Peter King, the dean of NFL sportswriters, wrote in his ‘Football Morning in America’ column on Monday that he believes the New York Giants “don’t want to make” both the picks they are scheduled to have in the top 10 of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Here is how King’s top 10 worked out for the Giants:
No. 5 — Ikem Ekwonu, T, North Carolina State
The legend is true: Accepted at Harvard and Yale, chose to go to the better football school. One of the brightest players to enter the draft in years, the athletic Ekwonu would be the kind of perfect piece to continue a crucial Giants’ rebuild on the line. A tandem of Andrew Thomas and Ekwonu at left and right tackle — if Thomas continues his progress (two sacks alowed in 800 snaps in 2021) — could give Daniel Jones a real chance to show he deserves the Giants’ QB job.
7) Los Angeles Chargers (trade with New York Giants)
Charles Cross, T, Mississippi
Chargers deal the 17th pick in this draft, plus 2023 first- and sixth-round picks, for this choice. Wild guess on my part. Giants don’t want to make this pick — they want an extra first-rounder in 2023 in case they need ammo to go get a quarterback, or simply for depth in a draft likely to be stronger in the first round. The Chargers want a long-term starter opposite young Rashawn Slater. Works for both teams — except the Giants certainly would prefer dealing for a worse team’s top pick in 2023. The Chargers’ pick could be in the mid-twenties or lower. The Giants could also try to engage Pittsburgh (20th overall this year) if the Steelers are quarterback-smitten … because Pittsburgh would likely have a better first-round pick in 2023 than the Chargers would.
Valentine’s View: Just a “wild guess” on my part, but I would say it’s likely that King’s wild guess has some intel behind it. Maybe the Giants make both of their picks at Nos. 5 and 7, maybe they don’t.
Trading out of one of the two picks for added draft capital, especially including a 2023 first-round pick, makes too much sense for the Giants not to believe it is something GM Joe Schoen will consider.
King has the Giants moving down to No. 17 and getting first- and sixth-round picks from the Chargers next year. Love the first-round pick, but I would want more than a 2023 sixth-rounder for moving back that far.
As for the pick of Ekwonu, you’re never going to hear me complain about that. As an FYI, Sauce Gardner went No. 4 to the New York Jets in King’s mini-mock.