Many believe the Giants will select a wide receiver with their first pick in the 2023 NFL draft. But ESPN analyst Todd McShay believes they can wait to get quarterback Daniel Jones another weapon.
McShay instead has general manager Joe Schoen addressing another pressing need with the No. 25 pick. He has Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes going to the Giants in his latest two-round mock draft.
Expected a receiver? I nearly went with (USC’s Jordan) Addison here. But there are other needs, including cornerback, and receiver can be addressed later. Adoree’ Jackson, Darnay Holmes, Amani Oruwariye and Bobby McCain are only under contract through 2023, and the Giants tied the Raiders for fewest interceptions in the NFL last season with six. That’s how many Forbes had on his own at Mississippi State in 2022! And he picked off 14 passes over three seasons, including six returned for touchdowns.
Forbes is lean at 6-foot-1 and 166 pounds, but he has great speed and fantastic instincts in coverage. The Giants blitzed more than any other team last season (42.0%) but didn’t have many ballhawks in the secondary to take advantage. Forbes would feast on mistakes forced by that pressure.
The Giants then get their wideout in the second round — North Carolina’s Josh Downs.
The Giants went another route in Round 1, but they aren’t bypassing the receiver need here. Downs is undersized at 5-foot-9 and plays out of the slot, where New York already has plenty of options. But he plays with explosion and changes directions really well in the open field. Downs put together back-to-back seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards and can help Daniel Jones right out of the gate.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.