New York Giant Draft Forecast
2015 ended up being the end of an era for the New York Giants. After a third consecutive losing season, and fourth straight missing the playoffs, head coach Tom Coughlin resigned after 12 seasons and two Super Bowl championships. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo was promoted to head coach after two successful seasons running the Giants offense. General Manager Jerry Reese went on a spending spree when free agency kicked off to upgrade the team’s league-worst defense in terms of yards allowed. The team opened the checkbook for defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive tackle Damon Harrison and cornerback Janoris Jenkins. The team also re-signed defensive Jason Pierre-Paul. Now the team looks for upgrades and building blocks in the NFL Draft. The Giants will pick 10th, 40th, 71st, 109th, 149th and 184th in the upcoming draft, one which will be critical for McAdoo, Reese and the suddenly reeling franchise.
Round 1: Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd is picking up steam as the draft approaches and he would make a lot of sense in the first round for the Giants. Yes, the Giants have not selected a linebacker in the first round since 1984 and they had a defensive-heavy free agency, but the Giants still need help on that side of the ball. They need speed off the edge to rush the passer as well someone who can cover the middle of the field. Leonard Floyd brings that skillset to the table and would be the finishing touch to a rebuilding defense. Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves also makes sense here as the team has questionable depth behind Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and the newly-signed Jenkins. Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley is also a popular pick among mock drafts for the Giants, but I can’t see the Giants selecting an offensive tackle in the top 10 for the second year in a row after taking Ereck Flowers last year, especially one that will play on the right side.
Round 2: As important as fixing the defensive side of the ball is, improving the talent around stars Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. should also be a priority. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard would be a great addition to the Giants. Shepard has a similar skillset of Beckham, as he runs smooth routes, gets in and out his breaks quickly to create separation and has enough speed to take the top off a defense. Considering Victor Cruz’s health, Shepard would be a great successor to Cruz and compliment to Beckham. If the Giants wanted to polish off their offensive line in the second round, offensive tackle Shon Coleman would be a good pick here, even with his health concerns. Considering that Pierre-Paul is only on a one-year deal, taking defensive end such as Kevin Dodd here would also make sense.
Round 3: The Giants currently have journeymen Marshall Newhouse and John Jerry anchoring the right side of their offensive line. Adding a possible first-year starter and a long term solution to right side would make sense. Georgia’s John Theus would be the most ideal fit here. A three-year starter in the SEC, Theus played both tackle spots, offering the flexibility the Giants crave from offensive lineman. He will need to add power and mass to effectively play right tackle but has the technique and athleticism to succeed. German Ifedi and Avery Young would also be fine selections for the offensive line. If the Giants want to go defense here, defensive end Charles Tapper or outside linebacker Deion Jones would help add depth to the front seven.
Rounds 4 – 7: Despite is character concerns, Cyrus Jones is a talented corner who would add depth to the defensive backfield for the Giants and could fill in the slot corner position. Matthew Ioannidis can push the pocket and anchor against the run, he would be a solid get as a rotational player in the later rounds. Willie Henry is also an option at defensive tackle in the middle to late rounds. Travis Banks and Tyriq McCord could work at this point in the draft if the Giants are looking for linebacker depth. Willie Beavers would be nice addition in the late rounds considering his versatility and having depth on the offensive is never a bad thing.
Ryan Leonardo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.