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Cover 3

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Cover 3: Breaking down the Giants' 6-player draft class


Now that the dust has settled, the crew breaks down the entire six-player draft class.

  • Round 1, No. 6 - Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
  • Round 2, No. 47 (from SEA) - Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
  • Round 3, No. 70 - Dru Phillips, CB, Kentucky
  • Round 4, No. 107 - Theo Johnson, TE, Penn State
  • Round 5, No. 166 (from SF through CAR) - Tyrone Tracy Jr., RB, Purdue
  • Round 6, No. 183 - Darius Muasau, LB, UCLA

John Schmeelk: The toughest part of the draft is the stuff out of a team's control. Teams may have needs at certain positions, but there's a chance that when they get set to draft in any given round that a player is not good enough to warrant that selection. Based on where the Giants selected versus where the players appeared on most experts' boards, that does not appear to be the case.

The Giants filled a huge need with an elite playmaker at wide receiver in Malik Nabers. They had holes at starting safety and cornerback that needed filling, and with the questions surrounding Darren Waller's potential retirement, a tight end was a priority.

I used big boards from Dane Brugler, Mel Kiper Jr., Daniel Jeremiah and Arif Hasan for the sake of comparison. I averaged out their big boards and calculated the difference between where the player was picked versus how they were ranked. A positive number meant a good theoretical pick value compared to the media consensus.

The average gave the Giants a +11.5 in pick value for the first four rounds, meaning they found good players right around where most analysts thought they should have been drafted and took them. It takes luck and skill for that to happen, and the Giants took advantage of the situation they were in to find players that can fill spots of need but also perform at a high level.

View photos from the college careers of all six members of the New York Giants 2024 Draft Class.

Dan Salomone: From Day 1, Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll have preached "smart, tough, and dependable." Those three words can be found around the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, serving as a reminder for everyone as they forge that identity. We learned this weekend there is a hierarchy on that list.

"I'd say the college scouts, Joe, and his staff, have done a really good job of identifying these traits that we covet – toughness being probably near the top," Daboll said after Day 2 of the draft. "And all three of the players that we've acquired so far really fit that mold in terms of mentally tough and physically tough. I think that's important. Defensively, tough tacklers. You know, Dru, he'll bring the wood now. And Malik's mentality, how he is, and then you guys talked to Tyler. Both Tyler and Dru were pretty emotional when we called them. They care about the game. They have the right mindset, and it's a credit to our college scouts, Joe, and his staff, for really identifying some of those traits and we're happy to have both of them."

A night earlier, Schoen used the word "tough" or "toughness" six times when talking about Nabers, especially considering the shoulder injury that the star wide receiver played through last season.

"That's legit, talking to the trainers and the medical staff, this guy didn't miss [games]," Schoen said. "Whatever it is, he's going to fight through it. He's tough, doesn't miss games, doesn't miss practice. If he can play, he's going to play. That's the way this kid is wired. You'll see it, when you guys get around and see the way he practices and the way he plays on game day and see his highlights and you see some of the stuff he can do, whether it's with the ball in his hand, without the ball in his hand. When guys are wired like that, at his age, that's ingrained in him by then. That's who he is. Looking forward to bringing some of that toughness and explosiveness to the roster."

Perhaps it's time to go around the facility and start underlining "tough" on the walls.

Matt Citak: I could talk at length about all of the Giants' draft picks and how each of them addressed an area of need on the roster. Instead, I'm going to focus on Day 3 picks that could end up having a significant impact on the team, both in 2024 and beyond.

Let's start with tight end Theo Johnson. It can sometimes be tough to project NFL success when it comes to the position. In college, tight ends are asked to do such different things depending on the type of offense they're in. That is why it is important to look at physical traits rather than collegiate success. And when it comes to that, there is a lot to like about Johnson. He earned the second-highest score in this year's tight end class by Next Gen Stats. With a 4.57 40-yard dash and a nearly 40-inch vertical at 6-foot-6, 259 pounds, he also had a 9.93 RAS score, which ranked ninth out of nearly 1,200 tight ends dating back to 1987. This is the sort of physical skillset you want to take a chance on at the tight end position. Johnson is also coming off his best season as a pass-catcher, recording personal-high marks of 34 receptions for 341 yards and seven touchdowns. Over the last two seasons, Penn State quarterbacks had a 146.6 passer rating when targeting Johnson, which led all Big Ten tight ends during that span. While the Giants wait on Darren Waller's situation, adding Johnson not only provides insurance, but it also gives them a physically gifted player at a key position.

As for running back Tyrone Tracy Jr., this is probably the pick I'm most excited about. A converted wide receiver who played six seasons between Iowa and Purdue, Tracy comes to the Giants with only 146 rush attempts to his name. But the 5-foot-11, 209-pound back should improve as he continues to refine his skills as a runner. Tracy had an elite 9.78 RAS score, which ranked 42nd out of 1,903 running backs from 1987 to 2024, led by his 4.48 40-yard dash, 40-inch vertical, a broad jump of 10 feet, 4 inches, and 6.81-second three-cone drill. Tracy brings an element of explosiveness to the backfield that should complement Devin Singletary. In fact, if you look at Tracy's combine results, he put up eerily similar numbers as Deebo Samuel. The fifth-round could also be in the mix for the team's kick returner spot as a rookie. Tracy was named to the All-Big Ten team as a return specialist last year as he averaged 25.5 yards per return and scored a touchdown.

Step into the draft room as the Giants select wide receiver Malik Nabers with their first-round pick.


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