As the draft approaches, trade rumors continue to surface linking the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills. While the specifics of the trade are up for discussion, the Giants would definitely net at least the Bills two first-round picks in the draft in exchange for the Giants second overall pick. The plausibility of this trade really depends on who the Giants would target with the #12 and #22 picks. If a ton of teams take quarterbacks in the Top 10, Minkah Fitzpatrick is an elite player who could slide to the Giants at #12 in a trade scenario.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is a Great Fit with New York Giants in Trade Scenario
Of course, the second overall pick in the draft is something you don’t just throw away. The Giants are in prime position to select Eli Manning‘s successor and give him a year or two to develop. Trading back would imply the Giants are still looking to win now. If this is the case, they need to select a player that would contribute immediately to help with a playoff push. Fitzpatrick is someone who fits this description. Scouts praise Fitzpatrick for his versatility and believe he can help transform a locker room. He’s also a New Jersey native.
Fills Immediate Need
With the release of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the departure of Ross Cockrell, the Giants have an immediate need at the defensive back position. Fitzpatrick is someone who could come in and start right away. If quarterbacks weren’t so prioritized in the NFL today, Fitzpatrick could be a Top 5 pick. He has the speed, ball skills, and football IQ to make a strong impact as a rookie. Getting coached up by Nick Saban is definitely something that separates Fitzpatrick as an NFL-ready defensive back. He has experience playing in big games and would thrive under the pressure of playing for a New York team.
The Giants have a need at both the cornerback and safety positions. Why not take a player who can play both? In Alabama’s defense, Fitzpatrick played all over the secondary. His versatility gives the Giants options if they are to draft him. A safety tandem of Landon Collins and Fitzpatrick would make opposing quarterbacks think twice before throwing deep. A cornerback rotation of Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, and Fitzpatrick would give the defense more time to get to the quarterback.
When Tyrann Mathieu was released, fans awaited to see if new defensive coordinator James Bettcher would make a push for his old safety. While Mathieu is headed to Houston, Bettcher can get a similar player with far less mileage in Fitzpatrick. Bettcher’s trust in Mathieu played a large part in allowing the Cardinals defense to be versatile. While Bettcher can count on Collins to anchor the defense, Fitzpatrick offers a unique skillset that compliments Collins perfectly. Bettcher can utilize Fitzpatrick at both corner and safety as he did with Mathieu. He can send him on blitz, trust him to come up to tackle, and have him lock down receivers on the outside if he has to.
Come draft day, it is anyone’s guess what moves the Giants will make. If they find themselves with the #12 pick, Minkah Fitzpatrick should be on their radar. His experience at Alabama, his ability to play both corner and safety, and his likeness to Tyrann Mathieu all would bode well for Big Blue. His presence could help revamp the Giants defense to its 2016 form.
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