The Giants had a pretty solid draft, highlighted by taking Andrew Thomas fourth overall. Here are my grades for each selection made the team.
Round 1, Pick 4: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Andrew Thomas will be a great player in the NFL, but the problem with this pick is that he was taken way too high. Considering Yannick Ngakoue expressed interest in playing for the Giants, New York should have traded down to the ninth spot where the Jaguars were picking (Obviously the Giants would have needed to trade away more to obtain Ngakoue as well, in addition to the ninth overall pick). Andrew Thomas likely still would have been available. That being said, Head Coach Joe Judge stated that his number one offensive priority would be to run the ball, so, considering that, this was a solid pick.
Round 2, Pick 36: S Xavier McKinney, Alabama
Xavier McKinney was a fantastic pick. He will be a great addition to this defense, and his highlights at Alabama speak for themselves. It is clear the Giants have a sub-par defensive roster, so Xavier McKinney will have an opportunity right from the get-go to make plays. The Giants already have Jabrill Peppers(24 years old), and they just added another young playmaker. That combo is going to make it tough for offenses to pick up big gains.
Round 3, Pick 99: OT Matt Peart, UCONN
The Giants offensive line is a major piece of work, and probably the worst aspect of the team. Matt Peart is a great pick in the third round that definitely could help to improve that area. Again, Joe Judge wants to run the ball, so Peart will help as a run-blocker. Daniel Jones was sacked 38 times last year, and Peart is also a solid pass protector so he and Thomas should help keep Jones up right. Even if Peart doesn’t start right away, he will have time to develop into a young star.
Round 4, Pick 110: CB Darnay Holmes, UCLA
Darnay Holmes is arguably the best Nickel Cornerback in this draft, so for the Giants to get him with the 110th pick is a steal. While New York did sign James Bradberry in free agency, Holmes will have the chance to pass Deandre Baker on the depth chart. Holmes showcased his athleticism and skill set during his final year at UCLA and during the NFL Combine. As a sophomore, he led the team with three interceptions, and 11 pass breakups. Despite hurting his ankle during his final season with the team, he managed to bounce back and still have a good season. Holmes showed no signs of the injury during the season or the combine. Overall, this projects to be a solid pick for the G-Men.
Round 5, Pick 150: G Shane Lemieux, Oregon
The Giants should have used this pick to take a receiver. New York’s starting guards right now are Kevin Zeitler and Will Hernandez. Albeit not ideal, but there are other positions that could have been of more help to the Giants. Considering they had already taken offensive linemen in the first and third rounds, this pick didn’t fill as much of a need. The Giants found a gem in the fifth round with Darius Slayton, who will surely develop into a young star last year. However, Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate are injury prone, with Tate now on the wrong side of 30. So, adding another receiver would definitely have been beneficial. That being said, Lemieux will have the opportunity to learn under two veterans, so maybe one day he will be a decent starter down the road.
Round 6, Pick 183: LB Cam Brown, Penn State
After signing Kyle Fackrell and Blake Martiniez, the Giants didn’t have a great need for a linebacker. However, GM Dave Gettlemen pulled the trigger, and selected Cam Brown out of Penn State in the sixth round. Brown does have a ton of potential when it comes to rushing the quarterback and making tackles. As time goes on, he very well could develop into a solid backup, or even a decent starter.
Round 7, Pick 218: LB Carter Coughlin, Minnesota
Normally, the grade would be much lower because the Giants took a linebacker the round before with Brown. However, in this case, they get a pass, because it would have been a crime for Coughlin to fall to the Giants, and not be drafted by them. Coughlin is an absolute machine. In his junior year with the Gophers, he led the team with 9.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. In his senior year, he led the team with 4.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss, as well as 49 total stops. Coughlin is a stud, and could be a future star in the NFL.
Round 7, Pick 238: LB T.J. Brunson, South Carolina
Here is the second worst pick of the Giants 2020 NFL Draft. With the amount of Linebackers previously on the roster, signed in free agency, and drafted this year, it’s hard to believe that T.J. Brunson will have any impact on the team. Again, a receiver would have been nice, maybe even a pass rusher. There was no need to take another linebacker with this pick.
Round 7, Pick 247: CB Chris Williamson, Minnesota
For the majority of his collegiate career, Williamson has been a backup. He redshirted in 2019 and had decent stats to show for his final year. Most likely, he will wind up on the practice squad, as the Giants previously drafted Darnay Holmes and signed James Bradberry, as well as already having Deandre Baker on the roster.
Round 7, Pick 255: LB Tae Crowder, Georgia
Here comes the worst pick of the Giants 2020 draft, and it goes to Mr. Irrelevant: LB Tae Crowder. Yet another linebacker, the fourth one selected by the Giants this year. The title that goes to the player drafted 255th overall perfectly explains Tae Crowder. If he were at a different position, maybe he would have a shot at doing something with his career. However, because of the quantity of linebackers selected, and the linebackers previously on the roster as well as signed in free agency, it’s hard to believe Crowder will have much of a chance at making the team.
Out of all the 32 teams, the Giants had one of the better drafts. By building up a solid resume of young talent, the Giants may be able to propel themselves back to the playoffs in the coming years.
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