We know the Giants need to address the offensive line and pass rush early in the upcoming NFL draft, which is why owning two first-round picks (Nos. 5 and 7) is critical.
Their top priority is debatable. But most have right tackle atop the list. ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have general manager Joe Schoen attacking that need first in a joint mock draft released Tuesday:
N.C. State OT Ikem Ekwonu at No. 5: “Andrew Thomas looked better in 2021, but the Giants still need a tackle opposite him,” McShay writes. “The best one in the class is still here at No. 5. New GM Joe Schoen would be sprinting to turn in the pick card if the board fell this way.”
Analysis: I love it. The Giants are choosing the first tackle off the board in this mock, and if they feel Ekwonu is the top choice available, then so be it. Provide quarterback Daniel Jones the protection he needs.
Florida State DE Jermaine Johnson at No. 7: “(Aidan) Hutchinson, (Travon) Walker and (Kayvon) Thibodeaux went 1-2-3, but Johnson is also worthy of a top-10 pick,” McShay writes. “The Giants have a glaring issue at edge rusher. This would be a great start to the draft for the Giants, checking off a pair of boxes with their first two picks.”
Analysis: The Giants don’t have much of a choice if they want a pass rusher given how the board has fallen. Perhaps a cornerback or trading back would be a better move? That said, Johnson is talented and has the tools to fit defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s blitz-heavy schemes.
Later rounds: Kiper and McShay have the Giants grabbing Baylor safety Jalen Pitre in the second round (No. 36 overall) and using their third-round picks on Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma (No. 67) and UTSA cornerback Tariq Woolen (No. 81).