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Giants' 2022 Pick by Pick Draft Grades

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The New York Giants have been a bad football team under Dave Gettlemen thanks to some bad drafts. The last 5 draft classes don’t have many players left on this roster, so there’s no were to go but up. GM Joe Schoen has work to do to give first year coach Brian Daboll a fighting chance. We’ll unpack how Schoen's first draft as the GM of the Giants went.

Round 1, No. 5 overall: Kayvon Thibodeaux (Edge/DE, Oregon)

Photo Credit: USA Today

Going into the tale end of the season, it was easy to dream of having the #1 pick to use on Thibodeaux. Early in the college season, he was the can’t miss #1 pick after registering 19 sacks at Oregon. But his stock started to drop or more accurately, Walker/Hutchinson’s stock soared. The Giants and Joe Schoen landed at #5 and the man they had their eye on fell to them. Schoen vetted Thibs and was confident in selecting him. Schoen made the right move picking him first at #5 with a pick at #7 to follow.

Grade: A

Round 1, No. 7 overall: Evan Neal (OT, Alabama)

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Going into the 2021 college season, Thibodeaux and Neal were considered the #1 and #2 picks respectively. For the Giants to land both kids at #5 and #7 is amazing. The Giants grabbed Thibs because they wanted the Panthers to steal him and they would still have their pick of elite OTs. The Panther took Ikem Ekwonu and the Giants took Evan Neal. Neal is almost too good to be true for a team desperate for offensive line help. Neal started 40 games at 3 different line positions and gave up only 3 sacks this past year. He’ll have no issue sliding to the right tackle spot with Andrew Thomas anchoring the left side. will go a long way toward solving a decade-long problem.

Grade: A+

Round 2, No. 43 overall: Wan’Dale Robinson (WR, Kentucky)

After Schoen’s excellent Day 1, this is where it got interesting. The Giants could have gone in many different directions: draft a replacement at tight end, a swing offensive guard, future inside linebacker or safety. Instead, the Giants traded back twice to select a 5-foot-8 return/gadget receiver. Wan’Dale Robinson had a solid 2021 season at Kentucky (104 catches for 1,334 yards). But the major issues with this pick is that he is a less talented version of Kadarius Toney he doesn’t have the skills to get open in the slot yet and there were better WRs available at that point if you were intent on picking a WR (see Skyy Moore).

Grade: D

Round 3, No. 67 overall: Joshua Ezeudu (OG, North Carolina)

After the head stretcher in the 2nd Round, Schoen really started to hit on picks. Joshua Ezeudu’s upside is apparent. He’s played multiple positions along the offensive line and has good athleticism to work to the second level. You can slot him into the deep mix to start at left guard if he has a good camp. Ezeudu is a developmental prospect but his upside as a starter and scheme fit makes this a nice grab.

Grade: B+

Round 3, No. 81 overall: Cordale Flott (CB, LSU)

While I understand why the Giants felt the need to draft a corner at this pick with the evolution of the passing game and impending trade of James Bradberry, this is a shaky pick. CB Cordale Flott had only one interception in 35 career college games. Flott was projected as a 5th rounder or a 4th rounder at best. This is clearly a reach for me.

Grade: C-

Round 4, No. 112 overall: Daniel Bellinger (TE, San Diego State)

This is a position of need as noted earlier with the loss of Evan Engram. TE Daniel Bellinger is a fine run blocking TE and is a suire handed catcher. In fact, Bellinger had 0 drops on his 30+ attempts this past season. Bellinger could also slot in to play some H-back, but he’s not as explosive in the pass game. They had a chance to take one earlier, but opted to aid the run game.

Grade: B-

Round 4, No. 114 overall, Dane Belton (S, Iowa)

Again, this was a position of need so I like addressing it in the draft. But the Giants waited too long to select a safety. The Giants only have two safeties on the roster currently (Xavier McKinney and Julian Love). Dane Belton impressed with his 4.43-second 40-yard dash time and it shot him up many draft boards. Tape on Belton saw him line up as a hybrid outside linebacker/safety. The All Big 10 safety needs to play the run a bit better to play that hybrid role in the NFL, but 5 picks in college shows he has some skills to work with.

Grade: B-

Round 5, No. 146 overall: Micah McFadden (LB, Indiana)

I love this pick in the 5th round for need and best available. Micah McFadden is a good blitz LB that shows good hip work and feet. His hip work makes him a really good seam / Tampa-2 LB. He’s not the fastest linebacker, but he’s a smart player that fits the scheme.

Grade: B+

Round 5, No. 147 overall: D.J. Davidson (DT, Arizona State)

The Giants have way too many interior defensive linemen who don’t pressure the passer. But with this pick, the G-Men found a solid run-stuffer. Davidson is a 327-pounder with good strength that should be able to come in right away and help against the run. Davidson has good size and upper-body strength to stand up blockers, but he doesn’t have the skills to get to the QB yet.

Grade: C

Round 5, No. 173 overall: Marcus McKethan (OG, North Carolina)

The Giants were determined to address the line and almost walked away with a new o-line. Guard Marcus Mckethan was Ezeudu’s teammate at North Carolina and is a nasty mauler. McKethan has good power to wall off defenders in the run game. He has solid length and fights to stay in front linemen, but he doesn’t have great foot speed. He needs to improve his hands in pass protection, he could be a flag machine early in his career. But I like the valuer in the 5th round.

Grade: C+

Round 6, No. 182 overall Darrian Beavers (LB, Cincinnati)

The name of the game at this is value, and in the 6th round Beavers checks that box. Beavers was talked about cracking the Top 100 in some boards, so to see him drop to the Giants was a surprise. Beavers is likely the most versatile in this class because he’s played all three levels in college (defensive end, linebacker and safety). Beavers is a solid hitter, quick to diagnose run vs. pass and shoot gaps on inside runs pretty well. But his ability to rush the passer and drop in coverage will be his ticket to clack the lineup.

Grade: B

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Overall, this was a solid draft. Day 1 went so well for Schoen it’s hard to kill this draft. I think drafting Robinson and Flott might come back to bite him because of who he passed on and where he drafted them. But the TE, OG and LB selections really cleaned up his late round selections. He played his Spades hand correctly in the 1st round by taking Thiboeaux first then going after the Offensive Tackle in Neal. I think Schoen would’ve traded out of the 7th pick if Neal/Ekwonu wasn’t still available. Overall, this draft just feels different from the last few drafts, and that’s a good thing.

Overall draft class grade: B-

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