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2016 NFL Draft grades: How did the New York Giants fare?

The Giants had only six picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, but seemed to make the most of them and received positive grades across the board.

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Eli Apple was the Giants' first round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Eli Apple was the Giants' first round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the 2016 NFL Draft has concluded, how did the New York Giants fare in the grading scale? The Giants, who had six picks in this year's draft, selected several high-upside players -- many of whom also fill positions of need. As a result, Big Blue garnered praise in their post-draft grades.

USA Today

Grade: B-

Analysis: The Giants made two smart picks early with Ohio State CB Eli Apple, who still has plenty of room to grow, and Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard. The Giants need to protect themselves in case WR Victor Cruz never returns to full health and help take some of the pressure off Odell Beckham Jr. Shepard should help do both.

CBS Sports

Best pick: I love second-round pick Sterling Shepard. The receiver out of Oklahoma comes in and immediately gives them another complement to Odell Beckham Jr.

Questionable move: Taking corner Eli Apple in the first round. He's a good player, but why not a linebacker? Taking a third corner is a luxury. They have Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins.

Third-day gem: Fifth-round pick Paul Perkins is a perfect back for the game the way it's played today. He has wiggle, can catch the ball out of the backfield and will help amp up a running game that needs it.

Analysis: Even though I didn't love the Apple pick, Jerry Reese bounced back with some nice selections later. I liked Perkins and also linebacker B.J. Goodson in the fourth round. It was a nice weekend for the Giants.

Grade: B

SB Nation

Best pick: Shepard - The Giants got a dependable pass catcher who runs great routes in Shepard. If Odell Beckham wasn't in New York, Shepard is the type of player who could push for 80-100 catches a season.

Questionable pick: Taking Apple with the No. 10 overall pick was surprising. He was inconsistent at Ohio State and surprisingly went pro.

Apple, along with Janoris Jenkins, gives the Giants a lot of athleticism on the outside at cornerback. Taking Apple 10th, though, was bold. It's hard to see how he's a better cornerback right now than some of the other corners taken in the first round. In the third round, Darian Thompson was easily the best safety left on the board. He's a very good coverage safety but has some tackling issues. Goodson is a tough and athletic linebacker with good instincts. He's at worst going to be a special teams demon, but he could push for the starting middle linebacker spot. Perkins was a great pickup in the fifth round. He is a runner who can make people miss and he's advanced as a pass blocker. He's like a better version of Shane Vereen.

Overall grade: B+

Overall grade: B+

The skinny: Apple fills a need and the young man has a lot of potential. There's a gamble here, though, especially when Vernon Hargreaves was available. The receiver position was looking a bit thin for the Giants, so picking up a bargain in Shepard was brilliant. Thompson didn't test well, but he plays like a boss against the pass and is not contact-shy versus the run.

Goodson is a strong pick in the fourth round. I figured he would go in the third. Perkins isn't the biggest back, but he's going down without a fight. Adams is one of the best values in the entire draft in the sixth round. Those three picks should be immediate contributors for the Giants.

Sports Illustrated

New York Giants: A

First pick: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (No. 10)

Other notable picks: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma (40); Darian Thompson, S, Boise State (71); Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA (149)

Any year Jerry Reese doesn't reach for an offensive lineman can be considered a good one, and the first-round selection of Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple is a nice move. Apple is a hyper-aggressive pass defender with a lot of athletic upside, not unlike new Giant Janoris Jenkins. The real player of note, though, could be second-round receiver Sterling Shepard. A highly productive target in college, Shepard projects very well to the slot in the NFL, and should provide some coverage relief for Odell Beckham, Jr. Boise State safety Darian Thompson is an excellent deep-coverage player who should help Big Blue's defensive backfield right away, and Reese committed larceny by taking UCLA's Paul Perkins in the fifth round. Perkins isn't seen as an every-down back due to his size, but the tape shows a player comparable to LeSean McCoy with a bit more power. After a prodigious spending spree in free agency, the Giants came back with one heck of a draft. -- Doug Farrar

Pro Football Focus

New York Giants, B

Day 1: After getting leap-frogged for Georgia OLB Leonard Floyd, the Giants go with Apple, who is one of the best press corners in the draft. Schematically, it's a curious pick, as New York played pure man coverage only 30.4 percent of the time last year, 21st in the league, so unless the Giants are going to increase that number, Apple's weaknesses playing in off coverage and in space may get exposed. We had two corners ranked higher on our board than Apple in William Jackson III and Mackensie Alexander.

Day 2: One of the best route-runners in the class, Shepard posted the top overall grade among the nation's wide receivers a year ago. He's a shifty slot receiver, but he has shown the downfield ball skills (caught 64.7 percent of his deep attempts) to win on the outside as well. Thompson is good value in the third, as he can complement last year's second-round safety, Landon Collins. He ranked fifth in college safety grades in the class.

Day 3: Perkins was one of the best picks on Day 3 as he led all running backs with an elusive rating of 114.7. Adams was our second-rated tight end in the class as he's the top inline blocker with good speed and route running to stretch the seam. The Giants did a nice job with their late picks.


Grade: B-. Thumbs up. They got caught flat-footed in the first round when Tennessee and Chicago jumped them to take the guys they wanted, but they did the best they could with that pick, and cornerback Eli Apple should develop into a starter. They got a pair of likely immediate contributors in the second and third rounds with WR Sterling Shepard and safety Darian Thompson. And they spent Saturday adding to depth at positions where they have question marks -- linebacker, running back and tight end. In particular, fifth-round RB Paul Perkins looks as though he offers something the rest of the guys at his position group don't, and could come quickly. All in all, a Giants team that needs depth everywhere and needs to develop players better got a promising-looking crew. The only negative is that they didn't find an offensive lineman. -- Dan Graziano.