ESPN's Todd McShay releases updated mock draft
With the combine still a few weeks away, draft analysts have already begun updating their original predictions for the first round of this year's NFL Draft.
The latest to release a new projection for the 2022 draft is ESPN's Todd McShay, who admits that "things will change" with the combine, pro days and much more to come between now and April 28.
Here are McShay's updated picks for the Giants, who hold the fifth and seventh overall selections.
Pick for No. 5: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
Analysis: "He has great quickness, a good arsenal of pass-rush moves and plenty of versatility. His tape is up and down, hence a mild slide to No. 5, but he'd immediately elevate a New York pass rush that had 34 sacks (tied for 22nd) last season. And he'd perfectly complement Leonard Williams and Azeez Ojulari, the team's 2021 second-rounder who led the defense with 8.0 sacks in his rookie year." -- McShay
Thibodeaux put together three consecutive strong seasons for the Ducks, which began with an eye-opening freshman campaign in 2019. In 13 games that year, Thibodeaux registered nine sacks and 14 tackles for loss while earning a 77.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. This performance led to him being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
He followed that up with three sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in seven games in 2020, good for a 78.9 overall grade, and was named First-Team All-Pac-12 and the recipient of the Morris Trophy as the conference's best defensive lineman. Playing in 10 games as a junior this past season, Thibodeaux had seven sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. He received an 83.9 overall grade from PFF, including an elite 91.5 pass rush grade, and was once again named First-Team All-Pac-12 along with Unanimous All-American.
For his player comparison, PFF described Thibodeaux as a "rawer Myles Garrett."
Pick for No. 7: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Analysis: "As I mentioned above, I'm not totally sure Cross is a top-10 pick. But he handles speed rushers well and plays with patience, and I see good angles on tape in the run game. He's the next best tackle on the board, and after landing Kayvon Thibodeaux at No. 5, New York can afford to reach a little bit here." -- McShay
Cross redshirted his freshman season following appearances in three games. He then went on to start 10 games at left tackle in 2020 and was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. In 2021, the young tackle started 12 games and allowed just two sacks and 33 hurries on 719 pass block snaps. He finished with an 86.7 overall grade from PFF, including strong marks in both the run (87.2) and pass (84.9) game.
Cross was named First-Team All-SEC and also received the Kent Hull Trophy as the best offensive lineman in Mississippi, chosen by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
For his player comparison, PFF described Cross as having "shades of Laremy Tunsil."
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his final edition of the top 50 prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.
DC Don Martindale 'not built' to play it safe
Some defensive coaches gravitate to playing it safe, given the rule changes that tend to favor the offense in today's NFL. Not Don Martindale … and not the New York Giants as long as he's on watch.
"I'm not built that way," Martindale told Giants.com in his first interview since head coach Brian Daboll hired him to run the defense. "We're not built that way. We like to attack … and pressure breaks pipes on these offenses as well. I just don't want to sit back and say, 'OK, let's see what you've got.' I want them to sit back and see what we have."
Martindale cultivated that mindset throughout his 35 years in coaching, including 17 in the NFL. His influences, he said, include Skip and Lou Holtz, Buddy Ryan, Al Davis, and Ozzie Newsome. Martindale spent the previous decade with the Baltimore Ravens, the last four as defensive coordinator. He joined the team as a linebackers coach in 2012, the season Baltimore won Super Bowl XLVII.
Along the way, his defenses gained a reputation for frequent and creative blitzing.
"Everybody says right away 'pressure,' but pressure can be viewed in many forms," Martindale said. "A lot of the times that we had free runners in the past, it's just been on four-man pass rushes. Now, it's different guys coming, but I think that's our trademark. We know how to attack protections, and I'm looking forward to doing the same thing here."
STC Thomas McGaughey 'couldn't wait' to return
One familiar face stood out when the Giants officially announced the three coordinators working under new head coach Brian Daboll - special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey.
McGaughey is entering his fifth season leading the Giants' special teams. After working as the assistant special teams coordinator from 2007-2010 under Tom Coughlin, McGaughey was brought back in 2018 to lead the unit under Pat Shurmur. He was retained on Joe Judge's staff for the past two seasons, and will now work with Daboll for the first time.
Although he received a couple of interviews with other teams for their open special teams coordinator positions, McGaughey ultimately was thrilled to return to the Giants for what will be his ninth overall season with the franchise.
"First things first, this organization has been really good to me and my family. I'm a Giant for life," McGaughey told Giants.com. "It's been great to me. I couldn't wait for the opportunity. I interviewed other places, but I couldn't wait for the opportunity to come back and try to build something special here with Coach."