Pro Football Focus released it’s latest first-round “analytics mock draft”, and their choice is sure to puzzle NY Giants fans.
At this time of year, NY Giants, and all football fans, are used to seeing unpredictable NFL mock drafts. However, Pro Football Focus‘ “Analytics Mock Draft 2.0” might be the wildest one and Big Blue fan comes across this year.
The analytical data site makes it clear that their two main factors for making the selections are positional value and college-to-pro projections. By their own qualifications, it makes their selection of Alabama wideout Henry Ruggs III all the more confusing for the Giants at #4 overall.
While the Giants surely could use another talented receiver, that ‘need’ is very far down the bottom of the totem pole. Most believe the team will be choosing between either an offensive tackle or Isaiah Simmons, with the team’s biggest needs being offensive tackle, edge rusher, and linebacker.
Unfortunately for Big Blue, winning the ‘Chase Young Bowl‘ last December appeared to put them out of reach when it comes to potentially drafting the once a decade type pass rusher. However, in this scenario, Chase Young is actually still somehow on the board at #4 and PFF still chose to go with a wide receiver.
Make no mistake about it, if by some miracle Chase Young happens to be there at #4 it should be just about the easiest decision in NFL draft history, even for GM Dave Gettleman who has a penchant for ignoring positional value. Young projects to be an absolute terror at the next level after racking up 16.5 sacks in 10 games in the Big 10 which is known for its stout offensive line play.
By their own qualifications, Chase Young would make the most sense here by a mile. Edge is very high up on the positional value chart and Young is their highest-rated overall player.
You will get no argument that Chase Young is a better football player than Henry Ruggs. We aren’t trying to draft the ROY, though — we are trying to add the most valuable players to each team. Ruggs plays a much more valuable position than Young and projects as the best wide receiver based on our college-to-pro projection system. As we wrote in version 1.0, the worst thing that can happen to the Giants is ending up in a position where they don’t quite know about Daniel Jones because he has yet to throw to a legit set of receivers.
This rationale is questionable at best, as Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram is a very solid group of pass-catchers. With the team’s top edges currently being Kyler Fackrell, Lorenzo Carter, and O’Shane Ximines, I can’t fathom a world where adding a fourth wideout is a bigger need or would help the team more than the best player in the draft at the team’s biggest overall need.
Luckily for NY Giants fans, Pro Football Focus won’t be making the team’s draft selection next month.
The analytics website has already angered Giants fans enough recently after proclaiming the team had one of the worst offseasons in the league and somehow grading Dwayne Haskins better than Daniel Jones in 2019.