NFL Mock Draft: Former GM’s prediction for New York Giants may be perfect scenario
The New York Giants have a chance to fill two of their most glaring weaknesses during the 2022 NFL Draft next month
The New York Giants enter the NFL Draft with myriad needs, especially at two premium positions on both sides of the football; offensive tackle and edge rusher.
Fortunately for new Giants general manager Joe Schoen, New York owns two of the top-seven selections, and could be well within range to add one of the premier prospects at both positions during the first round of next month’s draft.
That’s exactly how the board breaks in former NFL general manager and current ESPN analyst Mike Tannenbaum’s mock draft projection:
"5. New York GiantsEvan Neal, OT, AlabamaAn offensive tackle pairing of Neal and Andrew Thomas gives quarterback Daniel Jones the protection he needs. Neal gave up just one sack last season, and he has 40 career starts under his belt. I considered NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu here, too, but I just believe there’s more certainty with Neal considering the level of competition he faced at Alabama. Being that dominant against SEC pass-rushers is something."
Neal is viewed by many inside the league as the premier offensive tackle in this year’s draft, and would certainly be an ideal bookend pairing opposite Thomas.
Last season, Neal allowed only two sacks and eight quarterback pressures. Additionally, he did not allow a single pressure against Texas A&M during their matchup in 2020, underscoring his dominance in pass-protection.
In Tannenbaum’s projection, Aiden Hutchinson, Sauce Gardner, Kyle Hamilton, and Garrett Wilson are the first four players off the board, giving the New York Giants the chance to fill their other pressing roster hole with one of the top edge rushers in this year’s class.
"7. New York Giants (via CHI)Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, OregonThe Giants managed just 34 sacks last season and have been looking for a game-changing pass-rusher for several years. No way they can pass on Thibodeaux’s ceiling, which is extremely high despite some concerns about his motor. He has the size, speed and power, and he posted 19 sacks over three seasons at Oregon. I’m pretty happy with the haul here for New York, landing Neal and Thibodeaux to address holes in a massive way."
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Thibodeaux has been discussed as one of the top-two pass-rushers in this year’s class, along with Hutchinson, and would emerge as an immediate top of the depth chart impact player for the New York Giants.
Across three seasons, Thibodeaux produced 22 sacks, as a centerpiece of the Ducks’ defense.
Last season, Thibodeaux logged a career-high 28 pressures to go with nine sacks.
If Schoen somehow manages to add Thibodeaux and Neal, it would be hard to view the New York Giants’ draft — and the foundation of the organization’s long overdue rebuild, as anything other than a success.