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Giants’ Day 3 picks: CB Julian Love, LB Ryan Connelly, WR Darius Slayton, CB Corey Ballentine, OT George Asafo-Adjei, DT Chris Slayton

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Breaking down the newest Giants

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants did not have to wait four hours to make their first pick on the third day of the draft. Instead, they only had to wait about 20 minutes to turn in the 108th pick and kick off the final day of their draft.

Round 7 (245th overall) - Chris Slayton (DT, Syracuse)

In a stunner, the Giants close out their draft by selecting a defensive tackle — Chris Slayton out of Syracuse.

Slayton is a 6-foot-4, 307-pound defensive tackle who profiles as a powerful one-gap penetrating interior lineman. A four-year starter, Slayton has been productive for Syracuse, getting 8 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble as a senior. Those numbers are representative of his sophomore and junior seasons as well. He is regarded as having work to do with his hand usage, and has upside if his technique improves.

Round 7 (232nd overall) - George Asafo-Adjei (OT, Kentucky)

The Giants finally drafted an offensive lineman in the seventh round with the selection Kentucky right tackle George Asafo-Adjei.

About Asafo_Adjei, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com says:

Asafo-Adjei entered the season graded as a priority free agent and may end up on the outside looking when all seven rounds are completed, but he’s a legitimate prospect for the next level. Asafo-Adjei possesses the size, fundamentals and feel for blocking that could help him make an active roster as an inexpensive utility lineman.

At 6-foot-412 inches and 305 pounds, Asafo-Adjei has solid size for a utility backup, and plenty of experience in a run-first offense blocking for Kentucky running back Benny Snell. Asafo-Adjei isn’t a great athlete, but he shows the ability to absorb rushes and moves reasonably well within his range.

Round 6 (180th overall) - Corey Ballentine (CB, Washburn)

When informing Julian Love of that he would be a Giant, Pat Shurmur said that the Giants were making over the defense. At the very least they are making over the cornerback position by taking their third corner of the draft — fourth if you include Sam Beal, on whom they used their third round pick over the summer.

Ballentine out of small-school Washburn will likely be a developmental player, but he has intriguing traits that are worth developing. Ballentine was the third most athletic corner at the Combine and landed in the 95.5 percentile of SPARQ among NFL corners.

Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network notes that Ballentine has the movement skills, athleticism, ball skills, and instincts to develop as both a press-man and zone corner. He also likes Ballentine’s physicality as a run defender and believes he can contribute as a special teams player while he develops as a defender. [Scouting Report]

Round 5 (171st overall) - Darius Slayton (WR, Auburn)

It took a while, but the Giants finally got back around to the offensive side of the ball.

The Giants desperately needed a player who could add a vertical element back into their offense, and Slayton does just that. He was one of the most explosive receivers at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.39 second 40-yard dash, posting 40 12 inch vertical, and an 11-foot-3 inch broad jump.

Slayton ran a limited route tree in the Auburn offense, but he separated easily from press coverage, has the speed to stretch a defense, the ability to create after the catch, and is a big play threat — he has six touchdowns of more than 50 yards since 2017.

Slayton shows good to great ball skills when the ball is in the air, but inconsistent hands to secure the catch and suffers from concentration drops.

Round 5 (143rd overall) - Ryan Connelly, LB, Wisconsin

Giants fans have been screaming for the Giants to add a linebacker, but the Giants waited until the fifth round to answer the call.

Ryan Connelly has sky-high intangibles as a former walk-on who pushed for a starting job through his work ethic and football IQ.

He tested as an average athlete as a linebacker, but showed a limited range in the middle of the field in coverage in college and allowed a 71.4 completion percentage per Sports Info Solutions. Connelly is willing coming downhill as a run defender and blitzer with 177 tackles and 21 tackles for a loss over the last two years.

Connelly did not land on the Big Blue View Big Board and will likely begin his career as a special teams player while he tries to work his way up the depth chart.

Round 4 (108th overall) - Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

The Giants wasted little time in turning in their card and making Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love the newest Giant.

Love is an average sized corner at 5-foot-103/4, 195 pounds with the upside to play both inside at the slot and outside. He should be a good fit in James Bettcher’s coverage scheme, showing good technique, physicality, instincts, and ball skills in man coverage. Love only has four interceptions in the last two years, but he has an impressive 131 tackles and 36 passes defensed over that span. Love might be best playing close to the line of scrimmage as modest long speed could get him in trouble with faster receivers, but his ability to disrupt routes early helps keep receivers under control.

This pick presents a solid value by the Big Blue View Big Board, with Love graded as a second-round talent.

Love is (technically) the third cornerback drafted by the Giants this year, and should immediately challenge Grant Haley for the starting slot corner job.