It's been a long time coming
Giants new GM Joe Schoen said he was embracing the challenge of “getting it right” in the 2022 NFL Draft and now that we have reached the end of the Draft weekend it has become clear that Joe Schoen and the Giants organization finally Got. It. Right. And it's been a long time coming. It was imperative that they nailed their player evaluations and decisions in which the final call goes to the GM. I have to say this is the first time in a very long time I am feeling optimistic as a Giants fan. I am extremely hopeful for the future of this franchise and I think the rest of the fanbase is too. #NYG
Let's jump into the Giants Draft selections where I hand out my grades for each pick.
Pick 5. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon
At first, I was a little surprised with this pick and it had nothing to do with his talent at all. You hear the rumors “he has a big personality, he's turned off some other teams” so you think “oh boy, do the Giants really need another difficult personality to deal with?" But the Giants took the time to get to know him and I’ll say this for my fellow strong personalities out there ….a strong personality doesn’t ALWAYS mean your difficult. But we can be. Personality aside, Thibodeaux has a tremendous skill set and an incredibly high ceiling. He is also reminiscent of JPP in terms of athleticism and I think he will thrive in a Wink Martindale defense. Wink doesn’t play it safe and he told us that in his February press conference that he is "just not wired to play it safe" and I feel like some old-school Giants football is about to come our way this season.
Pick 7. Evan Neal, OL, Alabama
I was hoping this would happen for the Giants. I had my eye on Evan Neal for a while and if you are a listener of the 3rd and 3 Podcast you know I was championing for this pick for a while. I felt good that this pick would work out in the Giants favor because after they took Thib’s at 5 that left Neal or Ekwonu so it felt like this was going to be a win-win either way. Evan Neal is a fantastic fit for the Giants. He has no problem sliding in at right tackle and he is just a beast at 6’7 337. Neal is dominate, durable, determined and he will make an immediate impact. FINALLY!
Pick 43.Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky
Robinson was a record setter at Kentucky and he's fast out of the slot even at 5’8. His height is ok for me because this is the type of WR the Giants have gone after for years now. While I was not surprised the Giants went for this type of WR I was surprised that they went for Robinson this early. This felt like a reach to me but the Giants did trade back here and picked up an extra 4th rounder & 5th rounder. So all was not lost. The issue here is Robinson's skill set is almost a mirror image of what Kadarius Toney does and Robinson is not really a WR1 and he has separation issues. We don't need anymore separation issues on this team! The rumors have been flying that the Giants will trade Toney however Brian Daboll says they are not. Time will tell I suppose. It seems the Giants have a vision here I just don’t quite get it yet.
Pick 67. Joshua Ezeudu, OL, North Carolina
Ezeudu is a developmental prospect but he is extremely versatile. He played multiple spots on the OL on the same drive at NC and the Giants really need some versatility on the line. Ezeudu projected as a guard but it looks like he may need a year to develop and that's ok because he can provide some relief along the way. Ezeudu has been flying under the radar and I think the Giants hit a home run here.
Pick 81. Cordale Flott, CB, LSU
Surely my co-host Damian Adams will endorse this pick as an LSU fan and I do too. In my book you can never have too many corners and the Bradberry trade rumors are pretty hot right now so we will see what the Giants end up doing with Bradberry. If they trade him they would need a CB anyway if they don't they just added some depth which is never a bad thing. Flott has great awareness, ball skills and the Giants are really high on him. The Giants value his competitiveness and it was smart to add him to secondary that needs help.
Pick 112. Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State
Did the Giants finally get themselves a real TE? Maybe. Giants needed to replenish this position anyway so it was just a matter of when they would address the TE position. Bellinger himself said his biggest strength is blocking and making big plays when he needs to. We have heard that before so we will see but I hope he's right. Bellinger comes from a run-heavy offense so his productivity was low in college but he has a ton of athleticism and a lot of upside. Bellinger seems like a project type TE and won't make an immediate impact but I don’t hate this pick. He joins Seals-Jones and Akins in this new look TE group.
Pick 114. Dane Belton, S, Iowa
You can't go wrong adding depth to the Safety position and that’s exactly what the Giants did with the 114th pick. Giants had 2 safeties on their roster after parting ways with Logan Ryan so adding depth here was a no brainer. The feeling is that Belton will compliment McKinney very nicely and that he has good instincts but there is concern that he needs more time develop his strength and consistency. Something I am sure Wink Martindale can help him with. None the less the scouts have all said he is a versatile Safety that can play across all formations on Defense.
Pick 146. Micah McFadden, LB, Indiana
Scouts have sung the praises of McFadden and his ability to cover underneath which is absolutely a MUST in todays game. Giants really needed some help here and they went and got themselves a productive LB. McFadden lead the defense with 77 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Scouts have knocked McFadden for missing tackles in open areas but he is expected to contribute on special teams as well.
Pick 147. DJ Davidson, DT, Arizona
Scouting reports were somewhat MEH on Davidson but the NFL.com scouting report did have some good things to say about him, such as: good lateral quickness, shoves blockers to gain early traction and maintains gap integrity. He has minimal pass rush abilities right now but with a year of development that can change. You know what I liked most about Davidson? He was truly grateful that the Giants believed in him and are taking a chance on him. It’s refreshing to see someone express gratefulness instead of entitlement. Credit to the Giants for recognizing they really needed to address the interior defensive line situation.
Pick 173. Marcus McKethan, OL, UNC
John Mara said the Giants needed to address the OL and that is exactly what they are doing. I’m not sure why it took him like 8 years to admit this but he did and they are making progress. McKethan is a dominate blocker and you gotta love that the Giants are taking the fundamentals of football seriously this time. The Giants are going back to the basics which has been long overdue.
Pick 182. Darrian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati
Like I said, old-school football is coming our way and Beavers is the embodiment of old-school. Beavers told reporters on Saturday he felt blessed to be in New York and sharing a stadium with his friend Sauce Gardner doesn’t hurt either. Beavers is a strong run defender with his strength being able to move forward and blitz.
Giants Draft Overall
Overall I would say things are looking up for our G-Men and it’s about damn time! I am pretty sure this organization hit rock bottom the last few years so as they say ….. it can only go up from here. Can someone tell me who “they” is anyway? You have to be happy with this draft as I think it was solid and addressed some glaring needs along with adding some much-needed depth. I finally feel optimistic about this upcoming season and I haven’t felt that way in very long time. I know the #NYG fanbase has had enough and rightfully so. It’s been a brutal few years but looking objectively at this draft I would say this organization is heading in the right direction.
But who had the best draft?
As much as I would love to say the Giants had the best draft there were a few teams that had a better draft than they did. I would put the Giants in my Top 10 List of best Draft teams this year but I am only going give you my top 3 for now.
Top 3 teams who had an outstanding draft
1. Baltimore Ravens
Talk about just having the best players fall right into your lap. How very Ravens of them. Getting the best safety and best center in the draft was an absolute win for the Ravens. Ravens win with size and they do a phenomenal job of always seeming to grab the largest human beings ever and turning them into efficient playmakers.
Grade: A +
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Believe me, it pains me to say that the Eagles had a great draft but I had a feeling they would. You also have to factor in the AJ Brown trade too. Cam Jurgens is Jason Kelce 2.0 who has been an absolute legend in Philly. Seeing Davis paired with Fletcher Cox has got to get this fanbase pumped. I, however am NOT looking forward to this. At all.
3. New York Jets
Wow right? You may disagree here at 3 because I think you can easily put the Colts here or even Green Bay but the Jets never get any love so I’m taking this opportunity to show them some. I’m not sure people realize just HOW HARD Joe Douglas’s job was during the draft and just HOW FAR this roster has come. Let us not forget the Mike Tannenbaum, John Idzik and Mike Maccagnan eras that were absolutely disastrous. Talk about inheriting the problems of a bad administration. Try 3. And that’s just recently. The Jets went plug-n-play this draft and I think they will finally start to see some long overdue results.
The Draft Overall
The 2022 Draft was surprising, chaotic and entertaining. If you're going to air something like the NFL Draft I think that's all you can hope for really. Get the people talking and the fans fired up for the new season. I would love to hear your thoughts on the draft in the comments below or you can find me on Twitter @NikkiNic9384 #GiantsNation #NFLFamily #2022NFLDraft
Be sure to tune into the 3rd & 3 Podcast this Wednesday at 7pm for all of our Draft day reactions. It's gonna be lit! #podcastandchillwithus