Giants 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Roundup of B/R Staff, Kiper and Expert Picks

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2022

Giants 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Roundup of B/R Staff, Kiper and Expert Picks

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    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    The New York Giants haven't been especially active this offseason, as they have been hindered by their salary-cap situation.

    The Giants remade the front office, hiring Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll as general manager and head coach, respectively. However, the roster looks a lot like the one that went 4-13 a year ago. Fortunately, the 2022 draft could change this.

    New York has nine draft picks with which to work, including two picks in Round 1 (No. 5 and No. 7), and two in the third round. While each of those picks will be valuable, fans are most interested in what the Giants have planned for the opening night April 28.

    It's hard to tell where New York will go with its two first-round selections. We can get an idea of what the Giants might do by dissecting the expert predictions. That's precisely what we'll do here, beginning with the pick from the Bleacher Report Scouting Department.

B/R Scouting Department: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge & Charles Cross, OT

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    The B/R Scouting Department mock draft was crafted by a group of experts—Brandon Thorn, Brent Sobleski, Cory Giddings, Derrik Klassen and Nate Tice—and based on what the group believes teams will do, not its prospect rankings.

    The Scouting Department did not include trades in its mock draft.

    At No. 5, the B/R staff paired New York with Oregon pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. This both fills a team need and represents great value, as Thibodeaux is the top-ranked player on the B/R board.

    "The Giants would be making a mistake to let Thibodeaux slip past them," Klassen said. "Once the presumptive first overall pick, Thibodeaux brings the best blend of speed, power and bend in the class. The reps wherein Thibodeaux puts everything together are the most impressive in the class."

    At No. 7, the Scouting Department has the Giants taking Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross. Again, this is a logical selection, if perhaps a slight reach. The Giants offensive line has been a weakness for some time, and quarterback Daniel Jones was under pressure on 23.3 percent of his dropbacks in 2021, according to Pro Football Reference.

    Cross could be a Day 1 starter opposite Andrew Thomas, which would be ideal for New York. He's the 13th-ranked prospect on the B/R board.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.: Ikem Ekwonu, OL & Jermaine Johnson II, Edge

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    Mocks from ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. have become a draft-season staple, and his most recent includes predictions for the first two rounds. Kiper's mock also allows for trades, though he doesn't have the Giants making any. His picks are based on a combination of prospect rankings, team needs and insider buzz.

    Kiper also has the Giants taking an edge-rusher and an offensive tackle in Round 1, only in a different order and with two different targets.

    At No. 5, Kiper has New York landing NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu. Again, it's a sensible pick and would represent a great get for the Giants. Ekwonu is the fourth-ranked prospect on the Bleacher Report big board.

    At No. 7, Kiper pairs the Giants with Florida State edge-rusher Jermaine Johnson II. This may be more of a reach, as Johnson is the 38th-ranked prospect on B/R's big board. However, Kiper believes the former Seminole is a rising prospect and a terrific fit for New York:

    "Johnson had 12 sacks last season and was one of the most impressive prospects at the Senior Bowl in January. He already has a few veteran pass-rush moves and can be an instant starter. He also played a lot of outside linebacker for the Seminoles, so he will have some versatility in Don Martindale's defense."

    Edge-rusher and offensive line are two obvious needs for New York, so it's no surprise that our first two mocks feature both positions.

    In Round 2, Kiper mocked Baylor safety Jalen Pitre to the Giants at No. 36.

The Athletic's Bruce Feldman: Devin Lloyd, LB & Ahmad Gardner, CB

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    We'll turn to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman for our final mock. Feldman has a unique approach to the mock draft process. While he does predict what he believes a team will do, he first speaks to coaches, college football insiders and NFL sources to form his opinions—and he includes relevant quotes as part of his article.

    Feldman has the Giants missing out on a top tackle and passing over Thibodeaux for Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd.

    "He's a sure tackler. His sideline-to-sideline presence is great. They used him as a pass-rusher. He did a good job of using his length," one source told Feldman about Lloyd.

    At No. 7, Feldman paired the Giants with Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner.

    "I imagine there will be a lot of hope Big Blue grabs Kyle Hamilton, but they won't be able to pass up a true lockdown corner in the 6'3", 190-pounder," Feldman wrote. "Almost no opposing offense in college wanted to mess with him."

    The Gardner pick makes a ton of sense with James Bradberry on the trade block. According to Zack Rosenblatt of, the Giants may cut Bradberry if they are unable to swing a trade.

    Gardner should step in as a Day 1 starter and help fill the void created by Bradberry's impending departure.

    While we don't have any consensus picks in these three mocks, The Giants feel destined to take at least one elite defensive prospect in Round 1. And if a top-tier lineman falls to them, they are likely to pounce. Though no trades were mocked, that's also an option for the Giants on opening night.