The New York Giants are entering a new era and maybe finally the modern era of football. After a decade of disappointment and leadership from people with a 20th century approach to football, the team might actually be catching up with the rest of the league. GM Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll were both integral in turning the Buffalo Bills into a contender after years of being in the basement of the NFL. If their first draft is any indicator, they could be poised to turn the Giants around too.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon
The Giants grabbed my number one player in the class with the fifth pick in the draft. Kayvon Thibodeaux is an athletic pass rusher whose get-off, bend and advanced technique make him a terror on passing downs. Thibodeaux was also a productive run defender at Oregon as well, though that is not where he will immediately excel in the league. In Wink Martindale’s defense, Thibodeaux athleticism will be an asset on a group that already has a good bit of talent. He should be a difference making defender from day one in the league.
Evan Neal, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
With their second pick in the top ten, the Giants got another slam dunk with Evan Neal. Neal was considered one of the best players in the class by many and, for a bit, was even projected as the potential first overall pick. Neal is a massive offensive lineman with experience at both tackle spots and guard. Despite his size, Neal is light on his feet and wins just as much with technical prowess as he does with his physical gifts. He is a pro-ready blocker that could step in anywhere on a rebuilding Giants line and make an instant impact.
Wan’Dale Robinson, Wide Receiver, Kentucky
The Giants have been abysmal, if not unwatchable on offense for the last two years, no thanks to Joe Judge’s messy running of things. Their offense was not bereft of talent, but it always felt like their group of pass catchers were a compilation of square pegs for the round hole playbook they were dealing with. Kadarius Toney had really inspiring moments as a rookie, but has apparently been disgruntled with the transition to a new coaching staff, likely prompting the drafting of Wan’Dale Robinson. Robinson set Kentucky records in receptions and yards in 2021, showing off dynamic athleticism and playmaking after every sure handed catch he made. Robinson is a gifted and exciting playmaker, who could thrive as a complementary piece in a passing game while he develops the more technical aspects of his game. With Robinson in the fold with Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton; the Giants have a lot of potential with their wide receiver group. With or without Toney in the fold.
Joshua Ezeudu, Offensive Lineman, NC State
The Bills won a lot of games thanks to big, physical players on their offensive line. That formula is going to be replicated in New York and this draft signals the attempt is underway. Joshua Ezeudu was a do it all lineman for NC State during his time there. He played tackle and guard, whenever and wherever they needed him, at a high level Ezeudu is a good athlete and the Giants will likely use him as quality depth that could fill in wherever, but the hope will be he can develop into a starting lineman for them.
Cordale Flott, Defensive Back, LSU
Cordale Flott played all over LSU’s defense since their championship season. He has lined up at outside cornerback, nickelback, and both safety spots in the last three years. He is a smart, physical player that can give a defense a “swing” player that can fill in wherever. The Bills had a lot of success converting Jordan Poyer from cornerback to full-time safety, so it is fair to ask if the see a similar track for Flott.
Daniel Bellinger, Tight End, SDSU
The Giants lost a valuable player when Evan Engram left for Jacksonville. Replacing his athleticism, Daniel Bellinger seems like a great bet in the mid rounds. While Bellinger never put up flashy numbers at SDSU, he is an excellent athlete with serious upside as a mismatch in the NFL.
Dane Belton, Safety, Iowa
Dane Belton was a turnover machine at Iowa, starring at safety and nickel linebacker in 2021. Despite being a late round pick, Belton’s great feel for the game and versatility could position to play meaningful snaps early in his career.
Micah McFadden, Linebacker, Indiana
Micah McFadden has been in college football for a thousand years, but he is still a hell of a player. McFadden is an old school linebacker: Smart, physical, happy to run full speed into the line of scrimmage. While he is far from a three down backer, he could provide some solid two-down play in that defense.
DJ Davidson, Defensive Tackle, ASU
The Giants drafted the big, high motor run defender out of ASU to be another valuable depth player on their defense. While Davidson is not much of a pass rusher, he is a steady player who can plug up the middle of an offensive line.
Marcus McKethan, Guard, UNC
Marcus McKethan was the third offensive lineman New York drafted in this class and like the other two, he is huge. McKethan stands tall at 6’6” and 340 pounds. He is a big, physical guard with imposing run blocking and the ability to neutralize pass rushers if he gets his hands on them. He is only an okay athlete and not consistent, especially in pass blocking, but it is clear the Giants are stacking their depth chart with young, talented blockers who could play all over the line.
Darrian Beavers, Linebacker, Cincinnati
This was arguably New York’s best value pick in the draft. For my money, Darrian Beavers was the second best defender on that Bearcats behind Ahmad Gardner. He has good size, very good athleticism and excelled as a run and pass defender. I can’t quite understand his fall, though lots of linebackers fell in this class. The rest of the NFL’s loss is New York’s gain however, as Beavers could be a contributor in their defense sooner than later.
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