The Giants have been one of the most enigmatic franchises in the NFL over the past 15 years. From seasons of complete squalor to improbable Super Bowl victories, the Giants have seen it all.
They are now trying to build a modern competitive team that still stays true to the blue collar New York Giants way. They have done that with solid free agency signings so far, but the draft is where they will have to fill out the core of their roster. Here is who they should select on draft weekend:
Round 1, Pick 5: Evan Neal, OL, Alabama
Round 1, Pick 7: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The Giants are in desperate need of offensive consistency and a defensive leader. Daniel Jones has all the tools to be good starter in the NFL but can’t stay upright long enough to see that potential.
Evan Neal is a rather large human being and plays like such. He routinely stuffs pass rushers and sets clean edges for backs on run plays. His play style fits what the Giants like to do perfectly.
Lloyd is a firecracker at the inside linebacker spot. He is a thumper that plays sideline to sideline with smooth hips and vision. The Giants had trouble defending the run last season (8th worst in the league) and Lloyd helps that tremendously. He is never out of place, filling holes and shooting gaps on runs. He is also very versatile in the pass game, being able to rush the passer as well as effect the game in coverage.
Round 2, Pick 4: Tre McBride, TE, Colorado
Round 3, Pick 3: Amare Barno, DE, VA Tech
Round 3, Pick 17: Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
The way the Giants could work the second day of the draft is to fill holes left by players and get guys that can compete for starting spots early.
The shining star for them would be McBride. He is a first round talent that is an upgrade over former tight end Evan Engram. McBride is a better blocker and has the athleticism to do what Engram could in this Giants’ offense.
The next two picks are guys that at worst play situationally for the first year but could be starters in 2023.
Bryant is a long aggressive corner who can hold his own in coverage. He played alongside highly touted prospect Sauce Gardner so he is very well tested as Gardner didn’t see much action on his side of the field. Bryant could easily overtake the incumbent Adoree Jackson as the starter alongside James Bradberry in 2022.
Barno is a solid pass rusher with moves on top of moves. He would easily be a second round pick in any other draft but he has some questions surrounding his ability to set an edge in the run game. Questions aside, he is still a blue-chip prospect that the Giants could use day one as a pass rusher in a division that boasts mobile quarterbacks on each roster.
Round 4, Pick 7: Charles Cross, OL, Mississippi State
Round 5, Pick 4: Tykee Smith, Safety, Georgia
Round 5, Pick 30: Jerrion Ealy, RB, Ole Miss
Round 6, Pick 3: Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State
When the Giants have been at their best they have won on day three of the draft. The same scenario could happen here.
Picks like Tykee Smith and Charles Cross fill in as starters or at least nice depth guys. Ealy can fill in as a primary ball carrier if Saquon Barkley goes down or isn’t healthy to start the season or as a solid third down option. But the sneaky pick here is Jalen Nailor.
Nailor is a speedy receiver with deceptive route running ability. I have no doubt he would be mentioned in the top receiver category if he wasn’t in a run heavy offense but his ability cannot be understated. Yes, the Giants have Sterling Shepherd, Kenny Golladay and Kardarius Toney on the roster but Nailor can be a solid fourth option. He especially explosive in the deep pass game where he showcases good ball tracking ability. Nailor could be that consistent receiver the Giants need with a corps that seems to have trouble staying on the field due to injuries as well.
The New York Football Giants could see themselves competing in a solid division if this draft plays out in their favor.