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NFL Draft grades: Fans, analysts approve of Giants’ draft

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Let’s check the grades

NFL: New York Giants-Saquon Barkley Press Conference Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was happy with the haul the team collected in the 2018 NFL Draft, saying in his post-draft presser “Has any GM ever sat in this presser and said we just drafted crap? No. I’m thrilled. I felt like we did really well.”

Giants fans appear to agree.

In our poll asking fans to grade the draft, 56 percent (4,074) of the 7,245 voters gave the draft an ‘A.’ Thirty-eight percent (2,737 voters) graded the draft as a ‘B.’ Only 1 percent (42 voters) gave the draft class a failing grade.

Let’s see how analysts around the Inter-Google feel about Gettleman’s first draft as Giants’ GM.

NFL draft grades - Mel Kiper on all 32 teams picks in 2018
New York Giants: B

Top needs: Guard, quarterback, linebacker

You can love the player but question the pick. That's the issue with Saquon Barkley at No. 2. I always say to look for running backs after Round 1. That's where the value is. Look at last year. Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon went in Round 2, and Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara went in Round 3. Those are fantastic three-down backs with much smaller contracts than Barkley. Barkley will probably be great -- and the Giants haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2012 -- but he's taking handoffs from a 37-year-old quarterback in Eli Manning, who has been objectively pretty bad in recent years for long stretches. So that's why I would have gone with Sam Darnold here. Get the quarterback who's going to take Eli's place because the Giants don't pick this early ever.

Again, though, I like the pick of Will Hernandez at the top of the second round (pick 34). He's going to help pave the way for Barkley, and he fills a need after losses in free agency. Lorenzo Carter (66) is a good outside linebacker who is a fit in New York's new 3-4 defense. I thought he could sneak into the top 40 picks after he ran a 4.50 40 at the combine. He's not a true pass-rusher, but he could play inside. B.J. Hill (69) is a powerful nose tackle who started 44 games at NC State.

Grabbing Kyle Lauletta at No. 108 is good value, but he doesn't have an NFL arm at this point. He's a touch passer, and he has to get stronger. He's going to compete with last year's third-round pick Davis Webb to back up Manning, and maybe the Giants will find their quarterback of the future there after a couple of years of development. RJ McIntosh (139) was one of my favorite underrated players, and he could be a steal. He's quick and athletic, and he has a motor. He'll probably play end.

Again, I'm not going to crush GM Dave Gettleman's first draft in charge of the Giants. I like the players he got, and we clearly have a different philosophy.

2018 NFL Draft Winners, Losers: Packers, Giants, Browns score big while Rosen is a win for Cardinals - CBSSports.com

I banged on Dave Gettleman for using the second-overall pick on a running back Thursday and I still think you are smarter to go with positional value, but I understand why the Giants GM wants to stick to his board and take the best player available. You have to respect that sensibility. It makes more sense to grab Barkley when the Giants plan is viewed as a whole -- adding Will Hernandez in the second round gives them a nice left side of the line when you pair him with Nate Solder. Adding Lorenzo Carter, the pass rusher out of Georgia, gives them an injection of speed, and B.J. Hill will make an impact rushing the passer from the interior of the defensive line. If he hits on Kyle Lauletta, the fourth-round quarterback out of Richmond, there's going to be some ring smooching going on in the greater Tri-State Area.

NFL Draft grades 2018: Who won the draft? - SBNation.com

The New York Giants are in win now mode, and they got some players in this draft that will help them do it. At second overall, the Giants took running back Saquon Barkley as expected. Having him along with Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard at receiver gives the Giants one of the best groups of offensive playmakers in the NFL.

The Giants got another big impact player in the second round with UTEP guard Will Hernandez. He’s an immediate starter for the Giants and will open holes for Barkley.

Edge defender Lorenzo Carter is a raw athlete with great movement skills. His production never matched his athleticism because he needs to get stronger. But if he’s developed properly, he can be a star. He should be a solid player on special teams as well. North Carolina State defensive tackle B.J. Hill can play over the nose and stuff the run. He could push for the starting job next to Damon Harrison.

Quarterback Kyle Lauletta, taken in the fourth round, is a nice developmental choice. He moves around the pocket well, and can read a defense. He’s a good system fit with head coach Pat Shurmur.

Grade: A-

WalterFootball.com: 2018 NFL Offseason Page - New York Giants - Team Needs, Season Preview, Free Agents, Salary Cap

NFL Draft Team Grade: A Grade

Goals Entering the 2018 NFL Draft: The Giants have lots of holes and are transitioning into a new defensive scheme, so it would be in their best interest to trade down. Being able to pick up a 2019 first-round pick from the Bills, for example, would be a tremendous move. Otherwise, New York absolutely has to bolster its offensive line so that its next quarterback is well protected.

2018 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Giants general manager David Gettleman told the media he didn't listen to any trades for the No. 2 overall pick, as he was dead set on picking Saquon Barkley. I think this was a mistake. The Giants had tons of needs heading into the draft, and Gettleman could've obtained tons of draft capital in the process.

The lack of trading aside, the Giants had a terrific haul in this class. Barkley is a Marshall Faulk-type projection, and he'll transform the offense entirely. Will Hernandez should be an effective replacement for the departed Justin Pugh, and he'll blast open some huge lanes for Barkley. Lorenzo Carter was a steal atop Round 3, as he easily could've gone a frame earlier. He'll help the Giants generate a pass rush despite the departure of Jason Pierre-Paul.

New York's final three grades were all B+ or higher. The team added two talented linemen for the new 3-4 defense in B.J. Hill and R.J. McIntosh, both of whom could've been chosen earlier than where they were taken. Meanwhile, quarterback Kyle Lauletta has the potential to one day become a starter in the NFL. He was a steal in Round 4.

It's clear that the Giants are headed in the right direction with Gettleman running the show. Thus, despite his reluctance to trade, I have to give the Giants a high grade.