The 2023 NFL Draft‘s first round is less than three weeks away. The general consensus is the Giants should add another wide receiver with their top pick. So they can help bolster quarterback Daniel Jones‘ supporting cast.
And while that would definitely benefit the roster, addressing the cornerback position would be the best move for general manager Joe Schoen moving forward.
Why not wide receiver? First and foremost, the Giants have already addressed the wide receiver position at length this offseason. They brought back Isaiah Hodgins, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton on new contracts. They additionally signed Parris Campbell, Jamison Crowder, and Jeff Smith. And traded for star tight end Darren Waller, who figures to find slot reps in head coach Brian Daboll’s offense.
And there will still be an opportunity to find a wide receiver with a great value pick in the second round (No. 57 overall). This is a deep receiver class with the top names including Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State), Zay Flowers (Boston College), Jordan Addison (USC), Quentin Johnston (TCU), and Jalin Hyatt (Tennessee). But there’s no guarantee each of these guys will become a first-rounder.
Actually, according to Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, various teams only have a first-round grade for Smith-Njigba. So there’s a chance multiple receivers trickle into the second round and the Giants are able to make a good value selection at No. 57. So taking a wideout in the first round might not be the big necessity you think it is.
One thing has become clear on calls around league past couple weeks: NFL isn’t nearly as high on this year’s WR class as media.
Frequently seeing 4-5 wideouts in mocks. Have spoken to numerous teams that have only one first round grade at the position. That guy is JSN.
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 10, 2023
Why a cornerback? Because, unlike the wide receiver position, the Giants have failed to effectively address this role in the offseason. And you could argue there’s a larger void there.
The Giants have various starting-caliber wide receivers on the roster and Daboll can be trusted enough to utilize them effectively. But the same can’t be said for cornerback.
Adoree’ Jackson is set to remain a starter in the final year of his deal but the other starting boundary spot has question marks. Cor’Dale Flott (second year), Aaron Robinson (third year), and Rodarius Williams (third year) are inexperienced and haven’t proven anything. Darnay Holmes works more out of the slot. Amani Oruwariye could slot in as a temporary starter but isn’t a long-term option after only signing a one-year deal in March.
These issues are unavoidable. And cornerback is a crucial position in coordinator Wink Martindale’s blitz-heavy system. Plus the Giants’ secondary was 18th in the NFL with 214.0 passing yards allowed per game last year. So Big Blue needs a long-term starter and must draft the top one available at No. 25 overall before it gets too late for some of the big names.
Think of it this way: if the Giants pass on an eventual starting cornerback in the first round, a year from now, the top of their depth chart could feature the likes of Flott, Robinson, Williams, and a then-rookie. In a division that includes the Eagles’ and Cowboys’ passing attacks (ninth and 14th in production last year, respectively).
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