Updated Giants picks in new PFF mock draft
The start of the 2022 NFL Draft is inching closer and closer.
We are now less than six weeks away from this year's festivities in Las Vegas, and already about 10 days into the pro day circuit.
With free agency also underway, mock drafts are likely to see some drastic changes over the next couple of weeks.
Pro Football Focus' Trevor Sikkema released a new mock draft at the start of the new league year, in which he predicted the Giants address both sides of the ball with their first two picks.
Here are Sikkema's latest predictions for the Giants in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Pick for No. 5: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Analysis: "The Giants re-signed offensive tackle Matt Gono and guard Mark Glowinski. They also signed guard Jon Feliciano. But I don't think they're done prioritizing the offensive line. Given how free agency has gone with the team selection before New York at No. 5, there seems to be a growing possibility the Giants will have one of Ikem Ekwonu or Evan Neal on the board for them. If that's the case, I think they jump at one of those two."
Neal enjoyed a strong collegiate career at Alabama. As a freshman, he started 13 games and allowed just one sack and three hits on 423 pass block snaps, earning him a 71.2 overall grade from PFF. It only went up from there for Neal, who earned an dominant 83.7 in 2020 after starting 12 games and surrendering two sacks, one hit and six hurries.
The offensive lineman was at his best last season. Starting 15 games at left tackle, Neal gave up two sacks, five hits and eight hurries on 650 pass block snaps. He earned an elite 85.8 overall PFF grade, including 80.4 run block and 83.6 pass block grades. Neal finished his Alabama career with significant time spent at left guard (723 snaps in 2019), right tackle (765 snaps in 2020) and left tackle (1,071 snaps in 2021).
For his player comparison, both PFF and Lance Zierlein compared Neal to Jordan Mailata.
Pick for No. 7: Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Analysis: "After a stellar combine, Sauce seems destined for the top 10 in April's draft."
Gardner recorded three interceptions in each of his three seasons at Cincinnati, finishing with an 88.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus while being named First-Team All-AAC after his freshman campaign. He followed that up in 2020 by earning a 77.5 overall grade and was once again named First-Team All-AAC, along with First-Team All-America by the Football Writers Association of America.
Gardner saved his best for last, earning another elite overall grade of 87.1 from PFF, aided by an 87.2 coverage grade and 77.8 run defense grade, after allowing just 131 yards in 14 games this past season. He racked up numerous accolades, including First-Team All-AAC, Consensus All-American and AAC Defensive Player of the Year.
For his player comparison, PFF described Gardner, who did not allow a single touchdown throughout his three collegiate seasons, as having "shades of Jimmy Smith," while Lance Zierlein compared him to Richard Sherman.
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his final edition of the top 50 prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Tyrod Taylor looks forward to working with Daniel Jones
Tyrod Taylor officially joined the Giants on Thursday, his sixth team on an NFL journey entering its 12th season. He has learned much about the league, professionalism, strategy and, as he demonstrated in a Zoom interview with reporters, football diplomacy.
The Giants, of course, have an established starting quarterback in Daniel Jones, and Taylor displayed his respect for that hierarchy when asked if he's coming in to compete for the starting job or as the backup.
"I view it as coming in, obviously, learning the offense, pushing the guys in the room, and just going out and putting my best foot forward each day," Taylor said. "My process since I've been drafted in 2011 has been to prepare as the starter. Obviously, at the quarterback position you never know when your number is called. You want to be able to go in and play at a high level. So, that's my focus. I'll continue to keep working as we get back in the swing of things in April."
View photos from the career of veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Giants release veteran DB Logan Ryan
Safety Logan Ryan, a standout contributor on and off the field in his two seasons with the Giants, has been released, the team announced Thursday.
Ryan started all but one of the 31 games in which he played after joining the Giants just prior to the 2020 season. During that time, he totaled a team-high 209 tackles (144 solo) and added 17 passes defensed, 2.0 sacks, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception. A cornerback for most of his career, Ryan started 28 games at safety for the Giants.
In addition, Ryan last season was one of the Giants' seven captains and their nominee for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field.
The 2021 season was Ryan's ninth in the NFL. He previously played four seasons for the New England Patriots, for whom he played on two Super Bowl winners, and three with the Tennessee Titans.
Ryan signed with the Giants as a free agent on Sept. 4, 2020. Ten days later, he made his debut with the team as a reserve. Ryan then started the remaining 15 games that season and all 15 games in which he played in 2021, when he missed two games while on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2022 offseason.
Giants re-sign offensive tackle Korey Cunningham
The Giants announced they have re-signed offensive tackle Korey Cunningham.
A 6-6, 311-pounder, Cunningham spent the entire 2021 season with the Giants, splitting his time between the practice squad and the active roster. He was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 7, one week after being released by the New England Patriots.
Cunningham was elevated to the roster for the first time on Oct. 9 and made his Giants debut the following day in Dallas. He played in 12 games, including 11 in a row before missing the Jan. 2 game in Chicago after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Cunningham totaled 113 snaps as a reserve and 34 on special teams.
He played more than half of those snaps (67) at Philadelphia on Dec. 26, when Matt Peart started at right tackle but had to leave the game after suffering a torn ACL late in the first quarter. Cunningham replaced him for the remainder of the game.
View photos of Giants offensive tackle Korey Cunningham.