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NFL Draft grades: Giants draw universal praise after Round 1

There is widespread agreement that Giants GM Joe Schoen hit a home run in the first round of his first-ever draft as a general manager

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NFL Combine
Joe Schoen
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

NFL Draft grades for Round 1 are in. New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen is drawing universal praise after picking edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux at No. 5 and offensive tackle Evan Neal at No. 1 in Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Yours truly wrote Thursday night that “Schoen worked the first round of his first NFL draft like a chess Grandmaster.”

Giants fans overwhelmingly approved of the selection of Thibodeaux, with 78 percent (1,556) of the 1,991 who voted in our poll giving the pick an A. The selection of Neal at No. 7 was even more popular with the fan base. Of 2,190 voters in that poll, 96 percent (2,096) gave the pick an A. The other 4 percent gave the pick a B. There were zero C, D or F grades.

The mood was summed up by these videos from the Giants drafty party at MetLife Stadium:

How others grade the draft

Let’s scour the Inter-Google and see how others grade the Giants’ Round 1 work.

ESPN/Mel Kiper: The Giants are in Kiper’s ‘Winners’ category, and he said Thursday night was “a huge win for New York” and that the Giants “got two really great players.”

Bleacher Report: Both selections received A+ grades here. BR wrote:

The board couldn’t have set up better for the New York Giants. First, they chose the highest-rated player in the class with the Kayvon Thibodeaux selection. Neal’s addition might even be better simply because he’s the top-rated offensive tackle, per Bleacher Report’s Scouting Department. The Giants desperately needed to upgrade their offensive line, which trumped every other need. The Giants got an A grade from Reuter, who called the selections of Thibodeaux and Neal “two home run picks.”

FOX Sports: FOX gave both picks A grades and said “the Giants have completely revamped the line of scrimmage.”

Pro Football Focus: PFF called the selection of Thibodeaux “very good” and the selection of Neal “good.”

The Athletic: Both picks received A grades, with Sheil Kapadia writing “this couldn’t have worked out much better for the Giants.”

DraftKings Nation: A- for Thibodeaux, A for Neal.

The Ringer: Both selections rated an A+. Danny Kelly wrote that “New Giants GM Joe Schoen just pulled off what I’d consider a dream scenario in his first draft with the team, grabbing Thibodeaux with his first of two first-rounders and following up with a top-tier offensive tackle.”

SB Nation: The Thibodeaux choice received a B+ (boooooooooooo!!!) and the Neal selection an A-.