide receivers, according to the scout, are Ja'Marr Chase of LSU and Devonta Smith of Alabama. He thinks Chase will be long gone but that Smith will probably be beckoning to the Giants, given the flood of quarterbacks predicted to go in the top 10.

If it's an offensive lineman the Giants choose, it will probably be Rashawn Slater of Northwestern or Alijah Vera-Tucker of USC. In fact, many of the draft experts would favor Slater over Smith since the Giants have already signed Kenny Golladay and they still have Sterling Shepard and Darius Slater.

And there are prizes among the edge rushers, too, notably Kwity Paye of Michigan and Azeez Ojutari of Georgia; Paye first, for sure. So it looks as though Parsons will not pull on a Giants' uniform after all, and it is probably a fervent Giant hope that someone takes him earlier rather than putting the pressure on general manager Dave Gettleman to skip over him and his 4.39 speed in the 40-yard dash.

Smith would be added weaponry for quarterback Daniel Jones, as would Slater; but conversely, adding someone like Paye or Ojutari would improve the defense and give Jones less of a mountain to climb.

EXTRA POINTS - Giant-watchers are still trying to figure out why the team chose to released running back Wayne Gallman with not a single qualified replacement on the roster to back up the recovering (from severe knee surgery) superstar Saquon Barkley, so it might be wise to anticipate one or two running backs will appear among the team's draft selections.

Oh, that. They only have six draft selections, the result of all the trades and deals cut by Gettleman during the off-season. ... One of them will have to be an offensive lineman, another a defensive pass-rusher or linebacker and then probably a cornerback/safety; doesn't leave much room for a quality running back, does it?

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