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Joe Schoen
New York Giants

Should Giants Trade No. 5 Pick In 2022 NFL Draft?

  • Jack McKessy
  • March 1, 2022
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As it stands right now, at the start of the NFL Scouting Combine and just under two full months from the start of the 2022 NFL Draft, the New York Giants hold the fifth and seventh overall picks. With several of their roster needs aligning with those of teams picking in front of them, should New York consider trading back from one of those picks? Let’s start out with what the Giants need in the first place. First and foremost, their top priority should be to continue building up their offensive line. Their 2020 first-round offensive tackle, Andrew Thomas, looked like a better player in 2021, but fellow tackle Nate Solder won’t be back in 2022, and there are still some lingering questions along the interior. Ideally, New York would be in a good position to draft one of the top tackles in this year’s draft class: Alabama’s Evan Neal or North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t look like they are in such a position. For one thing, the Jaguars are expected to take one of those two guys with the first overall pick. As of the start of the combine, BetOnline has Neal as the odds-on favorite to be the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. So that’s one guy off the board. Then, before Ekwonu gets to the Giants with the fifth pick, the tackle-needy New York Jets are likely to take him one pick earlier. That leaves Big Blue with neither of the top two options at offensive tackle once they’re finally on the clock. If that scenario plays out, the Giants could either: a) stick with the fifth pick and take one of the less highly-touted tackle prospects, b) stick with the fifth pick to fill another need—perhaps at edge rusher, or c) trade back from the fifth spot and potentially build up their draft capital. If New York isn’t thrilled with any of the other tackle prospects, or if they believe the next best guy would still be on the board if they traded back, giving up that fifth-overall pick makes a lot of sense. Just look at what they did last year. When the Philadelphia Eagles traded one spot ahead of the Giants to take DeVonta Smith in 2021, New York traded back and secured what ended up being a top-10 pick in this year’s draft. What if a team like the Denver Broncos calls looking to trade up to make sure they get the quarterback prospect they want? The Giants could get Denver’s ninth-overall pick along with some additional draft capital. If New York believes the guy they like will be available four picks later, that’s a win-win. They’d still have two top-10 picks, they’d get their guy, and they’d build up more draft capital to build up the team. New Giants general manager Joe Schoen didn’t shut down the possibility of moving from either the fifth or seventh pick when asked at the NFL Combine on Tuesday. “We’re open to moving back, moving up, staying as well,” he said. “Find seven players you like in the draft, and I can sleep good at night because two of those guys will be there—one at 5 and one at 7. “Once we do that and come up with seven that we like, I’m happy staying. If there’s a guy we fall in love with, I’m not afraid of moving up, and I’m not afraid of moving back, so we’ll be open for business,” Schoen said. Schoen also discussed the possibility of filling some roster holes, particularly on the offensive line, during free agency or trades. Though with the Giants’ current cap situation and draft position, it’s more likely they get that help in the draft. If New York really wants to maximize their draft capital this year—and potentially in the future—trading back from one of their top-10 picks is the best way to do so.

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Jack McKessy