Todd McShay of ESPN gives the New York Giants a cornerback and a wide receiver in his newest mock draft, a two-rounder. McShay, though, does not necessarily select players for the Giants you might expect.
Let’s take a look.
Round 1 (No. 25) — Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
Expected a receiver? I nearly went with Addison here. But there are other needs, including cornerback, and receiver can be addressed later. Adoree’ Jackson, Darnay Holmes, Amani Oruwariye and Bobby McCain are only under contract through 2023, and the Giants tied the Raiders for fewest interceptions in the NFL last season with six. That’s how many Forbes had on his own at Mississippi State in 2022! And he picked off 14 passes over three seasons, including six returned for touchdowns.
Forbes is lean at 6-foot-1 and 166 pounds, but he has great speed and fantastic instincts in coverage. The Giants blitzed more than any other team last season (42.0%) but didn’t have many ballhawks in the secondary to take advantage. Forbes would feast on mistakes forced by that pressure.
I just haven’t been able to get past the fact that Forbes weighs only 166 pounds. Maybe I need to, though, because Forbes has everything else defensive coordinator Wink Martindale and the Giants would want.
Athletically, Forbes has length, speed, short area quickness and explosion. He showcases tremendous instincts and ball skills. If he weren’t so slight he might be the first cornerback selected in the upcoming draft.
Among the players McShay leaves on the board to select Forbes are wide receivers Jordan Addison and Jalin Hyatt, and cornerbacks Deonte Banks, Kelee Ringo and Julius Brents.
Round 2 (No. 57) — Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
The Giants went another route in Round 1, but they aren’t bypassing the receiver need here. Downs is undersized at 5-foot-9 and plays out of the slot, where New York already has plenty of options. But he plays with explosion and changes directions really well in the open field. Downs put together back-to-back seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards and can help Daniel Jones right out of the gate.
Downs is a slightly built player at 5-foot-9⅛, 171 pounds who I have really not given much thought to for the Giants during the draft process. He has 4.48 40-yard dash speed (63rd percentile) and a 93rd percentile 10-yard split (1.49) that should help him get open.
33rd Team says:
Downs is a very good athlete with very good quickness and good speed. He does a great job using his feet to get in and out of his routes and is a good route runner. He can stick his foot in the ground and cut to shake defenders. He has very good hands and is a natural hands catcher. He can align both in the slot as well as outside despite his lack of size.
Downs has big play ability and can run by his defender on go routes. He has great feel and awareness to get open on broken plays finding the quarterback’s line of vision. He has very good leaping ability and body control. Downs does a great job contorting his body and adjusting to the ball in the air. Due to his size, he is not going to win many 50/50 balls but he shows good toughness in contested catch situations and can make them now and again.
Overall, Downs is a natural receiver with hands and route-running ability. He does not possess the elite speed you hope to see for a guy his size, but his quickness makes him an asset.
Something else to keep in mind is that GM Joe Schoen showed a propensity last year to draft players he has watched in person. He watched North Carolina a couple of times, and drafted both Joshua Ezeudu and Marcus McKethan. That means he has seen Downs up close. That’s just something to keep in mind.
In case you are wondering, centers Joe Tippmann (42nd, New York Jets) and John Michael Schmitz (47th, Washington Commanders) are off the board.
Interesting players McShay bypassed to select Downs include Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson and Ole Miss wide receiver Jonathan Mingo.
Your thoughts on McShay’s haul for New York, Giants fans?