The New York Giants do not have one of the best rosters in the NFL. They have generally not drafted well in the past decade, and they have traded away most of their best players in the past eight months.
The Giants have needs at many positions. With that being said, here are three positions the Giants will probably address in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Giants have cycled through several right tackles in the past few years. In fact, the position has been a revolving door since Kareem McKenzie retired following the 2011 season.
It is likely that the Giants draft a right tackle because upgrading the offensive line has been general manager Dave Gettleman’s top priority. In his first 15 months as GM, Gettleman addressed the other four offensive line positions. He signed left tackle Nate Solder to a record-breaking free agent contract, selected left guard Will Hernandez in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, signed center Spencer Pulley, and traded for right guard Kevin Zeitler. Last season, second-year undrafted free agent Chad Wheeler started the majority of the games at right tackle after Ereck Flowers was benched and cut. Wheeler did not get rave reviews, as Pro Football Focus gave him the lowest rating of any Giants player in 2018.
The Giants are not going to draft a right tackle with the sixth overall pick. They could go with a right tackle with any of their other picks. A few names to watch are Washington State’s Andre Dillard (Round 1), Alabama’s Jonah Williams (Round 1), and Kansas State’s Dalton Risner (Round 2).
The Giants have been one of the NFL’s worst teams when it comes to rushing the passer. Last year, Big Blue finished with 30 sacks, which was tied for second-fewest in the league. In the past year, Gettleman traded away the Giants two best pass rushers, Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon, because those two players did not fit the new 3-4 defensive scheme. Additionally, Vernon and Pierre-Paul were playing under massive contracts that were given to them by previous GM Jerry Reese. Now the Giants front office is tasked with finding some new pass rushers.
At this point, the Giants are very thin at the outside linebacker position. 2018 third-round pick Lorenzo Carter showed promise in his rookie season, but he is not a surefire superstar. Beyond Carter, the Giants have a lot of question marks at the position. Kareem Martin played in all 16 games (seven starts) for the Giants last season, but he only had 1.5 sacks. The Giants signed former Arizona Cardinal Markus Golden last week, but Golden has not been able to stay on the field. Golden had 12.5 sacks in 2016, but he has just 2.5 sacks in 15 games in the past two seasons.
If Big Blue does not go with a quarterback with the No. 6 pick, they could take an edge rusher. Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat would be good fits in New York, but both of those players may be off the board by the time the Giants are on the clock. Gettleman may need to find a pass rusher on Day 2 or Day 3 of the draft.
The Giants were unable to sign a starting-caliber cornerback in free agency, so they will need to address the position in the draft. The Giants have virtually no depth at the position. Janoris Jenkins has been a solid starter for New York for the past three seasons, but the Giants could trade Jenkins and his big contract before the trade deadline if they get off to a slow start. The other cornerbacks on the Giants roster are castoffs from other teams or are late-round picks or undrafted free agents who are barely hanging onto their roster spots. The lone exception is Sam Beal, who the Giants selected in the Supplemental Draft. As a result of selecting Beal, the Giants forfeit their third-round pick in the upcoming draft. Beal did not play at all last season after suffering a shoulder injury in July. He will compete for a starting spot in 2019.
There is not an elite cornerback prospect in this class, which means the Giants should wait until at least the second or third round to draft a cornerback. Some names to look out for are Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen (Round 2), Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin (Round 2 or 3), and Kentucky’s Lonnie Johnson (Round 3).
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