As part of The Post’s 2021 NFL Draft preview, we examine what the Giants might do at each position. Wednesday: Linebacker. The Giants have not taken a linebacker in the first
As part of The Post’s 2021 NFL Draft preview, we examine what the Giants might do at each position. Wednesday: Linebacker.
The Giants have not taken a linebacker in the first round of an NFL Draft since striking gold with Carl Banks in 1984. That streak is not expected to get broken this year, unless the Giants are enamored with Micah Parsons from Penn State and deem him worthy of the No. 11 overall pick. Parsons is a freak athlete but there is positional value to consider when taking an inside linebacker so high — is he a three-down player? Parsons also has incidents in his past that must be evaluated.
For the sake of clarity, we will not count edge rusher-outside linebacker types in his category.
At inside linebacker, the Giants have one proven commodity in Blake Martinez, who had a sensational debut season after arriving in free agency. He is a brainy player and makes the defensive calls, in sync with coordinator Patrick Graham. After Martinez, it is mix-and-match.
Reggie Ragland was signed and the four-year veteran could emerge as a starter as a run-stopper. Tae Crowder showed promise as a rookie. Devante Downs was re-signed for depth and T.J. Brunson, who played in only five games as a rookie, is also back. Taking an inside linebacker in later rounds is always an option. As for Parsons, his athletic ability and physical skills are special and pairing him with Martinez would be something to see. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in Round 2 would be interesting, as Graham would know what to do with this “tweener” if he slides down to the second round.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Paul Schwartz