NFL Draft Grades 2022: Re-grading the NY Giants draft one year later
With NY Giants fans ecstatic to see how things play out in the 2023 NFL Draft, it's time to take a look back and see how things went for general manager Joe Schoen around this time last year. Schoen, recently hired to take over as GM, had a lot of pressure on him to deliver last spring.
He did just that, making some brilliant decisions throughout draft weekend. More of the same will be needed in 2023, but the Big Blue faithful know that Schoen will be able to answer the call later this month. As for 2022, we're taking a look at each round in this piece, giving our grades for Schoen and Co.
First round: OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux and RT Evan Neal: B+
To start things off, Schoen nailed things in the first round last year, picking pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux No. 5 overall and then going with standout right tackle Evan Neal at No. 7 overall. These were both positions of need for the Giants and fans were jacked up with both of the picks. So, how did each guy fare in '22?
Starting with Thibodeaux, things got off to a bit of a slow start. He also fell way short of his sacks goal for the season, as he said he was hoping to record one per game. Thibodeaux ended up with four, but he was a force in the trenches, especially in the second half of the season. His coming out party vs. Washington was amazing, highlighted by his fumble recovery for a touchdown vs. the Commanders.
Meanwhile for Neal, his rookie season was full of ups and downs. At times, he looked fantastic in his duties of blocking for Daniel Jones. However, there were other points where he looked rough, as he gave up 11 sacks on the year. That's not going to cut it. We need to see Neal take a major step forward next season. Luckily, he's grinding this offseason to make sure he indeed improves in 2023.