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Giants Now: The Athletic's draft fits for Giants


The Athletic's draft fits for Giants' first-round picks

The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off in just over two months.

Before teams travel out to Las Vegas for this year's draft festivities, scouts, front office personnel and draft prospects will converge in Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine, which begins next week.

While many draft experts have released updated predictions prior to the combine, The Athletic's Nick Baumgardner took a different approach. The senior writer looked at all 32 first-round picks and chose one offensive and one defensive player that could be a potential fit.

Here are Baumgardner's potential fits for the Giants at Nos. 5 and 7.

Prospect to watch at No. 5: Offense - Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Analysis: "Neal is perhaps the safest pick at left tackle, pre-combine. Can the Giants see Neal and (Andrew) Thomas as bookends for the next 10 to 15 years?"

Defense - Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Analysis: "If (Kayvon) Thibodeaux falls, that's another conversation. Minus that, though, selecting Stingley might be the quickest way for the Giants to upgrade their defense."

Prospect to watch at No. 7: Defense - David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

Analysis: "The other elite Michigan edge defender. Like (Aidan) Hutchinson, Ojabo is freaky, but he comes with more questions. Ojabo's general football experience is also more limited. He didn't start playing until 2017, moving from Nigeria to Scotland and eventually to Blair Academy in New Jersey before landing at Michigan."

Offense - Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Analysis: "Someone will get a really good receiver in this draft — likely early."

The Giants currently hold 9 picks in this year's draft, including three of the first 36 selections and five of the top 81. According to analytics expert Warren Sharp, the Giants are tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for the second-most draft capital in this year's draft.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his final edition of the top 50 prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Giants add OL, EDGE in two-round PFF mock draft

With three of the first 36 selections, the Giants have an opportunity to add several Day 1 starters in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Pro Football Focus' Austin Gayle was the latest to publish a prediction for this year's draft, releasing a two-round mock draft earlier this week.

Gayle projected three linemen to the Giants, one on the offensive side and two on defense.

Here are the Giants' selections in the latest two-round PFF mock draft.

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

Analysis: "Evan Neal will draw comparisons to Tristan Wirfs throughout the pre-draft process because of his rare size-athleticism combination. The 6-foot-7, 350-pound behemoth landed at No. 1 on Bruce Feldman's College Football Freaks List and drew insanely high praise for his explosiveness.

" 'At his size, he is the most impressive lower-body power athlete we have ever seen,' Alabama director of sports science Matt Rhea said to Feldman. 'His jumping power is in the top 1% we have ever measured. At 350 pounds, he routinely hits box jumps at 48 inches.' "

Neal played in 15 games in 2021, allowing just two sacks, five hits and eight hurries on 650 pass block snaps. He earned an 85.8 overall grade from PFF, including 83.6 pass block and 80.4 run block grades. This came just one year after allowing a mere two sacks, one hit and six hurries on 423 pass block snaps in 2020, good for an 83.7 overall grade. After being crowned a national champion in 2020, Neal was named First-Team All-SEC and a Consensus All-American this past season.

Pick at No. 7: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Analysis: "Karlaftis will get tagged as just a lunchpail type with a high motor in a lot of lazy analysis this draft season, but he's so much more than that. The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder was extremely productive for Purdue this season and should surprise with his athletic testing at the combine.

"Karlaftis, another Feldman Freaks List member, reportedly recorded a 10-foot-1 broad jump, 37.5-inch vertical and 4.69-second 40-yard dash at just over 270 pounds this offseason. Boilermakers head coach Jeff Brohm also raved about Karlaftis' efforts on and off the field in a Tailgate interview before the season."

Karlaftis played in 12 games this past season, totaling 4.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 14 QB hits, 35 hurries, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, four pass breakups and one defensive touchdown. He received an 87.2 overall grade from PFF while performing well against both the pass (90.6) and run (75.1). The 6-foot-4, 275-pound edge rusher was an All-Big Ten Selection all three years at Purdue (First-Team in 2021, Second-Team in 2019 and 2020) and also earned Third-Team All-American honors this past season.

Pick in Round 2: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

Enagbare played in 12 games for South Carolina this past season, totaling 43 tackles (28 solo), 4.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two pass breakups. He added 16 QB hits and 25 pressures, helping him earn a 92.5 pass rush grade and an 88.5 overall grade. Enagbare also earned an 89.2 pass rush grade in 2020 after racking up seven sacks, which led to him being named First-Team All-SEC.

Giants Life: A New Era | Joe Schoen MIC'D UP at Senior Bowl

GM Joe Schoen traveled with members of the front office to Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl. Schoen was mic'd up during practice as he scouted the top prospects before the 2022 NFL Draft.

Check out the video below to watch the Giants' general manager mic'd up in Mobile.


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