Giants select LB Micah Parsons in Todd McShay’s 2021 mock draft

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Dan Benton
·2 min read
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The New York Giants are likely to have needs at cornerback, wide receiver, center and along the edge when the 2021 NFL Draft rolls around, but that’s not the direction ESPN’s Todd McShay has them heading in next April.

Despite the wildly uncertain nature of the college football season and how it might impact next year’s draft, McShay rolled ahead with a mock draft anyway and has the Giants selecting Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons at No. 6 overall.

6. New York Giants

Micah Parsons, ILB, Penn State*

Parsons was among the first to opt out of the 2020 season, but he’s a future NFL star, and while he still has some developing to do, I don’t have to see any more game action to tell me that. He has the frame, range, athleticism and cover skills to make a big impact in the middle of a struggling Giants defense. And when he is given the green light as a blitzer, his instincts and speed allow him to get home on the quarterback, a bonus for a Giants team that was in the bottom third of the league in sacks last season (36). He’d be the first linebacker taken by Big Blue in the first round since Carl Banks was selected No. 3 in 1984.

The Giants selecting Parsons in Round 1 would certainly end a long-standing drought, but how likely is that given that the talented linebacker won’t play in 2020?

As talented as Parsons is, and as McShay alludes, there was still a lot of development that needed to take place and game experience that would be necessary to immediately step in at the NFL level.

With Parsons opting out and Penn State unlikely to play this fall anyway, it hurts his value whether that’s fair or not. Parsons will have sat out of football for 16 months by the time the draft rolls around, 19 months by the time training camp rolls around and 20 months by the time the first preseason game is scheduled.

Considering Parsons only has two years (26 games) of experience under his belt as it is, that makes selecting him in the top 10 extremely risky no matter how high his ceiling may be.

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