If one good development came out of the New York Giants being run off the field by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s that they’ve improved their standing in the 2022 NFL Draft.
In fact, the Giants managed to come away with a twofer as the Chicago Bears also narrowly lost to the Baltimore Ravens. Considering the Giants also hold the Bears’ 2022 first-round pick, they’ll welcome every Chicago loss.
Currently, both of the Giants picks are in the top 10, with the fifth overall pick being the Giants’ own pick, while the seventh overall pick was traded to the Giants in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Current Top-10 draft order
Based on the (projected) strengths of the upcoming draft, if the final draft order is relatively close to what it is now, the Giants could be in good position to address a few major needs on their roster.
In particular, the offensive line and EDGE positions stand out as areas of need could meet fantastic value. The Giants might luck into Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal falling to them at fifth overall, and it could even be possible that Oregon EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux drops to them — though I personally wouldn’t craft my draft strategy around either eventuality.
However, the Giants could certainly look to add Michigan EDGE Aiden Hutchinson with the fifth overall pick. That might have seemed rich at the start of the 2021 season, but he has played his way into a Top 10, and potentially Top 5 grade.
The Giants could also look to bolster their interior offensive line with the latter of their picks. At that spot, they could consider Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum or Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green. Both players are versatile plug-and-play starters on the offensive interior with the potential to be Pro Bowl or All-Pro players early in their careers.
Personally, I feel the wild card in all of this might be Notre Dame safety (or “safety”) Kyle Hamilton. Hamilton might be the best player in the country at the moment and has been described as “Ed Reed in a linebacker’s body”, or “Earl Thomas in Kam Chancellor’s body”. Put simply, Hamilton has the size to play a WILL linebacker’s role, but the athleticism and coverage ability to play the slot or deep center field.
Draft power rankings
Per Tankathon, the Giants also currently have the fourth most draft capital of any team in the NFL.
They currently hold the 5, 7, 39, 70, 72, 109, 149, 167, 185, and 226th overall picks. The only teams with more draft capital than them are the Jets, Lions, and Eagles — though that last could change if the Eagles’ continue to play well.
All that draft capital, including five of the first 75 picks, could go a long way toward helping the Giants move past their disappointing 2021 season.
The Giants invested heavily — surprisingly heavily — in the 2021 free agent class, and as a result are in danger of being right up against the salary cap in 2022. In fact, they might have to make cuts just to sign their draft class depending on what the final salary cap number is determined to be.
That could heavily constrain how they go about filling their immediate roster needs before the 2022 season, and perhaps even create some new holes. Fortunately, picks made in the first three rounds of the draft are generally expected to contribute early in their careers. That could set the Giants up for future success once the Cap starts to rise again and money comes off their books.
We’ll be keeping an eye on just how much draft capital the Giants have as the remainder of the year unfolds.