Prospects for Giants to Avoid in 2022 NFL Draft

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2022

Prospects for Giants to Avoid in 2022 NFL Draft

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The New York Giants are embarking on another rebuild, which isn't a surprise given the franchise's recent lack of success. The team has failed to get above .500 in any of the past five seasons.

    New York took its first step early in the offseason, hiring Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll as general manager and head coach, respectively. However, the roster rebuilding process has been slow, as the Giants have been strapped for cap space.

    The roster that won four games in 2021 largely looks the same now.

    The good news is the Giants have quite a bit of draft capital with which to work. They have two picks in Round 1 (No. 5 and No. 7), two in the third and nine overall. While their offseason hasn't been overly impressive, they stand to make significant upgrades later in April.

    Of course, having a plethora of picks means little when a team takes the wrong players—and this has been a challenge for New York. The jury is still out on 2019 first-round pick Daniel Jones, while the Giants got little last year out of 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney, whose impressive 189-yard game accounted for 45 percent of his rookie receiving total.

    New York cannot miss on early picks and expect to significantly improve this offseason. With this in mind, let's examine three prospects it should look to avoid and why.

Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis is the sixth-ranked prospect on the Bleacher Report Scouting Department's big board and could be in play in the top 10, where New York holds two selections.

    However, the 22-year-old should not be on the Giants' radar for a couple of reasons.

    For one, New York's defensive line, highlighted by Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence, is already stout. While the Giants lost a big contributor in defensive tackle Austin Johnson, they also brought in free-agent Justin Ellis.

    New York has more pressing needs along the offensive line that should be addressed inside the top 10. Jones was sacked 22 times in 11 games and was under pressure on 23.3 percent of his dropbacks, according to Pro Football Reference. Run-blocking was also a problem, as the Giants ranked 24th in yards per carry.

    Taking a defensive lineman over an offensive one just doesn't make sense, given the state of New York's roster.

    Plus, it's not as if Davis is a sure thing. The physical toolbox is impressive, but there are questions about his production and ability to stay on the field. He had just two sacks and 17 solo stops this past season and played fewer than half of the defensive snaps, per Derrik Klassen of the B/R Scouting Department.

Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. is the seventh-ranked prospect on the B/R board and the top-ranked cornerback. He could be under consideration by the Giants, especially if they're able to trade James Bradberry before the draft.

    However, Stingley comes with legitimate questions that should concern New York.

    The 20-year-old performed like a future NFL playmaker in 2019, but he's been less impressive over the last two years and hampered by injuries. A foot injury limited him to only three games for LSU this past season, and there's no guarantee he will be the same player he was two years ago.

    "Uniquely gifted cornerback with rare blend of size, speed and explosiveness that will have teams willing to judge his upside off of tape from two seasons ago," NFL Media's Lance Zierlein wrote. "Stingley played in just 10 games over the last two years, offering flashes of his upside rather than sustained play."

    While Stingley carries tremendous upside, he's still a risk-reward prospect, and the Giants cannot afford the gamble. They've been mired in mediocrity for too long and need to focus on "safer" prospects at the top of Round 1.

Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    While New York will be looking for instant contributors early, it may take a flier on a developmental quarterback somewhere in the middle rounds.

    Daniel Jones hasn't proved himself to be a legitimate franchise signal-caller, and offseason acquisition Tyrod Taylor is a one- or two-year bridge at best.

    There's nothing wrong with New York rolling another die on the position in 2022, but it should not target Carson Strong. While he could be a future starter in the right situation, his lack of mobility and injury concerns could be a problem for the Giants.

    Daboll worked with a dual-threat quarterback in Josh Allen while offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. He has similar (though clearly less impressive) dual-threats in Jones and Taylor. Strong is a pure pocket-passer who would require dramatic scheme changes if inserted into the lineup.

    The 22-year-old Nevada product's lack of mobility would also be an issue behind New York's developing offensive line. Continuing knee issues following high school surgery won't help in the mobility department and put him firmly in risk-reward territory.

    While Strong has the arm talent and the football IQ to succeed in the NFL, the rebuilding Giants are not an ideal landing spot for him.