Often discussed are the top prospects that the New York Giants should target in the 2023 NFL Draft. Seldomly does the conversation surround prospects that the Giants should be avoiding and foregoing the opportunity to select on draft night.
This upcoming 2023 NFL Draft is crucial for the Giants who are looking to build on a successful 2022 season. If the Giants want an instant-impact player out of this year’s draft, they should avoid taking the following prospects who could struggle to find success at the next level, despite their first-round billings.
CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
The Giants undoubtedly need to add cornerback talent before the regular season. Mississippi State CB Emmanuel Forbes is a common pick for Big Blue in mock drafts. Todd McShay of ESPN had the Giants foregoing an opportunity to draft WR Jordan Addison in favor of Forbes in his latest two-round mock draft.
Pro Football Focus also had Forbes to the Giants with the 25th pick in their latest mock draft, saying, “You can’t have enough talent in the secondary when you blitz as much as defensive coordinator Wink Martindale wants to.”
Despite being a popular mock draft pick for the Giants, Forbes would be a risky pick and one that they should avoid making. Forbes weighed in at just 166 pounds at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. The Giants already have a lean cornerback on their roster in Cor’Dale Flott. Considering his lack of mass and strength, analysts have legitimate concerns about Forbes’ ability to match up with top NFL wide receivers.
“Forbes has a slim and slender build,” Damian Parson of The Draft Network writes. “This could create issues versus bigger and more physical NFL receivers.” Granted, Forbes is an excellent ballhawk, totaling six interceptions in his 2022 senior season. But the Giants need a truly physical boundary cornerback opposite of Adoree’ Jackson. They should avoid undersized talents in the secondary like Forbes.
EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia
Sam Monson and Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus recently had the New York Giants selecting Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith with the 25th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Giants selecting an edge-rusher in round one would certainly come as a surprise considering they spent a top-ten pick at the position last year and a second-round pick at the position in 2021.
While Smith might be an excellent prospect, the Giants have greater needs to address than edge rusher. Sure, the team may subscribe to the “best player available” draft philosophy and Smith might very well be the best player available. But New York is in dire need of support in their secondary and skill positions. The idea of them foregoing an opportunity to draft a wide receiver or cornerback when the talent is so rich at those positions in this class seems irresponsible.
WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
As dynamic and exciting of a player as Jalin Hyatt is, the Giants may want to avoid the Tennessee wide receiver prospect with their first-round pick.
Big Blue is clearly interested in the class’s top wideout prospects, having dinner with the likes of Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zay Flowers. But Hyatt, while he could be a first-round draft pick, does not have the same high ceiling as some of this class’s other top prospects.
Joe Marino of The Draft Network projects Hyatt’s ideal role as a “No. 2/3 wide receiver” in the NFL. New York is looking for a bonafide No. 1 receiver in this class.
Hyatt certainly possesses elite athleticism and explosive speed to stretch the field, but he does not provide the down-to-down dependency and efficient route-running to establish himself as a primary receiving option early in his career. The Giants should go with a more dependable prospect if they take a wideout in round one.