Grading Giants 2016 Draft Picks

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With the NFL Draft already finished, the Giants put together a solid but highly productive class. This class may not have the next superstar, or maybe it will we don’t know, but as of now it looks like all of these guys will provide much-needed depth and make their way to eventual starters. The Giants covered a bunch of huge needs and now look much more comfortable heading into next season.

It does come as a major surprise that the Giants failed to draft neither an offensive or defensive lineman, with right tackle being a big need. There was much belief that the Giants could draft an offensive tackle with the 10th overall pick, and definitely no later than day 2 of the draft. The Giants completely ignored both lines throughout the entire draft, which surprised all of us. With that being said, there is still much to get excited about with this class, so let’s get into my grades for the New York Giants.

Round 1: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

The Giants made one of the more head-scratching moves on draft day by selecting corner back Eli Apple with the tenth pick. This move comes to a surprise to many, with Apple not even being the best corner available as Vernon Hargreaves from Florida was still on the board. There was also OT Laremy Tunsil, who was widely considered the top prospect in the draft, but took a slide due to videos surfacing earlier that day of him smoking a bong out of a gas mask. The majority of Giants fans were quick to express their hatred for this pick, but this pick isn’t as bad as people were making it out to be.

Apple is a top corner in the draft and there is a lot to like about him. He has good size for the position and he has amazing coverage skills. This guy locks people down as good as anyone in the draft. The reason many draft experts had Apple as a late first-early second round pick is cause he’s unproven. Having only played two years at Ohio State, he still is a little but raw and his tape is up and down. Nevertheless he has loads of talent to go with high upside. He will learn from two top-level corners and can eventually serve as the replacement for DRC. Having Apple allows Steve Spagnuolo some flexibility with the secondary due to an array of options It has also been confirmed that the Dolphins, who had the 13th pick, were very high on Apple and would have taken him if he was available. So maybe the Giants didn’t reach that far after all. Apple is a great corner who will works harder than anyone and will continue to get better every year.

Grade: B+

Round 2: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma

Day 2 brought a lot more positive reviews than Day 1. The Giants kicked Day 2 off with finding a much needed number 2 wide receiver in Sterling Shepard. This is a guy that if he was a few inches taller, he would be a top 10 pick. He is easily one of the best wide outs in the draft, as he is the best route runner and he plays much bigger than his 5’10” frame. He has great hands, great run-after-catch ability, and he is clean off-the-field. He will provide that missing piece to a receiving group that was fairly empty aside from Odell Beckham. Now defensive coordinators will have at least two, three if Cruz returns to form, receivers to have a game plan for, which is huge for the offense. The Giants got a great player who should help immediately and be a big factor in the offense for years to come.

Grade: A

 

Round 3: Darian Thompson, FS, Boise State

The Giants continued to add to their crowded safety group with the addition of Darian Thompson, one of the best ball-hawking safeties in the entire draft. Thompson has great size for the position to go along with exceptional instincts. Those instincts are what led him to an eye-opening 19 interceptions throughout his college career. Thompson also had average tackling ability but can improve in that department. This guy is one of the best all-around safeties in the draft, and he allows Landon Collins to play strong safety and stay in the box where he is more comfortable. Jerry Reese calls this guy a “center fielder” and he possesses the potential to be a big steal in the draft.

Grade: B+

 

Round 4: BJ Goodson, LB, Clemson

To open up day 3, the Giants added another body to their linebacker corps with the addition of BJ Goodson. This guy fits the look of an NFL linebacker, having a very strong and muscular build. He is similar in terms of playing style to that of Reggie Ragland. They both are thumpers who are great tacklers and rarely miss. Goodson is an intrguiging prospect becuase last season was the first season where he started for Clemson, replacing Stephone Anthony. He played very well, racking up 108 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions. Goodson displays a strong all around game and has real leadership qualities. This is a great pick who could end up being both a great linebacker and a leader on the defense for a long time.

Grade: A-

 

Round 5: Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA

The Giants decide to add another body to an already crowded group of running backs. Perkins, who many saw as a third round pick, is a complete back. He is capable of making defenders miss, possesses good power and good speed to go along with great vision. He also can catch out of the backfield which is always a valuable trait to have. The Giants now have six capable running backs. The addition of Perkins I think should mean the end for Andre Williams, who has shown basically nothing in his two seasons with the Giants. I only see them keeping four on the final roster, so I would also get rid of newly signed free agent Bobby Rainey. I think Darkwa has shown enough promise to stay on the roster. Nevertheless, Perkins was a steal late in the draft and should provide a spark to the running game as he continues to improve every season.

Grade: B

 

Round 6: Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina

To close out their draft the Giants decide to add some competition to their tight end group. Adams, 6’5″ 247 lbs, has ideal size for the position and is widely considered a top five tight end in the draft. He is a complete player, being botha strong pass catcher as well as a strong run blocker. From watching tape, you can see that Adams has really good hands and is often very slippery when he has the ball. Defenders often slide off of him and he does a nice job of getting yards after the catch. Adams is good team player and is well-liked by his teammates and coaches. With  the uncertainty in Larry Donnell with his injuries, it was smart for the Giants to add another guy. COnsidering Adams was projected as a third or fourth round pick, the Giants got a potentially massive steal to go along with promising youngster Will Tye.

Grade: A

All in all there is a lot to like about this draft class for the Giants. They really filled a bunch of needs and got a group of guys that are both very talented and clean of the field. Each one of these picks is very intruiging and really makes Giants fans even more excited about September. It will be fun to see these guys repping the Giants blue and hopefully being key players on this team for a long time.

Overall Grade: A-