Please don’t spread it around but we effing nailed it in last night’s opening round. But, boy, what an emotional roller-coaster ride there for a few minutes. When first Miami, and then Detroit passed on taking DeVonta Smith with the 6th and 7th picks respectively, you really got the feeling that there was a really good chance that he would in fact make it to the 11th pick. And when Dallas, which was never going to take Smith, got deep into their clock on the 10th pick it looked like a done deal. Then all of a sudden the air came out of the bubble when the news that Philadelphia had traded up with Dallas flashed across the screen and there was only likely player they were after.
My first thought was ‘fuck you, Jerry Jones’ if the Eagles indeed selected Smith. It felt like the Giants would be screwed again by being forced by circumstance to reach for a Kwity Paye or take one of the OG types, who were good players, but really weren’t the kind of impact game changers that I think the Giants really need. And I was in the middle my 5th or 6th ‘eff you, Jerry’ after the Eagles had in fact taken Smith that it suddenly flashed that Chicago was on the clock. My spirits soared, especially when it was announced that we’d had acquired a 2022 first rounder. Shit, we could take Daffy Duck at #20 and it was still a great, and no disrespect to Daffy, but there will a lot of good players on the board at that point.
My initial thought after the deal was that the Giants would follow through on what we reported earlier this month in that if they weren’t able to land Smith with the 11th pick they would try and move done and select one of the top edge rushers. Certainly, Paye and Jaelan Phillips and even Jayson (please call me Odafe – which ironically does sound a little like Daffy!) Oweh were all still there. As we moved down the round, I kept peeking over at the GBN board and seeing the name Elijah Moore, the highly rated slot receiver from Ole Miss, and started to wonder if just maybe they would go receiver there. Of course, they did, although it wasn’t Moore who ultimately was not selected in the opening round, but Florida’s Kadarius Toney another fast receiver who could run the anchor on the Giants’ skill position relay team.
Toney isn’t necessarily a polished receiver who is going to catch 85-90 passes every season, but he’s an explosive playmaker who should give the Giants offense another big-play asset. In fact, he was one of the more dangerous runners in college football an brigs added value as a guy who can be downright scary on fly sweeps and bubble screens, plus he’s a dangerous kick and punt returner.
Now can the Giants carry it forward into the second day. One would think that this is where the Giants might think about addressing the pass rush, although a late run on ERs in which Greg Rousseau, Oweh and Joe Tyron were taken with the three final picks of the opening round, kind of thinned that crop out. Georga ER Az Ojulari is still on the board – indeed, he’s the #2 on the updated GBN Board – but there are concerns about a knee injury with him. However, if he is healthy, it would not be a shock if the Giants traded up to get him as its unlikely that he’ll last 10 picks into the second round if he is indeed healthy. Meanwhile, other DE/ERs that might fit include Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham, along with Oklahoma’s Ronnie Perkins and Joseph Ossai from Texas, while Alabama DE Christian Barmore might be an ideal replacement for Dalvin Tomlinson.
The Giants are also reportedly interested in Alabama C Landon Dickerson, who was voted the top OL in college football last year. Indeed, C is kind of strength of IOL at this point in the draft as Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey and Quinn Meinerz of Wisconsin-Whitewater are also both still on the board. However, they may do better at landing an OG in the third round where there should be a pretty strong group of guards including Trey Smith of Tennessee, Georgia’s Ben Cleveland, along with several guys from Notre Dame. There are also some pretty good corners still out there including Tyson Campbell of Georgia (who the Giants scouted heavily earlier this year), Asante Samuel of Florida State, Kelvin Joseph of Kentucky and a bit of a sleeper in rangy Ifeatu Melinfonwu of Syracuse.
Should be an interesting evening.