The NY Giants 2022 season was a resounding success, and general manager Joe Schoen deserves a ton of credit. Schoen took over a Giants roster in need of serious work, and with no money to work with, he helped Big Blue get to the playoffs in his first season at the helm.
One of the main reasons for their early success: Schoen’s 2022 draft class. In this piece we take a look at the wise decisions Schoen made, and offer up our grades for these first-year playmakers.
Round 1, Pick 5: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux
The fifth overall pick was arguably the most hyped prospect in the 2022 Draft, but Kayvon Thibodeaux had a rocky start to his career. Thibodeaux suffered a sprained MCL on a controversial hit by Bengals tight end Thaddeus Moss in Week 2 of the preseason, forcing him to miss the first two games of the regular season.
Thibodeaux recorded 34 solo tackles and forced two fumbles in 2022. The highlight of the year for him? Thibodeaux came around the edge in a Week 15 win against Washington, sacked Taylor Henieke, forced a fumble, scooped it up, and took it into the end zone. Thibodeaux had a monstrous performance in that win, a win that all but secured the Giants playoff berth.
PFF ranked Thibodeaux as the 37th-best edge rusher in 2022 and gave him an overall grade of 71.9. There were up and downs for the former Oregon standout, but there’s no question that his future is bright with the G-Men.
Round 1, Pick 7: OT Evan Neal
When Evan Neal was drafted seventh overall in last April’s draft, it seemed as though the Giants had found their right tackle of the future. His 2022 rookie season was incredibly rocky, showing he has a long way to go to becoming a franchise tackle.
Neal was given a porous 44 overall grade by PFF and was graded as their second-worst offensive tackle in 2022. We have to remember that Neal played three seasons in college, one at left guard, one at right tackle, and one at left tackle, so he had to adjust to both playing in the NFL and learning how to play right tackle.
Neal is still a player with significant potential and promise for the future, but it’s fair to say his rookie season was disappointing.