The Giants shocked the world last season by reaching the postseason in a rebuild year. But there is more work to be done to close the gap between Big Blue and some of the NFC’s top teams.
With 10 picks and numerous roster needs, general manager Joe Schoen will need to make some crucial decisions during the 2023 NFL Draft.
Using Pro Football Network’s mock draft simulator, let’s take a look at which prospects the Giants should select later this month.
Round 1, Pick 25: CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
Instead of taking a wide receiver, which many expect them to do in the first round, we have the Giants addressing the glaring void at cornerback. Starter Adoree’ Jackson is returning but the other boundary corner spot is uncertain. Youngsters Cor’Dale Flott, Aaron Robinson, and Rodarius Williams haven’t proven anything. And it’s hard to imagine Amani Oruwariye, signed to a one-year deal, is a long-term option.
So the Giants take the top corner on the board. Forbes tallied six interceptions and 10 pass deflections for the Bulldogs last year and his efforts earned him first-team All-SEC and consensus All-American honors. He could slot in as a starter right away, or be a primary depth piece before assuming a starting role midseason. This will be a big starting spot for anyone. Man coverage is a huge component of coordinator Wink Martindale’s blitz-heavy scheme.
Round 2, Pick 57: WR Marvin Mims, Oklahoma
Since we have the Giants passing on a wide receiver in the first round, they absolutely need to take one in the second.
Mims is a shifty slot receiver who would fit well in head coach Brian Daboll’s offense. His speed — 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine — provides him with immense upside. Mims could also be a return specialist after averaging 16.0 yards on 10 punt returns for Oklahoma last year.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones needs all the weapons he can get. Even after signing a four-year, $160 million extension, he and the Giants’ passing attack (seventh-worst in the NFL last season) must improve. Adding Mims to a group that already includes receivers Isaiah Hodgins, Wan’Dale Robinson, Parris Campbell, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and tight end Darren Waller could be a huge boost for this offense.
Round 3, Pick 89: C Luke Wypler, Ohio State
The Giants don’t have any promising starting options at center. Ben Bredeson has never played an NFL game at the position but is one of the only viable options currently on the roster.
So with Wypler — a former St. Joseph of Montvale star — on the board at No. 89, the Giants nab a potential long-term starter. Wypler could slot in right away and grow alongside this mainly young offensive line, which also includes left tackle Andrew Thomas (fourth year), left guard Josh Ezeudu (second year), and right tackle Evan Neal (second year). While there could be growing pains at first, Wypler has faced enough pro-caliber talent in the Big Ten. He’s ready for an immediate role.
Round 4, Pick 128: S Trey Dean, Florida
The Giants need a long-term starting option at safety. Xavier McKinney has one year left on his contract and is likely to sign a long-term extension, but it’s unclear if Jason Pinnock will be consistent enough. While Pinnock will probably start Week 1, Dean is someone who could provide notable depth before growing into an eventual starter. Which the Giants will need following Julian Love’s departure in free agency and Dane Belton’s up-and-down rookie campaign.
Round 5, Pick 160: DT Zacch Pickens, South Carolina
Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams headline the Giants’ defensive line, but there’s not much behind them on the depth chart. Schoen signed Rakeem Nunez-Roches to a three-year deal but using one of the team’s fifth-rounders on depth would be highly beneficial.
Lawrence and Williams played 82% and 75% of the defensive snaps, respectively, last year. The Giants’ lack of depth was the reason for this. So to get those numbers down, Schoen will need to bulk up the line. Pickens sports good size at 6-foot-4, 291 pounds and could bring pass-rushing skills to the table. He combined for 6.5 sacks over the last two seasons with the Gamecocks.
Round 5, Pick 172: DE Byron Young, Tennessee
Can’t have enough pass rushers in Martindale’s scheme. Young notched seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss for Tennessee last year and was a first-team All-SEC selection. He could provide notable depth for Big Blue, especially if Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari, both of whom dealt with injuries in 2022, need to miss time.
Round 6, Pick 209: LB Anfernee Orji, Vanderbilt
The Giants signed Bobby Okereke to a four-year deal, re-signed Jarrad Davis, and are returning second-year players Micah McFadden and Darrian Beavers. They also hosted veteran Deion Jones for a visit on Monday. But more depth is needed after the Giants struggled mightily at the inside linebacker position last year.
Orji led Vanderbilt in tackles from 2020-22 and tallied 106 combined tackles last year. His 9.0 tackles per game actually led the SEC and earned him second-team all-conference honors. Orji also worked with Giants linebackers coach John Egorugwu, who was Vanderbilt’s linebackers coach in 2021.
Round 7, Pick 240: WR Justin Shorter, Florida
Can’t have too many receivers, either. And Shorter would be a perfect seventh-rounder to take a flier on. His size — 6-foot-4, 229 pounds — provides him tremendous upside. And the Giants could use height in the receiver room after stocking up on slot guys. Shorter caught 29 balls for 577 yards and two touchdowns last year.
Round 7, Pick 243: CB Chamarri Conner, Virginia Tech
This is the perfect time for the Giants to add even more depth to the secondary. Conner could, at the very least, provide special teams value. But he could also find reps in the slot. A physical athlete, Conner was second on the Hokies last year with 67 total tackles.
Round 7, Pick 254: RB Evan Hull, Northwestern
With the Giants’ final pick, we took a flier on Northwestern’s Evan Hull, who could bring value as a return specialist. Hull returned nine kicks for 181 yards in 2022.
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