Written by: The Wingspan Team
Our beloved New York Giants have now completed the 2018 NFL Draft. This is the first draft that Dave Gettleman has had as GM, the 3 of us decided to grade each pick with some insight. How did the Giants do throughout the draft?
Let’s get right into it.
Saquon Barkley, RB (Penn State):
Joe: I mean, you gotta love this pick for the Giants. I understand Giants fans wanted a Quarterback, but I am still not convinced any of these guys are franchise QB’s. So if that’s the case and if the Giants feel the same way, why not go out and get the best player in the Draft? Pairing Barkley with Odell, Shepard, Engram, my goodness. Some teams would be grateful to have one of those guys. The Giants needed a legit Running Back, a franchise changer, a generational talent and that is exactly what they got.
Mike: The number one player in the draft. A damn near-perfect prospect. With measurables of 6’0 233 lbs, Barkley is a premier talent that Dave Gettleman himself said that he was “touched by the hand of God. Barkley immediately makes the Giants a better football team. He has the dynamic to make the offensive line better by bursting through holes with elite quickness that only be open for a short period of time, he makes Eli’s life easier, opens up the play action for the wide receivers on the outside and makes the defense better as Barkley can keep opposing defenses on the field. I don’t care about the “positional value” nonsense either. Barkley was the consensus #1 prospect and maybe one of the best prospects to ever enter the draft in recent memory.
Bobby: This is a Hall of Fame type of talent but the position is what makes me not jump through the roof in excitement for this pick. Talent wise he is the best player in the draft and need wise for the Giants he fits the plan. The issue is at number 2 overall he needs to be a Barry Sanders like back considering that we passed on potential future high Quality QB’s. I think he has the goods to be an all time great and I like the faith we are showing in Eli, but still is a bit risky.
Greg: The Giants were finally able to fill a position that has been soft for a number of years. In the last decade, the Giants run game finished in the top 10 only twice. What makes Barkley a great pick is that he will control the run game by himself, similar to what Ezekiel Elliott did this past season. Barkley is going to make a huge impact on the Giants offense, especially with aging Eli and double coverage Beckham has every game. If he can live up to the expectations, and stay healthy, the Giants could have that complete run game that we haven’t seen since the Jacobs/Bradshaw tandem that won them 2 Super Bowls.
Will Hernandez, OG (UTEP):
Joe: HOG MOLLY !!!!!! This is exactly what the Giants need. They need a guy on the offensive line that is talented, has a bunch of attitude and cares about destroying the guy ahead of him. That is Will Hernandez. A phenomenal run blocker, the Giants did exactly what they needed to do after the Barkley pick. The Giants got their beef in the middle now. A great, great pick.
Mike: Willy Hernandez is bully. The type of offensive lineman that isn’t satisfied with his block until he puts his opposing defender on the ground. That’s the type of attitude the Giants are looking for as they look to transition into a more run oriented team. Hernandez should be a stable force on the offensive line for years to come with Big Blue.
Bobby: This pick to me makes complete sense on various levels. #1 was need, the Giants have lacked a mauler in the trenches for years and the run game has suffered because of it. After taking Barkley round 1 it makes even more sense to add the best run blocking lineman in the draft. This kids attitude is what this team needs and the fact he can come in and start from day one makes this pick a great value in the second round. The only thing keeping this pick from being a A+ is two minor things. The first is sometimes I worry about a “Bully” type player adjusting to a league where everyone is a as strong or stronger as opposed to the competition he played for the most part where he is the strongest guy. His size and combine strength (37 reps) show he will be a power player in the NFL, I just worry slightly about the mental adjustment when he starts banging against other monsters on a daily basis but he should be fine. The other small thing is you would love if he could play tackle if needed also but with his short arms (32 inches) he profiles only as a guard. Again small issue but something to think about.
Greg: Along with our run game, its no mistake out offense live needed some serious help. For a 327 pounder, this kid can move. He was considered the second best guard in the draft, and most thought he wouldnt make it past the first round. The Giants definitely got lucky that he was available in the second round. It also helps that coach Shurmer was an offensive coordinator, so he clearly sees value in Hernandez. He will definitely be giving Eli the protection he needs in the pocket, and will give Barkley that space the run up the middle.
Lorenzo Carter, OLB (Georgia):
Joe: So far in this draft, the Giants made two great picks. They first got the best player in the draft and one of the best Running Back prospects we’ve seen and then they go out and get a lineman to open holes for their newly talented RB. 2 picks, 2 homeruns in the first round and it only gets better from there. With their third pick, the Giants fill an absolute need with Lorenzo Carter. Carter has been a guy the Giants had their eye on for such a long time and Gettleman even admitted the Giants were trying to trade up to get him. A raw talent, with extreme athleticism will help Carter become an immediate impact player for the Giants in their new 3-4 scheme. Also, I always go with the theory of drafting the SEC guys.
Mike: Immediately after the selection was made, reports surfaced the Giants were extremely happy that Lorenzo Carter was still on the board and were able to pick him up. Gettleman even went out and said he was trying to find the assets to move up to get Carter. On the field, Carter fits in right away as an outside linebacker and edge pass rusher in the 3-4 scheme. He’ll be a day one contributor which makes it a perfect choice in the third round.
Bobby: This to me was the best pick of the draft for the Giants. I saw this kids profile and immediately thought first round pick talent. At 6’5 250 lbs this kid is built for the edge in a 3-4 defense. Add in the fact he scored in the 96 percentile in the athletic testing tells me the sky’s the limit for this guy. His production at Georgia did not quite translate to this guy’s physical traits but I believe with NFL coaching this guy can be a 10+ sack a year player in the Chandler Jones mold. What I did love was his best games came against the best opponents which is a important fact for me. First round value, Huge Upside, right system, and I believe the right coaches in place make this pick a steal for the Giants
Greg: This kid is the definition of a pass rusher. With 14 sacks this past season, Carter’s skill will be an upgrade to a Giants defense that is already a force to be reckoned with. Even though his strength is something to be worked on, his speed is what makes him a dynamic player that could also play a few different positions on defense.
BJ Hill, DT (N.C State)
Joe: Yeah, I didn’t really get this pick. I understand the Giants want to bolster up the Defensive Line and add depth, but there were other needs to address here. Don’t get me wrong, BJ Hill is a solid player. The dude is a beast and can clog holes left and right in the run game. But his weakness is his pass rushing ability. And when we’re changing our defense to a 3-4, why grab a guy that is a run stopper instead of a pass rusher? We’re already have two of those Tomlinson and Snacks
Mike: B.J Hill seemed to be more about adding depth to the defensive line and making sure the Giant coaching staff would be able to rotate capable bodies throughout the game. Last season, Olivier Vernon and JPP played over 90% of the defensive snaps for the season. Now with JPP gone, it makes sense to add to the defensive front. Hill is good against the run and has upside as a pass rusher. His development will be interesting to follow in camp.
Bobby: This pick had me scratching my head a bit at the time but it makes sense the more I think about it. This kid is a house that has surprising athleticism despite not showing much in terms of pass rushing stats in college. The pick makes sense because I believe they see this kid as a end in the 3-4 who will be stout against the run on early downs and take up blockers to free up the edge guys on passing downs. He also clearly can slide in and play nose tackle at any point giving Damon Harrison a breather and could potentially be his replacement down the road. Not a lot of upside here but in the 4th round you are looking for solid starters and I think this guy can be that for the Giants both short and long term.
Greg: The Giants caught everyone off guard with this pick. There were a few decent players left when this pick came, but the Giants figured to try and add more depth to their defense. Hill is able to handle the run game, being able to move smoothly on the line and getting a jump on the offense. With the loss of JPP I feel like it was the right move to fill that void. Hill will fit right into that spot and should make an impact right away.
Kyle Lauletta QB (Richmond):
Joe: Personally, I think the Giants got a steal with this pick. I watched game tape on Lauletta a few weeks leading up to the draft and I was more than impressed. I’ll go out and say that if Lauletta had went to a bigger school that Richmond, he would’ve been one of the first QB’s drafted. And I know people are going to say Josh Allen went to a small school and went in the Top 10. And to that I say that Allen is a physical freak of nature and still played good competition at Wyoming. Lauletta can really sling the ball, has a tight spiral and can make plays with his feet. I understand people may have wanted to go in another direction here with the pick, but after Eli is gone, I can really see Lauletta stepping in and becoming a franchise QB. At the very least, he is going to compete with Davis Webb and whoever doesn’t win the job in the future, the Giants can flip and get picks for them in future drafts. Lauletta was Pat Shurmur’s pick and the way Shurmur develops QB’s, who am I to say this is a bad pick? You don’t just have a 65% completion percentage, throw for 3700+ yards with 28 TD’s and 12 INT’s by accident and I don’t care what school you’re at, that’s damn good.
Mike: Can’t say I knew anything about Lauletta up until I watched his highlights and read his player profile after the Giants selected him. It’s easy to see why the Giants made the pick. The new regime didn’t draft Webb and aren’t loyal to Webb. Competition among quarterbacks is a good thing and now the Giants have two young quarterbacks to monitor their progression to be the heir to Eli. Lauletta doesn’t have a big arm but is extremely precise and accurate with his throws. Lauletta could have a very similar career to Case Keenum.
Bobby: I hate this pick and it has nothing to do with the player himself. I think this kid can have a pretty bright future but, I see it this way. With only 1 pick after this and the holes we still had, I would have much rather gambled on a position of need such as RT, Slot Corner, or Linebacker. With the early picks we clearly are saying to the NFL we think we are good enough to compete now and probably have a 1-3 year window with Eli. If we did not feel that way we would have taken a QB at number 2. Also we have Davis Webb as a developmental project behind Eli so I do not really see the need to add another one to the mix at this stage. If we had more picks I would not mind it as much but I feel this was not the time to gamble on a unheralded QB who will not see the field if at all for a few years. This pick to me veered a little bit away from the plan in place. Again nothing against this kid I hope he turns out to be great but the timing of this with our situation did not make enough sense for me to gamble here with only 1 more pick to follow and much bigger holes to fill still.
Greg: At some point the Giants were going to pick up a QB and I think they needed to make a move in this draft especially with Eli’s future being uncertain. I still feel Davis Webb could be the next heir to the throne, but things might change with Lauletta coming in. This kid can definitely throw the ball and accurate at that. He may not be a runner but he has that quick reaction to run the ball when he sees an opening up the middle. He is the type of QB that reads and studies the game rather than use his athletic skills to be a success on the field. With the future QB of the Giants being uncertain, right now their two backups could be a nice tandem to have.
R.J Mcintosh DT (Miami):
Joe: Yeah, I REALLY didn’t get this pick. Again, another DT that needs work on the edge. Mcintosh is really athletic and has a bright future and even turn into a good pass rusher. But, he’s not there yet. He does a lot of things good, just not great. There isn’t one thing that just pops out to me except the one game where he destroyed Quenton Nelson, the number 6 overall player. Obviously, that is a very good sign. But, is he going to bring that every day to the NFL? Can he bring it every day to the NFL? Why not draft the best available pass rusher here if this is your last pick. If we had more picks, I would LOVE this pick, but we didn’t. I would’ve liked to see it go in another direction here.
Mike: This pick literally made no sense to me. It was our last pick of the draft and they doubled up on the defensive line of all positions. Would have much rather the Giants take a chance on an offensive tackle or a cornerback in the hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. We’ll see how much Mcintosh actually contributes this season.
Bobby: After taking B.J Hill earlier I did not love this pick, but I get it. This kid is a projectable athlete and is a good fit as a 3-4 end in our new defense. Gettleman seems to like these athletic defensive tackles who will be switched to end in the 3-4 so this pick goes right along with that idea. I again would have rather taken a shot on another outside linebacker or Offensive lineman here instead but see the value here.
Greg: So two DT in one draft? Not thrilled on this pick at all. I don’t see adding to a defense that is pretty solid already. Mcintosh is going to have to prove himself in training camp in order to get a spot in this loaded defense. Then again, the Giants could use him as leverage in a trade if they need to change things up.
How do you think the Giants did? Let us know at @wingspansports on Twitter