New York Giants NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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New York Giants Draft Picks (2018)
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Offensive Line
- Edge Rusher
- Running Back
Let me be frank, I was unimpressed with the New York Giants draft class a season ago as the G-Men went sexy and didn’t address their dreaded offensive line and selected a project quarterback Davis Webb in the 3rd round that I thought would never develop into a starter at the NFL level. After a 3 win season in 2017, the Giants cleaned house replacing Jerry Reese/Ben McAdoo with Dave Gettleman/Pat Shurmur. So far so good for the new regime as they absolutely nailed the off-season with the addition of Nate Solder and Alec Ogletree and then the draft by selecting offensive difference-maker Saquon Barkley and “Big Nasty” Will Hernandez. Barkley is a special player that will improve the Giants anemic rushing attack and make it easier for the entire offense, especially the aging Eli Manning. Plug Hernandez next to Solder and watch Barkley run left. The complete 180 in terms of philosophy will allow the Giants to be balanced which opens up even more big plays for Odell Beckham and the receiving core. Not a big fan of Lorenzo Carter but he adds more athleticism to the second level of the defense. B.J Hill is a run stuffer that can be a rotational player in an already stout Giants front. One of my draft favorites Kyle Lauletta helps mitigate passing on Sam Darnold as he can be the heir apparent to Manning. RJ McIntosh adds another body up front that can pressure the quarterback.
Barkley is absolutely the best prospect in the Giants draft class but my favorite pick was the 2nd round selection of Will Hernandez. The pick of Barkley was a no-brainer but when the Giants doubled down on improving their rushing attack by selecting Hernandez, this is when I realized the Giants were up to something. Hernandez is a bully in the run game whose feet are underrated in short areas as he gets the job done in a phone booth. If the Giants want to win games and get back to the playoffs, then running the football should be their first priority.
Fantasy Football Implications
2017 was a season to forget for the Giants offensive skill players. Beckham Jr played in only 4 games before he went down with a fractured ankle. There was no rushing attack to speak of and Eli Manning struggled the entire season leading the Giants to being 31st in the league in points scored. I expect everything to change in 2018 and the Giants to have a Top 10 offense. Barkley is a lock to be the first rookie selected in fantasy drafts and is the shoe-in for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Think Kareem Hunt production in 2017. Beckham is healthy and will be drafted in the top half of the first round. Don’t overthink it. Evan Engram is the other player to own as he had a pretty good rookie year and will be a Top 5 tight end in 2018. Manning has sleeper potential but I am not comfortable with him as a QB1. Play the matchups with Eli.