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The New York Giants own the No. 5 and No. 7 overall picks in the 2022 NFL draft. They will need to use both these selections correctly as they attempt to rebuild this struggling organization.
In Dane Brugler’s latest mock draft for The Athletic, the Giants addressed two big positions of need. With the fifth overall pick, the Giants selected Evan Neal, an offensive tackle out of Alabama.
Slowly but surely, Andrew Thomas is progressing at left tackle, but the right tackle spot was a glaring weak spot for the Giants this past season. Nate Solder has likely played his last snap with the franchise, and Matt Peart hasn’t done enough to keep the Giants from finding an upgrade this offseason.
Neal has functional experience at guard and both tackle spots and would be an immediate improvement on the Giants’ offensive line depth chart. His balance will fade as the play progresses, but he has a rare mix of size, athleticism and flexibility to make plays in pass protection and the run game.
The right tackle spot for the Giants has been as bad as it can come over the past few years. With a combination of Matt Peart and Nate Solder, the right side of the line has been a turnstile.
Going forward the Giants will need to do more than put a band-aid on this crucial issue and look for a permanent solution. Evan Neal is a rare talent and likely the best tackle in this draft class. The 6-7 Crimson Tide prospect possesses a rare combination of size and technique that few linemen possess.
Brugler projects that with the seventh overall pick, the Giants select Kyle Hamilton, a safety out of Notre Dame.
Safety isn’t the most glaring need on the Giants’ depth chart, but with a new general manager and head coach, they will be looking to draft impact players, above everything else, in the top 10. And Hamilton might be the most talented player in the draft, regardless of position.
At 6-3 and 218 pounds, Hamilton is a super-sized safety with the range and length to be a matchup weapon in the NFL. Though his physical traits stand out, it is his football IQ that is most impressive, sensing what is about to happen and being disruptive.
With the likely departure of Jabrill Peppers, the Giants will potentially need to add another safety this offseason. Hamilton is said to be a generational talent with his elite 6–foot-3, 218-pound frame.
Hamilton had an impressive 138 tackles and eight interceptions as a Fighting Irish defender. He was constantly all over the field making big play after big play.
Finally, in Round 2, Brugler has the Giants going with a quarterback — Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati.
This combination of selections for the Giants win Round 1 would be a dream come true as they would address two big needs and draft two amazing talents. But Ridder in Round 2 certainly raises some eyebrows. If the team is going QB, is that really the correct option at No. 36 overall?