The New York Giants will be one of the biggest players in the first two days of the 2022 NFL draft. The franchise has five picks in the opening three rounds, and these picks will be the start of the new Brian Daboll-led era in New Jersey. With the draft less than two weeks away, Big Blue’s plans are starting to take shape, which means it’s time for the three-round New York Giants mock draft 2.0.
New York Giants Mock Draft 1.0
In the last Sportscasting.com three-round New York Giants mock draft, the G Men took an offensive tackle, an edge rusher, and then filled in around the field with a tight end, linebacker, and another offensive lineman. The mock draft looked like this:
- Round 1, No. 5 overall: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
- Round 1, No. 7 overall: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
- Round 2, No. 36 overall: Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
- Round 3, No. 67 overall: Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
- Round 3, No. 81 overall: Dohnovan West, C, Arizona State
Not much has changed since that last New York Giants mock draft in terms of need. What has changed is that the draft board has come into focus. The Giants will now have to switch up their strategy a bit to get the positions they covet in Round 1. Also, pro days and visits are now done, which leads to the biggest shock of this mock in Round 2.
Round 1, No. 5 overall: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
In my last New York Giants mock draft, I had the team going offensive lineman first and pass-rusher second. As things change in the draft world, though, organizations’ strategies have to change too. As it looks more and more likely that Aidan Hutchinson and Trayvon Walker will come off the board at Nos. 1 and 2, the Giants will have to adjust course and go for an edge player first.
At the end of the college football season, Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux was the top prospect in the draft. However, questions about his effort and polish have hurt Thibodeaux’s stock during the draft process.
Now that the draft is here, though, teams are falling back in love with the rusher’s 6-foot-5, 258-pound frame, 4.58-second 40-yard dash time, superior athleticism, and 19 sacks in college. All Giants fans know the team is at its best with dominant pass-rushers coming off the edge, and Thibodeaux can be that guy.
Round 1, No. 7 overall: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
The New York Giants mock draft 1.0 started with the team taking massive Alabama tackle Evan Neal at No. 5. General manager Joe Schoen will have to change that plan a bit to ensure he gets one of the top pass-rushers, but it seems like, low and behold, Neal will still be there two picks later.
The reasoning for the Giants picking the 6-foot-7, 337-pound Neal hasn’t changed, so neither will the pick. New York’s offensive line was a train wreck in 2021, so choosing a cornerstone tackle will help that.
Neal has the size, athleticism, and technical know-how to become an elite LT in the league. This jives with Schoen and Daboll’s long- and short-term plans. In 2022, Neal will help give quarterback Daniel Jones every chance he needs to succeed. If he doesn’t, Neal is a perfect player to help give the next guy that same chance in 2023 and beyond.
Round 2, No. 36 overall: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
Speaking of Daniel Jones, here is the spot where this New York Giants mock draft 2.0 varies wildly from the original version. Schoen and Daboll have said all the right things about giving Jones a chance to succeed. However, they also are smart enough to know they need a contingency plan.
UNC QB Sam Howell is that contingency plan. It’s no secret that the Giants are intrigued with the Tar Heel’s 6-foot-1, 220-pound passer. The team sent four coaches to his pro day, and if they liked what they saw, Howell could be the pick here.
The Giants would love to get Howell in the third — which is more where he belongs — but that’s just not going to happen. In a draft where no single QB is on the top of everyone’s board, different signal-callers can be at the top of each team’s rankings. If Howell is No. 1 on the board in the Meadowlands, taking him in Round 2 will seem like a good deal to the team.
Round 3, No. 67 overall: Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
One player is in the exact same spot in the New York Giants mock draft 2.0 as he was in 1.0, and that’s Oklahoma LB Brian Asamoah. While players have gone up and down draft boards in the last few weeks, Asamoah stayed put. He was a high third-round prospect a few weeks ago, and he still is today.
And he still makes a ton of sense of the Giants at No. 67.
The reason Asamoah slips to the third is his size at 6-foot, 226-pounds. Other than that, he is a sideline-to-sideline backer who fits in any scheme and is always around the football. He also has the speed to cover most backs and tight ends in the league. The former Sooner will likely need to put on more weight to become a three-down star in the NFL, but for now, he can play in sub-packages and should be a game-wrecker on special teams, and that’s a lot to like for a third-round pick.
Round 3, No. 81 overall: Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
In the spirit of helping Daniel Jones, this New York Giants mock draft goes back to the offensive side of the ball with the team’s second pick of the third round. Tight end Evan Engram signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason as part of that organization’s quarter-billion-dollar spending spree. The Giants signed Ricky Seals-Jones from Washington, but he’s more of a TE2.
Isaiah Likely is a 6-foot-4, 240-pound tight end from Coastal Carolina who put up a 59-catch, 912-yard, 12-touchdown season in 2021. He played WR in high school and grew into a tight end with the Chanticleers.
He needs to get stronger and become a better blocker at the NFL level, but as a big, pass-catching target, he’ll be ready day one. Likely had five touchdowns of over 50 yards in school and will bring that deep seam route and field-stretching ability to the Giants, which will help the team’s solid running back and receiver corps operate in more space.
All stats courtesy of Sports Reference