The NFL Draft is finally here, and with both the New York Giants and New York Jets having had substandard seasons this past year, they hold very strong positions in the NFL Draft with many holes to fix. New York Sports Hub’s In-House Draft Analyst Sacha Heymann breaks down the best picks for both the Giants and Jets.
Round 1, Pick 9, 9th Overall: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford: Peat is the closest thing to a pure left tackle in this draft class, with an ideal combination of physical tools and technique. Left tackle isn’t Big Blue’s biggest need, but he’s too good of a value here. He could start at right tackle, kicking Justin Pugh inside to guard, while the Giants groom him to protect Eli Manning’s blindside.
Round 2, Pick 8, 40th Overall: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma: To this day, I contend that Green-Beckham would have been the top wideout in this class had he not run into off-the-field issues at Missouri. There’s no doubt about his ability to produce between the hashes. He’s a very solid route runner with absolutely incredible physical abilities. Again, bigger needs could be filled, but this is far too valuable a player to pass up.
Round 3, Pick 10, 74th Overall: Hau’oli Kikaha, DE, Washington: Kikaha is a pure pass-rusher, who flashed the ability at the Senior Bowl to rush with his hand in the ground and still be effective. He would be a great fit for the Giants, and represents incredible value for a 3rd round pick.
Round 4, Pick 9, 108th Overall: Xavier Cooper, DT, Washington St: The Giants desperately need to bulk up on big bodies on their defensive line. Cooper is a player who fits that description. Cooper is a great get on Day 3: A plug-and-play defender who should help sooner rather than later.
Round 5, Pick 8, 144th Overall: Ladarius Gunter, DB, Miami: Gunter played cornerback at Miami, and has been working out as a corner during the pre-draft process, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he makes the move to free safety in the league. He’s got the natural instincts to be an above average player at the position. This is an upside pick.
Round 6, Pick 10, 186th Overall: Trey DePriest, ILB, Alabama: He’s not a stud, but the Giants need linebacking help, and DePriest provides depth at the position, even if he may not ever be an effective three-down starter. Can’t ask for much more in Round 6.
Round 7, Pick 9, 226th Overall: Justin Coleman, CB, Tennessee: He tested extremely well at the combine, and was productive in college. At this point in the draft, you start taking fliers on guys, and Coleman is certainly more deserving of a pick than most others.
Round 7, Pick 28, 245th Overall: Justin Cox, S, Mississippi St: A true free safety who also tested very well at the combine. He’s got off-the-field issues, but these are the types of players you take a chance on in the last few picks of the draft.
Round 1, Pick 6, 6th Overall: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson: Beasley is a rare specimen: The production matches what you see on tape, and what he did at the combine. He’s been a pass-rushing monster at Clemson for two straight seasons, and has scouts raving. He should satisfy the Jets’ need for a pass-rushing linebacker– and he could be a great one.
Round 2, Pick 5, 37th Overall: Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke: The Jets are building up an offense that is ready to be taken over by a quarterback, but before they do that, they need to patch up their offensive line. Brian Winters hasn’t worked out for the Jets thus far, and they could look to replace him with Tomlinson, arguably the best pure guard in this draft class. His value has skyrocketed following a stellar Senior Bowl.
Round 3, Pick 6, 70th Overall: Damarious Randall, S, Arizona St: Come draft day, Randall may not even last this long, but if he does, the Jets would be foolish not to take him. The only glaring hole in their defense is at free safety, where Randall could take over. A young safety tandem of him and Calvin Pryor would be intimidating.
Round 4, Pick 5, 104th Overall: Steve Nelson, CB, Oregon St: Nelson was another player who really impressed me at the Senior Bowl, but his value hasn’t risen the way the value of some other players has. Nelson is on the smaller side but is a good cover corner who, after some development, could take to shutting down slot receivers like the Patriots’ Julian Edelman.
Round 7, Pick 6, 223rd Overall: Rannell Hall, WR, Central Florida: It’s not clear that Hall will last this long in the draft, but if he does, he could bring a dynamic element to the Jets offense. Think of him as Percy Harvin lite, at a fraction of the cost.
Round 7, Pick 7, 224th Overall: Shane Carden, QB, East Carolina: A late flier on a QB who was productive in college, albeit in a smaller program. There’s no harm in this pick– no pressure to start him if he plays well; no reason not to cut him if he doesn’t.