The Giants are one of the many teams with multiple first-round picks, and they have two swings at picks on April 28 with a new GM (Joe Schoen) and head coach (Brian Daboll) at the helm. Here is one scenario that could play out for the NFC East franchise:
No. 5 overall: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Neal is a plug-and-play right tackle who also happens to come with a serious amount of upside given that he’s nearly 6-feet-8 and 337 pounds. His pass protection is good, not great at this juncture. Yet he’s a Mack truck as a run blocker, giving him a nice foundation as he begins his NFL career.
With Neal and Andrew Thomas, New York will be set at two of the most vital positions on the roster.
No. 7 overall: TRADE TO VIKINGS
Thanks to a report from NBC Sports, we know the Giants want to move one of their first-round picks to gather a first-rounder in 2023. In this scenario, Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner was on the board when the Vikings went on the clock.
Completely smitten with “Sauce,” the Vikings call the Giants about moving up. The teams come to this agreement. Minnesota gets its star cornerback to learn under Patrick Peterson for a season while New York gets that 2023 first-rounder.
Vikings get: No. 7 overall, Giants 2023 third-round pick
Giants get: No. 12 overall, Minnesota’s 2023 first-round pick
No. 12 overall (via mock trade): Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
This very well could be Jermaine Johnson from Florida State. But in this mock draft scenario, Walker was still on the board at No. 12 overall. To me, Walker is “extraordinarily risky.” But would the Giants be intrigued by him here, especially after a trade back? Absolutely. Even me, who feels Walker is a dicey proposition could stomach the Giants landing him at No. 12 overall after a move down the board by that included the acquisition of a 2023 first-round pick.
With immense, size, length, and a raw game, Walker is an all-upside selection, similar to what Gregory Rousseau was in 2021 when the Bills picked him near the end of the first round. Schoen was part of that draft pick in Buffalo. Just keep that in mind.
No. 36 overall: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
Some lucky team is going to land Moore at the top of Round 2 — I think that’s where he’ll ultimately land. In this mock, it’s the Giants, a team that has Darius Slayton, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard at receiver but needs more juice and depth at the position, for what is a make-or-break season for Daniel Jones or the next quarterback the team drafts in the first round of the 2023 draft.
Moore is a do-everything, explosive, NFL-ready wideout who just happens to be a touch short — not quite 5-10 — but has good heft to his frame at nearly 200 pounds. He can play in the slot or on the perimeter and excel in any area. Seriously.
No. 67 overall: Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State
McCollum might not be here at No. 67 overall. That’s how well he aced the pre-draft process at 6-2 and 199 pounds. We’re talking a genuinely epic workout in Indianapolis at the combine.
Given James Bradberry has been the subject of trade chatter all offseason, the Giants have made it known they’re interested in addressing the outside cornerback position with the long-view in mind. And even if Bradberry sticks in 2022, he’d be the perfect mentor for McCollum as he makes his transition to the NFL from the FCS level. Bradberry played collegiately at Samford and has thrived as one of the biggest, longest cornerbacks in football.
No. 81 overall: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
No. 112 overall: Malcolm Rodriguez, LB, Oklahoma State
No. 147 overall: Zach Tom, OL, Wake Forest
No. 173 overall: Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State
No. 182 overall: Eyioma Uwazurike, DL, Iowa State
Ruckert is too good of a talent to pass at No. 81 overall. He has legitimate three-down ability at the tight end spot, which is certainly a need for the Giants. Rodriguez could give Schoen some Matt Milano vibes, as he’s a smaller but super-springy, active linebacker with a splash-play propensity.
Tom is the most twitchy blocker in this class. Just have to map out a plan for him positionally — he has NFL offensive tackle length — but was under 300 pounds at the combine. Maybe he’ll even settled at the center spot, he has that type of movement ability.
Strong is a one-cut-and-really-go speedster at the running back spot, and Uwazurike is a large, long, and very polished defensive lineman who can play five technique or win on the inside. The Giants should look to add more depth up front on defense.