NFL 2018 Draft Review – Giants Get Top NFC Grade
NFL Draft 2018 Review – all 32 Teams Evaluated for the NFL Draft & Free Agency with Training Camp Forecasts – Available Now – Free for Full Subscribers
The Giants received our top grade among NFC clubs for the NFL Draft Review. Giant new GM Dave Gettleman did a great job in his first season rebuilding the faltering flagship franchise after a personnel drought in the NFL Draft. Though he had only six selections after trades, he held his position with his early selections the 2nd overall pick in each round. Gettleman resisted all offers for the #2 overall pick and selected the prospect he earmarked right from the start – runner Saquon Barkley. He has immediate impact ability in this offense, featuring Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepherd and Evan Ingram. They could be a dominant quartet working with Eli Manning behind a rebuilt line. Giants hope to use this NFL Draft and free agent classes back to playoff contention.
Frank Coyle/ Head Scout
New York Giants – 3-13- Head Coach Pat Shurmur – 1st Year
2018 Rookie Draft Class
1 2 Saquon Barkley RB Penn St
2 34 Will Hernandez G UTEP
3 66 Lorenzo Carter LB Georgia
3 69 B.J. Hill DT N.C. St
4 108 Kyle Lauletta QB Richmond
5 139 R.J. McIntosh DT Miami (Fl)
The Giants addressed pressing issues on both sides of the ball with their top four selections. They add six picks after trades and held four of the top 69 choices. They retained the #2 overall pick despite a few offers to move up in the top ten selections.
They were enthralled with tailback Saquon Barkley right from the beginning and chose the blue-chip back with their first pick. Barkley is highly developed and capable of being a three down starter day one. He will give the Giants an impact weapon to join wideouts Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and TE Evan Engram to form a super potent quartet. Barkley is capable of 1200 yards rushing and 75+ receptions. He has that type of talent and level of development to produce at those levels. He opens up this offense tremendously and forces free safeties to give him attention that can open up coverage vs Beckham and Engram. Maybe the best Giant #1 pick since Eli Manning. He gives them an impact weapon with rare sub 4.35 speed to run the seam and break plays after the catch. His openfield running skills were not fully tapped as a collegian and he is capable of providing another fast option for Eli Manning.
On the 2nd round, they chose guard Will Hernandez, a powerful tough blocker with good footwork. He graded out high at every stage, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and workouts to backup his fine on field performance. He is projected to start at left guard to replace departed vet Justin Pugh. Hernandez couples in new vet LT Nate Solder to form a potentially powerful leftside. With two 3rd round picks, they added LB Lorenzo Carter and DL B.J. Hill. LB Carter is an awesome athlete who came on strong in 2017 to elevate his grade. He actually tested out better than Tremaine Edmunds in virtually every event at the NFL Combine and was selected with the 16th overall choice. He projects to an attack backer role and figures to push for time in a rotation of edge players. He is an excellent kick blocker and can be an impact defender on special teams. DL Hill is a big body lineman with power and quickness. He projects to both the five-technique spot as well as a three-technique position in the package defenses. Both 3rd round picks were fine value and additions for their front seven. Each carries an early NFL starting grade.
In the 4th round, they added QB Kyle Lauletta, a smooth throwing prospect who was very production at the small college level. New GM Dave Gettleman felt he was too good to pass on here with Eli entering his 15th season at 37 years old. Lauletta did well at the Senior Bowl and will compete for the #2 role with Davis Webb, a 3rd round selection last April. This was a good value addition with many rating him among the top 75 prospects. He could be the long-term answer for Eli’s eventual replacement. In the 5th round, they chose DL R.J. McIntosh, a big tough lineman who played inside more than outside as a collegian. He has the body type of a five-technique lineman who will be looked at there in the base defense. He can start in the position with development. He also plays the three-technique role and showed the ability to penetrate as an interior rusher. He was excellent value here, and though needs some time, he is capable of paying huge dividends after his settles into this defense. He was interesting upside and is a playmaker, especially attacking the LOS and moving laterally. He needs to settle into a position and could find a niche in the package defenses as a situational rusher. He could be a steal this late with the skill set to press for time and possibly an eventual starter. Grade: A
Rookie & Veteran Free Agency: The Giants were selective in FA and addressed few key areas on both sides of the ball. They addressed their screaming five-year LT position immediately with the signing of vet Nat Solder. He gives them a bookend blocker for the blindside. They also signed LB Kareem Martin, guard Patrick Omaneh, runner Jon Stewart and wideout Cody Latimer. Martin is an underrated signing and could be a fixture in this 3-4 scheme. He can stuff the run and rush the passer. Omaneh will probably win a starting guard job. Latimer is a young veteran wideout with upside as a receiver and has excelled on special teams. Stewart is a great mentor for Barkley and a good short yardage back. They also added DE Josh Mauro, CB William Gay, and DB Michael Thomas. They traded for LB Alec Ogletree for two third day draft picks, an excellent move. Ogletree will start inside and is a playmaker who is just entering his prime. They traded defender JPP for an early #3 pick. He was not a good fit for this defensive scheme. They lost OL Justin Pugh, Wes Richburg and DJ Fluker, CB Ross Cockrell and LB Devon Kinnard. They linemen were quality blockers they had to replace. They released corner DRC and wideout Brandon Marshall, two high priced fading veterans. Many other veteran FAs were unsigned entering camp. They signed a quality rookie FA class with a few having good chances to make the roster or PS. They signed Robert Martin, RB, Rutgers, Jawill Davis, WR, Bethune-Cookman, Nick Gates, OL, Nebraska, Tyler Howell, OT, Missouri, Evan Brown, C, SMU, Tyrell Chavis, DT, Penn St, Aaron Davis, CB, Georgia, Tae Davis, OLB, Tennessee-Chat, Grant Haley, CB, Penn St., Mike Jones, DB, Temple and Sean Chandler, S, Temple. OL Gates is a major sleeper with untapped talented and could surprise here. CB Haley is a quick tough smallish cover man who will press for time in the nickel package and can make this roster and also a good PS candidate. Safety Chandler is a sleeper with pro talent to warrant a long look and can make the roster or the PS.
Training Camp Objectives: The Giants collapsed with a team wide breakdown. The roster has deteriorated with continuous weak draft classes the past five that leaves the club with little depth anywhere. Their offense line has been rebuilt with Solder and guards, rookie Hernandez and vet Omameh. Young tight end Evan Engram proved to be a good weapon and will join Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard. Rookie back Barkley can be a difference maker here and create massive problems in coverage. Defenses will struggle matchup up with Beckham and Barkley, with one likely in single coverage. Vet QB Eli Manning still has it and will benefit from improved protection and the presence of Barkley. Former LT Ereck Flowers moves to right tackle and must prove ready to start.
The Giants defense changes their scheme after a total collapse in 2017. DE/LB Olivier Vernon moves to backer while DT Harrison lines up at nose tackle. The secondary was in disarray with three suspensions for their corners. Veteran corner Janoris Jenkins is primed for a fine effort while former #1 pick Eli Apple is committed for a breakout performance. Young safety Darian Thompson benefitted from starting for a full season. Vet Landon Collins returns from a broken forearm ready to play up to his Pro Bowl talent.
The Giants will have to adjust quickly to a new defensive scheme to compete for a playoff spot. This club can press the Eagles for the division with an awesome collection of weapons for Eli to call on. NFC East title may be out of reach, but the playoffs is certainly not and real possibility here. They first half difficult schedule will dictate their direction with six NFC games among their first eight contests.