New York Giants 2018 Recap
The Giants had another disappointing season in 2018, finishing 5-11 and missing the playoffs for the second straight year. Their second straight season at the bottom of the NFC East came after drafting running back Saquon Barkley 2nd overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Giants have also been adamant on holding onto their 2x Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning, who has just turned 38 years old.
Dave Gettleman has been active this offseason. He traded Odell Beckham Jr., to the disdain of most Giants fans, to the Cleveland Browns for a package that featured the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He also secured Kevin Zeitler, by shipping Oliver Vernon out of New York. The Giants also added Golden Tate in free agency.
Gettleman has a clear focus for this roster: he wants to run the ball 25-30 times a game and win along both the offensive and defensive trenches. This mindset will guide the targets I focus on in this article.
New York Giants 2019 NFL Draft Needs:
Gettleman’s restructure has left a lot of holes for the Giants to try to fill during the NFL Draft. In particular they need to address:
- Right Tackle: with Zeitler playing right guard the Giants offensive line is starting to come together. Solder (left tackle) improved as 2018 went on, Will Hernandez (left guard) had a great rookie campaign, and Halapio (center) is a solid band aid at center. The Giants, however, still have a large gap at right tackle-one that needs to be addressed early in the 2019 NFL Draft.
- EDGE: with Oliver Vernon gone, the Giants lack a playmaker at on of the foundational positions in the NFL. There are a lot of explosive EDGE options at the top of this year’s NFL Draft-but there is not a ton of depth, the Giants will have to be aggressive early.
- S/CB: even with Peppers coming over in the OBJ trade, the Giants need depth in their secondary. In addition to safety depth, they need to find a corner who can play opposite of Jenkins. This is a draft that lacks talent at the top of the secondary, but there is plenty of depth to choose from as we get into the mid rounds.
New York Giants NFL Draft Targets:
1st Round, 6th Overall Pick: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
I do not believe the Giants will even consider quarterback with this pick. Everything Gettleman has said since Indianapolis and the OBJ trade suggests he wants to focus on winning in the trenches. With Taylor, the Giants secure the best pure offensive tackle in this class and suddenly have a very solid offensive line that can hold up to Gettleman’s vision.
Other players the Giants could take with this pick: Brian Burns, Cody Ford, Quinnen Williams
1st Round, 17th Overall Pick: TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa
This is an unconventional pick, but it makes a lot of sense. Hockenson has the ability to immediately support the run game as an aggressive blocker. That’s enough to get the Giants’ front office hooked, add in his big time play making skills and you have someone who can help Eli Manning move the ball in the short/mid field.
Other players the Giants could take with this pick: Ed Oliver, Drew Lock, Devin Bush
2nd Round, 37th Overall: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
Polite was consider among the top EDGE prospects prior to the NFL Combine. During the combine Polite interviewed poorly, which validated the poor character rumors that clouded his time at Florida. Polite also did not test well in Indianapolis. I doubt Gettleman would care much about Polite’s character issues, though, and would run to the podium to take an explosive and athletic EDGE with this pick.
Other players the Giants could take with this pick: Amani Oruwariye, Deionte Thompson, Charles Omenihu
3rd Round, 95th Overall: Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt
I have had the Giants ignore defensive back so far with these picks. They will, however, need to find CB help. Williams gives them a corner who can grow into a starting role for them-he has limited athletic upside but does have good traits and technique.
3rd Round, 108th Overall: Marquise Blair, S, Utah
Blair gives the Giants more mid round secondary support, which will be critical if they do ignore that position early in the 2019 NFL Draft. Blair is physical and can live in the box and support the Giants run defense.
4th Round, 132nd Overall: Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State
If the Giants are truly going to run the ball 25-30 times, they need to provide Barkley with change of pace backs to bare some of the load. Gallman provides some relief already, but Weber gives them a well-rounded back who is also a very effective pass blocker.
4th Round, 142nd Overall: Isiah Buggs, DT, Alabama
Buggs gives the Giants more support on the defensive line. He played outside at Alabama but has limited speed and range which will force him to play inside in the NFL. Think of Buggs as their well-liquor version of Snacks Harrison.
4th Round, 143rd Overall: Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
Hurd is a draft crush of mine. He’s dynamic, explosive, and was being considered a first-round talent when he was playing running back for the Tennessee Volunteers. Since transferring to play WR, Hurd has shown the ability to contribute to the slot and can work into a running back rotation still.
5th Round, 171st Overall: Tre Watson, LB, Maryland
Past White, Bush, and Wilson there is no certainty in the linebacker position in this draft class. Still, the Giants need to add depth and potential replacement for the money pit that is Ogletree. Watson gives them a development prospect who could contribute in his first year.
6th Round, 180th Overall: Oli Udoh, OT, Elon
Odoh isn’t a big name, but he is a big man (6’6”, 327). He’s a raw prospect that performed well during the Senior Bowl. The Giants could use Udoh as a critical depth piece for their offensive line.
7th Round, 232nd Overall: Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison
Mooreland was the 2018 Colonial Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He performed so well at the East-West Shrine Game that he got called up to also play in the Senior Bowl. Moreland needs experience with tougher competition, but he’s flashed enough to justify a late round pick.
7th Round, 245th Overall: Greg Dortch, WR, Wake Forest
Dortch truthers might be livid I’m projecting him so low, but Dortch is undersized and underexperienced. Still, he has great speed and could contribute in the slot role for the Giants. More likely, however, is that the Giants could draft him to contribute to special teams early in his career.
2019 NFL Draft Grade
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