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NFL Draft: New York Giants Recap

Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal were top-10 rated recruits in the Class of 2019 and then became top-10 selections by the New York Giants in the 2022 NFL Draft. Those who bet online weren’t too surprised with either first-round selection by the Giants.

Both picks came at positions of need. Then again, there are plenty of positions of need for the Giants these days. It is hard to argue with either of the first-round selection. Some draftniks accused the Giants of reaching a bit for some of its picks on the last two days of the draft.

NFL Draft: New York Giants Recap
New York Post

The Giants went heavy on offensive linemen and pass rushers while adding a couple of players to the secondary.

Seven of the 11 reported undrafted rookie free agents signed by the Giants come on defense which is understandable considering the struggles defending both the pass and run in 2021.

The Giants currently have the worst odds (+650) to win the NFC East during the 2022 season

Here’s a look at how the Giants fared in the draft.

  • Pick 5 Kayvon Thibodeaux | DE, Oregon Ducks

For much of the 2021 season, Thibodeaux’s name couldn’t be uttered without the words “likely No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft” following shortly thereafter.

Thibodeaux’s stock did dip a bit as fellow edge rushers Travon Walker of Georgia and Aidan Hutchinson moved ahead of him. There were some who suggested that Thibodeaux could fall outside the top 10. The Giants made sure that didn’t happen by making him the first of their two top-10 selections.

— New York Giants (@Giants) May 2, 2022

 Thibodeaux had a huge game against UCLA with 4½ tackles for loss and two sacks but had more games in 2021 without a sack than with one. That didn’t scare off the Giants who saw that Thibodeaux has the size, speed, and athleticism that teams covet in an edge rusher.

If there was a surprise it was that the Giants addressed the defensive end position instead of offensive tackle with their first pick.

According to the NFL betting lines, Thibodeaux is tied for the best odds to be named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

One reason why the Giants likely took Thibodeaux first was the knowledge that one of the elite tackles would be there at pick No. 7.

One of the tackles went right in front of them when the Carolina Panthers selected North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu with the sixth overall pick. That left the mammoth Neal available for the Giants.

Former top-five selection Andrew Thomas seems to be figuring things out and now Neal can be plugged in on the other side. Having two top tackles will be huge considering the fumbling issues that quarterback Daniel Jones has had in the NFL.

It is hard to criticize either of these picks as the Giants fortified both lines. Many of the NFL predictions had the Giants addressing defensive end and offensive tackle with the first two selections.

This is the first-round selection they acquired by allowing the Chicago Bears to trade up in the 2021 draft to select quarterback Justin Fields.

Robinson made the most of his lone season playing in the SEC as he had 104 catches for Kentucky including 12 against No. 1 Georgia. He finished the season strong with 689 receiving yards in his final six games.

Robinson began his career at Nebraska where he saw work as a runner and receiver in addition to returning 11 kickoffs. The 5-foot-11 Robinson figures to see some work out of the slot. There was some chatter that his game bears some resemblance to last year’s first-round pick Kadarius Toney who is reported to be on the trading block.

The Giants traded down twice and picked up fourth and fifth-round selections for dropping from pick No. 36 to 43.

The Las Vegas odds list 12 receivers with a better probability to be named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year so that bears watching.

Wan’Dale Robinson | DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

Ezeudu certainly knows how to run block as North Carolina had three different backs rush for more than 1000 yards in the last two seasons.

Former starting guard Will Hernandez is now a member of the Arizona Cardinals so there could be an opportunity for Ezeudu to play immediately.

Ezeudu was one of three offensive linemen selected by the Giants so upgrading that position group was obviously a priority for the Giants. He wasn’t the most highly touted of offensive line prospects but obviously showed enough to catch the eye of the Giants scouts and coaches.

Flott has the height (6-2) to play at the next level although at 170 pounds, will he be able to handle the physicality in the NFL?

Eleven pass breakups and one interception in three seasons aren’t gaudy numbers but playing in the SEC, Cordale Flott has had the opportunity to face some top-notch receivers.

Playing for a team that averaged more than 40 rushing attempts per game in each of his four seasons at San Diego State, Bellinger didn’t always get the chance to be featured in the passing game.

Bellinger played at 220 pounds as a freshman and 255 as a senior. With tight end Evan Engram now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, there will be an immediate opportunity for Bellinger to show what he can do.

More help in the secondary for the Giants. Belton had five interceptions and seven pass breakups during the 2021 season. At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Belton has the size to play at the next level. He recorded more than 100 career tackles for the Hawkeyes so he isn’t afraid to get involved in the run game either. With Jabrill Peppers now in New England, this pick makes sense.

Dane Belton | Michael Hickey/Getty Images/AFP

Not all of the picks by the Giants were overly productive at the college level but McFadden certainly was. He had 15½ tackles for loss and 6½ sacks as a senior with 8½  of his tackles for loss coming against ranked opponents.

Micah McFadden had three straight seasons with double-digit tackles for loss. The Giants are serious about putting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks and offenses so McFadden could have a role in making that happen.

At 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds, Davidson has a chance to provide some muscle in the middle of the defensive line.

Davidson played a key role on an Arizona State team that led the Pac-12 Conference in scoring defense.

Davidson had two sacks in his first collegiate game but didn’t always contribute big numbers for the Sun Devils.

The Giants doubled up on North Carolina offensive linemen. Marcus McKethan could offer some value as an interior lineman and there is no question that the offensive line needed an infusion of talent so picking up three blockers during the draft is probably a smart plan.

Beavers began his career as a pass-rushing specialist at UConn. The Ohio native is headed back home to play at Cincinnati and become a more complete linebacker.

Beavers had 100 tackles as a senior for the Bearcats with 14 of them coming in a win against Navy. Beavers finished the season strong with nine tackles against Houston and 10 more in the College Football Playoffs versus Alabama.

Beavers finished his collegiate career with 14.5 sacks and his ability to rush the passer could land him a spot on the roster.

Darrian Beavers | Michael Hickey/Getty Images/AFP

Grading the Draft

The Giants made wise selections with their two top-10 draft picks as Thibodeaux and Neal could become mainstays on the defensive and offensive lines.

The Giants weren’t shy about moving around in the draft although many of their picks in the final two days of the draft were not well-received by draft analysts.

With the way the quarterbacks were falling and the struggles that starting QB Daniel Jones has had, it is a little surprising that the Giants didn’t pick up at least one quarterback with its 11 picks in the draft. Let’s check the Super Bowl odds.

Grade: B+

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