Round 1 Pick 6 – Daniel Jones, QB Duke
The more I’ve read about Daniel Jones, the more I like about him. While I still agree Gettleman could have gotten him at 17, I think Daniel Jones is going to be a decent starting QB at least. I watched his film and realized he had no one around him to catch or block for him. In a game vs Virginia, he threw 9 INTs, so there are some accuracy worries. I think he’ll be fine and now that he’s a Giant, he has my full support. Bring us the Super Bowl kid.
When he’ll start: Week 7 Vs Arizona – The Maras love their Manning, no matter how out of his prime he is. Once the Giants are out of the playoff race, we’ll see Jones lace up his cleats to start. The Cardinals are a great team to have Jones start against. They ranked last in total defense last year and didn’t do much to improve it this offseason. Jones needs to start at home and start against one of the weakest teams in the NFL.
Round 1 Pick 17 – Dexter Lawrence, DT Clemson
I love the player, but don’t get why Gettleman picked him. The Giants run a 3-4 with a lot of blitzing, so this pick confused me as the Giants already have a plethora of DT’s. With a crowded defensive interior already, Dexter Lawrence will bring massive improvement to the run defense. Don’t let the numbers fool you, he fills his gap on the run which bumps the ball carrier into his teammates. This guy is an elite run stopper. The only downside is Lawerence doesn’t rush the QB well. Only 1.5 sacks in his last two years at Clemson. In a pass heavy league and a pass-heavy NFC East, he’ll need to improve his pass rushing skills to be a top DT.
When he’ll start: Week 1 @ Dallas – Lawerence is the new Damon Harrison we so desperately need. Lawerence will bump Tomlinson out to the end making a week 1 D-line of, Dexter Lawerence (DT), BJ Hill (DE), and Dalvin Tomlinson (DE).
Round 1 Pick 30 – DeAndre Baker, CB Georgia
Baker doesn’t want to be known as a shutdown corner yet but trust me DeAndre, you’re a shutdown corner. The best coverage corner in the draft, Baker only let up one touchdown in his college career. QB’s were scared to throw towards him in college which is why his numbers don’t scream first round pick. Yet, Baker is an absolute beast no matter where he lines up. He can shut down speedy slot receivers and body up the big red zone threats on any given down. I love this pick, it was a need and Baker is the best of the best.
When he’ll start: Week 1 @ Dallas – Baker fills a massive need for a #1 CB as Jenkins excels at locking down the #2 receivers, while suffering against #1’s last year without much help. Baker and Jenkins will lock down everyone in blue for a long time.
Round 3 Pick 95 – Oshane Ximines, OLB Old Dominion
I love this pick. Flat out love it, Ximines set the school record for sacks and tackles at Old Dominion. While there are some questions about how he’ll fare against more elite talent, rushing the passer is all about technique. Anyone with the technique of rushing the passer can get past anyone. Ximines has the technique and he can get past anyone. Ximines is going to be one of the sleepers of the draft.
When he’ll start: Week 1 @ Dallas – Ximines is the only OLB/DE on the roster other than Lorenzo Carter, so this was an easy prediction considering Bettcher runs a 3-4.
Round 4 Pick 108, Julian Love, CB Notre Dame
I also LOVE this pick. Get it? (This is why I’m a sports writer, not a comedian). Julian Love was the cornerstone of the defense for the Fighting Irish’s playoff run last year. He was a lockdown corner in college. He’ll line up in the slot next to Baker and Jenkins. The Giants got great value out of this pick. Love is a speedy and scrappy cornerback who is going to have a longer leash than most picks in this class. Love is physical and will stunt receivers off the block.
When he’ll start: Week 1 @ Dallas – James Bettcher loves to use the nickel (5 DB’s) where Love thrives in. Love is physical and loves to hit the ball carrier more than some linebackers. Bettcher will send Love on a lot of blitzes and crowding around the line of scrimmage.
Round 5 Pick 143, Ryan Connelly, ILB Wisconsin
Giants might have reached with this draft pick. Connelly was predicted to be a 6th through the early 7th round pick. I don’t see Connelly beating out Ogletree or BJ Goodson for the starting roles for this season. Connelly is a high motor leader, whom college teammates loved in the locker room. I see Connelly as more of an insurance player in case Goodson or Ogletree go down this season.
When he’ll start: Week 1 @ Dallas* – *He will start on special teams in the kickoff and punt teams.
Round 5 Pick 171 – Darius Slayton, WR Auburn
At this point in the draft, you look for tangibles and physical attributes instead of college production. On film, Slayton looked like an absolute speed demon on every single snap. That’s something teams love in this age of the NFL. With the trading of OBJ and not having an established #1 WR anymore, the Giants looked to bring in some competition for Shepard and Tate. Big time player from a big-time school, Giants got a steal of a player. Great value for a 5th round player.
When he’ll start: Week 1 @ Dallas* – *He will also start on special teams. I predict he’ll be a starting wideout at week 13 vs Packers. Doesn’t hurt to start a new guy at home in front of the fans.
Round 6 Pick 180 – Corey Ballentine, CB Washburn
Disregarding the fatal shooting that Corey was sadly hurt in, Corey Ballentine is a great pickup for the Giants. Ballentine fell so far because he played at little known Washburn. Yet, I think he has a real shot to compete to get some real defensive playing time this season. His combine was flat out ridiculous, running a 4.47 and a vertical of 40 inches. Washburn’s football website has him listed at 6 ft, 204 pounds. He has the size and speed to cover the slot at an elite level. I love this pick and I think Ballentine is going to be a great starting corner at this level. The only problem I have with this pick is we never saw Ballentine playing against elite talent. I think he can adjust and that’s why I’m grading this pick quite high.
When he’ll start: Week 1 @ Dallas – With a lackluster secondary, I believe Ballentine can beat out the competition at camp. Ballentine is going to be a great value corner who you can slide in anywhere and he’ll hold his own.
Round 7 Pick 232 – George Asafo-Adjei – OT Kentucky
At this point in the draft, Gettleman went for the best player available, and luckily a need player fell right into our lap. Asafo-Adjei is going to compete for a starting spot with Chad Wheeler to lock down the right tackle spot. I love that the Giants had a 5th round grade on him and they snagged him in the 7th round. Not the quickest or strongest guy, but Asafo-Adjei held his own against SEC pass rushers. I love this pick based on value and need.
When he’ll start: Week 1 @ Dallas – I believe that Asafo-Adjei will beat out Chad Wheeler and start against Dallas. He’s Gettleman’s premier definition of a hog-mollie, at 6’5 315lbs, Asafo-Adjei is a good plugin until a better player hits the market.
Round 7 Pick 245 – Chris Slayton – DT Syracuse
Gettleman picked the best player available at this point in the draft and took Chris Slayton, a DT from Syracuse who racked up 3.5 sacks and 16 tackles in 10 games for the Orange after moving from DE to DT in his senior year. I don’t expect much, but I’ll be pleasantly surprised if he can make an impact on the Giants.
When he’ll start: I’d love to see him make the team after camp, but I don’t expect Slayton to ever start for the Giants.