Could the Giants draft a 19 year old in the first round?
If you were to combine everything the NFL loves in first round draft choices: Size, athleticism, youth, production, good tape, and sky-high potential, you would get a player like Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds.
As it so happens, the New York Giants are woefully lacking in the linebacker department, a deficiency that is thrown into even more stark relief by their switch to a defense that features linebackers.
Edmunds will almost certainly be in the conversation if the Giants trade down in the first round, but could he even be in the conversation for the second overall pick?
- Incredible blend of rare size and elite athleticism for the position.
- Very young, won’t turn 20 years old until after the draft.
- Smart, talented player.
- Versatile, can play inside or outside linebacker.
- Has the size to play on the line of scrimmage, with the upside to be a part-time EDGE with coaching.
- Looks quick and fluid dropping in to coverage
- Able to navigate the trash around the line of scrimmage, take on blockers directly, or run around them.
- Not yet the sum of his parts.
- Needs to get stronger as he continues to physically mature.
- Smart and quick to process information, but not yet terribly instinctive.
- Could stand to work on his play recognition. Can be manipulated by the offense.
What They’re Saying
Sources Tell Us
”Good luck with your player comp on this one. They don’t come like him. I don’t think there has ever been a linebacker that has had his size and speed. You’re better off comping him with a basketball player.” -- NFC regional scout
- via NFL.com
Does He Fit The Giants?
It is, frankly, amazing that the younger Edmunds brother (Terrell Edmunds is a DB in this draft as well), is the prospect he is. At 19 years old, he will be one of the youngest players to ever enter the NFL draft, but will step on to the NFL field as one of the biggest athletic freaks in the league.
But he is more than just another athlete on a football field, he is a good player. He doesn’t quite have the experience and mental game (yet) to make him the top linebacker in the draft, but he plays with a high enough football IQ to believe that will come in time.
The scout referenced by the NFL.com scouting report says that he is better compared to a basketball player than an NFL player. Personally, I am not fond of comparisons, preferring to recognize a player’s strengths and weaknesses on their own merit as an individual. However, if I had to make a comparison for Tremaine Edmunds, it would actually be Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith coming out of college. He isn’t yet a finished product and has to mature some physically, but his ceiling is truly sky high and you can already see the makings of an excellent player.
It should go without saying that he would be an excellent fit in the Giants’ aggressive, multiple defense under James Bettcher and a scary bookend to Olivier Vernon. He might not just be in consideration if the Giants trade out of the second overall pick, but he might even be in consideration for that pick itself.