Re-Grading Giants' 2018-2020 NFL Drafts

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

‘Tis the season for some re-draft grades. Though we won’t be going through re-draft grades for every team in the NFL—don’t give my editor any ideas—we will go through the ones we believe are sort of at a tipping point, whether that’s with whoever is in charge making the picks or maybe a tipping point of playoff contention. 

The New York Giants are, in a way, at a tipping point for both. On one hand, they were one change of a result on the final weekend of the regular season away from making the playoffs. But on the other hand, that was only the case because of a historically bad division, as, record-wise, they weren’t really close to any other playoff team in the NFC.

The Giants are also at a tipping point due to their situation at quarterback. While Daniel Jones has been fine, this feels like a put-up-or-shut-up kind of year for him. He will hopefully have a healthy Saquon Barkley back with even more new offensive weapons at his disposal in 2021. If he succeeds, this season can go well enough to result in a playoff appearance. If he fails, this team could be looking to upgrade their quarterback. 

Let’s look at how general manager Dave Gettleman has drafted for the Giants from 2018-2020 to see if we can identify a trend up or down when it comes to team building. 

2020 Draft Class:

Round 1: Andrew Thomas, OT

Round 2: Xavier McKinney, S

Round 3: Matthew Peart, OT

Round 4: Darnay Holmes, CB

Round 5: Shane Lemieux, IOL

Round 6: Cam Brown, LB

Round 7: Carter Coghlin, LB

Round 7: T.J. Brunson, LB

Round 7: Chris Williamson, CB

Round 7: Tae Crowder, LB

On draft night, I really liked this class. Thomas was my top-rated offensive tackle (looks like a big RIP for me so far, not even because of Thomas but because of how good the others have looked), but Thomas had a rough first season. It’s certainly not a kiss of death, but not great when guys like Mekhi Becton, Jedrick Wills, and Tristan Wirfs all played as well as they did in 2020 from the same class—all drafted later, too. McKinney is talented but didn’t play much due to injury. Peart played well last year, as did Holmes as a nickel cornerback. 

Outside of Thomas, the class performed well when on the field, but they gotta get on the field more often. The book is far from written on this group. 

Draft Grade: B-

2019 Draft Class:

Round 1: Daniel Jones, QB

Round 1: Dexter Lawrence, DT

Round 1: Deandre Baker, CB

Round 3: Oshane Ximines, EDGE

Round 4: Julian Love, DB

Round 5: Ryan Connelly, LB

Round 6: Darius Slayton, WR

Round 6: Corey Ballentine, CB

Round 7: George Asafo-Adjei, OT

Round 7: Chris Slayton, DT

This class was all over the place for the Giants. They took Jones No. 6 overall, which, alright you’re calling your shot, but it better work. For as much as some like to praise Jones, he hasn’t been a top 10 selection kind of quarterback. Perhaps that leap happens this year. But if it doesn’t, this class looks really hot and cold. 

Lawrence has been fine, but he’s a run-stuffing nose they took in the middle of the first round; he’ll have the chance to prove even more this year with no Dalvin Tomlinson. As for Baker, he’s no longer on the team due to off-the-field incidents. Ximines has been fine for a third-round edge rusher. Love has been fantastic as a versatile secondary player. Slayton was a good day-three find at wide receiver.

This was definitely a “my guys” kind of draft for Gettleman. Even with some things to like, I didn’t love it, and I haven’t really been proven wrong about it yet. Big year for this group coming up. 

Draft Grade: C-

2018 Draft Class:

Round 1: Saquon Barkley, RB

Round 2: Will Hernandez, IOL

Round 3: Lorenzo Carter, EDGE

Round 3: B.J. Hill, DT

Round 4: Kyle Lauletta, QB

Round 5: R.J. McIntosh, DT

When it comes to grading the Giants’ 2018 draft it comes down to whether or not you’ll care about how good Barkley can be to get over the principle of taking a running back at No. 2 overall. Barkley was fantastic his rookie season. He was a player to lean on in both the run and pass game. But since then, he’s dealt with injuries that have minimized his impact. Part of that goes into the equation when selecting a running back with such a premium pick. 

Hernandez was best his rookie season but has been inconsistent since then. Carter and Hill have been nice starting players for the Giants, and getting both of them as third-rounders has to be seen as a win. 

Draft Grade: B-


In looking at my recap grades, I am giving the benefit of the doubt to the 2020 guys and really believe that Gettleman’s entire tenure as a team builder with the Giants hangs in the balance of the next two years for how that 2019 class will develop. There is room for it to look good, but right now it is still a climb. To this point, Gettleman has been fine, but he (and Giants fans) better hope the best is yet to come for Jones. If it isn’t, a lot of picks around him may look worse and worse.