With Eli Manning heading into the back end of his career, the Giants are having a balls to the wall offseason looking to start winning immediately. After a free agency period that saw the team invest massive money into Janoris Jenkins, Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison, the Giants took to the draft looking for immediate impact players in every round. By the looks of their draft, they seemingly nailed it.
- Eli Apple, Cornerback, OSU: It really says a lot when Eli Apple might have been the worst value pick of the Giants class. I am saying even though I had a first round grade on Apple, so it really speaks to the quality of the rest of their draft. Apple has very good size and awesome movement skills to match. He looks very good in man coverage and fluid in zone. He is not a real playmaker however, as his ball skills are very raw and he's not exactly a hitter. With Dominique Rodgers Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins in the fold, I am interested to see how Apple gets worked into the lineup, but his athleticism and natural cover ability means he could start taking snaps on the outside sooner than later.
- Sterling Shepard, Wide Receiver, OU: The Giants drafted the most polished receiver in the class in the second round with Sterling Shepard. He may not have great size or be overly strong, but Shepard has incredible route running ability, dependable hands and plays with a chip on his shoulder. The Giants love to throw the ball and Shepard gives them an outstanding underneath option with Odell Beckham Junior grabbing the attention of defenses. Pairing these two dynamic route runners in McAdoo's offense should bode very well for the passing game for the next few years.
- Darian Thompson, Safety, BSU: This is the third straight player the Giants drafted that I had as a day one value. Darian Thompson did not have a great combine, which hurt his perception of the league, obviously, but he can ball with the best of them. He has outstanding size and ball skills, reeling in 19 interceptions over the course of his career. Not only is he a playmaker in coverage, he can lay the boom in the running game and intimidate over the middle. Thompson's ability over the top of a defense will allow the Giants to keep Landon Collins roaming underneath and it will finally give the Giants a decent pair of safety for the first time in years.
- BJ Goodson, Linebacker, Clemson: The Giants always seem to have bad linebackers, but selecting BJ Goodson may finally give them a turnaround at the position. Goodson isn't very rangy, but he is incredibly intelligent and physical. He is outstanding coming down hill and making plays in traffic and his instincts allow him to hold his own in coverage. The Giants may still try to keep him off the field on passing downs, but his ability to make plays in the run game will give the team a big upgrade at linebacker.
- Paul Perkins, Running Back, UCLA: Perkins was a favorite in the draft community for the last couple of months, getting a tad overrated in the process. However, getting Perkins in the fifth round is ludicrous value. Perkins has awesome vision and quickness, making him very elusive in space. He can also make an impact on third down as a receiver. Perkins is not a great athlete however, as he really only runs in one gear, lacking burst, and he is not very strong. The nuance to his game and his ability to create in the running and passing game will give the Giants a compliment to the weapons they have at receiver, even if he is not a featured back.
- Jerell Adams, Tight End, S. Carolina: Pretty crazy to think that a 6th round pick could be starting by the middle of his rookie season? Well, in one way that speaks to the dearth of talent the Giants have at tight end right now, but Jerell Adams was a nice pick in the sixth round. He is very light for a tight end, but has a big frame and is very, very athletic. He needs to refine his route running ability, but he has dependable hands and moves very well. I am not sure if he will ever function as a traditional tight end, but he can develop into a match up problem for the Giants to exploit.