How will the New York Giants look after the 2022 NFL Draft? Or the better question is – will the Giants draft class be the building blocks to help pick this team out of the cellar of the NFC East division?

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Question marks surround Daniel Jones as this team’s starting QB of the future, trade rumors swirled around RB Saquon Barkley, CB James Bradberry is being thrown around in trade discussions, and the team is welcoming Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen over from the Buffalo Bills to be their next HC and GM, respectively – lots of potential fresh faces already have come or could be coming to this franchise.

The NFL Draft is the perfect place for the Giants to create an identity for themselves, especially with their five top-100 selections at their disposal. The following Giants mock draft is an exercise in how this team can improve just through a period of three days, which is the first step in their rebuilding process.

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Giants 2022 NFL Mock Draft

Round 1 (#5 overall) – Kayvon Thibodeaux (DE, Oregon)

For some reason, a player that was once seen as the no-question first overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft has been pushed down the draft board for various reasons. But for the Giants, they are more than happy to scoop up DE Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Earning professional comps to Jadaveon Clowney and other big-name pass rushers, Thibodeaux immediately fills a massive void for the Giants and slides in as the best player on their defense. His relentless motor (which apparently was questioned), hand technique, and pass-rush repertoire is exactly what should make him the first pick, but the Giants luck out due to pre-draft storylines and grab him here.

Round 1 (#7) – Charles Cross (OT, Mississippi State)

With their second first-round selection of the 2022 NFL Draft, obtained in the Justin Fields trade, the Giants move to the offensive side of the ball and address their line there, selecting Charles Cross and giving Jones another bookend tackle opposite Andrew Thomas.

For Cross, he is fighting with Alabama’s Evan Neal and NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu for the top tackle prospect, and for Cross, his initial ‘kick-back’ step and general athleticism is what makes him stand apart from the others. As this Giants mock draft continues on, rebuilding the trenches continues to be a common trend.

Round 2 (#36) – Jalen Pitre (DB, Baylor)

As Bradberry’s time with the Giants looks to be dwindling and Jabrill Peppers departed this offseason, the Giants need to add some young talent to their defensive secondary, making Baylor’s Jalen Pitre a perfect fit.

Wearing many hats on defense is what made Peppers an intriguing prospect a few years back, and with Pitre’s flexibility (FS, SS, ILB, OLB), he certainly can step right into that role for the Giants moving forward. As the NFL Draft moves through its second day, it’s fair to assume that the Giants would be more than pleased with their first three selections up to this point.

Round 3 (#67) – Josh Paschal (ED, Kentucky)

Using three of the team’s first four selections on players in the trenches is not a common tactic used by front offices, but teams are built from the ground up in these areas, something that Schoen is looking to take on during the 2022 NFL Draft

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As Josh Paschal made a name for himself at Kentucky for his flexibility and multitudes of roles he lined up in, the Giants would love to be able to infuse both Paschal and Thibodeaux into a unit devoid of long-term talent. A high-character, athletic specimen at edge is a perfect match for any team, but the Giants take him in the third round here in this mock draft.

Round 3 (#81) – Nick Cross (S, Maryland)

Xavier McKinney and Julian Love are the only two safeties currently on the roster, so this Giants mock draft is going a bit heavy in the defensive backfield market, and adding Maryland’s Nick Cross with their second selection in the third round is just another part of that.

Profiling as a starting free safety in the NFL, Cross has familiarity running quite a few different schemes – from being dropped down as an LB to being trusted as the team’s last line of defense in coverage, Cross could very well be the whole package for this team, teaming up with Pitre down the road. Plus, it would be the second Cross drafted by the Giants in the 2022 NFL Draft, so little trivia tidbits are cool too.

Round 4 (#112) – Tyler Allgeier (RB, BYU)

Hold the phone – it took until the fourth round in this Giants mock draft for them to select an offensive skill player. Could that be far too late? Yes, but this front office has quite a different mindset this time.

For BYU’s Tyler Allgeier, his role is all dependent on the health of Barkley, who has struggled to put together anything like his rookie season. Even if Barkley is healthier this year, he likely will be on a lower snap count than in past seasons, meaning that Allgeier could hold a regular role as the third-down back or spelling Barkley for five-plus touches per game.

Round 5 (#147) – John Ridgeway (DT, Arkansas)

The final defensive lineman selected in this Giants mock draft is Arkansas’s John Ridgeway, who is seen as a powerful run-stopping and lane-clogging option that would be the final piece to the defensive line in the Giants NFL Draft class.

Having faced solid offensive line units in the SEC, Ridgeway has quite a bit of experience facing NFL-ready talent, so he should be ready to make that jump. Playing mostly a zero-tech role in college, Ridgeway relied on setting a powerful base and using strong hands to move the line of scrimmage, something that would immediately help Paschal and Thibodeaux get to the QB.

Round 5 (#173) – Alec Lindstrom (C, Boston College)

Offensive line has been a commonly-addressed position across many Giants mock draft outlines, which made the Cross selection in the first round a home run. But grabbing an interior upgrade like BC’s Alec Lindstrom is important as well, seeing as how the Giants are slated to roll out some not-great starters at guard and center.

Expecting Linstrom to follow in his brother Chris’ footsteps and become a starter right away is not the likely outcome, especially since giving Jones a rookie center in what is a prove-it year for him is a recipe for disaster. But Lindstrom brings a lot of strong intangibles to the table, and the Giants are needing another interior option to help shore up a weak area of their offense.

Round 6( #182) – Cole Turner (TE, Nevada)

With their final selection of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Giants round out their offense by selecting Cole Turner, a tight end out of Nevada. Best suited for a team that loves to utilize 12-personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs), Turner is a good late-round option that could come in and fill Evan Engram or Kyle Rudolph’s role in Year 1.

The Giants ran ‘12’ personnel 24% of passing plays last season, and while Daboll’s offense was not a heavy 12-personnel style, he certainly would like to have a TE like Turner in his offense to help stretch the field. Seen more as a receiver than a blocker due to his stature, his physicality looks like a great aspect of his game that he will hopefully adapt to the next level.