Giants Mock Draft 2022
Heading into this Giants mock draft, we need some context. The Giants were in a rough spot by the end of the 2021 season. Quarterback Daniel Jones missed most of the second half of the season with a neck injury, and neither the top receiver they signed in free agency nor their first-round pick scored a single touchdown. On top of all of that, they could only sit and watch as two other teams in their division—including a Philadelphia Eagles team that many believed was still in a rebuilding phase—made the playoffs.
When the offseason mercifully came, there was some big turnover in New York’s management. Former general manager Dave Gettleman retired and the Giants fired head coach Joe Judge after two losing seasons. Brought in to replace the two were former Buffalo Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
The Giants hope that the changes in management will bring more success with them. New York hasn’t had a winning season or made the playoffs since 2016, and they’ve held draft picks in the top 10 in three out of the last five seasons.
New York has already seen some roster turnover with tight end Evan Engram departing in free agency, fellow tight end Kyle Rudolph’s release as well as the release of safety Logan Ryan. While the Giants haven’t made too many impact signings in free agency thus far, they’ll be looking to heavily bolster their roster in the draft, especially holding those two top 10 picks.
All of that said, I stepped into Schoen’s shoes and attempted to fill some of the biggest roster holes in this seven-round Giants mock draft.
7-Round Giants Mock Draft
Round 1 (No. 5 overall): Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
One of the top priorities for the Giants during the 2022 season is getting a definite answer on whether Daniel Jones can be their long-term franchise quarterback. One of the best ways to be sure he’s set up for success is by keeping him protected up front. That’s what the Giants do here, taking perhaps the best offensive tackle in this draft with their first pick of the 2022 draft.
Ikem Ekwonu is the top offensive tackle in the TDN scouting staff’s 2022 prospect rankings, as well as the third-best prospect overall. He’s an incredibly dynamic blocker that uses his size and power to succeed consistently at the point of attack. He’s got outstanding football intelligence and combines that with strong technique, great effort, and obvious athleticism to be a dominant force on the line of scrimmage. Adding a guy like Ekwonu to New York’s offensive front would keep Jones very well-protected and put him in a good place to succeed.
Round 1 (No. 7 overall): Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Back on the clock just two picks later, the Giants are able to fill their other big need—edge rusher—by selecting Georgia standout Travon Walker.
In his time at Georgia, Walker not only displayed his high-level athleticism but some great versatility as well. In his three-year college career, he’s played 1-technique, 3-tech, and edge rusher, with the edge position being his main projection at the next level. Walker is an explosive and powerful player, but he’s also quick and agile, able to change direction quickly, and easily able to make impact plays. He’s been able to find plenty of success in college by pairing the power he generates with his quick movement. In Walker, the Giants get an edge rusher to pair opposite 2021 rookie Azeez Ojulari and upgrade their defensive line in a big way.
Round 2 (No. 36 overall): Lewis Cine, SAF, Georgia
Not only did the Giants cut Logan Ryan earlier in the offseason, but fellow safety Jabrill Peppers headed to New England in free agency as well. So while the defensive secondary may have been a strong suit for the team in 2021, it has quickly become a unit in need of reinforcements.
Lewis Cine would be a great addition there with an early second-round pick. He’s a pass-defender that often lines up as the free safety in single-high looks, but he’s also played in some two-high looks and occasionally dropped down to play the slot as well. While Cine may need to improve his ball skills, that is not the case with his physicality and tackling, particularly in the run game. The Giants get a versatile defender that improves the defensive unit overall here in the second round.
Round 3 (No. 67 overall): Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
With their first pick of two in the third round, New York makes their third straight selection to upgrade their defense, bolstering their linebacker unit to further improve their front seven.
Adding a guy like Chad Muma really helps improve the Giants’ defense overall. They’re not only getting a great, agile athlete with good lateral mobility and tackling ability, but they’re also getting a fantastic pass-defender. Muma has real three-down value at the NFL level because of his strengths as a defender in both passing and running situations. For a defense that could use all kinds of help, Muma is more than a great start.
Round 3 (No. 81 overall): Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
As it stands, Ricky Seals-Jones, who has started 15 games in his four-year NFL career, is in line to be the Giants’ starting tight end in 2022. Fortunately for New York, there is a lot of great tight end value likely available in the third round.
Isaiah Likely is TE2 on the scouting team’s consensus big board, but he very well could be the best tight end in this draft class. He’s a solid blocker both in-line and as a motioning H-back in run plays, but his real upside is as a pass-catcher. Likely has huge big-play potential because of his sure hands, ball skills, and speed that allows him to get vertical quickly or outrun defenders with the ball in his hands.
Round 4 (No. 112 overall): Cole Strange, IOL, Chattanooga
That’s right, more reinforcements up front to protect the quarterback.
New York has already made some moves to shore up their interior offensive line, signing guard Mark Glowinski and center Jon Feliciano. Adding Cole Strange in the fourth round is still a good move here though. The Giants are able to add some quality depth to an offensive front lacking that depth.
Strange adds some versatility as well, having experience at left tackle, left guard, and center (Senior Bowl) during his college career. He may not be in a position to immediately start in 2022, but given some time to develop, he will be in a good position to move into a starting role eventually.
Round 5 (No. 147 overall): Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama
New York already addressed the safety position to help out the secondary earlier in this draft. That didn’t mean they were done finding upgrades for that unit, especially as it continues to seem likely that James Bradberry is on his way out in one way or another.
Big Blue makes a big addition at cornerback in the form of Alabama’s Josh Jobe with their first of two fifth-round picks. Jobe’s a solid corner who has found most of his success in press-man coverage, with his physicality and frame allowing him to succeed even against bigger-bodied receivers. He’s a very competitive and aggressive player that isn’t afraid to get involved in the run game as well.
Round 5 (No. 173 overall): Pierre Strong Jr., RB, South Dakota State
While the Giants do have a former second overall pick still on the roster at running back, it’s possible they still move on from Saquon Barkley at some point soon. His production has declined since his ACL injury, and he was really not even the best running back on the team in 2021.
Should the Giants move on from Barkley, or even if they don’t, Pierre Strong Jr. could make an immediate impact out of the backfield. Strong was supremely productive in college, particularly in 2021, a season in which he finished with 1,673 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging seven yards per carry. He’s explosive and has been able to find success evading defenders, but the biggest knock against him is that he did it at the FCS level. Don’t be fooled though, Strong’s skills and testing numbers suggest he will still be able to have a big impact at the NFL level.
Round 6 (No. 182 overall): Kyler McMichael, CB, North Carolina
With their final pick in the draft, the Giants add some extra help to their secondary after the more glaring holes have been filled.
Like Jobe, Kyler McMichael also excels in man coverage, but he’s also got the instincts and awareness necessary to play zone coverage well. His length and size make him especially solid on the outside, where he’s able to work against the sideline, though McMichael doesn’t quite have the quickness to play inside. He also provides some upside as a willing run defender who plays downhill and is able to beat blockers and complete tackles.
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