Impact of a potential NY Giants draft-day trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers

NY Giants (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NY Giants (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

As a result of the salary cap situation left by his predecessor, general manager Joe Schoen has not yet been able to make any big impact changes to the NY Giants roster. That all changes on Thursday night, when he has the opportunity to make two top ten selections and kick start the rebuild of the struggling franchise. Having said that, he does have one other option – another Giants draft-day trade.

Schoen indicated in a press conference at Giants voluntary minicamp that he had received calls about both of the picks, according to Tom Rock. To this point, there had been no suggestion of which teams have been calling.

We may now have received the first indication, courtesy of a press conference held in Pittsburgh. While talking to the media Monday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert suggested they have been looking at options to trade both up and down in the draft. While not particularly groundbreaking news, he specifically mentioned moving up to pick 7 – something that should pique the interest of Schoen and Giants fans everywhere.

What would a trade back from 7 to 20 look like for the NY Giants?

Just this past season, the Giants traded back from pick 11 to pick 20 in the 2021 NFL draft. The first such trade in Dave Gettleman’s career, the move returned a 2021 fifth-round pick on top of first and fourth-round picks the following season – so you would be looking at more than that in return for pick 7.

According to the Rich Hill trade chart, the Steelers would need to make up 157 points to jump up above the Falcons to land their quarterback of the future. 157 is the same value given to the Jets’ second-round pick this year (38 overall).

With a discount applied to future year’s picks, at a minimum the Steelers would likely need to add this year’s third-round pick (84 overall) to their first-rounder from next year. According to the draft chart that would certainly be close to a fair trade.

In reality? The Giants could probably receive even more if the Steelers are desperate to get their hands on one of these quarterbacks. Gaining draft capital to move down to pick 20 is only half the job, you still need to make the pick. Let’s take a look at a few of the best options for Joe Schoen if a trade happens on Thursday night.

2022 NFL Draft prospects available at No. 20 overall

NY Giants Draft Target: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Burks is a monster of a receiver. He checked in at the combine at 6”2’, 225 lbs, and has drawn comparisons to the Titan’s star receiver A.J. Brown. He averaged over 16 yards per catch in his college career, scoring 11 touchdowns on over 1,100 yards in 2021.

He has both the ability and the desire to get the football in a variety of situations which, when paired with his incredible size, is a matchup nightmare for both cornerbacks and linebackers at the college level.

Against one of the nation’s best teams in Alabama this past season, Burks had 179 yards and two touchdowns. Arkansas made it a key point of their offense to get the ball to Burks and he is certainly a game-changing talent – something the Giants desperately need.

NY Giants Draft Target: Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College

I mentioned Zion Johnson as a potential day two “dream scenario” for the Giants. While that was wishful thinking, at pick 20 he is certainly in play. Completing the most bench press reps of any offensive lineman at the draft, and finishing top 5 in a number of the speed and agility tests, he is an incredible athlete.

With experience at both guard and tackle at the collegiate level, the Giants can start him in the interior and feel comfortable he can protect Daniel Jones. If anything goes wrong at tackle, he can slide across and get the team out of a bad situation. He has both the talent and versatility to be a key part of the rebuild in New York.

NY Giants Draft Target: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

If the Giants trade back from 7 they will miss out on Ahmad Gardner and Derek Stingley Jr. At pick 20 they can still take one of the most physical corners in the draft – Kaiir Elam.

If you get the chance to check out Elam’s highlight package definitely do so, it’s an entertaining watch. Acrobatic interceptions, physical tackles for loss, critical pass breakups against the likes of Alabama and Georgia – he does it all.

He is an extremely physical corner, who at not even 21 years of age still has a lot of room to develop. He was a star in the SEC and will be a star in the NFL. He would fit in nicely on this Giants team.

NY Giants Draft Target: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

An early favorite of Giant mock drafts, Linderbaum has since slid down draft boards to the end of the first round. He played exclusively at center in his college career, a position which certainly doesn’t see the top of the draft attention.

It appears it wasn’t just mock drafters who were keen on Linderbaum joining Big Blue. As reported by Dan Duggan of The Athletic, the Giants’ front office seems to like the idea of drafting the Iowa center should they move down in the draft. Maybe it was just fate that Linderbaum would end up in East Rutherford.

In both the past two seasons, he finished with a 90+ PFF grade and is regarded by some as the best college center prospect they’ve ever seen. The Giants can slot him in the middle of the line and not have to think about it. Much like in the Johnson scenario, the line in front of Jones would look unrecognizable compared with the 2021 unit – something Giants fans will certainly be happy about.

NY Giants Draft Target: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

The national champion Georgia defense might have as many as five starters selected in the first round of the draft. At pick 20, the Giants can look to cash in on the historic unit. It’s fitting Dean played for Georgia – the ferocious attitude he plays with on the field is similar to that of a Bulldog. He plays significantly faster than his 40-yard dash suggests and he can impact the play like no other linebacker in this class.

He is one of only three players to ever win both the high school and collegiate versions of the Butkus award – awarded to the best linebacker in the country. A combination of his play speed and vision means that wherever the ball is, you’ll likely see Dean.

In 2021 he had 54 tackles and 2 interceptions and is at his best on the biggest stage. In the college football semi-final against Michigan, he had 7 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. He was a leader on one of the most talented defenses in college football history and will fit in well at the professional level.

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The 2022 NFL Draft has the potential to springboard the rebuild of this roster and start a successful era of New York Giants Football under Joe Schoen. For the right price, trading back in the first round certainly has the potential to bring more high-quality players to New York. Regardless of whether or not a trade occurs, Thursday night will be one of the most exciting nights Giants’ fans have had in a very long time.