The New York Giants must address multiple positions on their roster as they head into next season. The Giants' roster suffered numerous injuries and subsequent subpar play by the rest of their team during most of this season. The two central positions of need for New York are their offensive line and receiving unit.
New York has spent a couple of first-round draft picks on offensive linemen over the last few seasons and is in prime position to select another top talent at No. 6 overall in this year's NFL Draft. However, the Giants have had mixed results from the other offensive linemen they drafted high.
That, combined with the fact that they have no receiving options currently on their roster who can stress a defense, is a problem. The Giants gave quarterback Daniel Jones $160 million, and he has no one to throw to.
New York could also look to free agency to bring in quality linemen who have experience in the National Football League instead of drafting another top-talent offensive lineman with no NFL experience.
The situation at wide receiver is undoubtedly more dire than the issues the Giants have along their offensive line. The Giants would also be able to find better talent at offensive line via free agency and the draft than they'd be able to bring in at wide receiver.
With that being the case, many draft experts believe the Giants will use their first-round draft pick on a wide receiver. ESPN's NFL Draft Expert Matt Miller, in his post-Senior Bowl mock draft, believes the Giants will indeed go that route, choosing Washington receiver Rome Odunze, of whom he wrote.
At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Odunze is a physical and aggressive player before and after the catch. He's a dominant option on both back-shoulder fades and breaking routes. No matter who is throwing the ball, Odunze would immediately boost the Giants' offense.
Odunze was one of the top wide receivers in the country this past season, as he caught 92 passes for 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound wideout registered 100 or more receiving yards in 10 out of 15 games, which led to him being named Consensus All-American in addition to first-team All-Pac-12.
It marked the second consecutive season in which he was selected first-team all-conference. As a redshirt sophomore, he caught 75 passes for 1,145 yards and seven touchdowns.
In the second round, where the Giants have two picks, Miller has the Giants taking Duke interior offensive lineman Graham Barton with pick o. 39, and defensive tackle Kris Jenkins of Michigan with Pick No. 47.
Of Barton, Miller wrote:
The Giants' offensive line was a massive issue in 2023, as the team allowed 85 sacks. Barton, who played left tackle at Duke, is projected to slide inside to guard or center in the pros. If the Giants are sticking with right tackle Evan Neal, Barton becomes a Day 1 starter at guard [and] an insurance policy at tackle.
That thinking makes sense, given how the Giants have major question marks at both guard spots. But also worth noting here is that Miller passed over quarterback with Washington's Michael Penix Jr being on the board, noting that Penix isn't a scheme fit for what the Giants run and that the Giants would be better off with a veteran option to supplement what they already have at the position if they don't go quarterback in Round 1.
As for the Jenkins pick, again, while the Giants have some good young talent in D.J. Davidson and Jordon Riley to complement veterans Dexter Lawrence and Rakeem Nunez-Roches, New York is also set to lose A'Shawn Robinson, whose contract voids.
So of Jenkins, Miller praised the prospect for his versatility, noting:
Jenkins moved all over the Michigan defensive line and ended up playing more 5-technique in 2023, but his flashes of burst and power have me thinking his best football is still coming once he can shoot gaps and make plays in the backfield. Despite not being freed up to attack as a pass-rusher, Jenkins still finished with 16 pressures and 2.5 sacks in 2023.
While it's still very early in the process, Miller's three picks for the Giants would certainly go a long way toward filling three glaring needs currently on the Giants roster.
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