During the draft, the Giants built up assets to help construct the future of their franchise.
The New York Giants were tied with the most draft picks at their disposal in the league with 12. After trading away Odell Beckham Jr., as well as letting go some key guys, it was clear what holes the Giants had to fill in this year’s draft. Above all, it was clear to everyone that New York needed to pick up the future of their franchise. Whether you think he is still above average or not, New York had to look for the successor to their 39-year-old quarterback Eli Manning. But outside of what was probably the biggest story surrounding New York’s draft, they still had 11 more picks to go. Let’s break down the Giants’ picks, what each draftee brings to the table, and what we should expect from the Giants as a whole.
Round 1, Pick #6: Daniel Jones, Quarterback, Duke
This was a rather questionable pick by the Giants front office. Considering Dwayne Haskins was on the board, this pick threw every Giants’ fan off. But Jones is now the future of the franchise and will be expected to outperform the rest of the quarterbacks in his class. Jones is a 6-foot-5 quarterback which is the right build that the Giants need. Over at Duke, he piled up a total of 52 touchdowns, 29 interceptions, and a 59.9 average completion percentage. These are rather underwhelming stats considering the players that were available at the number six pick.
However, Jones does come with his strengths. He has above average accuracy and can throw a fastball into tight windows. Along with that, he is able to buy time and/or pick up yards on the ground. This is clearly needed considering how subpar the Giants offensive line can be. However, in college, he threw into coverages he has no business throwing into. He will need to improve his timing but will ultimately give New York what they need: the future of the franchise. Jones supposedly got picked due to the relationship he has with Eli Manning, but nonetheless, the Giants have their future signal-caller and must give him all the coaching tools to make him a star.
Round 1, Pick #17: Dexter Lawerence, Defensive End, Clemson
After being suspended from the 2019 National Championship game due to a failed drug test, it is safe to say that the Giants may have picked up another troublesome player. But here, it is the skill that matters. New York picked up a gem as Lawerence was one of the fantastic pieces that made up Clemson’s championship-winning defensive line. Over the course of his time at Clemson, the 6-foot-4 342-pounder racked up 131 tackles (18 for loss) which included 50 solo tackles and 81 assisted tackles.
He also had a total of 10 sacks over his three years at Clemson. Lawerence will bring size to New York as he is known for using his long arms to disrupt passing lanes. He is not a big-time pass rusher but will collapse the pocket for you with a powerful rush. He should be an essential piece to this Giants’ defense who has been somewhat lost after the trading of Damon “Snacks” Harrison to the Lions last season.
Round 1, Pick #30: DeAndre Baker, Cornerback, Georgia
Any defensive player coming out of the elite SEC is expected to make somewhat of an impact right away, and this holds true for DeAndre Baker. Baker was the Jim Thrope Award winner as the best defensive back in the country. He totaled 116 total tackles in which 83 of them were solo. Baker is a man-cover corner with dangerous ball skills.
He can play both off-man and zone coverage as he certainly is one of the draft’s best defensive players. Among his many talents, Baker lacks elite-level speed. WIth star-powered matchups, he is going to need to be protected against the speed-orientated receivers in the NFL. He should be a great fit for a Giants team who traded away Eli Apple last season. Baker will serve to be an ideal replacement and can improve to be one of the league’s best corners.
Round 3, Pick #95: Oshane Ximines, Linebacker, Old Dominion
Being the first player drafted out of Old Dominion makes this man a really risky pick. Ximines comes out of a small football school but still displays a great deal of talent. In his years at Old Dominion, Ximines tallied 176 total tackles which included 32.5 sacks. It is safe to say that he is a pure machine on the football field. He is a quick, dangerous speed rusher that has the agility to dodge blockers on the run. He has enough speed to efficiently get around the corner with his quality first step.
His weaknesses include being a liability as a run defender. He is going to need to put on more weight and strength to truly be a star in this league. Above all, he is unable to absorb and counter any serious contact he faces. He should be another solid addition to a Giants’ defense that needs all the help that they can get.
Round 4, Pick #108: Julian Love, Cornerback, Notre Dame
The Giants picked rather strategically here with Love. He is a speedy corner who without a doubt should have been taken earlier in the draft. At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Love notched 176 total tackles in his three years at Notre Dame. 126 of those tackles were solo while the remaining 50 were assisted. In terms of his strong points during his time at Notre Dame, he was very much capable of sticking with players in man coverage.
Love is also not afraid to get physical with his opposition as he excels as legally uses his hands to reroute defenders. At the next level though, his lack of elite size and speed is below average for his position. Although he may be able to reroute defenders efficiently, he can very well be limited in deep zone coverage. Do not expect Love to be a starter right away for the Giants. He is a good player that will need some polishing in order to reach his full potential.
Round 5, Pick #143: Ryan Connelly, Linebacker, Wisconsin
Ryan Connelly definitely is an undersized linebacker who’s morals are straight. He is one of the smartest and hardest workers on the field. In his four years at Wisconsin, he notched a total 251 tackles and six sacks. He shows some above average flashes when it comes to tackling but does not do that well when it comes to block-shedding. With any player, you want that competitive drive and that is what he provides.
Connelly is highly competitive but shows more flaws than strong parts. For a guy his frame, he is going to need to learn how to be more mobile. He can be too out of control when making a play and can use some elite coverage skills. Above all, his best strength is definitely his football IQ. You should not expect him to be an immediate starter for New York but anything is possible.
Round 5, Pick #171: Darius Slayton, Wide Reciever, Auburn
The Giants obviously need to fill the void that was left by the trade of Beckham Jr. There is no question that Slayton’s has the elite speed needed to separate himself from some of the league’s best. He has shown to have great success with press coverage tight on him. Although he may be able to create some space for himself, he is going to need the build necessary to truly be a threat.
Slayton can certainly make the first defender miss. When he is fast, he is slippery. His awareness level is also a strong point for Slayton and can set up his spots rather well. His stats are rather weak with only 1,605 yards in his time at Auburn, but nonetheless, he should be someone that partially fills in for Beckham’s departure.
Round 6, Pick #180: Corey Ballentine, Cornerback, Washburn
Considering it is the sixth round, why not take a chance on a player coming out of Washburn. In his 46 games played, he has tallied 186 tackles which included 113 solo stops. Coming from a small-town school, he presents a lot of flaws in his game. He is going to need to bump up his awareness and route recognition skills before he gets torched at the next level. I cannot say the same about his attitude which is one of his bigger strengths. In addition to that, he does not have the best frame but is a very good tackler. He should be another key addition to this Giants’ defense who needs all the help it can get.
Round 7, Pick #232: George Asafo-Adjei, Offensive Lineman, Kentucky
Asafo-Adjei played 48 games in his time at Kentucky which included 23 starting assignments. He was a part in the offensive line who protected All-American running back Benny Snell Jr., But he played 12 games and recorded almost no meaningful stats. He is outstanding in terms of his strength, but he lacks the size, athleticism, and footwork to be a huge impact at the next level. Many projected that he would go undrafted but clearly, that is not the case. The Giants will most likely use Asafo-Adjei in the right tackle position but I do not expect him to get anywhere close to the top of the depth chart.
Round 7, Pick #245: Chris Slayton, Defensive Tackle, Syracuse
For New York’s last selection of the draft, they took a defensive player with good size and ability, but he did not show how good he really was in college. At Syracuse, he finished with 104 tackles where 63 of them were solo. After watching film of him during his time in college, Slayton is capable of doing more with New York. Finishing ninth all-time at Syracuse in tackles for loss has to show that you are somewhat productive. He needs to learn to turn on this motor to start and finish like the great player he has the potential to be. On a crowded defensive line, Slayton will be a threat to get a starting spot on the Giants’ line come Week 1
Dave Gettleman did an above average job for this draft. However, the only player that he picked that can have an immediate impact is Dexter Lawerence. After seeing how the Giants offseason went, it’s clear that they just do not have the potential that other teams have shown in this draft. Maybe passing on Dwayne Haskins will prove to be a huge mistake as the upcoming season progresses.