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Experts grade Giants' 2020 Draft Class

The 2020 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror. The Giants had 10 picks heading into the weekend and ended up keeping all of them. Here is the Giants' draft class:

  1. Georgia OT Andrew Thomas, Round 1, Pick 4
  2. Alabama S Xavier McKinney, Round 2, Pick 36
  3. UConn OT Matt Peart, Round 3, Pick 99
  4. UCLA CB Darnay Holmes, Round 4, Pick 110
  5. Oregon G Shane Lemieux, Round 5, Pick 150
  6. Penn State LB Cam Brown, Round 6, Pick 183
  7. Minnesota LB Carter Coughlin, Round 7, Pick 218
  8. South Carolina LB TJ Brunson, Round 7, Pick 238
  9. Minnesota CB Chris Williamson, Round 7, Pick 247
  10. Georgia LB Tae Crowder, Round 7, Pick 255

It takes a few years to truly judge a draft class. Rookies typically need some time to adjust to the NFL, and could take a couple of years before they reach their full potential. However, the media simply cannot wait. Only hours after the draft concluded, analysts began handing out grades for each team's draft class.

With that said, here is the report card for the Giants' 2020 draft class.

"Day 1: Andrew Thomas was PFF's OT1 in this class, and a large reason why he got the nod over Tristan Wirfs and Jedrick Wills was his elite production against the best of the best in the SEC. Thomas had a 92.7 overall grade in 2019 that ranked third in the FBS among tackles, and he was one of few to perform at a top-10 level in both pass protection and as a run-blocker. As a matter of fact, Thomas' overall grade tied for the best we have ever seen from an SEC tackle with La'el Collins back in 2014. Throw in his size, strength and athleticism, and the fact that he did this in an NFL-type of scheme, and he is the best tackle in the class.

Day 2: Safety wasn't a pressing need, but when you have a guy like Xavier McKinney on the board at the 36th overall pick, you throw needs out the window and steal McKinney from everyone else. McKinney was 19th on the PFF Big Board and is easily the most versatile safety in the class. There have been only five safeties to play over 450 snaps in the box, slot and at free safety over the past two years, and only one of those five produced 70.0-plus grades at all three of those alignments — Xavier McKinney. Regardless of alignment or role, McKinney performed at a high level in each of the past two seasons, producing grades above 79.0 against the run, as a pass-rusher and in coverage.

Matt Peart was a solid pickup for the Giants at pick No. 99. He's coming off a season in which he recorded an elite 90.2 overall grade that ranked seventh in the FBS — succeeding as both a pass-protector and run-blocker. He is built like an offensive tackle you'd dream up from a size and length perspective at 6-foot-7 with 36 5/8-inch arms. The big concern with Peart is his play strength. He has to add more to his frame, and if he does that, he could become a quality NFL starter.

Day 3: New York kicked off Day 3 by making a great move and taking Darnay Holmes 110th overall. He was 86th on the PFF Big Board, and while he is short with poor arm length, he has the tools teams should have taken a chance on in the second or third round. Holmes had a down year in 2019, seeing his PFF coverage grade drop from 80.3 in 2018 to 61.8, which had a negative impact on his draft stock. But the Giants were the beneficiary of it — they got great value at a valuable position."

"Thomas and McKinney alone would make this class incredibly strong, but getting another tackle, a potential top nickel back and some interior line help were shrewd moves behind the splashy ones. Thomas is a great follow to Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones and McKinney will be better than Landon Collins."

"This was a very strong draft for the Giants. Thomas and Peart figure to be bookends for years to come in New York and though Thomas was taken a little earlier than expected, getting Peart at 99 was a steal.

So was getting McKinney at 36. Nobody would've batted an eye had he gone in the top 25 picks. But the G-Men got him in the second round. Holmes, Lemieux, and Brown all have starter potential while Coughlin should be a solid rotational player.

There's a lot to like about this Giants class. This is a great class for Dave Gettleman and first-year Giants head coach and former Patriots special teams coordinator, Joe Judge."

"Dave Gettleman, head coach Joe Judge and the revamped scouting department deserve high marks for consistently pairing talent and value with positions of need. The Giants added the premier offensive tackle and arguably the premier safety in this class while fortifying depth along the interior offensive line and arguably the weakest position on the defense -- linebacker. While the Giants added Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley in the past two drafts, this might be the most talented crop of rookies from top to bottom in any of Gettleman's three drafts at the helm. It appears to also be one of the strongest draft classes in the league."

"Day 1 grade: B

Day 2 grade: A-

Day 3 grade: B+

Overall grade: B+

Draft analysis: "Most people expected the Giants to hit the offensive line early on -- and picking Thomas and Peart in Rounds 1 and 3 met that expectation. Safety McKinney (Round 2) bolsters the team's secondary, as does cornerback Holmes (Round 4), who will work in the slot quite well for the Giants. Lemieux provides depth on the interior offensive line. Brown displays the athleticism to become a nice pick-up as a reserve edge rusher. Brunson was a good pick who finds the football despite not having any elite physical traits. Williamson is a versatile corner/nickel/safety who will contribute soon, and Crowder was an absolutely underappreciated part of the 2019 Georgia defense. Look for general manager Dave Gettleman to seek out hidden receiver gems after the draft."

View photos of the entire 10-member New York Giants 2020 Draft Class

"Georgia's Andrew Thomas is the most polished, pro-ready tackle in a loaded class, and Alabama safety Xavier McKinney could have easily been a top-25 pick.

UConn's Matt Peart has tons of upside at offensive tackle, and the value got better for the Giants on Day 3. UCLA's Darnay Holmes is a starting-caliber corner with big-play ability, Oregon's Shane Lemieux is a mauler of a guard, and the rest of their Day 3 selections all have special teams ability with potential for more."

"Eli Manning is gone, and rookie quarterback Daniel Jones showed flashes of his potential last season. It's clear that general manager Dave Gettleman and new coach Joe Judge are trying to help their quarterback and star running back Saquon Barkley, with two of their first three picks going to offensive tackles. "We want to fix this offensive line once and for all," Gettleman said on Thursday night.

Andrew Thomas is an experienced, athletic, smart player who doesn't commit penalties. He played left tackle at Georgia but could play right tackle in New York with Nate Solder on the left side. Third-round pick Matt Peart (99) started 48 games for UConn and has the potential to start down the road. There's no question the Giants' offensive line is better now.

I loved the value of safety Xavier McKinney (36) early on Day 2. There were teams looking at him in the 20s, but he lasted until the second round. He's a good fit next to Jabrill Peppers. Darnay Holmes (110) is a really solid slot corner. Guard Shane Lemieux (150) could be a future starter. The Giants had four seventh-round picks, and I'm intrigued by what linebacker Carter Coughlin (218) turns into after he develops more in the NFL.

With a new coach in Judge, I'm not sure what to expect from New York in 2020, but I do think this is a good start to fixing the offensive line issues that Gettleman mentioned, and McKinney has Pro Bowl potential."

"What's to admire about Andrew Thomas: 36-inch arms, standout competitiveness, sound pass-blocking mechanics and overall composure. It will be interesting to see if the Giants view Thomas as a right tackle (his likely position for 2020) or a left tackle. Wherever Thomas plays, the hope is that late third-round pick Matt Peart can play the other side.

Defensively, consider Xavier McKinney a catch-all solution for a Giants secondary that is quietly better inside than people realize. Or, potentially better, since they're counting on last year's fourth-round free safety, Julian Love, to build on his intriguing rookie season, and on former Browns first-round strong safety Jabrill Peppers to perform at a star level. In today's NFL you need three quality safeties, and it really helps if one of those safeties can play the slot, as that provides answers inside against both three-receiver and two-tight end personnel. McKinney offers diverse value."

"This draft had to be mostly about fixing the offensive line, and it was. Gettleman not only found his anchor tackle in Round 1 (Thomas), but he may have found future starters at tackle and guard in Rounds 3 and 5 (Peart and Lemieux). Gettleman seems to think his line problems are now fixed, and he might be right. If he is, this draft will look a lot better in a few years. Of course, he still didn't find the "Blue Goose" pass rusher he knows he needs on defense (None of the developmental linebackers and edge rushers late in the draft will fill that role). He did get two players who should help immediately -- a highly-rated safety (McKinney) and a player who should win the nickel corner job (Holmes). Whether that's enough largely depends on how his free-agent spending spree and his draft class from the last two years pans out. For now, though, it feels like he found some key pieces for a team ready to turn the corner and start to win again."

"The Giants surprised some in the first round by taking Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. But if you think about it, he's the most pro-ready true left tackle in the draft. On a team with a young quarterback, that's what the Giants need.

In the second round, they were able to snare Alabama safety Xavier McKinney. Many thought he could come off the board in the middle of the first round. McKinney gives the Giants a safety who excels at coming down into the box and making tackles. He's good enough in coverage too. 

The Giants doubled up on offensive tackles, with developmental right tackle Matt Peart of Connecticut in the third round and Oregon guard Shane Lemieux two rounds later."

"Key Picks: Andrew Thomas (OT, Georgia), S Xavier McKinney (S, Alabama), Matt Peart (OT, Connecticut), Darnay Holmes (CB, UCLA)

Analysis: Started out on fire with their No. 1 offensive tackle — a recurring theme — and a major second-round steal in immediate starter McKinney."

Check out other miscellaneous notes from analysts on the Giants' draft.

ESPN's Matt Bowen on entire 2020 NFL Draft

Immediate Impact Players: Giants S Xavier McKinney, Round 2, Pick 36, Alabama

"McKinney is a multidimensional defensive back, with the physical play style and versatile traits to fit in the Giants' new defensive scheme. Similar to the role Patrick Chung plays in New England, McKinney will cover down in the slot, play in the box and spin to the post. I thought he would be a first-round pick, and he should compete for a starting job immediately in New York for Joe Judge's squad."

CBS Sports' Josh Edwards on draft's winners and losers

Winner: Giants

"New York potentially added its left and right tackles of the future with Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart, respectively. Sandwiched between those two players was Xavier McKinney, who is regarded as the draft's best safety. He offers a lot of ability and versatility. Cornerback Darnay Holmes and interior offensive lineman Shane Lemieux should be solid contributors. Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, TJ Brunson and Tae Crowder are all intriguing linebacker selections. Finally, cornerback Chris Williamson was a consistent producer as well. General manager Dave Gettleman told reporters his goal was to fix the offensive line once and for all and he took a big step in that direction."'s Cynthia Frelund on best value picks from Day 2

1) S Xavier McKinney, Round 2, Pick 36

"He's listed as a safety, but McKinney also played nickel linebacker and was an effective blitzer while at Alabama. One of my favorite notes on him: When defending slot pass catchers, he prevented completions at the second-best rate (24.4 percent, per my computer vision) among safeties in this draft class. As far as his fit with the Giants goes, McKinney represents exceptional value for New York because his versatility will help improve a defense that ranked 27th in computer-vision-measured pressures and tied for the third-most big plays allowed (122)."


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