New York, NY—With all the analytics out there, some NFL teams still get the draft and evaluation process wrong. I must say, the Giants with their collective team and effort got the 2022 draft right.
Joe Shoen On The Draft: It went pretty much how I would plan it to go. The only difficult part was with the players being in here two weeks early with the next head coach. So our schedule when we typically would have had an uninterrupted meetings for a week or two with the coaches involved, those days were a little choppy. We had to move our schedule around.
Overall, the process will stay the same that we had this year. It will start now. May and June, we’ll already start looking at the players for next season, and our scouts have already gotten a list of the Top-5 UFAs, Top-5 players from their areas. Next week, I may take a week, but we’ll start looking down the road what the players look like through free agency and the draft next week.
The Giants’ offense was ranked 31st last year with an average of 17.5, and later in the season, they average 19.9, which put them 24th in the NFL. The offensive unit was also 31st in yards last season, with an average of 299 per game, and they struggled heavily throwing the football downfield. GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll made a conscientious effort to improve in four areas (Edge Rusher, Linebacker, Center, and Guard) for the draft and they exceeded their expectations.
The G-Men needed to surround more talent on the offensive line for Daniel Jones and keep their 6’5 quarterback upright. The Giants did just that, with the 7th pick in the first round and 67th in the third round, they selected big bodies Evan Neal (T) out of Alabama and Joshua Ezeudu (G) from North Carolina. Both linemen are very athletic, agile and nasty coming off the ball. Both are expected to contribute right away.
With LT Andrew Thomas holding it down on the left side, Neal on the opposite side mixed in with his teammate Marcus McKethan (G) would be a nice compliment.
Saquon Barkley must be the happiest man in a Giants’ uniform. McKethan is 6-foot-6 and 340 pounds. He started 25 games the past two seasons for UNC, all at the right guard position. His great size and length make him a powerful run blocker and that is music to Barkley’s ear.
The Giants recorded 34 sacks last season; Leonard Williams did not play as well as he did in 2020, but he still had a decent season in 2021, starting all 17 games (76 percent of defensive snaps) and finishing with 74 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hits, two pass defenses, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. This was a step down from his career-season in 2020 where he finished with 11.5 sacks, 30 quarterback hits, and 14 tackles for a loss. Williams was the sixth player taken overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. The G-Men acquired Williams by trade from the in late October 2019.
The Giants signed Jihad Ward as an unrestricted free agent from the Jacksonville Jaguars in March 2022. The G-Men drafted the 6’4 and 250 pound Kayvon Thibodeaux from Oregon (1 round,5th pick), Thibodeaux is a problem in between the tackles. Thibodeaux motor doesn’t stop and he makes a lot of plays from the backside pursuit.
“I would say the music has just been hitting differently,’’ Thibodeaux said after taking pictures with GM Joe Schoen, head coach Brian Daboll, Thibodeaux’s mother, Shawnta Smith. “So that’s why my voice is gone because I’ve been singing along and singing my heart out. But just enjoying it. Trying to be in the moment.’’
- Round 1, Pick No. 5: —Kayvon Thibodeaux-DE (Oregon)
- Round 1, Pick No. 7: —Evan Neal-T (Alabama)
- Round 2, Pick No. 43:-Wan’Dale Robinson-WR (Kentucky)
- Round 3, Pick No. 67: —Joshua Ezeudu-G (North Carolina)
- Round 3, Pick No. 81: —Cordale Flott-DB (Louisiana State)
- Round 4, Pick No. 112: —Daniel Bellinger-TE (SDSU)
- Round 4, Pick No. 114:—Dane Belton-S (Iowa)
- Round 5, Pick No. 146: —Micah McFadden- LB (Indiana)
- Round 5, Pick No. 147: —D.J. Davidson-DT (Arizona State)
- Round 5, Pick No. 173:—Marcus McKethan-G (UNC)
- Round 6, Pick No. 182: —Darrian Beavers-LB (Cincinnati)
The Giants drafted Micah McFadden from Indiana in the 5th round with the 146th pick. At 6-1 and 240 pounds, McFadden brings a lunch pale approach, leadership, and productivity to the field. Giants are certain that he is a player you can put on the field right away and will automatically produce results.
“Yeah, somebody I definitely look up to and admire his game and the way he plays and just what he’s done over the past few years,” McFadden told reporters on Saturday regarding Martinez. “Really excited to learn from him and just getting in the locker room and the linebacker room with him and I think we’re tied up with the same agency. So that’s pretty cool as well. I’m just really excited to learn from a player like him.”
With the No. 182 overall pick in the sixth round, Big Blue selected Darrian Beavers out of Cincinnati. When you turn on the tape, the No.0 is over field making tackles from sidelines to sidelines. He had 102 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss for the Bearcats.
“I’m excited to come to New York. I’ve been there two or three times. New York City is a blessing. It will be nice to compete against Gardner and here in New York, we’ll have something that we will have to catch up sometime,” Beavers told reporters on Saturday.
The Giants signed Mark Glowinski as an unrestricted free agent from the Colts in March 2022. The 6’4”, 310-pound guard was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Indianapolis claimed him off of waivers in December 2017. Glowinski has played in 95 regular-season games with 74 starts.
The G-Men outdid themselves this year at this position. Big Blue selected North Carolina offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu with the 67th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Ezeudu was projected to be a Day 3 selection but the Giants were committed to build a fortress around Daniels and give him all the opportunities to be successful this coming season.
“It’s very surreal,” Ezeudu said of being drafted. “You think about it so much, but until it actually happens, it kind of shocks you. I was speechless. As soon as I heard my name called, I just let it all out.”