Summary: It’s difficult to give the New York Giants too much credit for their slam-dunk selections in Round 1; with a pair of picks in the Top 10, anything shy of two home runs would’ve been a major disappointment.
Day 3 was “good not great,” but in a draft that was sold the depth of its Day 2 talent, the Giants failed to capitalize on that in a way that substantially improved their football team.
Let’s break it down by Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3:
The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft couldn’t have gone better for the New York Giants. They got themselves the draft’s highest-ceiling edge rusher in Kayvon Thibodeaux, as well as some much-needed protection for Daniel Jones in Alabama tackle Evan Neal.
It was an A+ duo for first-time GM Joe Schoen. New York could’ve very well gone with this duo if they had the first two picks of the night, and no one would’ve faulted them for doing so. Thibodeaux and Neal each boast All-Pro upside, and are refined enough prospects to make an immediate impact when Week 1 rolls around. Thibodeaux also provides a potential new face for a franchise that has gotten a mixed bag from fixtures like Jones and Saquon Barkley.
Day 2 is where things started to get questionable. It’s not that the Giants selected bad players; Wan’Dale Robinson, Josh Ezeudu and Cordale Flott all have the potential to be contributors on a winning football team. That said, Schoen and Co. failed to maximize the value of their picks, seemingly overvaluing players based on the way their profiles lined up with what Schoen and Brian Daboll had in Buffalo.
The Robinson selection was very clearly an attempt to get “an Isaiah McKenzie.” But should a rebuilding team really use a second-round pick on Isaiah McKenzie? It’s reminiscent of the Rams selecting Tutu Atwell 51st overall last year.
Getting a center like Cam Jurgens, a tight end like Trey McBride, or even a more versatile receiver like Alec Pierce would have all provided better avenues to improving the offense around Daniel Jones. The new regime could also have afforded to be patient with an injury question mark like Nakobe Dean, or simply gone best player available with someone like Jaquan Brisker.
Similar concerns exist with the selections of Ezeudu and Flott. Both address more glaring needs for the Giants, which clearly played a factor in the selections, but again, where was the value?
Seeing New York pass over high-upside talents like Travis Jones, Jelani Woods, Chad Muma, DeMarvin Leal, and Marcus Jones, Leo Chenal and Channing Tindall was confusing, especially when so many guards and corners were still available on Day 3.
Rounds 4-7 got better for New York. It’s easy to nit pick any one of their selections, but all in all they used Day 3 to add quality role players to fortify their roster with players that do something specific well.
Micah McFadden is the ultimate Wink Martindale blitz-heavy linebacker, and Daniel Bellinger stands to be much more productive in an NFL offense than he was at San Diego State. Dane Belton’s versatility as a defensive back makes him an a strong fit in a Martindale defense, particularly one that, at present, will have to be dependent on strong scheming given its lack of major playmakers.