Grading the Draft - New York Giants

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Chris Tripodi

Draft Analyst Writer

The Giants made their intentions with the No. 2 pick quite clear as the predraft process wore on. The clamoring for a potential long-term answer at quarterback was real, but new general manager Dave Gettleman stuck to the time-tested strategy of taking the best player available.

Round 1 (No. 2 overall): Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Round 2 (No. 34): William Hernandez, OG, UTEP

Round 3 (No. 66): Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia

Round 3 (No. 69): B.J. Hill, DT, NC State

Round 4 (No. 108): Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond

Round 5 (No. 139): RJ McIntosh, DT, Miami

UDFA: Evan Brown, OC, SMU; Sean Chandler, S, Temple; Tyrell Chavis, DT, Penn State; Aaron Davis, CB, Georgia; Jawill Davis, WR, Bethune-Cookman; Tae Davis, LB, Tennessee-Chattanooga; Nick Gates, OG, Nebraska; Grant Haley, CB, Penn State; Tyler Howell, OT, Missouri; Mike Jones, DB, Temple; Robert Martin, RB, Rutgers

Say what you want about drafting a running back in the top two, but Saquon Barkley was easily our No. 1 prospect. Every-down backs who weigh over 233 pounds, run 4.4 in the 40-yard dash and possess receiver-like ball skills don’t come around often, if ever. Nobody questions Barkley’s talent -- and he’ll be one of the league’s best running backs from the moment he steps foot on an NFL field -- but if Sam Darnold or any of the other quarterbacks in this draft turn into franchise cornerstones, this pick may be viewed questionably in hindsight, even if Barkley is a perennial top-five back.

The Giants added much-needed offensive line help early in Round 2 by drafting William Hernandez. The UTEP product is a road-grading run blocker with great strength and technique, and he should open plenty of holes for Barkley over the next several seasons. He’s a limited athlete who struggles in motion, but he was a top-25 prospect on our board who fell further than expected and represented great value.

We were higher on Lorenzo Carter than most in the media, and most thought this pick was a steal -- which should tell you all you need to know about our thoughts on it. Carter has an injury history but is a great athlete with good awareness, and he should make an immediate impact in New York.

B.J. Hill was another excellent value three picks later. He’s a good athlete for his 6-foot-3, 311-pound frame, but he’s a first-step lineman who needs to improve his playing strength to maximize his potential.

Despite some Day 2 hype, Kyle Lauletta was always a last-day prospect on our board. He’s a game manager with limited arm strength but possesses some developmental intrigue behind the aging Eli Manning.

Like Hill, RJ McIntosh is an athletic interior lineman who needs to add strength. He had an up-and-down career at Miami and must improve his consistency to carve out a decent NFL career.

The Giants also did well after the draft, adding a guard prospect with good size and athletic ability in Nick Gates, a player we had rated as an early Day 3 value. Grant Haley and Sean Chandler could add depth in the secondary and on special teams or land on the practice squad.

Analysis: Outside of not taking the ever-elusive franchise quarterback at the top of the draft, it’s hard to quibble with what the Giants accomplished on draft weekend. Their running game got a massive jolt, and they added athleticism on defense and still ended up with a developmental signal caller they liked on the third day while getting value on all their picks. Grade: A-