First Round, Fourth Overall – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Giants finally got their franchise left tackle. It’s not like they haven’t tried, investing a first round pick in Ereck Flowers and a boatload of money in Nate Solder, but Andrew Thomas is the answer they’ve been looking for. Thomas is the most pro ready tackle in the draft, and can do it all when it comes to blocking. He can step in from day one as the left tackle and excel, which will make the entire offensive line better. In Dave Gettleman’s introductory press conference, he stated that they must fix the offensive line. Gettleman just did that. Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, Jason Garrett and Giants fans around the world should be happy with this pick.
Second Round, 36th Overall – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
When you have a need at safety and the best one in the draft falls to you in the second round, you turn in that (virtual?) card as quick as possible. That’s exactly what the Giants did with taking Xavier McKinney out of Alabama in the second round. McKinney immediately makes the Giants secondary better, which will help them cover the new toys that the Cowboys and Eagles got in the first round, with CeeDee Lamb and Jalen Raegor. Gone are the days of Antoine Bethea getting beat over the top every week, McKinney won’t be letting that happen. McKinney and Jabrill Peppers will combine for a fantastic safety combination in that Giants defense.
Third Round, 99th Overall – Matt Peart, OT, Connecticut
I’ll be honest, I don’t watch much UCONN football, I don’t even think UCONN students watch much UCONN football, so I didn’t know much about Matthew Peart. But, after watching some of his tape and hearing the scouting reports, I think this has potential to be a great pick by Gettleman. Peart is gigantic, athletic and if he can develop a bit with the help of Giants coaches Joe Judge, Jason Garrett and Marc Columbo, the Giants may have just left the draft with their future left and right tackles.
Fourth Round, 110th Overall – Darnay Holmes, DB, UCLA
The Giants got a gamer in Darnay Holmes. Holmes is a smart, instinctual player who will make some big plays in the secondary. He’s aggressive, so he may also give up some, but his work ethic and flexibility is everything Joe Judge could have wanted and more. The Giants had a big need at slot corner coming into this draft, and Holmes can help fill that spot. Gettleman has invested a lot into fixing the secondary, but Holmes will fit well into Patrick Graham’s defense. If the Giants don’t ask him to do too much, he can contribute as soon as this year.
Fifth Round, 150th Overall – Shane Lemiuex, G, Oregon
Another offensive lineman! The Giants knew this was the time to fix that unit, and boy are they putting a lot of resources into it. Shane Lemiuex started 52 games at Oregon and never missed a game, music to the coaches ears. He’s not overly athletic, but he’s tough as they get, a team captain, a hard worker and he gets the job done. If the Giants don’t ask him to do too much this could be an absolute steal. Down the road, he could replace Kevin Zietler along the offensive line if they can develop him well enough. The Giants are rebuilding the trenches, and they could leave this draft with three future starters. Plus, he’s been trying to learn how to play center, so I’m sure that’s music to the Giants’ ears.
Sixth Round, 183rd Overall – Cam Brown, LB, Penn State
The Giants finally get a linebacker in this draft, and it’s the Penn State product, Cam Brown. Brown will need some work to develop into an NFL linebacker, but he’ll be an immediate contributor on special teams. He’s athletic as heck and a fantastic leader, as many coaches on Penn State said that he took a ‘real command’ of their defense. He was also a captain, something I’m sure meant a lot to the Judge and Gettleman. He has the athletic tools to be an NFL quality linebacker, if his instincts improve and he can play some defensive snaps, he could be a nice little steal in the sixth round for the Giants.
Seventh Round, 218th Overall – Carter Coughlin, LB, Minnesota
Carter Coughlin fits the Gettleman/Judge track record for this draft. Senior, productive college career, high football IQ and just simply a smart player. He’s not going to blow you away with athleticism, but he does play with good speed. Coughlin will definitely be a special teams piece, and the hope has to be that he can develop into a good linebacker or pass rusher. This selection reminds me a lot of Ryan Connelly, and that pick looks pretty good right now. The former four star recruit is worth a flier in the 7th round.
Seventh Round, 238th Overall – TJ Brunson, LB, South Carolina
The Giants add another day three linebacker in TJ Brunson. Brunson will be similar to Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin in the fact that he’ll have to compete on special teams, but it should be fun to watch all three linebackers fight it out. Brunson will need to improve his coverage skills, but he can get after the quarterback when blitzing. He should get a lot of work and chances in the pre-season, if there is one.
Seventh Round, 247th Overall – Chris Williamson, CB, Minnesota
The Giants add their third defensive back and their second golden gopher of the draft with cornerback Chris Williamson. Williamson is a physical corner who might be best suited to play safety, as he’s also a good tackler who can be used in blitz packages. It’s a crowded secondary already, so he’ll have to fight his way to make the team, but it’s worth a shot for the Giants. I would’ve liked to see them get an offensive weapon here, though.
Seventh Round, 255th Overall – Tae Crowder, LB, Georgia
Mr. Irrelevant! The Giants got the honor of making that pick this year, and they went with another linebacker in Georgia’s Tae Crowder. It’s obvious that Dave Gettleman has a lot of respect for Kirby Smart and the Georgia program, as he takes another bulldog here. Crowder is a former running back and wide receiver turned linebacker, so he has above average athletic ability for the position. He’ll have a chance to make the team as a special teamer, but if the Giants can really work on his linebacking craft, he can make an impact. Joe Judge said the Giants will focus on what a player can do, not what he can’t do. Right now, Crowder provides a boost of athleticism to a linebacking core that’s missing it.
Overall Grade: A
I think that the Giants had a great draft. If there’s one area that fans can trust Dave Gettleman, it’s when it comes to drafting. The Giants had a clear vision for this draft, get smart, hardworking player who fit the mold of coach Joe Judge. They did that with every single one of their picks. This class is full of team captains, players who graduated in less than three years, hard workers and high character players. The locker room should be amazing, and I’m sure Judge can’t wait to get to work. All that is null without talent though, but the Giants filled huge needs and planned ahead well. They got players that can come in and contribute immediately, and they got players who they can groom to contribute down the road. In 2-3 years, the Giants might have pulled 4-5 starters out of this class. What more can you ask for? The Gettleman and Judge era is off to a great start with this draft class.