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2022 NFL Draft: Which tight ends are right for the Giants?

We know they have to draft at least one

NFL Combine
Jeremy Ruckert
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The New York Giants are making over their tight end position. The three players who took the vast majority of snaps a year ago are gone. Evan Engram is in Jacksonville. Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith are still looking for work.

The Giants added journeyman tight end Ricky Seals-Jones in free agency, but still have work to do in order to fill out the position. What, though, are the Giants looking for? A pure pass-catching tight end they can use as a big slot receiver or a movable chess piece? A traditional inline tight end? An H-Back? Some combination of the above?

The Giants have a new GM in Joe Schoen, new head coach in Brian Daboll and new offensive coordinator in Mike Kafka. We have no real way of knowing what the Giants are actually going to be asking from their tight ends.

Let’s discuss the possibilities, anyway.

The current depth chart

Starter: Ricky Seals-Jones

Backups: Jake Hausmann, Rysen John, Chris Myarick

The Giants signed Seals-Jones, and he is hungry for what looks like it could be his first starting opportunity in his sixth NFL season.

“I’ve always been the 2 or 3 guy,” Seals-Jones said when I asked him about the depth chart in New York. “For me to have an opportunity to come in and fight for the 1 spot is good.”

It is good for him as he has only started 15 games over five seasons. Is it good for the Giants? Maybe. Maybe not. It definitely speaks to the fact that there is a need to supplement the position in the draft.

2022 Draft class

Round 1 possibilities

[Using the consensus big board from the NFL Mock Draft Database]

None

Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) possibilities

Trey McBride, Colorado State [Prospect profile]
Greg Dulcich, UCLA [Prospect profile]
Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State [Prospect profile]
Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina [Prospect profile]
Cade Otton, Washington [Prospect profile]
Jelani Woods, Virginia [Prospect profile]

McBride is TE1 for most analysts, with the NFL Mock Draft Database currently ranking him as the draft’s No. 51 prospect. He is TE1 for both Dane Brugler of The Athletic and Matt Waldman of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio. Is he value at No. 36 or, if the Giants like him should they hope to find McBride available at No. 67 or No. 81 in Round 3?

Dulcich, Otton and Ruckert could all be versatile options with varying degrees of pass catching and blocking skill and experience. If the Giants are looking for more of an Evan Engram type, Likely is their guy.

Day 3 (Rounds 4-6) possibilities

Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M [Prospect profile]
Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin [Prospect profile]
Daniel Bellinger, San Diego State
Grant Calcaterra, SMU
Cole Turner, Nevada [Prospect profile]
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Maryland

Kolar is an intriguing player. He isn’t outstanding in any one area, except perhaps route running. He does a little of everything, though, and is a productive player.

Waldman says:

Kolar is neither sudden nor speedy, but he’s a skilled route runner with reliable hands. His blocking needs work, but there’s enough skill in this part of his game that he could play right away as an H-Back or work his way into a starting position within a year or two as an in-line option. If the team that drafts Kolar uses him in a spread offense where he can find holes in opposing zones, he could become a high-volume contributor.

Okonkwo is an under-sized but athletic developmental prospect with some intriguing athletic ability.

Giants 2022 draft picks

Round 1 (No. 5)
Round 1 (No. 7)
Round 2 (No. 36)
Round 3 (No. 67)
Round 3 (No. 81)
Round 4 (No. 112)
Round 5 (No. 147)
Round 5 (No. 173)
Round 6 (No. 182)

Final thoughts

The Giants almost have to address tight end at some point on the second or third day of the draft, maybe even with more than one pick. Who they select might tell us a lot about what Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka want from the position.