A change came swiftly for the Giants after yet another disappointing season in 2019.
Coach Pat Shurmur? Gone. Long-time quarterback Eli Manning? Retired. This team won't look much like what you got to see over the past three seasons despite general manager Dave Gettleman's survival from the purge in New York — but that won't be a bad thing.
The Giants sport a 12-36 record over the last three years, a far cry from the two Super Bowls they won in the decade prior to this sour stretch of play.
Consider the heat on for Gettleman, how did he do in the 2020 NFL Draft?
New York's 2020 draft picks:
- No. 4: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
- No. 36: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
- No. 99: Matthew Peart, OT, Connecticut
- No. 110: Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
- No. 150: Shane Lemieux, IOL, Oregon
- No. 183: Cameron Brown, LB, Penn State
- No. 218: Carter Coughlin, EDGE, Minnesota
- No. 238: T.J. Brunson, LB, South Carolina
- No. 247: Chris Williamson, CB, Minnesota
- No. 255: Tae Crowder, LB, Georgia
Best Pick: Xavier McKinney
The Giant's selection at No. 4 was considered by some to be where the 2020 draft actually started. Did New York opt for Isaiah Simmons, Jedrick Wills or Tristan Wirfs? Nope. Thomas getting the call was a bit of a surprise, but I don't hate the thought process when you consider the identity New York is trying to assemble. But McKinney's value is excellent here at the top of the second round.
His smarts will allow him to fill a number of roles for new head coach Joe Judge and Patrick Graham, assistant coach and defensive coordinator. McKinney's versatility should help New York mask some coverage issues in its linebacker group.
Biggest Surprise: More CBs!
Death. Taxes. Gettleman drafting multiple cornerbacks.
Since being named the Giants general manager in 2018, Gettleman has invested the following into his cornerback room:
- Third-round pick: Sam Beal (2018 supplemental draft)
- First-, fourth- and fifth-round pick via trade: Deandre Baker (2019)
- Fourth-round pick: Julian Love (2019)
- Sixth-round pick: Corey Ballentine (2019)
- Fourth-round pick: Holmes
- Seventh-round pick: Williamson
Plus, a three-year, $45 million contract was given to James Bradberry this offseason. The good news? For my money, Holmes is the third-best corner Gettleman has added over this timeframe and should challenge for the nickel role.
Day 3 Sleeper: Shane Lemieux
Lemieux will provide excellent depth to the Giants' roster and, if all goes well, may eventually allow for some financial decisions along the offensive interior. Will Hernandez will be a piece of the puzzle for quite a while, but Kevin Zeitler, on the other side, is the NFL's seventh-highest-paid guard. He's under contract through the end of the 2021 season, perhaps Lemieux can be the successor.
X-Factor: Matthew Peart
Thomas is a plug-and-play starter. Peart, on the other hand, is going to need a little bit of coaching before he reaches his potential. If Peart is able to clean up his technical flaws, the Giants will have tapped into this draft for new long-term starters at both tackle spots. Peart has plenty of athleticism and is a mauler when he's attached to bodies; this could be a really fun bookend duo if everything goes right.
The Giants drafted well in 2020. Will they find much production out of the back half of their draft class? Probably not, but most teams rarely ever do. I appreciate their efforts to build their offensive line for a young quarterback and standout running back. The addition of Holmes and McKinney will give New York a fighting chance in NFC East matchups against the improved passing attacks in Philadelphia and Dallas.