With 10 rookies, the New York Giants will have a lot of youth on the roster. The Giants attacked the draft with a desire to fill holes.
An eventful 2020 NFL Draft saw the New York Giants make 10 selections. This is the second straight year that New York walked away with 10 new rookies, making the team one of the youngest in the league.
With all its youth, Big Blue will look to fill their many holes throughout the team. Here is an outlook of the potential roles each draftee selected in the first six rounds may fill this upcoming season.
Pick 5: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia: Starting Right Tackle
It is clear that general manager Dave Gettleman prioritized his “hog mollies” in this draft. With his first selection, he went out and got a 315-pound offensive tackle. The selection of Andrew Thomas came as a surprise to many. However, for the Giants, his undeniable college success was too much to let slip by.
In college, Thomas was part of arguably one of the best offensive lines. On this unit, Thomas was one of the best players, starting as a freshman at right tackle freshman year before moving over to left tackle for his last two seasons. During his time at left tackle, Thomas was a perennial All-American. He never allowed more than two pressures in a game over that span and helped Georgia’s dominant run offense with his elite run blocking.
The Georgia product will look to translate this college success to the NFL as he projects to be a day one starter. It appears that he will be transitioning back to the right side as he will compete with Nick Gates for the starting tackle position. However, as of now, it is Thomas’ job to lose.
Pick 36: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama: Starting Free Safety
In attempts to recreate the once-great NYPD (New York Pass Defense), Big Blue decided to select a defensive back with its second-round pick. With secondary in mind, the Giants were able to get a steal out of Xavier Mckinney who was thought to be a day one selection.
Mckinney was viewed by many as the best safety in the class but seemed to fall due to his slower 40 times. However, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, New York believed that his playing speed Mckinney’s much faster than the 4.53 40-yard dash time he boasted at his pro day. The Giants liked his football IQ and versatility and decided to utilize their Alabama connection with head coach Joe Judge to select the safety.
It appears, that McKinney will also be a week one starter as the Giants have been searching for a viable free safety for quite some time. McKinney will likely join forces with Jabrill Peppers. The dynamic safety duo will have the challenging task of attempting to right the ship of a defense that allowed over 28 points per game last season.
Pick 99: Matt Peart, OT, Connecticut: Tackle Of The Future
Gettleman drafted his second offensive lineman with UConn product Matt Peart who is an athletic freak—standing at 6-foot-7 and 318 pounds. While Peart is a larger tackle, he is still able to move very quickly as he posted a 5.06 40-yard dash time. Peart has all of the intangibles to become very successful for New York.
However, the Jamaican native will have to increase his strength and refine his technique before he will be able to become a starter. The time for this to potentially happen has no set date but the Giants would love to see it sooner than later so they can dump Nate Solder’s hefty contract. It seems that Gettleman made this selection so that one day Peart can start on the right and Andrew Thomas will be able to play on the left.
Pick 110: Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA: Depth/Nickel Corner
New York’s front office continued the theme of focusing on the secondary and offensive line with the selection of Darnay Holmes. The UCLA product was rated the top nickel corner in the draft by NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks. He will join a crowded and young cornerback room which includes Deandre Baker, Sam Beal, Julian Love, Grant Haley, and Corey Ballentine.
Holmes will have to work to see defensive playing time but will likely be a heavy contributor on special teams as he was in college. However, his work ethic is one of the better aspects to his resumé so don’t be surprised if he is able to compete for the starting nickel corner job or some playing time at that spot.
Pick 150: Shane Lemieux, OG, Oregon: Depth Guard
In the fifth round, the Giants once again prioritized protecting their young playmakers (Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley) as they drafted their third offensive lineman. Shane Lemieux was a durable and competent guard for the Ducks, starting in 52 games in his career. The Oregon product will likely sit behind Will Hernandez at left guard as he pushes the current starter. He will likely not see much playing time as he projects to be a reserve swing guard in case of injury.
Pick 183: Cam Brown, LB, Penn State: Special Teamer
New York broke its current draft routine to select Cam Brown. He was a versatile difference-maker for the Nittany Lions. In his senior season, he recorded 72 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks. His college production was great but he still has a lot of work to do if he hopes to see significant NFL playing time. Until Brown puts on some muscle and refines his techniques, he will probably remain as a special teamer and may be used in situational defensive packages on occasion.