In the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Giants addressed their need for an offensive tackle in a big way, literally and figuratively. The team drafted Andrew Thomas, who stands a mammoth 6’5” and weighs 315 pounds, out of the University of Georgia. New York used the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft to bring in Thomas, so it’s unlikely they’ll use their first round pick this season on the same position.
The New York Giants will also welcome back veteran Nate Solder to the team, after he decided to opt-out of the 2020 campaign due to virus-related concerns. As we head towards the 2021 season, it’s unclear whether Solder, who played left tackle in 2019, will continue to assume that position, or whether the prized Thomas will play there. New York may also decide to make a move with Solder, considering he’s owed over $28 million in the next two seasons.
2021 NFL Draft: Who are some tackles the New York Giants might consider drafting next month?
#1 Samuel Cosmi
As hinted at above, it’s unlikely that the New York Giants will use the 11th overall pick in next month’s draft to address a position they already focused on last offseason. It’s more likely that the Giants will try to bring in talent at that spot a little bit later on in their draft, starting with their pick in the second round, at number 42 overall.
New York would do well to take a chance on University of Texas left tackle Samuel Cosmi, who has a lot of potential. Cosmi started all three seasons for the Longhorns, and has flashes of brilliance that make scouts think he could be something special at the next level.
Cosmi's athleticism is not in question, but he can improve with his consistency and effort from snap to snap. If he were to land with the New York Giants, there’s no reason to think that mindset would not improve under head coach Joe Judge.
#2 Alex Leatherwood
If the New York Giants do decide to move on from Solder in some fashion before the season, they’ll likely slide Thomas over to left tackle, and use Matt Peart and right tackle. However, they will need an additional reinforcement or two to feel comfortable heading into the season. Alex Leatherwood out of the University of Alabama would be a nice insurance policy to that end.
Leatherwood doesn’t quite have the upside that Cosmi does as a potential future left tackle, but he is versatile enough to play guard and develop into a solid right tackle at the professional level.
Since the New York Giants’ most dire need on the line is inside, Leatherwood could help kill two birds with one pick. The biggest concern with Leatherwood appears to be his strength, but it is a correctable shortcoming once he gets into the weight room in the NFL.
#3 Jalen Mayfield
If the New York Giants are happy with the triumvirate of Thomas, Solder and Peart for the next season or two, they can afford to burn a pick on a more developmental prospect. Jalen Mayfield out of the University of Michigan could develop into a solid player at the next level, but he’s going to need more time than some other players. He has only played two seasons in Ann Arbor, and will likely need a year or two to hone his craft.
Mayfield’s best asset would seem to be his pass blocking, which is something the New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones would appreciate. However, according to reports, the young tackle needs to improve on his downhill run blocking in order to become a consistent asset at the next level.