The State of the Giants:
The New York Giants have revamped. Bringing in a pair of leaders from the other blue New York team (Bills), new GM Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll have an arsenal of picks to mold this roster into their liking.
All reports suggest the team giving Daniel Jones another shot, and a weak QB class doesn’t present a lot of alternatives.
The team as a whole needs more blue-chip talent, but two top 7 picks will surely help address that. The offense was league worst in most efficiency metrics, even with talented playmakers such as Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, and Kadarius Toney.
The offensive line remains to be a massive weakness, as the team has continued to sputter with limited protection, is likely to be a huge focus of this draft.
The defense also needs work, so “best player available” is likely the primary draft strategy for the new-look Giants.
Ekwonu isn’t clean in all technical areas, and his ability to blind-side pass protect against elite finesse rushers could be a concern, but his combination of size, power, athleticism, and finishing tenacity are rare, regardless of position.
Ekwonu’s tenacity and play speed are something the Giants do not have up front.
Kayvon Thibodeaux – Edge – Oregon
Thibodeaux is a game-changing pass rusher and strong run defender who plays with heavy hands and good leverage, though he needs to improve his flexibility and run a hotter motor to become a more complete player.
If Thibodeaux is somehow available at No. 5, the Giants would be foolish to pass on the upside and freakish athleticism that he brings.
Charles Cross – OT – Mississippi State
Cross’ transition to a more diverse offense will be an adjustment, but he’s a true pass protecting left tackle displaying outstanding athleticism and body control, whose improvements already at a young age suggest a very high ceiling.
Cross being a high ceiling LT, this would necessitate a move of Andrew Thomas elsewhere on the line. Cross’ ability to hold the blindside of a fumble-prone QB would do wonders to improve the offense.
With only one (likely quarterback) pick between 5 and 7, the Giants could see an almost back-to-back selection scenario.
Travon Walker – Edge – Georgia
Walker has the physical and athletic traits that are highly coveted as a versatile defensive lineman, and if he can reach his potential as a pass rusher at the next level, he can be a special pass rushing talent.
Looking for blue chip talent? Bet on the highly athletic traits that Walker brings if the other Edge prospects are gone.
Ahmad Gardner – CB – Cincinnati
Gardner is a press-man corner with length, athleticism, and natural cover talent to become a top lockdown cover man in the NFL, though he just needs to get stronger and refine his off-coverage skills to take his game to the next level.
Trustworthy man-coverage corners are almost a necessity in the modern NFL. “Sauce” Gardner would give the Giants a huge boost, even if their corner play last year was one of their few positives.
Smith consistently puts defenders on the ground while using heavy hands and generating tons of movement in the run game, and while he should be tabbed as a starter, he needs to clean up the holding penalties and become a better space player.
Saquon can’t show off the unbelievable abilities in space if he constantly gets hit behind the line. Smith is a huge run blocker to help fix that.
Cine has very good tracking and ball skills with the speed and smarts to play on the back end, but his inconsistencies in run support and as a tackler may hold him back from reaching his full potential.
After losing Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers to free agency, the Giants need a safety counterpart to Xavier McKinney.
Bernhard Raimann – OT – Central Michigan
Raimann is a raw athlete with good size and the strength to hold up early at the next level, though refining his hands and overall skill set as a lineman could allow him to develop into a solid starter one day.
A former TE, Raimann is an immediate athletic upgrade, and his consistent improvement with reps is encouraging.
Pitre is a super twitched-up athlete with very good instincts for when to attack and a skill set that will have him making plays all over the field, but limited deep cover skills likely limit him to exclusively playing near the LOS.
Pitre is how the Giants replicate Jabrill Peppers’ box presence without sacrificing significant capital.
Cameron Thomas – Edge – San Diego State
Thomas is a heat-seeking edge with the power and techniques to be a starter at the next level, but needs some development in play recognition and working leverages to hit his higher ceiling.
Speedy and powerful edge that brings needed athletic upside to the defensive front.
Darian Kinnard – OG – Kentucky
Kinnard is a big, strong blocker with a mauling mentality in the run game, but needs to refine his footwork, hand accuracy, and overall technique in the pass game to be an effective starter at the next level.
A physically imposing guard to help support a run game to improve the offense and give Daniel Jones some breathing room.
Parham is a smart player with the athleticism and quickness to be a versatile lineman, but will need to get stronger and more physical to maximize his potential at the next level.
Experienced and smart, while dominant upside may not be there, should be a valuable starter for this team.
Josh Paschal – Edge – Kentucky
Paschal is a strong run defender and brings power as a pass rusher, but needs to get much more consistent and detailed with his pass rush plan in order to really be a three-down player at the next level.
A bottom 5 team at defending runs last year, the Giants could use help in run defense with Paschal as an upside pick.