The Giants possess just three picks through the final four rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft. They must utilize them wisely.
Day three of the NFL Draft is still a very important portion of the annual event — don’t think it’s not. Steals occur in the later rounds, providing teams with even more of a reason to be smart with those types of selections.
Due to the 2019 trade for star defensive lineman Leonard Williams and 2020 trade for cornerback Isaac Yiadom, the Giants no longer possess their fifth and seventh-round picks from the upcoming draft, leaving them with just three selections through the final four rounds (No. 107 overall in the fourth round, No. 172 overall in the sixth, and No. 177 overall in the sixth via the Markus Golden trade).
With the Giants likely targeting the receiver, tight end, cornerback, and/or edge rusher positions during the first two days, there are numerous roles they could look to fill with their late-round picks.
The Giants will require reinforcements for whenever Saquon Barkley needs a rest or — and let’s hope this doesn’t happen again — misses time due to injury.
Wayne Gallman is most likely leaving East Rutherford to seek a decent chunk of change and the opportunity to compete for a starting job elsewhere. Alfred Morris may not be back with the team in 2021 either (his current contract is expiring) while Elijhaa Penny is more of a fullback.
Not to mention, Penny could opt out of his two-year contract this offseason.
Snagging a young back with a sixth-round pick while still potentially signing a veteran in free agency to group with Saquon could prove to be beneficial for Jason Garrett’s run game.
Possible draft targets include Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard, Louisville’s Javian Hawkins, and Iowa’s Mekhi Sargent. Hubbard was the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2019.
Interior Offensive Lineman
It’s never a detriment to employ a significant amount of depth on the offensive line.
The Giants could be set on the exterior of the unit if Nate Solder does indeed return next season and the team re-signs Cameron Fleming. Those two scenarios would provide the team with its two starters — Andrew Thomas and Solder — as well as its pair of reserve tackles — Fleming and Matt Peart.
However, New York could use an extra body on the interior of the line. Will Hernandez’s future is unclear after he lost his starting job this past year and Kevin Zeitler is only increasing in age. The Giants could snag someone with their fourth-round pick (No. 107 overall) to sit behind Zeitler, Shane Lemieux, and center Nick Gates and perform as a reserve option in case someone goes down with an injury or simply struggles.
In this draft scenario, Big Blue may target individuals like Sadarius Hutcherson (South Carolina) or Ben Cleveland (Georgia). The latter earned spots on the AP All-SEC first team and AP All-America third team in 2020.
Just like with the offensive line, you can never possess too much depth in the secondary, and while the Giants may look to draft a corner in the early stages of the event, they could certainly take a chance on another defensive back in the sixth round.
The roster is already loaded in this area with potentially an early-round draftee as well as a free-agent pickup on the way. However, taking defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s situational schemes into consideration, it’s certainly possible a late-round acquisition could find himself on the field in specific scenarios.
Early targets might be Washington’s Keith Taylor Jr. and South Carolina’s Israel Mukuamu, the latter of whom was an AP All-SEC second-team selection in 2019.
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