Joe Schoen
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Various needs are present in and around the Giants roster, thanks to a lack of player development and mismanagement of funds (among other things). And due to the salary cap hell this team is residing in, many of these holes must be addressed in the draft.

While the offensive tackle, edge rusher, and cornerback positions are likely targets during the first round (as they should be), the wide receiver role needs to be a topic of conversation among Joe Schoen and co. earlier in the draft than most probably believe.

And why is that?

The hope for DJ’s development continues

For the fourth year in a row, we’re talking about the potential development of Daniel Jones into a franchise quarterback.

I speak for fans when I say I’m not thrilled about it either.

But it is what it is. The Giants didn’t trade for a Russell Wilson-type franchise quarterback nor did they sign a bridge quarterback who can be a Week 1 starter like Jameis Winston. And it doesn’t seem like Schoen wants to go the quarterback route during the first round (at No. 5 or 7 overall).

This means Jones is the guy for 2022, unless struggles occur or another injury arises and free-agent pickup Tyrod Taylor is the next man up.

So since Jones will be under center, he’ll need all the assistance he can get. The Giants hopefully plan to address the gaping vacancy at right tackle to protect him in the first round, and a later pick must be used on a receiver to enhance the slate of weapons he has alongside him.

This is the year when it all needs to come to fruition for Jones. John Mara recently said the organization has done “everything possible to screw this kid up.” Now it needs to do everything possible to provide him with the opportunity to succeed.

The selection of a receiver would assist with that task.

Medical tent is too familiar

Would you like me to go through the number of 2021 games missed for the team’s top four wide receivers, all of whom are set to return in 2022?

No? Well, I’m going to do it anyway.

  • Sterling Shepard: 10
  • Kadarius Toney: 7
  • Darius Slayton: 4
  • Kenny Golladay: 3

That’s right — 24 combined missed games. An uncanny amount that’s made the medical tent the second home for this receiving unit.

The Giants cannot put themselves in the position where they’re banking on health, especially with the pressure that’s on their starting quarterback. That won’t work with a group that has a history of injury-realted issues.

Further improving the depth and talent of this receiver room would help the Giants combat that potential issue. And if a lack of health among the wideouts doesn’t become a problem, you can still never employ too much talent within the group.

So what round?

Second. At No. 36 overall.

Again, this is a larger need than you may think, given the aforementioned issues I introduced.

If the Giants can address the offensive tackle, edge rusher, and/or cornerback roles in the first round, they should go right to the wide receiver position in the second.

This receiver class is deep. The Giants could still acquire a highly talented wideout at the beginning of the second round. Preferably someone who sports decent size to complement Golladay while Toney and Shepard work out of the slot. However, you can’t have enough speed in the modern NFL, which is why I also like Penn State’s Jahan Dotson and Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore (although I don’t think the former will be available).

North Dakota State’s Christian Watson (6-foot-4, 211 pounds) would be a solid target and could see his stock rise as the draft approaches.

George Pickens (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) figures to be a second-rounder but dealt with injuries during his collegiate tenure at Georgia (he played in just four games last year).

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.