Perfect Giants 2022 NFL Draft plan: N.Y. invests in Daniel Jones by drafting OL, raises the floor on defense

The 2022 NFL Draft is upon us and few teams are as well-positioned to make an impact as the New York Giants. With two picks in the top 10, as well flexibility to move around, the Giants could improve the roster this season while being open to future propositions. Below is one scenario that could play out in the Big Apple:

2022 NFL DraftNo. 5 overall: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

It goes without saying that all of these picks are dependent upon the choices made prior to New York’s picks. Neal is an intriguing option for the Giants because of his sheer size. With Andrew Thomas showing improvement this season, Neal could be the bookend tackle that the team has coveted. If the Giants are able to lock down those spots for a decade, then it makes the odds of repairing the interior offensive line feel far less daunting. 

No. 7 overall: Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

My thinking is essentially this: if the Giants intend to keep James Bradberry, then draft one of those remaining edge rushers here, whether that ends up being Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II, Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux or Georgia’s Travon Walker. If the team parts with Bradberry to conserve salary cap space, then draft Gardner. As it stands, it seems as though the Giants will be parting with the very talented but expensive cornerback.

Gardner is a confident prospect that has allowed zero touchdowns in his career. He provides great length and physicality down the field. 

Round 2: Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State

Ebiketie is not the prototypical edge rusher in regards to size but he is a high activity player. Wiry strong, he showed a little more speed to power this year while squeezing run gaps and maintaining gap discipline. The Temple transfer has good balance and was a highly productive player for the Nittany Lions last fall. In his final season, he produced 9.5 sacks.

Round 3: Troy Andersen, LB, Wyoming; Cade Otton, TE, Washington

New York is patient and waits to address the linebacker position atop the third round. Andersen is still a little raw in terms of his ability to diagnose what is happening in front of him but he has all the athleticism in the world.

The Giants are not losing game-wrecking playmakers at the tight end position, but they will be faced with the dilemma of replacing ample production from Kyle Rudolph and Evan Engram. Otton suffered a foot injury late in the season, but he had already established himself as one of the premier senior tight ends in the country. 

Round 4: Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky

As the 2022 NFL Draft approaches, Fortner is a player that sounds increasingly less likely to be available in the fourth round. However, it is not too much of a stretch to think it could play out that way. He is a highly-intelligent player with experience playing both guard and center.

Round 5: Isaiah Weston, WR, Northern Iowa; Derek Kerstetter, iOL, TexasRound 6: Jeremiah Gemmel, LB, North Carolina

In the fifth round, the Giants add some length at wide receiver and add another versatile interior offensive lineman. At this stage of the draft, odds of hitting on a pick are very slim so the idea of taking multiple players at a position of need appeals to me. If both pan out, then the Giants are in an enviable position of having depth. Gemmel is just a really smart player with a good sense of flow. His career begins on special teams with the chance of developing rotational player.


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