New York Giants fans have been waiting for this year’s NFL Draft longer than most fan bases. Following last year’s draft-day trade and subsequent failure of a season, the G-Men have two top-10 picks at their disposal; No. 5 and No. 7.
Armed with two high picks, general manager Joe Schoen has no shortage of prospects to select from, nor does he have a shortage of roster holes to fill. So between now and next month’s draft in Las Vegas, Schoen is assessing all of his options. Even if it means interviewing prospects that, on the surface, might not seem like natural fits.
The Giants have met with Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton
When you think of New York’s draft needs, a few positions come to mind. Fans of Big Blue would be livid if the team left Vegas without at least one starting-caliber offensive lineman. Additionally, New York could (and should) look to address its mediocre pass rush and its cornerback group, especially if a James Bradberry trade comes to fruition.
So why are the Giants thinking about a safety?
According to Pete Sampson of The Athletic, the Giants were one of the teams to have a Zoom meeting with Notre Dame free safety Kyle Hamilton. The Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints, who own picks No. 9 and 18 respectively, have also interviewed the Irish star.
Hamilton, 21, isn’t a typical safety. Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 220 lbs., the Georgia-native has a rare combination of size, speed, and athleticism that make him one of his class’ top overall prospects. In 31 games in South Bend, Hamilton had 138 tackles and eight interceptions while playing all over the field, whether it was as a coverage safety or linebacker.
As talented as Hamilton is, it would be surprising to see him go well inside the top 10. Though ESPN’s Mel Kiper had the Detroit Lions taking the junior with the second overall pick. That said, the last safety to get drafted within the first 10 picks was Jamal Adams, the New York Jets’ sixth-overall pick in 2017. Before that, you’d have to go back to Mark Barron, taken seventh overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012.
All options are on the table for the New York Giants
Given the Giants’ current roster, it would be a surprise if Hamilton was one of their first-round picks. Even after releasing Logan Ryan, New York’s safety combination of Xavier McKinney and Julian Love is fine enough for New York to look elsewhere for now. Especially when right tackle is still a glaring hole on the o-line.
But by meeting with Schoen, the G-Men are proving two things. First, they’re exercising their right to talk to any and all prospects and doing their due diligence on each one. But second, and more importantly, anything and everything is on the table come next month in Vegas.
From a talent perspective, few prospects match up with Hamilton. Why wouldn’t the Giants be interested in adding talent? Even if New York’s needs are greater elsewhere, it’s not like adding a do-it-all stud on defense is going to make them worse. If anything, it will give an average D the playmaker it needs to take the next step.
There are several luxuries to possessing two high picks. One of them is the fact New York can use one pick to fill an immediate need while using another to go after the best player available. So it’s still possible for the Giants to target an offensive lineman before taking a guy like Hamilton.
Meeting with Hamilton might not mean much. After all, New York will meet with countless prospects by the time the draft actually rolls around. Still, Schoen is rightfully assessing all of his options as he oversees a significant rebuild.
The Giants could move either of their two first-round picks
As things stand, the G-Men can sit tight, grab two elite prospects, and use their remaining seven picks for whoever they see fit.
Or … they could trade down and earn even more capital for this year or next.
According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, New York is open to moving either of its top two picks. The goal would be to add multiple picks, including a first-round selection in 2023, similar to what former GM Dave Gettleman pulled off by moving from No. 11 to 20 last year and grabbing the Chicago Bears’ 2022 first-rounder.
The Giants would then boast even more picks for this year and next to help them fill multiple areas of need. Plus, they could still grab someone like Hamilton later in the draft, depending on where their new first-round pick is.
There’s also a possibility that New York is collecting picks now in order to make a run at a top QB in next year’s draft. However, given the current state of the roster, its play should ensure a very high selection in 2023.
With endless possibilities ahead, hope springs eternal for Giants fans everywhere.
All statistics courtesy of Sports Reference.