Having two first-round selections can be exactly what a team needs to right their ship and turn their rebuild into a retool, and the New York Giants look to have taken that next step this offseason. By selecting Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal, their 2022 NFL Draft class was headlined by two of the best linemen this draft had to offer.
In total, 11 players were selected by the Giants across the three days of the draft, allowing new GM Joe Schoen and HC Brian Daboll their first shots at putting their stamps on this roster. By building around players like Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones, the Giants now can try to move forward into the 2022-23 season with a retooled roster built to potentially compete in the NFC East.
New York Giants 2022 NFL Draft Grades
Round 1, Pick 5 – Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE (Oregon)
Grade – A+
Once thought of as the no-brainer top selection, Thibodeaux fell during this draft cycle due to questions surrounding his motor and commitment to playing football. These two reasons seem quite ridiculous on paper to drop someone (especially since there really is no evidence to support either), and the Giants were the benefactors of him falling.
Thibodeaux showed just how explosive he can be during his time with the Ducks, and his star power will certainly draw fans back to the stadium to actually watch the Giants in person. Just seeing how excited he was on the draft stage once his name was selected should be enough to show just how much of a home-run selection this was.
R1, P7 – Evan Neal, OT (Alabama)
Grade – A
Where should rebuilding teams look to build first – in the trenches. Schoen and his staff of scouts decided to take that exact route, and Evan Neal is a fantastic bookend for both their first-round selections and the retooled offensive line.
As Andrew Thomas entered into justifying his first-round draft capital, now Jones / their new ‘23 QB will have a fantastic pocket to thrive out of with the addition of Neal. With capabilities to play either tackle spot, Neal was seen as the likely OL target for the Giants and ended up falling to them at seventh overall.
R2, P43 – Wan’Dale Robinson, WR (Kentucky)
Grade – C-
After producing a strong Day 1, starting off their Day 2 portion of the 2022 NFL Draft with a reach on WR was an interesting take by Schoen, especially with how busy that room already is.
Wandale Robinson represents a Kadarius Toney-esque clone with his playstyle and intangibles, and while rumors of Toney being on the block were quickly shut down, it remains to be seen how the offense will take advantage of this influx of young talent, combined with their in-house options already there.
Robinson looks to be a stretch at 43 overall, especially with other roster holes higher on the list. If Robinson pans out it certainly will make this criticism not important, but all early signs point to this selection being a not-so-good pick.
R3, P67 – Joshua Ezeudu, OL (North Carolina)
Grade – B-
Best situated to remain inside, UNC’s Joshua Ezeudu was NYG’s second OL selected within their first four selections. Not necessarily known for having an NFL-ready offensive attack, the Tar Heels provided the NFL with a solid-enough OL unit, especially for the Giants.
Ezeudu needs to become more consistent at lowering his pad level, which will help him establish a stronger low base to build his attack off of, but his athleticism and hand usage make him a potential Day 1 guard starter.
R3, P81 – Cordale Flott, CB (LSU)
Grade – C+
Overshadowed by Derek Stingley Jr. in LSU’s secondary, Cordale Flott is a slot CB by trade but would need to fight for snaps there for the Giants. As the lone true CB in their draft class, signs point to the Giants wanting to convert Flott into a boundary option instead.
Very moldable but quite raw, Flott is quite the work in progress for the Giants to take on, but with James Bradberry likely out the door this offseason, look for Flott to be one of the early beneficiaries of his eventual departure.
R4, P112 – Daniel Bellinger, TE (San Diego State)
Grade – B
Daniel Bellinger is known for his blocking acumen, speaking to why he was seen as a true ‘Y / In-line’ TE option. With the Giants needing to find some sort of production with Evan Engram no longer in the fold, Bellinger represents solid value at this point in the fourth round, and for their final offensive skill player selection, Bellinger was a strong one with an inside track at TE1 for this team.
R4, P114 – Dane Belton, S (Iowa)
Grade – B-
With only Julian Love and Xavier McKinney on the rosters as safeties, selecting Iowa’s Dane Belton was a logical choice. Plus, being his only top-30 visit certainly painted a likely picture that Belton would end up a Giant.
Having played a hybrid LB/S role last year, Belton earned All-Big Ten honors and was able to showcase his football IQ along the way, giving the Giants a solid third safety/ST contributor.
R5, P146 – Micah McFadden, LB (Indiana)
Grade – B-
Depth is quite the issue at LB, but Micah McFadden certainly is going to be counted on for a heavy snap count this upcoming year for the Giants. A stout defender known for getting into the backfield consistently with the Hoosiers, McFadden will need to cut down his missed tackles if he wants to carve out a potential starting role.
With Blake Martinez returning from injury and Tae Crowder as the lone other body worthy of starting consideration, look for McFadden to be heavily thrown into things during camp to see what he can handle.
R5, P147 – D.J. Davidson, DT (Arizona State)
Grade – B-
Providing depth at NT, D.J. Davidson will be counted on to clog up lanes and take on double teams up the middle, helping clear up 1-on-1 opportunities for Thibodeaux. While being a big body certainly is helpful, Davidson’s movement and consistency both need to improve if he wants to see much of the field this season.
R5, P173 – Marcus McKethan, OL (North Carolina)
Grade – C
The final offensive selection of the 2022 NFL Draft for the Giants goes back to the trenches for the third time and the second time from UNC. Marcus McKethan played the opposite guard position on the same line as Ezeudu, and while he carries a bigger stature than his Tar Heel counterpart, he has quite the uphill battle to make this team as more than just a practice squad member.
R6, P182 – Darrian Beavers, LB (Cincinnati)
Grade – A-
Could the Giants have gotten the biggest steal of the draft with Darrian Beavers?
Grabbing an LB that has proven coverage skills and never allowed a TD in college as the primary defender paints quite the picture for a sixth-round selection, but Beavers looks to have great intangibles to build around and likely will be one of the LB starters this next season.
Overall Grade: A-
Tackling the trenches on Day 1 set the fantastic tone for Schoen’s first draft, and while there were a few questionable selections on Day 2 and 3, team needs were addressed at good values and he overall nailed his first chance at remaking this squad.