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Giants Now: How Brian Daboll connects with his players


Emmanuel Sanders on how Brian Daboll connects with his players

Emmanuel Sanders spent only one season with Brian Daboll, but it was enough to call him one of his "favorite coaches of all time."

The Giants' head coach certainly knows how to make a first impression.

"When I first signed with the Buffalo Bills, Brian Daboll calls me on FaceTime and he's sitting in a hot tub with a cigar and he said, 'You ready to score some touchdowns?'" Sanders recalled on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" about his former offensive coordinator.

Sanders, a two-time Pro Bowl receiver who played for five different teams during his 12-year NFL career, has seen enough coaches over the years to know Daboll is special. And it starts with the connection to players.

"This guy, him and [Bills quarterback] Josh [Allen], they were the best of friends, and that's what people don't realize," Sanders said of Daboll, who grew up outside Buffalo. "He was just an incredible guy. When I say I love New Yorkers, it's because I think of guys like Brian Daboll and my wife because New Yorkers are just so real and authentic.

"When I tell you that's what Daniel Jones is getting as a head coach, he's getting a guy – and the Giants in general – that they're going to say, 'I love this guy,'" Sanders said. "Because no matter what, he's FaceTiming everybody, I promise you this. He was FaceTiming Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, the entire [Bills] offense. When Daboll would text me, he'd text me all the time, 'I love you.' And I know that that guy loves me because of conversations we had. He loves his players. That's what type of coach Daniel Jones is going to get, and I hope that that carries over to his play. … He's brought over the Chiefs' quarterbacks coach as well [in offensive coordinator Mike Kafka]. So, this offense is about to be very, very innovative."

Perhaps they can enjoy more victory cigars down the road.

Todd McShay, Charles Davis among experts to release new mock drafts

Mock draft season is in full effect with the start of the 2022 NFL Draft just over three weeks away.

Many of the top draft experts have been releasing updated mock drafts with the first round kicking off on April 28.

In his last mock draft published on March 9, ESPN's Todd McShay predicted the Giants select Georgia EDGE Travon Walker at No. 5 and Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson at No. 7. In his most recent projections released on Tuesday, in which he added predictions for the second round as well, McShay changed all of his picks for Big Blue.

In addition to McShay, NFL Network's Charles Davis finally released his first mock draft of the offseason on Tuesday, in which he projected two popular names to the Giants at Nos. 5 and 7. Both predictions can be found below.

Pick for No. 5: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, N.C. State

Analysis: "New general manager Joe Schoen would be off to a really, really good start to his tenure if he gets this lucky. A run on pass-rushers to begin the draft leaves Ekwonu for the Giants at No. 5 overall. He brings versatility, power, length and quickness, and he'd be opposite Andrew Thomas to form a solid duo to keep NFC pass-rushers in check."

Pick for No. 7: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Analysis: "Logan Ryan was released, and pairing Hamilton with Xavier McKinney (five interceptions and 10 passes defensed last season) would be an excellent last line of defense."

Pick for No. 36: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

Analysis: "Moore's combine performance was impressive, and there might not be a more elusive pass-catcher in the class once the ball is in his hands. No Giants receiver had more than 521 receiving yards or three touchdowns last season. As an aside, Arnold Ebiketie would be a good pick here, too, if he were still available."

Pick for No. 5: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Analysis: "The Giants have been trying to improve their offensive line for years, and this versatile performer started at three different positions -- playing well in each of them -- during his Alabama career."

Pick for No. 7: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State

Analysis: "Pass rush is a need for Big Blue, and what a final college season of production -- and postseason of polish -- from the ACC Defensive Player of the Year."

McShay and Davis were not the only analysts to release new mock drafts this week.

Pro Football Focus' Anthony Treash came out with a new projection for the first two rounds of the draft. In it, he predicts the Giants go defense with both of their first-round picks before addressing the offensive line in Round 2.

On top of PFF's new mock, CBS Sports Senior NFL Columnist Pete Prisco published his latest first-round predictions while NBC Sports' Peter King, in his weekly 'Football Morning in America' column, posted a mini mock draft in which he projected the first 10 picks. King predicted a trade for the Giants with one of their two top picks, which can be found below.

Pick for No. 5: Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Analysis: "Gardner allowed just 131 yards across 14 games and 482 coverage snaps in 2021, a performance that will forever be known as one of the best ever seasons by a college defensive back. Impressively, the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder did that while playing mainly on an island in press-man coverage. He closed out his three-year college career without allowing a single touchdown despite playing over 1,100 coverage snaps. New defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will be able to trust him to win on an island sooner rather than later."

Pick for No. 7: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Analysis: "With the Giants welcoming in Wink Martindale as the new DC, this Giants defense will be aggressive and could look to add more pressure. Creative pressure packages are key to Martindale's defensive success, and Dean comes from a system with the same philosophy. The Georgia off-ball linebacker was one of the best blitzers in college football last season. Not only was Dean the highest-graded off-ball linebacker of 2021, but he's the only linebacker in the PFF College era to earn a 90.0-plus PFF grade in coverage and as a pass-rusher.

The Georgia product racked up 31 pressures and 15 passing stops in 2021, both of which ranked top-10 among Power Five linebackers. He also ranked sixth in the Power Five in pass-rush win rate (22.3%), allowed a first down at the lowest rate among linebackers (13.5%) and didn't surrender a single touchdown. Ignore the size concerns with the 5-foot-11, 231-pounder. Dean is the real deal."

Pick for No. 36: Zion Johnson, IOL, Boston College

Analysis: "Johnson earned an 80.0-plus grade as both a pass- and run-blocker last season, recording just one penalty en route to an honorable mention PFF All-American honors. As lead draft analyst Mike Renner highlighted in the 2022 PFF Draft Guide, there are a few cons to his game. He's a polished and stout performer and didn't lose a single pass-blocking rep during Senior Bowl week."

Pick for No. 5: Ikem Ekwonu, OL, N.C. State

Analysis: "They need to improve their line, and Ekwonu would pair with Andrew Thomas to give them a nice duo of young tackles. He could also play guard, with some scouts thinking he's better off inside."

Pick for No. 7: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State

Analysis: "Like the Jets, they need more help pass rush help. After adding a tackle with their earlier pick, now they can add a rush player who is coming off an impressive season."

Pick for No. 5: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, N.C. State

Analysis: "The legend is true: Accepted at Harvard and Yale, chose to go to the better football school. One of the brightest players to enter the draft in years, the athletic Ekwonu would be the kind of perfect piece to continue a crucial Giants' rebuild on the line. A tandem of Andrew Thomas and Ekwonu at left and right tackle—if Thomas continues his progress (two sacks allowed in 800 snaps in 2021)—could give Daniel Jones a real chance to show he deserves the Giants' QB job."

Pick for No. 7: TRADE

King proposes the Giants trade with the Los Angeles Chargers, giving up the 7th overall pick in exchange for the 17th overall pick this year and the Chargers' first- and sixth-round picks in 2023.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his final edition of the top 50 prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.


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