It was a tough week, Giants fans. Nobody wanted the outcome from week 14 that happened. I thought it would be a good time to remind people that the Giants are still in the playoff picture. I also wanted to emphasize (as if its not common sense already) that next week’s game on the road against the Commanders has become an even more “must win” game. In an effort to stay away from the negative vibes coming from this latest loss, I wanted to have some fun (you can too) with last year’s draft class by redoing it with picks I would have loved to see now that we have a sample size of many players. In doing this, I am not necessarily saying a given player that I removed from the original class was a bad choice per se (way too soon especially since many are injured) but would have been fun to see another player on the team instead. Hindsight is 20/20, after all. Again, it’s all for fun and is a good distraction from the pains of Sunday. Note: I will keep my alternative picks within the same round of the changed-out player and also not create my own trades to keep it simple, though I would have if I was the GM. Let’s Begin!
Picks #5/#7: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux and OL Evan Neal
Jon’s picks: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux and OL Evan Neal – I was a HUGE fan of Sauce Gardner on draft night and was mega heartbroken when he was gone 1 pick before, but Thibodeaux has shown he can be a big-time player this year. It may not be in the stats, but the tape shows me a destructive force that defenses must make extra effort to contain. It should show up as time passes. Similar can be said for Neal but had a little more struggles early. He was sack free the last 3 games before week 14. I was big on Bernhard Raimann too but understood the risks with his lack of football experience. Both guys shore up the ends of both sides of the trenches for years to come when paired with Azeez Ojulari and Andrew Thomas.
Pick #43: WR Wan’Dale Robinson
Jon’s pick: WR George Pickens – I absolutely HATED the Robinson pick. Severely undersized receivers rarely become high end, impact players. If I am looking for someone with his skillset, I would have gone for Kyle Phillips, Calvin Austin, or Khalil Shakir (hint, hint) in the later rounds. I will admit he showed something when he was healthy, but the issue is how often will he be 100% with the brutal hits he will take at the NFL level? Anyway, on to George Pickens. I know the risk with him was his recent knee injury and his mouth getting him into trouble. However, one cannot deny he is an all-world talent with amazing combination of hands, footwork, and swagger. This man is dying for 10 receptions a game right now and becoming the unquestioned WR1 in Pittsburgh, but he will have to unseat Diontae Johnson 1st. He easily would have had that here in NY and could have been the Giant’s next Odell Beckham Jr sitting there in the 2nd round. Tis a pity.
Pick #67/#81: OL Josh Ezeudu and CB Cordale Flott
Jon’s Pick: OL Bernhard Raimann and CB Marcus Jones – I touched up on Raimann earlier. The crazy thing is, Raimann went from being a fringe 1st rounder and slid all the way to 3rd rounder because of the risk involving his inexperience playing football. The man is a pure athlete that has the attributes ideal for a tackle but could have easily slid over to guard and be a force. The new regime loves Ezeudu for his run blocking prowess and his versatility, but Raimann could do the same thing and more given his superior athletic abilities. As for Flott, I LOVE LSU players, but I was iffy on him. Given his extremely small size and inconsistent use at LSU, I was concerned for his health and play strength the NFL level. If I wanted to take a risk on a small CB, I would have preferred Marcus Jones. His versatility on defense, offense, and special teams are valuable and his returns in college were awesome. He already has a TD this season returning punts and a TD as a WR. Versatility like that is helpful and fun to see.
Pick #112/#114: TE Daniel Bellinger and DB Dane Belton
Jon’s picks: TE Daniel Bellinger and CB Jack Jones – I was VERY tempted to choose Isaiah Likely over Bellinger here, but there is an argument to be made how Bellinger would look even better in a more explosive offense. Bellinger is also a superior blocker which tips the scale. As for Belton, he hasn’t been that bad given his versatility and draft slot, but Jack Jones has been quite productive so far in the NFL. He has racked up multiple INTs and has a defensive TD. It will be fun to see if Jones’ play is sustainable or not.
Pick #146/#147/#173: LB Micah McFadden, DT DJ Davidson, and OL Marcus Mckethan
Jon’s picks: CB Tariq Woolen, WR Khalil Shakir, and LB Damone Clark – I cannot believe how fast Woolen turned into a strong NFL CB. When you are armed with the type of speed he has, I guess it shouldn’t be too big of a shock. His ability to hold his own against some of the better receivers in the NFL makes him a no brainer. Khalil Shakir has been so productive when he starts to the point it’s a shame he is stuck on the bench and not helping another team (like the Giants) win games. He would bring much electricity out of the slot with his high-end route running prowess. Damone Clark (yay LSU guys) hasn’t had too much time to show his abilities at the NFL level but has shown the ability to make ball carriers put the ball on the ground and that is valuable to have in a 5th round pick (any round, really).
Pick #182: LB Darrian Beavers
Jon’s pick: LB Malcom Rodriguez – It is truly saddening that the Giants were not able to have Beavers healthy going into the season. He looked like a steal in the preseason, and I am looking forward to seeing him in 2023. As for Rodriguez, he has proven to be quite the disruptor in several phases of the game. He has picked up numerous tackles, deflected passes intended for RBs/TEs, force turnovers, several TFLs, and disrupts the QB periodically. He is every bit of what I hope to see from Beavers when he returns from his torn ACL.
I know I was quite CB heavy in this (re)draft. If we knew what each player would end up being, I am sure the Giants likely would have done the same given the deficiencies in the secondary and Wink’s desire for effective corners. I would have liked to grab a pure run stuffer somewhere in the backend (John Ridgeway was tempting towards the end), but I felt Clark had better overall value. Its not as if DJ Davidson is contributing to Big Blue this year, right? I am sure they will find a good 2 down run stopper next season somewhere. I would have loved to take Matt Araiza too, but he unfortunately might not have an NFL career given his legal/ethical troubles. What do y’all think of all this? This was a fun one to put together and encourage you to do the same when you are bored, too. Get those Commanders in week 15, G-Men!