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Make the Case: Ideal offense-defense combo?


"Make the Case" has once again returned on

In this series, we look at projections provided by analysts and then ask you, the fans, to weigh in on what the Giants should do in the draft.

Next up is a debate between the selections from NFL Network analytics expert Cynthia Frelund and Pro Football Focus analyst Ben Linsey.

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

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 320

2021 stats: 12 games, 500 pass block snaps, allowed three sacks, zero hits and 10 hurries; 91.6 overall PFF grade, 78.3 pass block grade, 93.8 run block grade

"Another duplicate pick here from Mock 1.0, especially with the Giants front office telling us they aren't shopping Saquon Barkley. Ekwonu's 18 big-time blocks in the run game, per Pro Football Focus, were seven more than the next-closest Power Five offensive lineman."

Pick for No. 7: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 258

2021 stats: 10 games, 35 tackles, seven sacks, 12 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one pass breakup; 83.2 overall PFF grade, 91.5 pass rush grade, 76.8 run defense grade

"After posting just 34 sacks last season (tied for 22nd), the Giants could pounce on the high-upside pass rusher out of Oregon."

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

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 350

2021 stats: 15 games, 650 pass block snaps, allowed two sacks, five hits and eight hurries; 85.8 overall PFF grade, 83.6 pass block grade, 80.4 run block grade

"Neal is arguably the most complete tackle prospect in this class with 80.0-plus PFF grades as a pass protector and run blocker in his final season at Alabama. He came in at No. 1 on Bruce Feldman's Freaks List entering last season, and it's not difficult to see why. Neal showed up to the Combine at 337 pounds, carrying it more like 287 pounds. There are certainly worse ways to bookend the offensive line than with Neal and Andrew Thomas."

Pick for No. 7: Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 200

2021 stats: 14 games, 482 coverage snaps, 18 receptions for 122 yards and zero touchdowns allowed, 22.6 passer rating when targeted, three interceptions, three sacks, four pass breakups, 87.1 overall PFF grade, 87.2 coverage grade, 77.8 run defense grade

"Coming out of the first round with Neal and Gardner would be the best-case scenario for the Giants. Gardner is the most experienced press-coverage cornerback in this class with 851 career snaps in his college career in that department. Opposing offenses just gave up on testing Gardner, who allowed just a 31.8 passer rating into his coverage in his three seasons at Cincinnati."


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