The New York Giants will select ninth overall in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday. With a plethora of needs, ranging from both lines to the secondary, it’s difficult to predict which player general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin will select.
The frontrunner for the pick is former Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff. The 6’5”, 315 pound Scherff is a versatile player who can feature at either guard or tackle.
Scherff’s greatest strength rests in the run game. As one of the strongest players in the draft, it’s difficult for defensive players to get past his blocks and get to runners. A typical blue-chip O-lineman, Scherff does all the dirty work that makes big time carries make so pretty. He’s also very intelligent, able to read defenses and adjust to delayed blitzes. Scherff, plugged in at guard with Geoff Schwartz, would give the Giants a stellar central offensive line.
Scherff is best utilized as a guard, and his ceiling as a tackle is very limited. A potential Pro-Bowl guard, Scherff will be at best a solid right tackle. His pass defense and mobility make him a bit of a liability on the outside of the line especially against big time NFL defenses. Justin Pugh is already locked in at right tackle, and Scherff isn’t the franchise left tackle the Giants are looking for. Guards are certainly easier to come by in later rounds, and as a past first offense, the Giants may not want to spend a first round pick on a guard.
So should the Giants consider Scherff? Absolutely. The Iowa man has drawn a lot of comparisons to fellow Hawkeye graduate Riley Rieff, who was selected in the first round by the Detroit Lions a few years back. Scherff has all the tools to be a dominant guard, giving the Giants a complete middle of the offensive line. Paired with Schwartz and second-year man Weston Richburg, the Giants are following the path of the Dallas Cowboys, who used three first round picks to build one of footballs best offensive line (Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zach Martin). Adding Scherff to a young offensive line already featuring Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg gives the Giants a chance to build an offensive line for the next decade, which is typically part of the foundation of a contender.
Should the Giants actually draft Scherff? Well, that’s up for debate really. It depends on who falls to them. Randy Gregory and Shane Ray were both options, but off the field issues have dropped both of their draft stocks. The Giants may roll the dice on one of them in later rounds if they are still available. They also might snag a wide receiver, if one of the marquee ones falls to them. Amari Cooper, Kevin White, DeVante Parker, and Dorial Green-Beckham are all great options to oppose Odell Beckham Jr. Ultimately, Scherff looks like a building block, and the Giants should pull the trigger on him.
Chances the Giants consider Scherff: 100%
Chances the Giants Draft Scherff: 70%