Good morning, New York Giants fans!
“ ... it’s my belief that both the best and the most unique overall player in the 2022 draft is the same guy — Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. The three-year star and two-year starter for the Fighting Irish will likely go in the top 10 — perhaps higher — but you’ll have to find a top executive who believes that in this era, the safety position is as important as any on the field.
It’s not yet a common thought. I recently asked Daniel Jeremiah, who heads draft coverage for the NFL Network, calls games for the Los Angeles Chargers, and has spent time in NFL front offices, about this schism between value and perception.
“To me, there’s a real debate going on around the league about just how high you take safeties,” Jeremiah said, regarding the position, and Hamilton specifically. “I’m a little more biased in favor of them. You know, calling the Chargers games for the last four years and seeing every game that Derwin James has played there and the impact that position can make, and think back to my time with the Baltimore Ravens and seeing what Ed Reed could do.
“So, I don’t necessarily agree with the conventional wisdom on that, of how high you take a safety. I think this kid is pretty unique. He’s so tall and long and rangy. The ability to make plays from the deep middle as well as to drop down and play down low and be a physical player, he can erase tight ends.”
New York Giants
Round 1: No. 5 overall -- Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Round 1: No. 7 overall -- Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Even if they trade down from one of their two top-10 picks (one received from the Bears on a 2021 draft-day trade), the Giants will meet two crucial needs early in the draft. Neal is a logical choice to step in at right tackle (where he played in 2020) to replace Nate Solder. It will be interesting to see whether the Giants have more interest in Stingley or "Sauce" at cornerback; I'll say Gardner gets the nod, due to his length and physical nature.
In case you missed it
- Ed’s mock draft 7.0: Exploring a trade down with the New Orleans Saints
- Making the case: The Day 2 receiver the Giants should draft is...
- Big Blue View mailbag: Kadarius Toney, and a host of draft questions
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