Oh, the Giants. The butt of every NFL Draft joke for the foreseeable future.
The Giants want to win with Eli, but they need to improve their defense as well. With needs everywhere, it's easy to go BPA for the first few rounds, then spot-check the remaining needs late. The Giants have a ton of capital and will likely move around on Draft Day to poach their guys -- but these are the selections I'd make were I running the show come April 25th.
Pick 6: Florida OT Jawaan Taylor
I know, I know. The effort of last year's draft was to shore up the offense and the running game/OL in particular; this year, Gettleman wants to attack the defense. But they're just a RT away from having that offensive line locked up, and Taylor is a Top-10 talent in this class. I wouldn't want to pass him up.
There's no real weakness to Taylor's game, and he's ready to start in Year 1 -- with Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, and Kevin Zeitler, Taylor completes a total retooling of the offensive front and stamps the new offensive tone for the Gettleman/Shurmur-era Giants. If Eli can't win behind this line, he can't win at all.
Pick 17: Clemson EDGE Clelin Ferrell
Great range for Ferrell, an EDGE who could go Top-10 in a=most classes, but falls into the teens in this stacked group. Ferrell is long, strong, and pro-ready, with a great profile to contribute in Year 1 -- the Giants desperately need that, having shucked all of their veteran pass-rushers and replaced them with...Markus Golden.
I didn't go quarterback here because, while I think it's in heavy consideration, I don't think the Giants fancy themselves in such a need that they would pass over a player like Ferrell for a Daniel Jones or Dwayne Haskins. Maybe I'm wrong -- and Giants fans should hope I am, because this team needs a quarterback -- but this is a bang-up first round regardless.
Pick 37: Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye
Great spot for Oruwariye here, as the Giants desperately need an outside corner to operate opposite Janoris Jenkins (and eventually replace him). Oruwariye is a strong zone defender with excellent ball skills, and he'll benefit from James Bettcher's blitz-heavy defense, turning quick, errant throws into PBUs and INTs.
Oruwariye's outside presence pushes his Penn State teammate Grant Haley into the nickel, but also leaves Sam Beal in a reserve spot, which makes more sense for the Western Michigan prospect coming off of severe injury. Beal needs a full, healthy offseason to get his sea legs under him.
Pick 95: Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson
When you have an aging quarterback, you love to bring in the mid-round projects. Just throw a line out and see what bites, really. The Giants did very much that with Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta, of whom I was a pretty big fan last season, though he never saw legit playing time and had off-the-field issues in a disappointing rookie campaign.
They come back to the well with Tyree Jackson, a super-gifted QB with oodles of arm strength, mobility, and tackle-breaking traits. Jackson's not in the mold of Pat Shurmur quarterbacks, but his ceiling is exciting and at 95 overall, beggars can't be choosers. Jackson competes with Lauletta for QB2 and angles for a camp battle one or two years down the line, when Manning finally calls it quits.
Pick 108: Oregon WR Dillon Mitchell
The Giants like the shifty guys who can separate, and that's what they're getting in Dillon Mitchell: a loose athlete who understands route stems, can win from the slot and from outside, and is deadly with the ball in his hands. No receiver gave Washington CB Byron Murphy -- a first-rounder in my book -- the trouble that Mitchell gave him last season.
Mitchell has ball-tracking and catching issues that limit his deep ability, which is a dang shame, because Mitchell has the long speed to be a great deep threat. But working in the intermediate areas of the field, his fearlessness and quickness will shine.
Pick 132: West Virginia LB David Long
If you like what you saw from Alec Ogletree to end the 2018 NFL season, then you'll like what you see from WVU LB David Long, an undersized but explosive off-ball linebacker who wins with aggressive fills, sideline-to-sideline range, and a welcoming physical profile.
Long isn't the ideal three-down defender in the NFL, as he's regularly lambasted out of gaps by power, and has some tackling concerns due to his size -- but as a short-zone defender or man coverage/QB spy player, he's strong. That impact in the passing game is big for teams, and at 132, he's a strong option as an early subpackage player.
Pick 142: Fresno State WR KeeSean Johnson
What Dillon Mitchell lacks in hands, KeeSean Johnson has in spades. Dude makes some really strong, aggressive catches away from his frame and through contact, with great technique to stab and rip at the ball to protect it from defensive backs.
But there's always a trade-off: Johnson's athletic traits are uninspiring, and he isn't a dominant separator at any level of the field. Johnson is a good depth option for a team that has a multitude of slot receivers, as he offers good releases on the outside, but shouldn't be any more than a WR3
Pick 143: Michigan State S Khari Willis
Khari Willis is garnering a few fans late in the Draft process, which is nice to see. I still can't get over what seems to be a limited athlete deep and an unexciting coverage defender in the short areas. Willis loves to compete and is as good of a tackler as you'll find in this class, and I think he has a strong special-teams profile -- I'm just not sure he has the ceiling of an NFL starter. That said, the Giants could use the depth, and Willis is a high-character option.
Pick 171: Wyoming EDGE Carl Granderson
Granderson came into the season with a good deal of buzz, but that fell off as his 2018 illustrated the issues on his film: lack of explosive physical traits, limited rush arsenal, poor leverage play. But Granderson does have some decent bend and a long frame that he uses well, so we're drafting traits on Day 3 and seeing if we can make something of them. There's nothing wrong with that.
Pick 180: Texas TE Andrew Beck
Dude's a football player, man. Beck is a strong blocking option who offers some fullback versatility, as well as a better athletic profile than we all expected. Rarely used as a target beyond five yards for the Longhorns, Beck should be viewed as a jumbo package piece early, as well as a lead blocker for kickoff returns. The Giants have strong TE depth as it currently stands, but Beck can push for TE3 with a good camp.
Pick 232: Rutgers iDL Kevin Wilkins
A Shrine Game participant who raised some eyebrows during the week, Wilkins has had a long road to the pros and fought through some dreadful hardship, which speaks to his character. On-field, Wilkins is an inconsistent player who flashes some pass-rush traits -- enough to get him drafted -- but may have trouble breaking into the Giants' strong interior rotation early in his career. Local guy is always a good pick-up, though.
Pick 245: Arizona State OT Casey Tucker
Tucker's career was bumpy: the Stanford starter lost his job after a long battle with injuries and eventually transferred to Arizona State, where he bounced between tackle and guard. Likely an OG at the next level, Tucker's swing versatility will boost his stock, though poor quickness may handicap him at the next level.