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2022 NFL Draft: Who will Giants add to young edge group?

Giants haven’t drafted a premier pass rusher since JPP in 2010, will that change on Thursday?

NFL Combine
Kayvon Thibodeaux
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The New York Giants drafted Jason Pierre-Paul 15th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. They have not drafted or developed a true front-line pas rusher since.

Will they do it this year, when they have the fifth and seventh overall picks in the draft and there should be at least one or two of the top-tier edge players available to them?

They might, and that would certainly be understandable. If they do not trade down and make both top-10 picks, this could be an indication of what the organization believes is more important for Wink Martindale’s pressure-heavy defense — a top-tier defensive back or a potentially dominant edge defender.

The current depth chart

Starters: Azeez Ojulari, Quincy Roche

Reserves: Elerson Smith, Oshane Ximines, Cam Brown, Niko Lalos, Jihad Ward

Azeez Ojulari, the 2021, second-round pick, had 8.0 sacks as a rookie and showed he will be a nice piece to build with. Quincy Roche and Elerson Smith might be useful players. Cam Brown is a special teams player.

The Giants need more. Let’s look at the draft class and see where they might find it.

2022 draft class

Round 1 possibilities

[Via the NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board]

Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon [Prospect profile]
Travon Walker, Georgia [Prospect profile]
Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State [Prospect profile]
George Karlaftis, Purdue [Prospect profile]
David Ojabo, Michigan [Prospect profile]

Hutchinson and Walker figure to be gone, maybe in the first two picks, before the Giants are on the clock. Are they put off by Thibodeaux’s personality? Do they believe Johnson can develop into an impact pass rusher, something he really wasn’t in college?

Perhaps we will find out.

Day 2 (Round 2-3) possibilities

Boye Mafe, Minnesota [Prospect profile]
Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State [Prospect profile]
Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma [Prospect profile]
Cameron Thomas, San Diego State
Drake Jackson, USC
Josh Paschal, Kentucky
Kingsley Enegbare, South Carolina [Prospect profile]
Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati [Prospect profile]
Sam Williams, Mississippi
DeAngelo Malone, Western Kentucky

Boye Mafe and Arnold Ebiketie could be interesting options if the Giants want to address the edge at No. 36 in round. So, too, could Ojabo if he falls that far after his Pro Day Achilles tendon tear.

Day 3 (Round 4-6) possibilities

Alex Wright, UAB
Dominique Robinson, Miami (OH)
Michael Clemons, Texas A&M
Tyreke Smith, Ohio State
Isaiah Thomas, Oklahoma
Amare Barno, Virginia Tech
Christopher Allen, Alabama
Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina

To me, you might find depth and special teams ability here. I’m not sure you find a difference-making pass rusher on Day 3.