Saquon Barkley excited to have Evan Neal up front
The Giants made two selections in the first round of this year's draft, and both players are expected to have an immediate impact.
While Kayvon Thibodeaux may end up making more individual splash plays as a pass rusher, Evan Neal's potential success could lead to more explosive plays for the offense as a whole.
One player who is clearly thrilled to have the 6-foot-7, 351-pound Neal blocking up front is Saquon Barkley.
"Evan Neal, he's a physical specimen," Barkley said Tuesday, via the New York Daily News. "He came for the draft top-30 visit. All the draft people kinda were by my locker. He was there and I was like, oh my God, who is that?
"I saw him and was like I would not be mad if we would pick him up. I didn't know he was gonna drop that far (to No. 7 overall), but great. I'm glad he's on our team."
The Giants were ecstatic to emerge from the first round with Thibodeaux and Neal. The experts were also high on the team's picks and draft class as a whole, evidenced by the high marks the Giants received after the draft.
Barkley is especially excited about the addition of Neal, who along with free agent signings Mark Glowinski and Jon Feliciano should help improve Big Blue's offense.
"They're great talents," the running back said about the two first-round picks. "I'm excited especially selfishly as a running back, when you get a 6-7, 350-pound lineman helping you out -- but not just myself, the quarterback, too, and our offense in general."
View photos of the Giants' draft picks as they tour their new home.
PFF lists Micah McFadden as Day 3 rookie in best position to produce Year 1
After selecting five players in the first two days of the draft, the Giants added six more on the third and final day of the 2022 NFL Draft.
One of those six picks was linebacker Micah McFadden, a fifth-round selection (No. 146 overall) out of Indiana.
McFadden enjoyed some success as a pass rusher last season. In 12 games for the Hoosiers, he registered six sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss, earning a 92.0 pass rush grade from Pro Football Focus.
PFF's Anthony Treash recently compiled a list of players selected on Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) who are in the best position to produce in their rookie seasons, and McFadden was the first defensive player listed.
As Treash states, "New Giants defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale has a "type" at linebacker — and McFadden fits that type.
The former Indiana Hoosier landed in a perfect landing spot that will fully utilize his blitzing prowess. Since 2019, no Power Five off-ball linebacker produced a higher pass-rush grade — he racked up 74 pressures and a 25.6% win rate in that span, both of which also led the position.
McFadden is a physical player who can stack and shed with ease, but he is also innate at getting skinny to avoid contact altogether. The cons with his game have to do with limited range, length and inability to play in space, but he is quick to diagnose and can be a menace in the box. In Martindale's aggressive defense, McFadden could shine in the pass-rush and exceed expectations as a Day 3 rookie."
View photos from the college careers of the Giants' entire 11-player draft class
Giants Huddle | Mack Brown on Joshua Ezeudu, Marcus McKethan
Lance Medow is joined by Mack Brown, head coach of the UNC Tar Heels, to chat about draftees Joshua Ezeudu and Marcus McKethan, and what they can bring to the Giants.
:40 - Ezeudu and McKethan
1:50 - Joshua Ezeudu's versatility
6:53 - Marcus McKethan
11:30 - Establishing the run