While the New York Giants have concluded their NFL Draft period, the team made some splashes throughout their time. From having the second overall selection in the process, it seems only right that we reflect upon the 2018 draft class of the Giants.
Round 1, Pick 2: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
During the early stages of mock drafts, most analysts had UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen locked into the Giants roster. As time went on, more teams became turned off by Rosen’s vocal abilities, resulting in Saquon Barkley to become the next best alternative.
After a consistent college tenure at Penn State, it wasn’t much off a surprise to see Barkley as the first running back off the board. The question isn’t whether the play of Barkley can translate to the NFL, but it actually involves the Giant’s offensive line to take control and open up the run game. If Barkley opens up for 1,000+ as a rookie in New York, the Giants become one of the most well-balanced offenses in the league.
Round 2, Pick 34: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
Projected to go within the first round of the NFL Draft, the Giants found themselves lucky when Hernandez fell into their laps. Known as one of the best run-blockers within this particular draft class, the addition of Hernandez is exactly what a running back such as Barkley needs.
The New York Giants have struggled with their offensive line issues for years at this stage, so Hernandez should find himself within the starting roster. The newest dilemma now becomes what the front office elects to do with offensive tackle Ereck Flowers, who was viewed as trade bait during the draft.
Round 3, Pick 66: Lorenzo Carter, OLB, Georgia
At one point in time, the New York Giants were reportedly contemplating trading back into the second round in order to select Carter. While the front office deferred, this is another great bargain selection for New York.
The front office in 2017 was interested in a similar pass-rusher by the name of Leonard Floyd, but when Tampa Bay selected him with the ninth overall selection, the Giants settled on Eli Apple. With Carter on the active roster, the Giants defense will have yet another presence to add onto their resumes.
Round 3, Pick 69: B.J. Hill, DT, NC State
The New York Giants seem notorious for selecting big, powerful defensive tackles who hold the ability to move quickly when called upon. According to insiders, B.J. Hill compares to previous mid-round selections at the defensive tackle position for New York, which includes names such as Marvin Austin and Linval Joseph.
While I love Hill’s ability to keep active with his hands, I struggle to find any potential in him as a standout player for New York. This selection worked in terms of depth, but I wouldn’t expect for the defensive tackle to mold into a star talent.
Round 4, Pick 108: Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond
While I don’t blame the Giants for seeking options for future quarterbacks after the Eli Manning era, is Davis Webb invisible? After Manning struggled in 2017, the team deferred to Geno Smith of all players as the potential turnaround. In addition, critics are overlooking Webb, even though he has played with consistency when given the opportunities.
In saying that, Kyle Lauletta is a calculated draft selection for New York in the fourth round. According to Brian Billick, the Richmond quarterback could very well prove to be the best of his peers. While I wouldn’t necessarily agree, I can claim that playing for the Giants is a slightly better scenario than the Cleveland Browns or New York Jets.
Round 5, Pick 139: R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami
Whereas Hill is more efficient with his hand motions, this is where R.J. McIntosh will. struggle. I enjoyed watching the New York Giants invest in their defensive tackle department, simply because this was a team that ranked 29th in the NFL when it came to getting to the quarterback.
If either Hill or McIntosh pan out for the Giants in years to come, this will be viewed as a smart investment. For now though, I believe McIntosh will struggle to find much playing time in his rookie campaign, pending any future injuries.