The Giants improved on their dismal 2017 season in 2018, going 5–11 for two more wins than the year prior but missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
New York's season was led by running back Saquon Barkley, who the team selected with the second pick in the 2018 draft. The Penn State product went on to win Rookie of the Year honors after leading the NFL with 2,028 scrimmage yards.
After signing Odell Beckham Jr., to a five-year, $95 million deal going into the 2018 season, the Giants traded their star wide receiver to the Browns this offseason in a deal that also sent pass rusher Olivier Vernon to Cleveland. With the sixth selection in this year's draft, New York has another shot to draft some young talent as the team looks for continued improvement in Pat Shurmur's second season as head coach.
We're breaking down each of the Giants' selections in this year's NFL draft—including grades from The MMQB's Andy Benoit—as well as providing a full list of New York's picks, which will be updated as the draft continues.
Round 1, Pick 6 (No. 6 overall): Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Andy Benoit's grade: C+
Only two first-round quarterbacks since 2005 have sat and learned from the bench their entire rookie year before becoming a franchise QB: Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. Daniel Jones has much less raw talent than either of those two. But, like the man—or ManNING—Jones will soon replace, he thrives with clean pocket mechanics and traditional execution. Also like Manning, Jones’s game must be predicated on shrewd pre-snap reads, as he didn’t make a lot of late-in-the-progression throws or second-reaction plays at Duke.
Round 1, Pick 17 (No. 17 overall): Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Andy Benoit's grade: D+
This one is surprising because the Giants did not NEED a defensive tackle. Last year’s third-round pick, B.J. Hill, is a star in the making, and 2017 second-rounder Dalvin Tomlinson is quietly on a similar plane. Those two can play 3-technique (between the guard and tackle) or 5-technique (over the tackle) on base downs, with Lawrence occupying the middle as a nose. But that package will only be usable about 20 snaps a game. A few top edge rushers were still on the board, as were all of the defensive backs. Giants GM Dave Gettleman believes in stocking up on D-linemen, but defensive coordinator James Bettcher, who runs a pressure-heavy scheme, can only play with so many at once. And that pressure-heavy scheme can’t work if New York doesn’t have corners and safeties who can cover one-on-one.
Round 1, Pick 30 (No. 30 overall): Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Andy Benoit's grade: A
Finally: a player who fills an immediate need for the Giants. The candidates at the left corner spot opposite Janoris Jenkins (who might be a cap casualty in 2020 if he doesn’t play with more consistency) were fringe backup Tony Lippett, who has played in only three games since tearing his Achilles in training camp of 2017, or Sam Beal, a third-round pick in last year’s supplemental draft who missed his entire rookie year with a shoulder injury. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher believes in blitzing, either through the A gaps or off the slot (depending on his personnel). You can’t readily do that without playing one-on-one coverage outside. Bettcher’s pressure-heavy approach puts him in that quarter of NFL defensive schemers for whom a corner is a necessity while an edge rusher is almost just a luxury.
Round 3, Pick 32 (No. 95 overall): Oshane Ximines, DE, Old Dominion
Andy Benoit's grade: B
Giants fans might be decrying the failure to get an edge rusher earlier, but defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s blitz-intensive system puts more emphasis on players winning in solo coverage than off the edge. The hope is that Ximines can follow through.
Round 4, Pick 6 (No. 108 overall): Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
Round 5, Pick 5 (No. 143 overall): Ryan Connelly, LB, Wisconsin
Round 5, Pick 33 (No. 171 overall): Darius Slayton, WR, Auburn
Round 6, Pick 7 (No. 180 overall): Corey Ballentine, CB, Washburn
Round 7, Pick 18 (No. 232 overall): George Asafo-Adjei, OT, Kentucky
Round 7, Pick 31 (No. 245 overall): Chris Slayton, DT, Syracuse
See every NFL team's 2019 picks by clicking the links below.
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