New York’s football fans may not be used to good news, but the Giants new front office has won significant praise for their recent haul in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The team, led by rookie general manager Joe Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll, who both came to MetLife Stadium after working for the Buffalo Bills, made 11 selections in the draft this weekend, which tied them for the most picks of any franchise.
Big Blue spent their first selection, which came at 5th overall, on standout defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux from the University of Oregon — and NFL insiders widely praised the selection, including comparisons to former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, and Giants great Michael Strahan.
Their second pick came as the 10th overall selection, which they acquired in a trade with the Chicago Bears. The team selected offensive tackle Evan Neal out of the University of Alabama, who the team hopes will better protect 4th-year quarterback Daniel Jones.
NFL insiders, such as The Ringer’s Danny Kelly awarded the team an “A+ Grade” for both of the team’s first round selections, while ESPN’s Todd McShay said of Thibodeaux that he’s a “dominant run-blocker who takes great angles and knocks back defenders. That will help running back Saquon Barkley.”
The team continued to rack up much-praised picks in later rounds, including after trading their 2nd round selection to the Jets, which caused Big Blue to move down in the 2nd, while acquiring the Jets’ 5th-round selection.
“We just thought it was what was best for us at this time. More picks would benefit us the most, we thought, based on who was on our board,” Schoen said of the decision to trade back. “We had deals in place before the draft started. So we were confident. We knew we could move back. That was part of the plan.”
They found themselves a speedy wide receiver with their 3rd overall pick in Wan’Dale Robinson from the University of Kentucky — earning praise from experts like Chad Reuter of NFL.com.
“Schoen also traded down twice before grabbing a tough, undersized receiver in Robinson,” he said. “He then found an underappreciated guard/tackle combo in Ezeudu and a lean slot corner in Flott.”
The team then went on to select 8 more players, with 2 more offensive lineman to help protect their passers and open up lanes for Pro Bowler Saquon Barkley, while adding 4 more players to their defense, which had given up the 12th-most yards in the NFL last season.
“We wanted to add depth and competition to the roster, which I think we did,” Schoen said.
The new front office head cautioned that some of their prospects would take longer to develop, but that they were confident in their player-development apparatus.
“Again, not every guy is going to come as a starter,” he said. “It takes time.”
The Giants complete draft haul:
Round 1, #5 overall: Kayvon Thibodeaux (DL, Oregon)
Round 1, #7 overall: Evan Neal (RT, Alabama)
Round 2, #43 overall: Wan’Dale Robinson (WR, Kentucky)
Round 3, #67 overall: Joshua Ezeudu (OG, North Carolina)
Round 3, #81 overall: Cordale Flott (CB, LSU)
Round 4, #112 overall: Daniel Bellinger (TE, San Diego State)
Round 4, #114 overall: Dane Belton (S, Iowa)
Round 5, #146 overall: Micah McFadden (LB, Indiana)
Round 5, #147 overall: D.J. Davidson (DT, Arizona State)
Round 5, #173 overall: Marcus McKethan (OG, North Carolina)
Round 6, #182 overall: Darrian Beavers (LB, Cincinnati)