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Giants trade twice on Day 2; 6 picks left


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Joshua Ezeudu and Cor'Dale Flott have very dissimilar body types and play in very different position groups, but the Giants' two third-round selections in the 2022 NFL Draft bring many similar attributes to the team.

Ezeudu, a 6-4, 325-pound offensive lineman from the University of North Carolina, was taken with the third choice in the round, No. 67 overall. Flott, 6-2 and 170 pounds, is a defensive back from LSU chosen 17th in the round and 81st in the draft.

"It's very surreal," Ezeudu said of being drafted. "You think about it so much, but until it actually happens, it kind of shocks you. I was speechless. As soon as I heard my name called, I just let it all out."

"I expected it, but not from the Giants, it definitely caught me surprised," Flott said. "I'm very excited.

"I got along well with the coaches, and I just hear different things from coaches and teams when I was on visits. But I kind of low-key felt like the New York Giants, and the staff, and the cornerbacks coach kind of clicked. So, when I got their call, it was very surprising."

The careers of both players have been marked by their ability to play multiple positions.

"Joshua Ezeudu out of North Carolina, a player we liked, obviously." general manager Joe Schoen said. "History of playing multiple spots on the offensive line. He's got guard-tackle flex. We'll bring him in - not going to say exactly where we're going to start him, but we like the versatility that he can play guard, he can play tackle, compete to start probably inside, with outside flex.

"And then Cor'Dale Flott is a guy we liked out of LSU, athletic kid, versatility, play inside, outside. Both kids, we spent a lot of time with throughout the spring, and we're happy to have them."

In four seasons at UNC, Ezeudu played in 36 games with 28 starts – 20 at left guard, six at left tackle and two at right tackle. But starting a game at one position was often a temporary assignment. Ezeudu was so malleable, he could seamlessly switch positions – and move back, if necessary - in the middle of a drive.

"He's impressive," Schoen said. "It's rare. I was fortunate enough to see him play live twice this year, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. He's a big man, and it's impressive. Again, he could play multiple spots not only on a week-to-week basis but within a game, within drives. So, it's very impressive, and he's an outstanding kid. You guys will like getting to know him."

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Flott played in 35 games with 21 starts in three seasons at LSU. He was credited with 99 tackles (68 solo), 5.5 stops for loss, 12 passes defensed and had one interception. Flott played both outside on the corner and inside in the slot, and he is confident he can continue performing the dual roles in the NFL.

"I'm very confident," he said. "That's one thing I feel as far as versatility-wise, coming to this program, this organization, I focus more on what's going to be needed and what areas I'm going to be able to improve and help contribute to the team."

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is installing a scheme that is heavy on pressure, which frequently leaves cornerbacks covering receivers one-on-one.

"I'm very comfortable in that scheme," Flott said. "Coming to LSU, that's one of the main things we're known for and that's one of the things you know you're going to do when you first commit to come and play DB there. I'm very comfortable with man-to-man coverage, so I'm excited."

The Giants acquired five players in the first two days of the draft. Earlier Friday, they traded down twice before selecting wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson of Kentucky with the 11th pick in the second round, No. 43 overall. In round one, the Giants drafted edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux fifth overall and tackle Evan Neal seventh.

The draft will conclude tomorrow with four rounds. The Giants have six selections, none of them in the seventh and last round. They own two picks in the fourth round (Nos. 112 and 114), three in the fifth (146, 147 and 173) and one in the sixth (182). Barring a trade, 80 players will be chosen after the Giants make their final selection.

"Continue to build depth," Schoen said of his Day 3 objective. "Depth is important, whether it's a backup role, compete for a starting role or special teams. Fourth down is going to be important to us as well. Just continue to build depth and competition."

"We have conversations after every day of the draft relative to where we've set the board and needs," coach Brian Daboll said. "And if those two match, that's a great thing. We're going to try to acquire as many good players as we can to try to make us as competitive as we can."

The two trades in the second round gave the Giants an additional selection in the fourth round and another in the fifth. Now, Schoen might have the capital to move up if a player the Giants like is available. Or, they can stay where they are and acquire six more players.

"We could do either/or," Schoen said. "Again, draft picks are currency. It allows you to move up, down, whatever you may do, into next year, something happens. It just gives you flexibility throughout the draft. I can't really predict it right now, but there are still guys on the board that we like."


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