New York Giants
Round 1 – Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (B+)
Round 2 – UTEP OG Will Hernandez (A)
Round 3 – Georgia DE Lorenzo Carter (B-)
Round 3 – NC State DT B.J. Hill (A-)
Round 4 – Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta (A+)
Round 6 – Miami DT R.J. McIntosh (A)
There is only one draft class in the NFC East that can rival the Washington Redskins’ class, and that is the New York Giants.
The Giants were handed a very fruitful situation this offseason. The roster, in terms of talent, was far from deficient last year; a lack of chemistry and organization cultivated by Ben McAdoo helped contribute to the team’s downward spiral to 3-13. This year, Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman inherited both a solid roster and the No. 2 pick. There are few ways to lose in this situation.
The headline items for the Giants include Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, who went No. 2 overall, and UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez. Both picks are stellar, although Barkley’s individual grade drops a bit due to the team’s passing on more proven impact positions like left guard (Quenton Nelson), edge rusher (Bradley Chubb), and quarterback (Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold).
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Nevertheless, Barkley is a running back prospect with a rare combination of speed, athleticism, and polish, and the Giants, who desperately need a running back, understandably found it hard to pass on Barkley. Yes, they opted to save other positions for later, but they made up for passing on these positions rather quickly.
In Round 2, they selected Will Hernandez, who will give opposing linemen fits at the next level. He and Barkley make for one of the most dangerous Round 1, Round 2 combinations selected by any team. In Round 3, the Giants then turned to defense, picking developmental edge rusher Lorenzo Carter and then athletic defensive lineman B.J. Hill.
They continued their solid draft on Day 3. Although they only had two picks, they made them count. In Round 6, they picked stout run stuffer R.J. McIntosh to provide depth on the defensive line, and with their fourth-round pick, the Giants selected Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta.
Lauletta might not challenge to start right away like Darnold or Rosen, but he is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he has traits that can easily be molded. The Giants have said that they are currently committed to Eli Manning for the foreseeable future (thank goodness), and so Lauletta is waiting in the wings for now. But if the Giants wanted to atone for passing on one of the draft’s quarterbacks, then they did just that by picking Lauletta in Round 4. Lauletta can start in a year or two, if needed, and he has traits that bode well for his success.
The Giants made sure to diversify their selections in the 2018 NFL Draft, and for a relatively solid team with a fair number of holes, this was a smart philosophy. They revamped their offensive attack with the first two picks, while simultaneously planning for the future later on. The Giants had a very good draft this year. This draft will give the Washington Redskins competition in 2018, and its impact will linger down the road, in the form of Kyle Lauletta. He will start in the NFL soon enough.
New York Giants Draft Grade: A-
The Washington Redskins made a case for the best 2018 NFL Draft class in the NFC East, but they aren’t alone. The New York Giants are right there with them. Both teams added talent in key areas, and although the Giants had three less picks, their selections should provide a similar impact. Of course, no rookie has played a down of professional football. In time, we will find out who truly had the best class in the NFC East. But on paper, the Redskins stack up fairly well.