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Giants Now: Mel Kiper releases first mock draft


ESPN's Mel Kiper releases first 2022 mock draft

The first round of the playoffs are in the books, which means the first 24 selections of the 2022 NFL Draft are now set.

The Giants are one of two teams with two selections in the top 10, as Big Blue owns the fifth and seventh overall picks.

Senior Bowl practices kick off in just over 10 days, meaning it is officially the start of mock draft season. Several of the big name NFL Draft experts have already released their first mock drafts of the offseason, including ESPN's Mel Kiper.

Here are Kiper's projections for the Giants' two top 10 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

5. New York Giants - OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

"There has been a lot of recent buzz around Ekwonu, whose stock is rising. He dominated at left tackle for the Wolfpack this season after playing some guard earlier in his career. Based on the 2021 tape, there's not much separating Ekwonu from Evan Neal, and I wouldn't be surprised if Ekwonu was the top tackle off the board in April. He has All-Pro potential as a run-blocker and as a pass-blocker." -- Kiper

7. New York Giants (via CHI) - OLB David Ojabo, Michigan

"Ojabo can help the pass rush immediately. He had an incredibly impressive season, racking up 11 sacks and five forced fumbles while playing opposite my projected No. 1 pick, Aidan Hutchinson. He doesn't have Hutchinson's all-around game -- he has to get better against the run -- but as a pure pass-rusher, he has a very high ceiling. With these two top-seven selections, New York can get high-end starters on both sides of the ball." -- Kiper

View photos of the best players ever to be selected with the Nos. 5 and 7 picks in NFL draft history.

Ronnie Barnes to be inducted into North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame

Senior Vice President of Medical Services and Head Athletic Trainer Ronnie Barnes has had a storied career with the New York Giants. He joined the franchise as an athletic training intern in 1976. Five years later, he was promoted to the role of Head Athletic Trainer for the Giants.

Over the last 40 years, Barnes has earned numerous awards and accolades for his hard work. He was twice named the National Professional Trainer of the Year (1983 and 1987). His alma matter, East Carolina University, inducted him into their Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990, and nine years later, he was inducted into the National Athletics Trainers Association Hall of Fame.

Three years ago, Barnes added another honor to the list when he was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation's Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.'s Salute to Excellence Awards during the weekend of Super Bowl LIII. Then last year, Barnes was elected to the Hospital for Special Surgery Board of Advisors.

Of course, Barnes is also a four-time Super Bowl champion.

This week, it was announced that Barnes would be a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2022.

Other members of the Class of 2022 include longtime NFL wide receiver Torry Holt, linebacker Sam Mills, fullback Timmy Newsome, along with several other inductees across various sports.

Chiefs' Ryan Poles has 2nd GM interview with Giants

Ryan Poles had his second interview for the Giants' vacant general manager position on Wednesday. Poles is the second candidate to have a second interview. Buffalo Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen had his second interview on Tuesday.

Poles met with president John Mara, chairman Steve Tisch and senior vice president of player personnel Chris Mara at the team's Quest Diagnostics Training Center. He also sat down with other members of the team's front office and toured the facility.

Poles, 36, is completing his first season as the Kansas City Chiefs' executive director of player personnel and 13th year with the team. Poles oversees all aspects of the scouting of college football players across the country, assists in the pro process and prepares for free agency, in addition to assisting general manager Brett Veach with the coordination of the NFL Draft and overseeing the team's out-of-town area scouts.

Poles joined the Chiefs in 2009 as the team's player personnel assistant before spending three seasons as the college scouting administrator. In 2013, Poles began a four-year stint as the Chiefs' college scouting administrator. He was the club's director of college scouting in 2017. Poles was promoted to assistant director of player personnel in 2018 and to his current position in 2021.

Prior to joining the Chiefs, Poles served as a recruiting assistant for his alma mater, Boston College, from 2008-09 after signing with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2008.

The Canandaigua, N.Y., native played offensive tackle for five seasons for the Eagles (2003-07), protecting current Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Poles was honored with the Paul Cavanaugh Award in 2007 as the student-athlete with total commitment to football both on and off the field and for his dedication to volunteerism, ethics and community.

Poles played prep football at Canandaigua Academy.

He and his wife, Katie, have two children, Mason and Jordyn.


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