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2015 NFL Draft Grades: Where do the New York Giants rank in the NFC?

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A look inside the conference at how the New York Giants did compared to the rest of the field.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals

Draft Grade: B+

Favorite Pick: D.J. Humphries (OT)

Taking an offensive tackle with their first pick is genius. Carson Palmer has the agility of soil creep so giving him time in the pocket against feisty NFC West defensive fronts is their only shot at success. They're hoping to match those division rivals with three picks spent on their own defensive line. Overall, four out of their first five picks spent on their lines is smart investment.

Atlanta Falcons

Draft Grade: B+

Favorite Pick: Jalen Collins (CB)

They gave Dan Quinn the keys to the kingdom and their direction in this draft smacks of Seattle copycat tactics. Vic Beasley is their LEO/OTTO type and Jalen Collins is a good complement to Desmond Trufant on the other side. They did everything they wanted to do, but I'm not sold just yet that Dan Quinn was the reason the Seahawks' defense was good. Exhibit A: Gus Bradley, head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Carolina Panthers

Draft Grade: D

Favorite Pick: Daryl Williams (OG)

Daryl Williams is a really good addition to a problematic offensive line. He played right-tackle last year, but he projects as a guard in the NFL. This means they're genuinely heading into next season with Jonathan Martin and Michael Oher as their starting tackles. They could have gotten help in this draft but instead opted for Shaq Thompson in the first. I view the Thompson pick as a reach for a tweener at a position where they already have a strong presence in Thomas Davis. Then, in the second round they grabbed a player I love, Devin Funchess, but I hate the selection here with higher-caliber players at positions of need still on the board.

Chicago Bears

Draft Grade: A-

Favorite Pick: Adrian Amos (FS)

Kevin White was an easy selection after the departure of Brandon Marshall. He'll slot in as a starter alongside Alshon Jeffery from Day 1. He's a complementary receiver and provides a lot of after-the-catch yardage to fill up those stat sheets. In the second round, Eddie Goldman makes sense but might be my least favorite pick of theirs. The honor of best-pick goes to nabbing Adrian Amos in the fifth round. He was a guy I would have loved for the Giants but am happy he landed in spot where he will be able to compete for the starting job right away.

Dallas Cowboys

Draft Grade: C

Favorite Pick: Byron Jones (CB)

[I just read that Randy Gregory was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This is not what I was referring to in this breakdown. This is brand new information and was not available when I wrote this on Sunday May 3rd. As someone who values the importance of mental health and has struggled with it in the past, I can assure you that no offense was intended. I left the original unedited comments below because I am not trying to shy away from this, just update you on the situation post-publishing -Alex]

After adding Randy Gregory in the second round to fill in for a suspended Greg Hardy, the Dallas Cowboys have to be the new favorite to for HBO's 'Hard Knocks'? Imagine the footage from inside those meeting rooms! Despite slipping until the second round, this draft grade hinges on Gregory. I'm not a fan of the risk involved with this pick because the Cowboys already have a handful of problematic personalities down in Arlington. Adding another seems to be more weight to an already tense situation. However, Byron Jones in the first round was a strong pickup. An explosive cornerback who alleviates some of the pressure of the wallowing Morris Claiborne pick in 2012.

Detroit Lions

Draft Grade: B+

Favorite Pick: Ameer Abdullah (RB)

Last year, the Lions signed Golden Tate and drafted Eric Ebron to round out their passing game. This year, their first two picks were spent strengthening their running attack. A 1-2 combo of Laken Tomlinson and Ameer Abdullah adds significant muscle to their ground game. On defense, this team added two corners, Alex Carter and Quandre Diggs in the third and fifth rounds respectively, though it's the latter player I fancy as making more of an impact this season. With their picks on both sides of the ball, the Detroit Lions' games hope to feature more rushing attempts than before.

Green Bay Packers

Draft Grade: B

Favorite Pick: Damarious Randall (FS)

I think Damarious Randall is an excellent complement to last year's first rounder, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. The last play of the Green Bay Packers' 2014 season was a bomb from Russell Wilson to send them to the Super Bowl. They do not want that to happen again and addressed the need accordingly. Another smart pick was Michigan's Jake Ryan. The Packers have a need at inside-linebacker and Ryan was one of the most productive guys in college football last year. A good player-and-team match.

Minnesota Vikings

Draft Grade: A+

Favorite Pick: Stefon Diggs (WR)

This might have been my favorite team-specific draft class. With 10 picks, I think this team netted at least three 2015 starters and a handful of important role players. After picking Trae Waynes, they now have a pair of first rounders at cornerback as well as some strong veteran depth should anything go wrong. Eric Kendricks at inside-linebacker in the second round is a great selection and offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings is a run-mauler who can push for a starting spot. Stefon Diggs is where this team got a steal though. This is a dynamic slot receiver and return guy who can make guys miss. Look for this team to use him on a lot of underneath and crossing routes.

New Orleans Saints

Draft Grade: B+

Favorite Pick: Hau'oli Kikaha (OLB)

This draft grade suffers a little because of how they acquired their second first-round pick. While trading Jimmy Graham away might seem okay once the season is in full-flow, it appears to be totally crazy. They swapped Graham for rookie inside-linebacker Stephone Anthony. It's a good pick, but it was obtained poorly. At the end of the draft, this team did do what they said they would. They built their line and they added pieces to their defense. With Anthony playing the middle, it allows their third round pick, Hau'oli Kikaha to be unleashed off the edge. Kikaha lead all of college football last year in sacks, and while sometimes sacks may be a misleading number for measuring production, this time it is not.

New York Giants

Draft Grade: A-

Favorite Pick: Landon Collins (SS)

The first-round pick of Ereck Flowers may be the slight negative area, though the rationale behind drafting enormous young physical specimens is hard to argue against. I'm looking at him as a left-guard rather than right-tackle, but neither would surprise me.

The Giants traded up to select Alabama safety Landon Collins at the top of the second round. They traded up. They actually did it. They went and got the player they thought they needed and I commend them for that regardless of the cost they paid. As some of the readers may know, I previously took Landon Collins in a mock draft for the Giants with the ninth overall pick, so you can imagine how ecstatic I was when the team drafted him 33rd overall. The picks traded to the Titans ended up being used on Dorial Green-Beckham, Jalston Fowler and Tre McBride. Interesting, but none are players I suspected the Giants would target.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa, an immediate fan favorite and commentator nightmare, was a great selection in the third round and fits the Giants' scheme perfectly. He has the size to kick inside for NASCAR packages and will contribute right out of the gate.

The highlight of the Day 3 picks is Florida State guard, Bobby Hart. Suddenly, this team has legitimate offensive line depth. With John Jerry, Marshall Newhouse and Bobby Hart as back-ups, this team is much better equipped to face a full-season than they were last year.

After Day 2 of the draft, I think the vast majority of Giants fans were ecstatic by the teams' selections. Naturally, Day 3 hits a bit of a slump because fans don't see the team taking any of the small handful of players whose names they recognize. It's almost as if the front office are trained professionals who do this for a living and the average internet grumbler is just a person with a couch and a twitter account. Overall, I think the Giants did an excellent job addressing key areas and utilizing the picks at their disposal to acquire talent.

Philadelphia Eagles

Draft Grade: D-

Favorite Pick: Nelson Agholor (WR)

This grade is weighted so heavily due to Chip Kelly's failed attempts to land Marcus Mariota. Interestingly enough, if he had been successful in signing away the future of his team for one quarterback, it would have received a similar grade. Let me explain. The Eagles were playing with fire and the two possible outcomes of this scenario were overspending for the second-best quarterback at his position, or the taking the trust between a player and coach and just throwing that right in the bin. Kelly spent lots of time backtracking and saying they didn't want to give up too much to get Mariota but it's all talk.

San Francisco 49ers

Draft Grade: C

Favorite Pick: Eli Harold (EDGE)

I was really hoping the 49ers would take an exciting franchise-type player in this draft to counter-act all the negativity that has gone on within the organisation over the last few months. Well, that didn't happen so they took Arik Armstead. I mean, he's fine. He's a top guy to get at five-technique but I just thought it lacked  ...  something. I don't know. It's sorta how I feel about the 49ers in general heading into this year. I just don't know. On the bright side, Eli Harold in the third round is very good. If he hits his stride, Harold will produce consistent pressure.

Seattle Seahawks

Draft Grade: B

Favorite Pick: Jimmy Graham (TE)

I think there are probably 10 teams in the league who would have done the trade for Jimmy Graham. A middling center (no pun intended) and a first-round pick for a franchise cornerstone? Yes, please. The Seahawks have a lot of smaller speedy receiving options so it's nice to see the addition of possibly the best possession receiver in the NFL. In the actual draft, this team took a huge leap of faith on Michigan defensive-end Frank Clark. He had tons of production but he was kicked off the team for a domestic violence incident. It's a risky pick, but something that Seattle can cut their losses if needed. In the third round, they added receiver Tyler Lockett. He had 1,515 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Russell Wilson is going to be very comfortable with his options this season. Very comfortable indeed.

St. Louis Rams

Draft Grade: D+

Favorite Pick: Four offensive linemen.

The Rams did the unthinkable and drafted a running back with a top 10 pick in 2015. I hate the Todd Gurley move and the draft grade above reflects that. However, this team also went all-out on offensive linemen, selecting four between rounds two and six. They have struggled for a while here and sometimes just pushing all your chips to the center of the table is the only way to fix it. They're bound to find at least one capable guy in this group. To compete with Nick Foles, they took identically sized 6-foot-6 Sean Mannion from Oregon State. Clearly, the intention is to play eight offensive linemen, two quarterbacks and throw a quick dumpoff to Todd Gurley out in space.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft Grade: B

Favorite Pick: Donovan Smith (OT)

Sure, there's a lot to love about Jameis Winston but anyone can pick the best quarterback first overall. The smart aspects of this draft were that the Bucs kept going back to build a formidable offense around Winston. In the second and third round, they took back to back offensive linemen (Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet). Winston is athletic, but he's not Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick, so he's going to need time to throw. These two picks add to a line that has been significantly retooled in the past two years. Marpet and Smith should end up starting on both spots to the right of center.


Draft Grade: A

Favorite Pick: Preston Smith (OLB)

This roster looked like Swiss cheese before the draft so you have to admire Scot McCloughan wheeling and dealing his way into more picks in an attempt to fill some of those holes. While it's too soon to judge the overall impact the first draft class from a new general manager can make, McCloughan's "quantity in the hope of quality" approach was the perfect tactic to use for this team. Brandon Scherff at fifth overall isn't great value but the need for a stronger offensive line was overwhelming. It was the right pick for this situation. If you're a Giants fan, you've got to be hoping this whole "let's make smart decisions" thing is just a phase that Washington is going through.