The New York Giants just never “clicked” on offense in 2016. There were a few reasons for it, lack of execution, an offensive line that just wasn’t consistently good enough in run blocking or pass protection, and not enough diversity in their types of receiving options.
The Giants’ receivers are all “small” and quick, able to separate in a flash and break off chunks of yardage on soft coverage. Will Tye is thick and fast, but he doesn’t present the height mismatch that tight ends normally do. Jerell Adams is big and athletic, but he came into the league as a blocking tight end who is unpolished in the passing game.
The Giants need a player who can bring more than one dimension to their offense, and a “complete” tight end could solve that problem. Dan Kadar of Mocking The Draft used the Giants’ 23rd overall pick to select Alabama’s O.J. Howard to address that need.
23rd Overall New York Giants - O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama)
After a good showing at the Senior Bowl, Howard’s stock may be on the rise, but it was still difficult to find a spot for him before this pick. That’s good news for the Giants, who would get a good all-around tight end and safety valve for Eli Manning.
Raptor’s Take: After being one of the stars of Senior Bowl week, I can’t really argue with this pick if the Giants go this way. Howard answered more than a few questions about his receiving ability and showed up as a blocker as well.
Personally, given the dearth of starter-quality offensive tackles in this draft, I think I would rather see the Giants take Ryan Ramczyk (OT, Wisconsin) or Antonio Garcia (OT, Troy) considering both are available, then pick up a tight end in the second round such as Evan Engram of Ole Miss or Bucky Hodges from Virginia Tech. But, as I said, I get the pick and I wouldn’t grumble too loudly.
Though I do think the drop in talent from Howard to Hodges/Engram is not as great as from Garcia/Ramczyk to Moton/Bisnowaty.