Throughout the draft process we have kept an eye on the pool of players from which the New York Giants could be drafting at 23rd overall.
Tonight they will finally make that pick and put all the suspicion and speculation to bed.
During the lead-up to the draft we’ve looked at a variety of offensive and defensive prospects who could both be on the board and of interest to the Giants when their turn comes to be on the clock tonight.
This is the final list for the first round.
- Ryan Ramczyk (OT, Wisconsin) [Prospect Profile]
- Cam Robinson (OT, Alabama) [Prospect Profile]
- Garett Bolles (OT, Utah) [Prospect Profile]
These three we’ll treat as a group, because the justification is the same for all of them. One of the expectations throughout the draft process is that if the Giants’ can’t get an offensive or defensive play-maker that they like, they will take the highest-rated lineman on their board. Each of these players could be the top player at their position group in the draft, but each also comes with warts.
Ramczyk is an efficient lineman with good strength, good pass protection, and is a nasty run blocker. However, he only has one year of experience a the highest level and is coming off a hip surgery.
Robinson is a big, long, and strong mauler of an offensive tackle. He is not only the youngest of the three but also the most experienced, with three years of starting experience in the SEC. But while he has the ability to beat even top competition, Robinson is also inconsistent.
Bolles is the most athletic tackle in the draft and plays with a nasty demeanor. However, he will be old for a rookie at 25 while also being undersized at 297 pounds. He has work to do with his technique, but his athleticism and attitude give him potential upside. Speculation that Bolles is the guy the Giants prefer has been heating up.
- Forrest Lamp (OL, Western Kentucky) [Prospect Profile]
Lamp is the best, and cleanest, lineman in the draft. Lamp has the athleticism to play on the edges, but his build and strength are almost tailor made for the interior. There are evaluators who believe that Lamp could play any position on the line, though he might excel in the interior.
- David Njoku (TE, Miami)
- Evan Engram (TE, Ole Miss)
The Giants expressed early interest in adding an athletic play-making tight end. Njoku and Engram are two of the most explosive play-makers in the draft, and fit the mold for what the Giants look for in their pass catchers. Engram is closer to wide receiver than tight end, but leaped off the screen wherever he played. Njoku is, pound-for- pound, the most athletic tight end in the draft, with a massive catch radius and is just scratching the surface of his potential.
- Jordan Willis (DE, Kansas State) [Prospect Profile]
The Giants know they played Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul far too much last year. They also know that they need to do a better job of converting pressure into sacks. Willis is uncommonly athletic for a defensive end, with the kind of measurables that are usually associated with a top ten (or five) pick. That athleticism was largely masked by a conservative defense that rarely turned him loose. Willis is a good run defender and improved each year at Kansas State as a pass rusher.
- T.J. Watt (EDGE, Wisconsin) [Prospect Profile]
Jerry Reese and Giants have been trying to add a player like Watt to Steve Spagnuolo’s defense since drafting Clint Sintim in 2009. Since that year they have tried several players as a pass rushing “SAM” player who can add an athletic player to send on blitzes. Watt has injury concerns that might knock him down the Giants’ board, but after just 18 months playing defense he is already being compared to Clay Matthews. He has a similar work ethic to his older brother, and T.J. plays with an undeniable energy.
- Tyus Bowser (OLB, Houston) [Prospect Profile]
Prior to the 2016 draft, the Giants were well known to be very interested in Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd. Floyd’s combination of length, athleticism, pass rushing ability, and coverage ability could have made him dynamic in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. Bowser has many of the same traits and is one of the most athletic defenders in the draft. Bowser also fits many of the Giants’ tendencies in the first round.
- Zach Cunningham (OLB, Vanderbilt) [Prospect Profile]
Cunningham could be the Giants’ “fallback” option if the board just doesn’t fall their way. Cunningham is a natural WILL who would be an asset in coverage, and doesn’t hesitate to come down-hill in run support. He could thrive behind the Giants’ stout defensive line and help lock down receiving backs and tight ends.