New York Giants NFL Draft picks 2022: Grades, fits and scouting reports

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The New York Giants entered the 2022 NFL Draft on April 28 with nine picks over the three-day draft.

The Giants made Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux their top pick at No. 5, continuing a run on defensive players at the top. Thibodeaux, the No. 8 prospect in Dane Brugler’s top 300 rankings, at one point was viewed as a possible No. 1 or 2 pick, but questions about his commitment led to a drop in his stock.

Two picks later, at No. 7, the Giants added Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal, Brugler’s No. 3 overall prospect. It was a great start to the draft for new GM Joe Schoen, who filled a huge need at tackle. Many predicted the Giants would take Neal — or another tackle, such as NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu or Mississippi State’s Charles Cross — at No. 5.

On Friday, the Giants traded down twice early in the second round before selecting Kentucky wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson at No. 43. In the third round, they selected North Carolina guard Joshua Ezeudu at No. 67 and LSU cornerback Cor’Dale Flott at No. 81.

The Giants addressed tight end early on Saturday, taking San Diego State’s Daniel Bellinger at No. 112. He was 136th in Brugler’s top 300. Two picks later, at No. 114, they grabbed Iowa safety Dane Belton, Brugler’s 190th-ranked prospect.

There’s no understating how important this draft is for Schoen. He hopes he’s not making a habit of picking in the top 10. He certainly shouldn’t plan to have a pair of top-10 picks in the same year again, so he needs to make the most of this opportunity. He now has 11 picks in this draft, which is plenty of ammunition to add reinforcements to be added at running back, tight end, linebacker and safety later in a deep draft.

Keep coming back here throughout the draft for analysis and grades for each Giants pick.

Round 1

No. 5: Kayvon Thibodeaux, edge, Oregon

How he fits: The Giants were the team most interested in Thibodeaux at the NFL Scouting Combine, and the first four picks gave the franchise a clear runway to grab their favorite edge rusher — and address a major defensive need. Thibodeaux will line up as a pure edge, but his ability to get after the quarterback and drop into coverage will allow the Giants to make the most of his versatility in Wink Martindale’s blitz-heavy defense. Joining Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams and Azeez Ojulari, New York will have a formidable and athletic front. — Diante Lee

Dane Brugler’s analysis: Thibodeaux isn’t a fluid mover, and his impact runs hot-and-cold, but he understands how to create leverage as a pass rusher with his length, flexibility and hand strength. He draws comparisons to Jadeveon Clowney with NFL teams and has the talent to develop into a high-end starter if he stays committed.

Dan Duggan’s analysis: Giants draft Kayvon Thibodeaux: New regime bets on edge rusher with high ceiling

Christopher Kamrani’s analysis: What the New York Giants are getting in Oregon edge Kayvon Thibodeaux

Sheil Kapadia’s grade: A

No. 7: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

How he fits: The top 10 of the draft couldn’t have shaken out any better for the Giants, allowing them to grab a defensive playmaker with a high ceiling (Thibodeaux) and an offensive anchor to play tackle in Evan Neal. Already comfortable as a right tackle, Neal is as pure a pass protector as you’ll find in the class. Knowing that the Giants have had a great deal of struggles protecting their quarterbacks, and coach Brian Daboll’s love for the spread offense, this pick was a no-brainer. Neal needs to grow as a run blocker, but he has a ceiling as a Pro Bowl-level player for years to come, and he’ll be needed to ward off the pass rush talent in the NFC East. — Diante Lee

Dane Brugler’s analysis: Neal lacks elite lateral agility and needs to clean up his leaning, but he is an effective blocker, thanks to his rare mix of size, athleticism and flexibility. He projects as an immediate NFL starter with Pro Bowl potential and multi-position versatility.

Dan Duggan’s analysis: Giants draft Evan Neal: Alabama tackle tasked with anchoring the offensive line

Aaron Suttles’ analysis: What Alabama OT Evan Neal brings to the New York Giants

Sheil Kapadia’s grade: A

Round 2

No. 43: Kentucky WR Wan’Dale Robinson

How he fits: This pick should tell Giants fans all they need to know about Kadarius Toney’s future with the franchise. Robinson is more of an “offensive weapon” than a pure receiver, with Brian Daboll likely molding him into a role between Cole Beasley’s and Isaiah McKenzie’s in Buffalo’s offense last season. Robinson is shifty, but not the most gifted route runner, and his short arms make his catch radius a legitimate concern against tight coverage in the NFL. Expect Robinson to be the target of manufactured offense on screens, RPOs and play-action passes, where it’s easier to get him into space and away from traffic in the middle of the field.

Dane Brugler’s analysis: Robinson is undersized and quicker than fast, but he is a catch-and-go creator with outstanding vision and athleticism in the open field. He has the potential to be a starting NFL slot receiver and return man.

Dan Duggan’s analysis: Giants draft Wan’Dale Robinson: Undersized Kentucky WR has something to prove

Kyle Tucker’s analysis: What the New York Giants get in Kentucky WR Wan’Dale Robinson

Sheil Kapadia’s grade: B-minus

Round 3

No. 67: Joshua Ezeudu, G, North Carolina

How he fits: The conversation comes up much more often for quarterbacks in this kind of system, but I harbor the same kinds of reservations for offensive linemen who come from RPO-heavy schemes, especially if the player never flashes special traits. Phil Longo’s offense gave Ezeudu simple answers to the issues defenses presented most snaps, but I didn’t see enough consistency on pure drop-back passes to swing my opinion. New York needed to add talent of all kinds on the offensive line, though, and Ezeudu can potentially swing around any of the five spots up front — a valuable trait for a rotational type. The best-case scenario for Ezeudu is as a spot starter or plus backup. — Diante Lee

Dan Duggan’s analysis: Ezeudu likely to be a project/backup as a rookie

Dane Brugler’s analysis: Ezeudu is still developing the tricks of the trade to be a more consistent sustain blocker, but he gives defenders a battle with his athleticism and hand strength to wear down his opponent. He has starting upside as an NFL guard who can also fill in at tackle in emergencies.

Sheil Kapadia’s grade: B

No. 81: Cor’Dale Flott, CB, LSU

How he fits: Flott is a ball of clay in a defensive backfield, so I’m not surprised that Wink Martindale sees value in bringing the LSU product into the fold. The only issue: I’m doubtful that Flott can overcome some of the technical deficiencies in his game with only his raw athleticism at the next level, especially for a player without much ball production in his career. If he can’t handle the job in the slot, where he played most of the time at LSU, don’t be surprised if he moves back to safety, where there’s more margin for error.

Dane Brugler’s analysis: Flott has slick hips to turn and run on command with inside-outside versatility, but he trusts his athleticism more than his technique with below-average size and questionable playmaking instincts.

Dan Duggan’s analysis: Versatile Flott should have an immediate role in Giants’ depleted secondary

Sheil Kapadia’s grade: B-minus

Round 4

No. 112: Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State

Dane Brugler’s analysis: Bellinger has unimpressive receiving production and doesn’t always play up to his timed speed, but he has natural ball skills and a detailed approach as a blocker. With his toughness and versatility, he projects as a backup Y tight end with upside.

Dan Duggan’s analysis: The 6-foot-5, 253-pound Bellinger could be plugged in as the blocking tight end to complement the veteran pass-catching tight ends the Giants added in free agency.

No. 114: Dane Belton, S, Iowa

Dane Brugler’s analysis: Belton doesn’t play as explosively as his testing numbers might suggest, but he floats naturally with the instincts and ball skills for underneath zones. He projects best as a down nickel safety in the NFL, although he needs to develop his strength and be more consistent vs. the run to see steady playing time.

Dan Duggan’s analysis: The 6-foot, 205-pound Belton projects as a fit as a safety in big nickel packages. He had five interceptions last season.

Round 5

No. 146

No. 147

No. 173

Round 6

No. 182

 (Photo of Dane Belton: Joe Robbins / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)