Whether one believes in Daniel Jones at this point is irrelevant. The evidence forces us to believe he is not the Giants’ answer, no matter how poor his surroundings have been. That makes the New York Giants’ 2022 NFL Draft predictions even more intriguing. Their needs don’t necessarily match with the talent available at top of this draft class. What can general manager Joe Schoen do to impress us in his first season drafting in New York?
New York Giants 2022 NFL Draft predictions
With Jones’ fifth-year option decision looming for New York, if their QB of choice is on the board at No. 5 overall, they need to make that pick. They should not risk missing out on a possible franchise QB as they attempt to save one that this front office didn’t even draft. With two picks in the top seven, where do they go?
Prediction 1: Quarterback and BPA
Malik Willis is almost universally believed to be the top quarterback in the class at this point in the process. But if the Detroit Lions don’t draft him, it’s unlikely anybody does before the Giants pick at No. 5. Jones will either be gone or very expensive after 2022. New York is running out of options, and one good season doesn’t wash away three years of relative disappointment.
That leaves the option of taking the best player available at a position of relative need. That could be pass rushers like Travon Walker or Kayvon Thibodeaux, or offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu. The issue with Ekwonu — or any of the top tackles — is the Giants would have to decide to move them from the left to right side in this NFL Draft prediction.
Unless New York decides to trade James Bradberry, there doesn’t seem to be a massive need at the cornerback position — or else they could potentially take the top CB in the class. Kyle Hamilton could be an option alongside fellow safety Xavier McKinney, as Julian Love is in the final year of his deal.
Prediction 2: Trade back with a QB-needy team
With any trade back, the Giants would ideally like to swap in the first round and pick up at least next season’s first from the QB-needy team.
Sticking with Jones for another season is not the end of the world. If the team struggles again, there’s an excellent chance New York will select highly in the draft and have the additional draft capital to secure a QB in 2023.
The Falcons, Seahawks, Saints, and Steelers could make big offers to move ahead of the Panthers if they want the top quarterback in the draft. There’s even a chance the Panthers themselves could move up a spot if they hear the Giants are receiving calls.
If New York moves back, there is still a chance they can get one of the top pass rushers. They could also draft offensive tackle Trevor Penning if they move back towards the middle of Round 1. Even though they need a right tackle, reaching for need is how teams miss on great football players. A trade back could also put them in a prime spot to draft linebacker Nakobe Dean.
Prediction 3: Stay and pick
This is probably the most likely NFL Draft prediction option. But the Giants are in a weird spot. Aside from pass rusher, their needs don’t align with the top of the draft. It might be a bit rich for any of the top receivers. Tyler Linderbaum‘s limitations will prohibit him from going high, and there aren’t any other interior blockers for the Giants to go after. They need linebackers, but this class doesn’t boast a blue-chip prospect.
In that case, the Giants must either stick to their board or decide to reach on a lesser player at a position of need. Their first pick shouldn’t be an issue. They should have one of the top three pass rushers or Hamilton available. That second pick is the tricky one.
Ekwonu or Evan Neal could play right tackle if they choose to go that route. Neal has experience there, but he would probably prefer to stay on the left side. Cincinnati CB Ahmad Gardner could be the pick, and New York could immediately get on the phone about Bradberry. Or, they could take a darned good football player in defensive tackle Jordan Davis. Sure, we’d laugh at the Dave Gettleman-like pick, but Davis is a legitimate freak on the interior that could change the defense’s outlook.
Additionally, the Giants could go with someone like Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson in this NFL Draft prediction. That would offer Jones another weapon as he enters a make-or-break campaign in 2022.
New York Giants 2022 NFL Draft needs
The Giants’ need at tackle looks like it can be addressed on paper, but it’s always a fuss to move a tackle from one side to the other. That’s why it’s not a simple selection in mock drafts. Wide receiver, guard, and center don’t align with where New York picks in this draft. They could upgrade safety or trade Bradberry to open things up, but they’re simply creating a crucial need out of nothing if they do it before draft day.