It is the most wonderful time of the year: NFL Draft Season. The 2023 draft is just under three months away, and the preparation is already under way. The first real event of draft season, the Senior Bowl, has already taken place.
The biggest pre-draft event, the NFL Combine, begins March 2 in Indianapolis. Joe Schoen, Brian Daboll and the rest of the Giants front office will be attendance to watch the top college prospects showcase their skills.
There are multiple top end college prospects who are obvious fits for Big Blue, but there are also multiple Schoen shouldn’t think about bringing to East Rutherford. Here are four players the NY Giants must avoid in Round 1 of the NFL Draft:
4. LB Drew Sanders
The Giants undoubtedly need to upgrade their inside linebacker depth this offseason. Micah McFadden, Darrian Beavers, Cam Brown, and Carter Coughlin are the only inside linebackers on the Giants current roster for 2023, and the latter two are strictly special teamers.
The Giants need to add some veterans to stabilize that group. Lavonte David, Devin Bush, Tremaine Edmunds, and Kyle Van Noy are all free agents who the Giants could pursue this offseason.
What the Giants should not do is draft linebacker Drew Sanders. The 6-5, 232-pound Sanders transferred to Arkansas in 2022 after playing two average seasons at Alabama. Sanders had a very good season in 2022, but displayed one major flaw: his tackling ability. Sanders ranked ninth in the country with 22 missed tackles and posted a horrid missed tackle rate of 19.6 percent.
The achilles heal of the Giants defense in 2022 was their inside linebackers’ inability to tackle. It cost Big Blue the chance to win multiple more games. Adding another player who is prone to missed tackles makes very little sense.
Sanders also made the switch in 2022 from edge defender to inside linebacker, so he is even more raw than most college prospects. The Giants need an experience inside linebacker who thrives in the tackling department, and Sanders simply does not fit either need.