The Giants managed to land three players that had first-round draft grades according to CBS Sports and Walter Football. This draft has the potential to become one of Jerry Reese’s best draft classes and it could propel the Giants back into the playoffs for the first time since they won the Super Bowl in 2012. Here’s who they selected:
1st Round, 9th Overall: OT Ereck Flowers (Miami)
2nd Round, 33rd Overall: SS Landon Collins (Alabama)
3rd Round, 74th Overall: DE Owa Odighizuwa (UCLA)
5th Round, 144th Overall: FS Mykkele Thompson (Texas)
6th Round, 186th Overall: WR Geremy Davis (UConn)
7th Round, 226th Overall: OT Bobby Hart (Florida State)
Giants 2015 Draft Grade: 8.5/10
New York Giants 2015 NFL Draft Review
The Best Player: Both Ereck Flowers and Landon Collins will be immediate starters this season, but I’ll give Flowers the nod here because he was the first-round pick. He will push Justin Pugh inside to guard and start at the right tackle position in 2015. He was the best left tackle prospect in the class (Brandon Scherff will be a guard or right tackle in the NFL) and the Giants hope he will replace Will Beatty on the blind side down the road. With Flowers at right tackle and two players (Pugh and Richburg) moving to more ideal positions, the Giants should have a much better offensive line this year.
The Head-Scratcher: Mykkele Thompson did not even expect to be drafted, but for some reason the Giants took him in the fifth round. This pick was a huge reach and it was definitely the head-scratcher of the draft for the Giants. However, the Giants expect Thompson to complement Landon Collins at free safety sometime in the future, so it could make more sense if he develops well.
The Surprise: Landon Collins was the surprise of the draft for multiple reasons. He was widely acknowledged as the top safety in the class and projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick. Somehow, he slipped to the top of the second round. Then, Jerry Reese surprised the entire fan base by trading up to get him. Jerry Reese rarely makes trades on draft day, especially ones that involve a high draft pick. However, he felt that an impact player like Collins was worth moving up for. He will greatly improve the Giants run defense from the strong safety position and he filled one of the team’s biggest needs.
The Steal: Owa Odighizuwa was projected to be a late first-round or early second-round pick, but the Giants landed him in the third round. He was one of the biggest steals of the entire draft and, to top it off, he filled a position of need. He is already a good run-stopper and he has the ability to develop into a solid pass rusher as well. With Jason Pierre-Paul, Robert Ayers, Damontre Moore, George Selvie, and Owa Odighizuwa, the Giants have significant depth at the defensive end position.
Most Likely to Turn Heads in Training Camp: The Giants have a few rookies that could turn heads in camp, but since I already discussed four of them, I will talk about Geremy Davis here. If Davis wants to make the roster, he must turn heads in training camp. Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, and Dwayne Harris are locks to make the roster. In addition, Preston Parker, Corey Washington, and Marcus Harris are all solid receivers that the Giants would probably like to keep around. In order to make the roster, Davis needs to prove that he can create separation. My guess is that he will have a solid training camp and earn a roster spot.
The Rest: Offensive tackle Bobby Hart started on a national championship team at Florida State and he is a player the Giants will try to develop for a few years. He is a mauling run blocker and he will probably shift inside to guard at the professional level. He is only 20 years old and if the Giants can develop his pass blocking ability, he could become a starter in the future.
The Bottom Line: The Giants had a great draft and they filled all of their major holes without having to reach for less talented players. Ereck Flowers, Landon Collins, and Owa Odighizuwa all received first-round draft grades and they should be able to make an impact as rookies. Mykkele Thompson might have been a reach, but he could get some playing time as a rookie because of the Giants lack of safety depth. Geremy Davis must impress immediately if he wants a roster spot, but he should be a solid possession receiver in a few years. Finally, Bobby Hart is an intriguing developmental player because he could turn into a solid starter in a few years if he can become a better pass blocker.