Ranking the Giants’ 2022 NFL Draft Picks

The last time the Giants added as many players to the NFL Draft as this week was when Eli Manning attended his last spring camp in Mississippi.

In a sign that competition for roster spots is wide open, the Giants made 11 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. General manager Joe Schoen sought versatility as he tried the affordable local way to improve the disappointing list he inherited.

Schoen’s first project was a bit of a roller coaster ride, with a dip in the middle, but he proved he had the power to make his choices and believed in his beliefs. Here are The Post’s pick grades for the Giants’ draft class:

Schoen was prepared for every scenario among the top five picks and showed it by abandoning the plan to take an offensive tackle in order to maximize the value of his team’s top two picks. After 19 sacks in college, Thibodeaux is shaping up to be the Giants’ most dangerous passing thrower since Jason Pierre-Paul was traded before the 2018 season. He even has some of Justin Tuck’s inside-outside versatility. The Giants felt comfortable after investigating his effort and commitment.

Grade: A-

Thibodeaux and Neal were widely considered the top two prospects in the class as recently as October. The Giants both landed because they were comfortable letting the Panthers pick the first offensive tackle at No. 6, knowing they had nearly identical ratings on Ikem Ekwonu (who Carolina selected) and Neal . Pairing Neal, a 40-game career starter, with 2020 first-round left tackle Andrew Thomas will go a long way to solving a decade-long problem.

Grade: A+

Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal
PA; Cal Sports

Round 2, No. 43 overall: Wan’Dale Robinson (WR, Kentucky)

Instead of signing a potential starter at tight end, guard, linebacker or safety, the Giants traded twice from No. 36 and ended up with a 5-foot-8 gadget receiver. Robinson was productive (104 catches for 1,334 yards) last season, but had as many falls (seven) as touchdowns. His skills overlap those of the first round of 2021 Kadarius Toney. Unlike available receivers Skyy Moore, John Metchie and Alec Pierce, Robinson was not included in the Post’s scout-assisted Top 100 rankings or the NFL Network’s Top 150.

Grade: D+

Round 3, No. 67 overall: Joshua Ezeudu (JO, North Carolina)

Throw it into the deep mix to start at left guard. Ezeudu has tackle/guard flexibility – having started at three positions and sometimes rotating positions during practice – but is still seen as a developmental prospect with an advantage as a future starter. He blocked in an RPO offense, in which Giants quarterback Daniel Jones shines.

Grade: B

Joshua Ezeudu
Joshua Ezeudu

Round 3, No. 81 overall: Cordale Flott (CB, LSU)

The problem with the constant regime changes like the Giants have had is that the new evaluators want their own talent. The Giants therefore chose a cornerback in the intermediate rounds for the third consecutive draft (Darnay Holmes, Aaron Robinson). Flott, who has one interception in 35 career games, was a consensus fourth or fifth round that looks like a reach.

Grade: VS

Round 4, No. 112 overall: Daniel Bellinger (TE, San Diego State)

Quite the opposite of late tight end Evan Engram, Bellinger’s strengths are blocking and securing the hold (zero drops on 31 holds last season). Bellinger isn’t nearly as explosive as Engram, but Ricky Seals-Jones is the wide receiver for the Giants’ new tight duo. Bellinger could also play the H-back, which is a trait the Giants want in relief tight ends.

Grade: B+

Round 4, No. 114 overall, Dane Belton (S, Iowa)

The Giants waited too long to address safety given there were only two (Xavier McKinney, Julian Love) on the roster. Belton lined up as a hybrid outside linebacker/safety and worked his way into the All-Big Ten first team, but his 4.43-second 40-yard dash pushed him onto the draft boards. Five interceptions last season was good, but he needs to be better against the run to play in the box.

Grade: B-

Round 5, No. 146 overall: Micah McFadden (LB, Indiana)

It’s not hard to imagine defensive coordinator Wink Martindale beating the table here. McFadden’s three consecutive seasons of double-digit tackling suggest just how aggressive he was in a blitz-laden defense. Sometimes the scheme suits a player just fine. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the highest-ranked off-ball linebacker as a passing thrower in the country last season.

Grade: A-

Micah McFadden
Micah McFadden

Round 5, No. 147 overall: DJ Davidson (DT, Arizona State)

After years of uncovered inside defensive linemen not putting pressure on the passer, the Giants have found a solid run-stuffer in the final rounds. He played just eight games in his first three years after high school. He is approaching his four years of marriage and his 25th birthday. He’s a 327-pounder ready to use his strength against grown men.

Grade: VS

Round 5, No. 173 overall: Marcus McKethan (OG, North Carolina)

While the Giants are heavily invested in tackle, they’re assembling lottery tickets at guard. The 6-foot-6, 340-pound McKethan, who was Ezeudu’s teammate in college, looks and acts like a mauler. Power is good, but only if paired with body control so you don’t fall out of position. He started 37 games at right guard.

Grade: VS

Round 6, No. 182 overall Darrian Beavers (LB, Cincinnati)

Value! After a few stints earlier, Beavers was on the fringes of Top 100 discussions. He might be the most versatile in a versatility draft category, having played at all three levels (defensive end, linebacker and safety) in 62 career games. Beavers bring boom when he drops his shoulder.

Grade: B+

Overall Draft Class Score: B+

New York Post

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