No, the Giants will not greatly improve in 2022 (at least I don’t think they will).
But the 2022 NFL Draft will surely help them lay the groundwork for the future, given they own nine total picks (including two in the first round and one in the second).
With the abundance of resources, general manager Joe Schoen cannot screw this up.
Please, Joe: do not screw this up.
What does ESPN’s Todd McShay believe he and the Giants will do with their first trio of selections?
No. 5 overall — Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
McShay’s Take: “New general manager Joe Schoen would be off to a really, really good start to his tenure if he gets this lucky. A run on pass-rushers to begin the draft leaves Ekwonu for the Giants at No. 5 overall. He brings versatility, power, length and quickness, and he’d be opposite Andrew Thomas to form a solid duo to keep NFC pass-rushers in check.”
Our Take: I’m not sure how many times I can say the Giants absolutely need to address the right tackle vacancy first and foremost in this draft.
McShay has Big Blue doing just that at No. 5, and surprisingly, he believes the Giants will be the first team to take an offensive tackle.
If the Giants truly believe Ikem Ekwonu is the best tackle of the top three (him, Evan Neal, and Charles Cross), then they should absolutely acquire him. Daniel Jones must stay upright and on the field, which he hasn’t consistently done since entering the league in 2019.
With Andrew Thomas having greatly improved last year, the Giants could lock down their bookend tackles for the future with this pick.
No. 7 overall — Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
McShay’s Take: “The Giants already checked the offensive line box with Ekwonu, but Southern California wide receiver Drake London could help boost the offense. However, with some uncertainty around James Bradberry’s future in the Big Apple, Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner would make sense. And while the top three pass-rushers are off the board, Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II fits. But the Giants’ depth chart at safety is light, and adding someone with Hamilton’s size, range and ball skills to the back end could change the way offenses game-plan for New York. Logan Ryan was released, and pairing Hamilton with Xavier McKinney (five interceptions and 10 passes defensed last season) would be an excellent last line of defense.”
Our Take: First of all: the Giants must select an edge rusher, a cornerback, or trade back with this pick.
Second of all: if corner James Bradberry’s future really is unknown (the veteran may be a trade piece to help the team’s dreadful cap situation), then wouldn’t the best replacement be…a corner? Such as Sauce Gardner or Derek Stingley Jr., who are both still available at No. 7 in this mock?
Hamilton is wildly talented and the Giants did just part ways with Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers. But taking a safety with this prestigious pick would come with significant risk. There are other defensive positions of need that carry more importance — the safety role can be addressed later on or internally with the fielding of Julian Love (potentially).
No. 36 overall — Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
McShay’s Take: “Moore’s combine performance was impressive, and there might not be a more elusive pass-catcher in the class once the ball is in his hands. No Giants receiver had more than 521 receiving yards or three touchdowns last season. As an aside, [Penn State defensive end] Arnold Ebiketie would be a good pick here, too, if he were still available.”
Our Take: I am going to provide two different takes here, one with context and one without.
Let’s start with the latter…
I definitely want the Giants to consider a receiver in the second round. Not only will Daniel Jones require help on the offensive line but also in the weapons department — that’s how crucial his year-four improvement will be.
Given the injury-related issues involving Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Sterling Shepard (20 combined missed games in 2021) and inconsistencies of Darius Slayton (career-lows in receptions per game, yards per game, catch percentage, and yards per target last year), adding another weapon would be beneficial for this offense as a whole.
Now, let’s bring in the crucial context…
If the Giants are going to bypass the selection of an edge rusher and cornerback in the first round (like McShay has them doing here), they must address either spot in the second.
Houston defensive end Logan Hall and Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary are available at No. 36 in this mock — each may make more sense here.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY