New York Giants take strides towards return to prominence

Giants+first+round+pick+Andrew+Thomas+during+his+playing+days+at+Georgia.

Giants first round pick Andrew Thomas during his playing days at Georgia.

Joseph Heisler, Sports editor

Every spring, excitement rises throughout the NFL community as the Draft comes and goes. Fans hope this is the year that their favorite teams pick the player who’s been missing or start to build a roster to compete for a Super Bowl. This is especially true for the New York Giants, which has had one winning season since 2013 and is now on its third head coach since 2016.

With this draft, the team had an abundance of needs that General Manager Dave Gettleman and first year Head Coach Joe Judge needed to address. The biggest need of the team was along the offensive line, where the group the season prior allowed rookie quarterback Daniel Jones to get sacked 43 times and gave young superstar Saquan Barkley very little room to make plays.

The team addressed this issue immediately, drafting Georgia right tackle Andrew Thomas with the 4th overall pick. Thomas was a two-time All-American at Georgia. While many are concerned with his athletic ability, Thomas has proven he can play with the best in the Southeastern Conference and looks to have tremendous upside.

Thomas was not the only offensive lineman the Giants took in this draft. The team also took UConn tackle Matt Peart and Oregon guard Shane Lemieux in the third and fifth rounds respectively. Peart was a four year starter at UConn who is viewed to have all the athletic tools to be a great NFL tackle. Despite not likely making an impact for a couple years, Peart could be an asset for years to come. In the case of Lemieux, the guard was a cornerstone for one of the best offensive lines in all of college football. He can also be expected to be a starter in a few seasons after improving his pass protection technique.

Another need of the Giants was in the secondary. After the team lost all-pro free safety Landon Collins a season ago to free agency, the unit has not been able to come together. The team addressed this in the second round, when they drafted Alabama safety Xavier McKiney. McKiney was viewed as a first round talent by many draft experts but fell due to many team’s needs in other positions. He will most likely start from day 1 with third year safety Jabrill Peppers, giving the Giants a great young pair of safeties. 

Joining these two in the secondary will be fourth round pick Darnay Holmes out of UCLA and seventh round pick Chris Williamson out of Minnesota. Holmes is a great coverage corner who despite not likely making an impact for a few years on defense, could make an immediate impact on the special teams. Williamson adds depth to the Giants, being able to play both corner and linebacker.

Another issue of the Giants was depth at the linebacker position, where the team always seems to be adding new players mid-season to compensate for injuries. The giants addressed this  by drafting four linebackers from rounds five to seven. The best of these players was Penn State linebacker, Cam Brown. Brown, like Holmes, may not make an immediate impact on the defense, but will be an immediate impact player on special teams.

This draft the Giants took a huge step towards returning to the top of the NFC. Despite likely facing another losing season, the Giants have the young pieces to be a serious threat to win the Super Bowl in two to three years.